These days, It seems like everyone’s putting out a “Top Comics to Watch” list, with everyone from Variety to New York Magazine to Sports Illustrated for Kids chiming in with their 2 sense. It’s great for comedy, but it... more »

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May 10, 2013

10. Bjorn Banitz

Hailing from Sweden, Banitz has made quite the name for himself in the last year with his hit web series “My Mom is Meatballs!” (Banitz plays all roles, including the enormously popular “Mama Meatball,” based on his own mother, whom he describes as “completely meatballs”). The self-proclaimed “Swedish fish out of water” has a hilarious take on everything, from IKEA (“Yeah, I don’t know how to make IKEA chairs either - and I’m from Sweden!”) to relationships (“She wanted me to wear viking hat while we did fuck! I said, ‘I’m Swedish, not NORWEGIAN!’ There’s a difference people!!!”) to IKEA again (“I mean seriously - who do I look like? American home improvement television personality Bob Vila?”). Look out for his new album “Bjorn 2 B Wild” on K Records this spring and watch him make his big screen debut this July in the buddy cop adventure “Mac & Cheese” where he plays Cashier #2.

9) “Crazy” Dave Wannstedt

When Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s special teams coordinator Dave Wannstedt went into the off-season last year, he decided it was high time he pursue his passion: musical comedy parodies. “I remember watching ‘Weird Al’ and thinking, ‘I could do that,’ says Wannstedt. “So I picked up a guitar, starting playing the chords to Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ and all the sudden ‘Hump’ came out.” And so “Crazy” Dave Wannstedt was born. The mustachioed 60 year old takes on everyone, including Justin Timberlake (“Soup & Pie”), Usher (“Skinemax”), Daft Punk (“Rubber Ducky”), Bruno Mars (“Locked Out of My House”), Rihanna (“We Found Grub” (The Taco Bell Anthem)”), PSY (“Gary Oldman Style”), and Carly Rae Jepsen (“Call Me Cheney”). With Wannstedt, no one is safe - not even his old team, the Chicago Bears. “I’m working on a riff on ‘The Super Bowl Shuffle’ right now,” says Wannstedt. “I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say ‘Stripper Pole Kerfuffle.’” See him live in action at the Papa John’s Pro Bowl Pre-Party Pow-Wow in Honolulu this summer.

8) Mark & Marv Potter

Hot off their “We Are Siamese If You Don’t Please” college tour, siamese twin comedy duo Mark & Marv Potter’s self-deprecating, rapid fire comedy style have made them the clown prince - er, princes - of the Cheyenne, Wyoming alternative scene. The duo addresses the obvious up top (“People always ask, ‘How do you guys have sex?’ Yeah, when either of us gets laid, we’ll let you know.”), then use their acerbic wit to dissect the pitfalls of being two 20 year old comics conjoined at the hip (sample bit: “So I’m single-” “And I’m single-” “And it’s hard for me to meet girls-” “And it’s hard for ME to meet girls-” “Cause I’m attached to this ding-dong!” “Cause I’M attached to THIS ding-dong!” “Why I oughta!” “Why I oughta!” etc.) Along with touring, the duo just wrapped a remake of the seminal Arnold Schwarzenegger-Danny DeVito film, “Twins” “Junior,” to be released later this year. Catch ‘em while you can, folks - due to health complications, Mark and Marv are scheduled to die later this year.

7) Lenny Kravitz

6) Shane Maxwell

Go to a Shane Maxwell show and you might find yourself thinking, “Is that Howie Mandel breastfeeding? Is that Judge Judy twerking? Is that Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell giving Shrek a blowjob?” Well, yes and no. They’re all concoctions from the completely brilliant and totally random mind of C-List celebrity impersonator Shane Maxwell. Hailed by the Pelham Bay Community Digest as “a Robin Williams for the iGeneration,” Maxwell takes a no holds barned approach to the celebrities he skewers, breaking the arm off the “Did he just say that?” meter whenever he steps on stage. Some of his must-see skits include an impression of “American Idol” cast-off Sanjaya, reimagining the Pakistani (?) singer as a food court crooner at “Sanjaya’s Jambalaya”; his “gay Nick Lachey” character, Lick Sashay; the buff, mulleted internet troll “Blog the Bounty Hunter”; and his take on former NBA player Tom Gugliotta, a rousing, Buster Keaton-indebted tour-de-farce he calls “Googly Eyes Gugliotta.” You can see Maxwell as a very impressionable florist on USA’s “Psych” this fall.

5) Goofs…With a Twist of Mime

The only non-stand-ups to make this list, Lower East Side improv troupe Goofs…With A Twist of Mime are poised to break out this year with their idiosyncratic brand of comedy, known simply as “mime-prov.” Born from the ashes of short-form improv legends Pastrami on Rye and acapella mime group Silent But Medley, Goofs…With A Twist of Mime seamlessly blend miming and improv to create something wholly original and buttfucking hilarious. Past experiments have included fully improvised, 3 ½ hour Alejandro Jodorowsky parodies, “The Mobius Strip Project” (nude improv scored by famous candle store DJ Moby), and last year’s sleeper hit, “24 Hours of Whoopee Cushions.” Through a series of gestures and act outs, de facto leader Bebe explained that whereas other improv groups don’t know what they’re gonna say before they get on stage, Goofs…With A Twist of Mime is challenging because they don’t know what they’re not going to say, which can make things “pretty bananas” he mimed. Check out the group in the Coco Montoya Little Big Black Box Theater every Wednesday before they ship off to France later this year for a 2 year residency at a fancy McDonalds.

4) A woman

3) Jason Muntz

In the last year, 13-year old wunderkind Jason Muntz has taken the comedy world by storm with his laid back approach and laconic musings, showcasing a world-weariness far beyond his years. Breaking new ground as the first tween weed comic (or as Muntz calls himself, a “tweed comic”), this “stoner by day, stoner by night” funnyboy mixes absurd one-liners (“Forget Toys ‘R Us. I don’t wanna grow up - I’m a Mary Jane’s House of Glass kid.”) with incisive commentary on life as a teen (“Why do I have to sit at a separate table at Thanksgiving? Do you really think your idle chit chat about weather and coupons is THAT over my head?”). He recently won a Nickelodeon Teen Choice award for “Hottest Pot Comic” in the non televised portion of the show and is set to expand his resume (which he describes as “written in crayon on the back of a Red Robin placemat”) even more this year. Look for Muntz opening a handful of shows for Doug Benson on the west coast this year, as well as headlining the 1st Annual Lil’ High Times Comedy Festival in Colorado.

2) Nat Von

You might not recognize the name Nat Von yet, but you probably recognize his catchphrase: GET REAL. Spreading like wildfire through the internet this year, Von’s “#getreal” was inescapable, with even President Obama getting in on the action (“If North Korea thinks the US will tolerate these sort of provocations, I’ve got two words for you: get real.”) Fresh off a killer performance on “Late Night with The Crane Fergertsen Show”, Von plans to capitalize on the “Get Real” buzz. Currently in the works are a memoir (“Get Real or Die Trying”), a sitcom for TBS (where Von plays a schlubby jet ski repairman with a disproportionately beautiful wife), his own line of “Get Reel” fishing rods, and horse pornography. But don’t think Von’s just resting on his laurens. Reports circulated earlier last month that Von was already making the rounds in LA working out his latest catch phrase, “Not on MY watch!” “People were farting they were laughing so hard,” said one onlooker who was half paying attention. Don’t expect this Von to get lost anytime soon.

1) Louie CK

After a sold-out tour, an HBO special and a hit TV series, many industry insiders predict this could be CK’s breakthrough year, making him our #1 comic to watch. Though he’s flown under the radar the past few years, a rapidly growing fan base and his innovative DKNY approach to business could finally be the key to mainstream success. Not one to be pigeon-holed, CK plans to branch out beyond comedy in 2013. Catch Louie trying his hand at acrobatics in the Las Vegas spectacle “Cirque du CK” this winter.