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The Future of Comedy | Willa Norvell

With the darkness and struggle the past couple of years brought upon all people, many of us have turned to comedy to cope and find a laugh in the midst of chaos. Long running shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night” have lasted countless individuals through trying times, but as renowned comedians like Kate McKinnon and Jim Carrey are beginning to take new directions in their lives or a step back all together, the public is left unsure of who will fill such large shoes. A few young performers of late have caught the attention of the media and look to be promising members for the future of entertainment. Here are three rising comedians to watch out for as they grow into the spotlight in the next upcoming years:


Taylor Tomlinson: Born in Orange County, California, Taylor Tomlinson developed an objectively complex background with humor early on, experimenting with stand up and crowds at the age of only sixteen. By the time she hit her twenties, Tomlinson had participated in multiple comedy festivals and Comedy Central productions. However, she caught the attention of her current audience from Netflix highlights, premiering in 2020 with the special Quarter-Life Crisis, and then with Look At You in 2022. The writer’s strong talent and emotional appeal struck a chord with young adults empathizing with similar single and broke lifestyles, and continues to draw in unlikely viewers from her deadpan and satirical world outlook.


Jeff Wright: Like so many millennials, Jeff Wright found his platform on TikTok in the heat of 2020. With a charismatic smile and engaging energy, he was quickly picked up by none other than Seth Meyers and recruited as a writer, even debuting his own stand up on “Late Night.” Though fame and opportunity came abruptly, Wright still believes strongly in maintaining the image of a person who is simply there to make you laugh. Many observers have made a comparison between him and Eddie Murphy, noting their similar taste in humor and content. Nevertheless, Wright remains separate with his acts and is thrilled to build off of what legends like Murphy have already created.


Michael Longfellow: Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, Michael had a great deal of desert and record-breaking weather to develop a sense of humor from. Now based in Los Angeles, the twenty-eight year old first made a name for himself when he was recognized at the 2017 New York Comedy Festival, earning the title as one of the “Comics to Watch.” Conan O’Brien then reached out and gave the opportunity of performing a five minute skit on his show, and Kenan Thompson had Longfellow compete in his reality show Bring the Funny in 2019. For the 48th season, Lorne Michaels selected Longfellow as one of the four new featured cast members, and has so far played pivotal roles in multiple scenes, including having his debut as a personal conversation on Weekly Update. With this trajectory, it is likely that his quick commentary will secure Michael a spot in the main cast sooner or later.

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