Music has charms that soothe the savage beast, but comedy does the exact opposite. When you combine the two, you get something truly amazing. Laughs and melodies are very congenial bedfellows (as you’ll see when College Humor’s Comedy Music Hall of Fame airs June 19th at 10P on IFC). We all love Weird Al, The Lonely Island, Tenacious D and other superstars of the comedy music world. But what about the up-and-coming funny people who perfectly combine music and laughs in their act? Here are 10 rising stars who represent the next generation of comedy music superstars.
This collective of over 150 highly trained New York City musicians have become YouTube superstars thanks to their clever breakdowns of nostalgic favorites like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.
9. The Gregory Brothers
Unlike a number of performers on this list who were comedians first and musicians second, the Gregory Brothers started out as a full-on band before finding unlikely viral success with an auto-tuned remix of a ludicrous news report. They were even nominated for a Grammy for their take on Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” catchphrase.) Recently they created the catchy theme song for Tina Fey’s Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
8. Tim Minchin
Australian comedian Tim Minchin brings a theatre background to his unique form of cabaret, which features glam-influenced tunes with wickedly funny lyrics. His off-beat takes on religion and its adherents have made him a figure of some controversy. Cool fact: Minchin’s latest work is designed to be performed with a full orchestra.
7. Patrick Noth
Hip-hop and stand-up comedy have a lot of parallels –- some of the earliest rapping came from black comedians like Rudy Ray Moore, who added a rhythmic element to his delivery. New York comedian Patrick Noth might be white, but the UCB veteran busts some pretty great rhymes as part of his set.
6. Allie Goertz
Satirical songwriter Allie Goertz uses YouTube as a platform to deliver charming takes on pop culture stalwarts like Breaking Bad and The Jerk. She crowd-sourced a very successful album and currently works on @Midnight.
5. Trevor Moore
One of the founding members of New York City’s Whitest Kids U Know comedy group, Trevor Moore’s parents were Christian folk-rockers who had a minor chart hit in the ’80s. He combined his musical upbringing with comedy to create some incredible material. His album Drunk Texts to Myself touches on a flabbergasting variety of musical styles.
4. Bo Burnham
One of the youngest comedians on the scene, Bo Burnham rode a wave of YouTube popularity to a massive career before he was old enough to drink. He started coming up with comedic songs in between play rehearsals in 2006, uploaded a few and things exploded from there. He’s had his own MTV show and released four albums.
3. Rachel Bloom
Actress and writer Rachel Bloom just landed her own musical comedy series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, on The CW, so expect to see a lot more of her in the future. She’s already landed a Hugo award nomination for a YouTube video about wanting to have sex with sci-fi legend Ray Bradbury, which seems like a joke but is actually very, very serious.
2. Jon Lajoie
YouTube has been a godsend for comedy musicians, as the short video platform is probably the best way to consume their material. Jon Lajoie started blending tunes and laughs in 2006 and quickly became a viral sensation, leveraging it to a recurring role on The League and several albums.
1. Reggie Watts
One of the coolest things about combining humor and music is how it lets performers experiment with new comedy concepts. Reggie Watts is a true original in that regard, creating beat-based sound collages with his expressive voice that make you laugh and think in equal measure. He just exited his role as bandleader on Comedy Bang! Bang!, and we still haven’t gotten over it.
Watch the trailer for College Humor’s Comedy Music Hall of Fame below.