It's no longer enough merely to be funny. Today comedians must take a much more enterprising role in their careers, creating their own projects, actively cultivating engaged fan bases and self-marketing unique styles and personas. Here are some of the individuals and groups who are not only attracting industry attention in Los Angeles and beyond but also making hard work — and dependable hilarity — look easy in the process.
10. Ryan Singer: He joined Marc Maron in Bob Dylan's groundbreaking "Like a Rolling Stone" interactive video, directed his own pilot starring Brent Weinbach and co-hosts monthly Echoes Under Sunset variety show Underbelly with Chris Garcia. "The reason all these comedians choose to work with Ryan is because he makes you love comedy," explains L.A. booker and producer Samantha Varela. "Ryan's enthusiasm is infectious and compels you to hang on to every word. He lives life to the fullest and dives headfirst into every adventure." As Singer's second album, Comedy Wonder Town, muses, "You have to keep an open heart and an open mind."
9. Power Violence: Smoothing over some mid-2013 venue hiccups, Rodney Berry, Budd Diaz, Clay Tatum, Whitmer Thomas and tech master Jeramy Ritchie's interactive Sunday weekly show returned to Theatre Row's the Complex, picking up where they'd left off in their ongoing embrace of the collaborative creative process. The Modern Comedian veterans live together, shoot nutzoid video sketches together, play music together and celebrate skate culture together; after this month's appearance at the L.A. Riot comedy festival, this spring they'll hit underground venues throughout their old Southeast stomping grounds. The DIY road exploits will be filmed and released as a full-length tour documentary.