It was a good year in the world of comedy, and we once again got to talk to some kick-ass comics. But with a new year comes a new spotlight on a batch of standup comics who are making big moves, ones you'll hopefully have a chance to catch in 2013. A good comic takes command of the stage, enlightens us, grosses us out, makes us feel bad for him or her and, hopefully, makes us laugh in the process. These five comedians provide you just what you need to start the New Year off with a bang. Okay, that may have come out wrong. . . .
5. GRANT COTTER. Since we first talked to Cotter in 2011, his career has been blowing up. As a host and featured comic, he's now a certified presence at such OC staples as the Improv, the Laugh Factory and Hennessey's, as well as parts of the LA scene. Anyone who has seen him knows he imitates a drunk whore like nobody's business. But Cotter isn't a one-note comedian; he's also getting TV air time, appearing on Food Network's Mystery Diners and spouting 2012 slogan "YOLO" (among other things) on America's Court With Judge Ross. This year, he unleashes a new comedy album on SideOneDummy Records that's chock-full of his topical wit, spot-on impressions and boyish charm.
4. JONNY LOQUASTO. Loquasto has been as busy as a motherfucker slaying crowds in OC and LA, as well as touring nationally. While any comic worth your time might have good stories, timing and relatable humor, not many can balance all three all the time. And did we mention he's way into body slams? This jester, who has a master's in physical therapy, is also a major sports junkie who hosts interviews for KDOC's wrestling coverage. So after he splits your side, he can massage you back to health. To top it off, Loquatso does his part to bring awareness to pediatric cancer through the nonprofit Angel 34. A saint with a potty mouth? Thumbs up!
3. SAMMY OBEID. This diligent, forever-grinding northern Californian is doing big things. Obeid has performed alongside such comedy greats as Dana Carvey and Russell Peters; has appeared on America's Got Talent; and had the opportunity to show off his skills on the Food Network's Throwdown! With Bobby Flay. The founder of LA troupe KO Comedy tours all over the nation, dropping smart, thought-provoking comedy that everyone can (and should) get down with.
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2. ESTHER POVITSKY. This fresh-faced spitfire's comedic star is surely on the rise. Between rocking comedy stages with her quirky and playful style, the 5-foot-tall Povitsky, called "Little Esther," has been showing off her acting chops and hosting popular podcasts on Deathsquad TV and Feral Audio. And who doesn't dig an attractive woman who can laugh at herself? She was recently tapped by MTV to shoot her own pilot. We can't think of a better way to fill the void of the old Jersey Shore time slot.
1. JESUS TREJO. According to his bio, Trejo "has been described as one of funniest young comics to look out for." We agree. The Long Beach native has a passion for standup, and it shows in his amusing, entertaining storytelling about his life and family. He leaves audiences wanting more, which is what they'll get in the form of a recurring part on TBS's Sullivan & Son. With the trail he is blazing, it would seem there will be no denying or avoiding Trejo in 2013. And really, why would you want to?