There's no shortage of ways to be a comedian these days. But no amount of viral video fame, funny status updates or Twitter wit compares to the unforgiving art of stand-up. Becoming a comedian doesn't happen overnight so with our picks for the "Top Five Comics to Watch Out For," we tend to pump up people who have the passion and the push to get out there a do as many shows as they can in order to fulfill their dream. We know that there are plenty of people who do just that and we admire them for it alas, we could only choose five. So here's who we think you should be on the lookout for in 2015
5. Mariya Alexander Mariya Alexander traveled across the country to "make it big" in Cali but what sets her apart from all of the other thousands that attempt to pursue the dream yearly is her ability to slay at local joints in L.A. several times a week. When she's not doing that, she's busy promoting her skills on stage, on-line, and through her podcast "The Mariya Alexander Show" like it's her job--because it is. Gorgeous, talented, and thought provokingly funny is what she is bringing to the table and on a serious side note; in 2015 we want to see her all over Orange County as well. Hey club promotors, get on that pronto! (Pretty please.)
4. Friendly Frank Talk about a guy who has put his time in! You might know this afro rocking funny man from working all over the Irvine Improv as a staff member but sit down a sec because that is FAR from all he does. Always keeping it "frank" with a smooth, clever, and insightful delivery, "South Central Irvine" Frank reps his hood hard but also spreads the comedic love by putting on shows all over OC. This year you can check him out on his show the "$5 Funnies" every last Tuesday of the month at the Irvine Improv so in 2015, you'll have no excuse not to witness this man in action!
3. Marcella Arguello Marcella Arguello is not only a force to be reckoned with on the stand-up stage, she's one off stage as well via Vine and YouTube. Coming in at 6 feet tall and as our #3 pick, Marcella has traveled the country opening for impressive acts like Hannibal Buress, Joey Diaz, and Norm MacDonald showcasing her brand of "tell it like it is" comedy that appeals to the masses. Whether she is talking about her lack of cash, how she feels about music, relationships, or race, people really seem to get it. If you're unfamiliar with this powerhouse, this is the year to grab your tickets and get in the game with Marcella.
2. Shaun Latham "Holy fucking crowd work" is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of stand-up comedian Shaun Latham. Sure Latham got plenty of shine when he toured with Gabriel Igelsias for two tours (Fluffyshop and Stand up Revolution) but now that Shaun is out on his own, he's gleaming more than ever. Starting up his own show in 2013 at Harvelle's (in Long Beach), Shaun has the gift for gab on the stage and never fails to cap on audience members with the greatest of wit-filled ease. Our advice? Stop what you're doing and get on board with #TeamLazyEye. You won't be sorry.
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1. Shawn Halpin Sometimes there is a comic that you watch and think, "Why the fuck hasn't this guy become a household name yet?" Shawn Halpin is one of those guys to us. Not only do we respect him because he served our country in the Marines, but we respect his love of the craft and his hustle. To say this man has been around the world to preform is an understatement as he's traveled several times to entertain the troops overseas, been all over our great nation, and most importantly (yeah, we're bias), he's killed it all over Orange County. He also recently joined forces with a few other hilarious ex-vets to start up "The Veterans of Comedy" in order to amuse our local troops as well. (Awwww!) There is no doubt in our minds that in 2015 this bearded bandit will indeed be "Makin' it Halpin" even more than ever.