Thursday, July 18, 2024

Who knows why this area produces so many funny comics – from Steven Wright to Ayo Edebiri, throw a doughnut hole down Massachusetts Avenue and you’re sure to hit a stand-up. But the 10 here have particularly caught our attention for how original their voices are. Finding someone funny is hard enough, but discovering someone who is able to convey a distinct sense of self through humor is even more rare. If you’re looking for some fresh, funny voices, here are some on the path to making comedy history.

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Carolina Montesquieu

Carolina Montesquieu (via X)

I saw Carolina at an open mic at The Middle East, a venue in Cambridge’s Central Square where comics have to compete with the sounds of heavy metal coming from a basement concert hall. Her set was so funny that the laughs drowned out the booming guitars. Carolina has one of the freshest voices in the scene, and her comedy has as much bite as it has flair. From her bits about getting psychic readings from touching white women’s hair to her knowledge of Market Basket lore, Carolina’s perspective is razor sharp and creative. Carolina’s pointed observations come with an energetic stage presence that has a way of pulling the deepest, most guttural laughs out of you. Socials: @carolinamontesquieu

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Maria Palombi

Maria Palombi (via Instagram)

Maria Palombi has a satisfying delivery and a knack for spinning well-trodden topics into something wholly original. Her bits about how a polyamorous polycule must spend days agonizing over their multiple partners’ dietary restrictions or a horrifying discovery it was her partner’s good looks that got her good treatment in bars are hilarious while making precise observations about how society works. Socials: @mariatpalombi

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Ira Claybourne

Ira Claybourne (via Facebook)

Originally from Georgia, Ira’s got this way of deconstructing a seemingly small subject into an entertaining frenzy – like seeing someone unpack an infinite Russian nesting doll. From an outsider’s thoughts on the bag-salad community to a discussion on what makes a dog lesbian a dog lesbian, the sets have the depth to be taught in cultural anthropology classes. But Ira’s just fun to watch, with an infectious energy that makes you want to listen. Socials: @ira.claybourne

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Ms. Adventure

Ms. Adventure (via Instagram)

The lovely Ms. Adventure just started doing comedy a year and a half ago, but they’ve already carved out a distinct place in the scene. They do sets in lingerie – a play on the advice that nervous performers should picture everyone in the audience in their underwear. Their comedy has a subversion running through it that makes a set compelling, and you never quite know where the jokes will go. From discussing with a therapist how trans women should pee to a reenactment of how bank officials would repossess body parts after gender-affirming surgery, Ms. Adventure handles potentially tricky topics by combining smart commentary and off-the-wall silliness. Socials: @msadventurecomedy

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Madhuri Raju

Madhuri Raju (via TikTok)

A recent Boston transplant from the Philly comedy scene, Madhuri Raju has a leisurely hilarity in discussing everything from the meaning of buying matching pajama sets as a single woman to vacation interactions with royal guards. She also gets into serious personal topics in her sets without losing the laughs. Her comedy is emphatically strange, sincere and inescapably funny. Socials: @madhuribhupathir7

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Sam Mangano

Sam Mangano (via Instagram)

Sam Mangano’s bio on instagram is “Comedy is easy!” – and it is if you are Sam Mangano. Sam makes it feels like he’s walked up to the stage on a whim, with vibes so chill you can’t help but laugh. He got fired from a restaurant where the waiters are mean to you because he was too bad at insulting people. That’s all you need to know. Socials: @samueljmangano

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Hernan Sanchez Garcia

Hernan Sanchez Garcia (via Instagram)

Hernan keeps a careful diary of his day, and reads it out on stage. He is fresh to the comedy scene but has a spark that makes listening to him read even the most mundane details intriguing and hysterical. They can be silly or earnest, but there is a message and narrative feel to the work that makes the experience almost cinematic. Socials: hernan.s.g

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A.J. Cappuccio

A.J. Cappuccio (via Instagram)

A.J. Cappucio works for the U.S. Postal Service, which should let him go through people’s mail and give letters a punchup. He has a strange and sparkling perspective that makes his opinions on pop culture feel fresh and invigorating. His review of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is the only thing I needed to hear about that show. Socials: aj.cappuccino

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Maddie Kelly

Maddie Kelly (via Instagram)

Maddie Kelly’s comedy is a guide to the life philosophy of an accidental art school grad and an excuse to say the most out-of-pocket thoughts. Her one-liners on the Boston dating scene and Jesus are so punchy and incisive, you’ll be thinking about them for months. Socials: insaneclownpossum

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Andy Heckya

Andy Heckya (via Instagram)

I have never seen someone kill the way Andy Heckya did at an open mic where each comic’s set had to refer to a previous comic’s joke. Andy went up close to the end and proceeded to touch on every previous comic’s set. The room was in hysterics. It is undeniable that Andy is a master – her comedy is quick, biting and infectiously witty – but what’s special is a delivery that never feels obnoxious or intimidating and never gets in the way of connecting with the crowd, or of being her most honest self. Her jokes are never at anyone else’s expense; her comedy is as hysterical as it is kind, and this makes her so enjoyable to watch. Socials: andyheckya