Paula Poundstone makes being funny seem effortless. Whether she's providing commentary as a panelist on NPR's new quiz show, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!," performing stand-up or simply having a casual conversation, she nonchalantly drops jokes left and right like it's second nature.
At the beginning of his comedy career, Godfrey C. Danchimah, Jr. felt his name was a bit of a mouthful for open mic nights around town. So, for the sake of simplification (and memorability), he decided to shorten it. Thus was born the comedian known as Godfrey.
In 1995, after a few years of building up his comedy chops at local Chicago comedy clubs, Godfrey took on a job as warm-up comedian for the show "Cosby," which was no small task for a young performer.
Michael Kosta may currently reside in L.A., but Michigan will always hold a special place in his heart. He grew up in Ann Arbor, served as the assistant men's Tennis coach at University of Michiagn and flaunts his Michigan Emmy on the cover of his live comedy album, Champion. He even got Michigan love at Grand Rapids' first Laughfest: Kosta won $10,000 in a stand-up comedy competition at Dr. Grins.
Before Kosta made a name for himself in the comedy world he played professional tennis, won four Big Ten championships and published a book, 101 Tips for Winning More Tennis Matches. While he was the assistant coach at University of Michigan he would perform at comedy clubs on the side, often for only twenty or thirty dollars a night.
Brian Regan doesn't have to lace his comedy with obscenities to be funny. In fact, to do so would be counterintuitive. "I have no problem with blue comedy from a fan perspective," Regan said. "But it's not natural for me as a performer."
Matt Braunger has been all over the place. He grew up in Portland, Ore., studied theater at Manhattanville College in New York, did improv and stand-up in Chicago, and finally, moved to Los Angeles to solidify his career in comedy.
Braunger has had a solid career in standup for a few years now, with appearances on "The Late Show with David Letterman," a Comedy Central hour-long special and his digital album Soak Up the Night. But even with all of this standup success, Braunger is still probably most often recognized for his acting career.
Gary Gulman is really, really tall. Six feet, six inches to be exact. This may be true, but there’s another striking characteristic people instantly notice about Gulman: He is really, really funny.
Gulman used to work as an accountant, probably one of the last professions one would expect an aspiring comedian to attain, which is probably why after a few years he quit.
Rob Little was working as a computer programmer at IBM when he decided to transition his career into stand-up comedian. He sent out a company-wide email that read, "If you aren't happy here, quit your job and follow your dream," and then tried to follow through with the statement.
He's not a stand-up comic, but sometimes he tells jokes. Nor is he a musician, but sometimes he plays rock music in front of people.
Not an actor, but he pretends to be someone he isn't. Hal Sparks is an artist, an emissary of human emotion, and these are some things that he does.
A heckler in Atlanta once punched TJ Miller in the face. During another stand-up show in Myrtle Beach, a woman slapped her watch and shouted, "You got 15 minutes to say something funny!"
But despite these occasional abuses from his audiences, TJ Miller is devoted to comedy. When he isn't performing stand-up in L.A.'s comedy clubs, he is touring or filming or producing some other form of humor.
Rodney Carrington says there is only one thing he has yet to accomplish during his long and fruitful career as a comedian. "Quit — that's pretty much the only thing I haven't done," Carrington said.
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