Zoofest: New Faces
Just when you thought our Zoofest coverage was over! With the festival wrapped up for another year, all we have left are our memories. It’s as good a time as any to look back and fondly remember some of the funniest people we saw onstage this July. I had the good fortune of seeing two New Faces shows, UnRepped, which was straight stand-up, and Characters, which saw comedians putting on multiple different personalities. Both shows were made up of a collection of the most talented up-and-comers, and presented by CollegeHumor. Here are my Top Three comedians from each show. You heard it here on B.U. first, folks: these guys are going to be big.
New Faces: UnRepped
1. Tommy Pope
Pope is one talented stand-up comedian. Fantastic with sound effects, voices and characters, he’s confident and brazen, and had the crowd in the palm of his hand from his first line.
2. Dave Waite
Self-referential and crass, Waite’s talent lies in his delivery: sure he’s pointing out some funny things, but it’s the way he’s saying them, on edge and raising his voice every so often (but not so much that it was annoying) that really got me.
3. Joe List
Riddled with anxiety, List had a charming way about him and an extremely dry delivery. I really liked his style, and he had me howling with laughter during his entire set.
Honourable mention: Joe Machi
You’ll remember this guy for his adorable chipmunk voice. Machi is correspondingly self-deprecating and nervous, but damn is he smart.
New Faces: Characters
1. Tim Baltz
Baltz opened the show, and he set the bar high. An extremely talented performer with wicked writing skills, this comedian brought some stellar characters to life, from a moustache salesman to an apocalyptic sportscaster.
2. Sam Richardson
Richardson came up with a fantastic array of characters, some of whom, like slacker Uncle Charles, delighted the audience with hilarious monologues. But I especially enjoyed the lightning-quick bits he flashed at us, such as a confident schizophrenic and a dog lover.
3. Lauren Lapkus
A versatile performer, Lapkus transformed from a terrible stripper, to a drunk girl at a bachelorette party (demonstrating probably the best drunk girl impression I’ve ever seen), to a mom doing stand-up, jumping between characters without breaking a sweat. She’s definitely one to watch out for.
Honourable mention: Rachel Bloom
Rather than delve into a variety of different characters, Bloom stuck with one, a musical theatre actress who’s celebrating her “big comeback” after having been abducted for three years, and built a solid sketch around it. Though she did lose her place at one point, her songs were so hilarious and her writing so clever you couldn’t help but forgive her.
It was really difficult to narrow this list down. All the performers were amazing, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing from them again soon!