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The numbers are in, and state of comedy is strong. Among prevailing trends is the public’s eagerness to get back out of the house, leading to a new golden age of standup in which touring titans like Tom Segura, Bert Kreischer and Sebastian Maniscalco are selling out arenas — sometimes twice over, as Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias did when he became the first comic to play Dodger Stadium, on two consecutive nights for the Netflix Is a Joke festival last spring.
One place comedy fans haven’t exactly flocked back to is the movie theater — take the underwhelming box office showing of the well-reviewed and groundbreaking Bros, starring 2022 honoree Billy Eichner and produced by comedy-list fixture Judd Apatow. The late night landscape, too, is undergoing a period of transition and soul-searching, with several hosts dropping the mic, and the remaining ones finding novel ways to reach audiences.
Meanwhile, people are increasingly finding their yuks on podcasts, including the breakout SmartLess and Conan O’Brien’s growing empire of shows, such as Nicole Byer’s Why Won’t You Date Me. Finally, there’s perhaps no better indication of the overall health of the business than the proliferation of comedy both traditional and experimental on the small screen, where series are being created, re-upped, spun-off, or brought back to life (e.g., Inside Amy Schumer).
Below are the people most responsible for making us laugh this year (or cry, given the dramatic fare that passes for comedy these days).
Written by Seth Abramovitch, Kirsten Chuba, Mia Galuppo, James Hibberd, Rebecca Keegan, Mikey O’Connell, Lacey Rose, Julian Sancton, Rebecca Sun and Jackie Strause
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