Since its inception in Downtown Chicago in 2008, the Comedians You Should Know show quickly became a Chi-town staple known for bringing the best talent from all over the galaxy under one roof at their weekly showcase. These days, CYSK has spread their wings to include shows in New York City and Los Angeles, where you can catch the funnies every Thursday at the Hollywood Improv. These shows are a riot, merging classic club style and alternative, cutting-edge comedy.
To get to the heart of their namesake, we meet the show’s LA producers, Ryan Dalton, Joe Kilgallon, Chris Redd, Aaron Weaver, and Mo Welch, and ask ‘Who are the comedians we should know?’
Ryan Dalton‘s lovable sarcasm and smart, conversational style has brought him to high-profile showcases like the Great American Comedy Festival as well as the ‘New Faces’ showcase at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. His first comedy album, You Were Funny Too, is on rotation on Sirius XM’s ‘RawDog’ comedy channel, and he regularly holds it down at CYSK LA.
According to Ryan, ‘Amir K is a comedian you should know.’
‘Whether he’s telling jokes about his family life, his weird relationship with his wiener dog, or his outlook on different races and cultures in America, he’s always making people laugh with his lightning quick wit. I believe he’s going to be huge – it’s just a matter of time.’
Described by the Chicago Tribune as having ‘a straight shooting, pull-no-punches style,’ Joe Kilgallon has performed at clubs and colleges all over America. His debut album, Pay Attention, opened #1 on the iTunes Comedy Charts, and he hosts a hit podcast called Comedians Talking Sports. Catch Joe consistently at CYSK LA.
According to Joe, comic Joe Kwaczala is a ‘worker.’
‘He’s the creator of the Late Live Show as well as the co-creator of The Wheel Show, a popular variety show that can be seen monthly at Nerdmelt Comics. Joe’s from Pittsburgh but cut his teeth in the Chicago stand-up scene. If you’re into smart and silly – only a sociopath wouldn’t be – Kwaczala is the comedian for you.’
After gaining his comedy chops at Chicago’s esteemed Second City Theatre, Chris Redd made his big screen debut in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, playing antagonist Hunter The Hungry to Andy Samberg’s Conner4Real – Redd’s seemingly possessed performance is arguably the best part of the film. With new film Fat Camp and a part in Judd Apatow’s Netflix original Love on the horizon, Chris is taking Hollywood by storm. But he’s still committed to the art of stand-up, regularly appearing on the CYSK lineup.
Chris recommends comic Sam Jay, whose stage presence is ‘relentless.’
‘Her comedic voice is so polished that she can cover any topic, and you’ll immediately know how she feels about something. And it will be hilarious. Fearless and intelligent, anybody with a brain and an ear will love the dope shit Sam Jay has to say.’
Aaron Weaver captures the profound humor in the mundane aspects of everyday life, rolling from word to word with a soulful drawl. Aaron has graced the stage at TBS Just For Laughs Festival, the Boston Comedy Festival, and was named one of Comedy Central’s ‘Comics to Watch.’ He regularly performs at clubs and alternative venues throughout the city, in addition to working behind the scenes and up on stage at CYSK LA.
Aaron gives a shout to Lindsay Adams, who he says is a ‘monster.’
‘Created in the swamps of Jersey, trained in the Chicago tundra, and now wreaking havoc in LA, Lindsay is a high energy comic, equal parts silly and dark. Check out her podcast Dead Dads Club with another hilarious comic-to-know, Renee Gauthier. P.S. Lindsay is really nice and not a monster.’
The Chicago Reader called her ‘Hysterically Brilliant’ and that she is. Mo Welch‘s self-deprecating irreverence is uncomfortably funny. In addition to producing CYSK LA, Mo runs live talk show The Mo Show at Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater and is the twisted genius behind the one-frame comic strip Barely Blair.
‘She has the energy of someone who snorts sugar before every show and is extremely innovative in her character work. She released two pop albums consisting of songs around a minute long, claiming she only sings ‘the best part of songs.’ I can’t wait for the world to discover Alana and her one-of-a-kind hair. She’s ready to be the diva she was born to be.’