Nate Jackson, Jess Hilarious, and Preacher Lawson
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The New King and Queens of Comedy: These Are Best Black Stand-up Comics in the Game Right Now

The comedy game is hotter than ever right now thanks to a new wave of stand-up comedians that are taking over. Meet the best of the bunch!


Feb. 23 2024, Published 5:25 p.m. ET

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Since the "Kings of Comedy" tour, black comics have ruled the stand-up comedy scene.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the tour brought in nearly $40 million from 1998 to 1999. Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, D.L. Hughley, and Cedric The Entertainer headlined the gig, which made stops at various U.S. Cities. The organizers later introduced the Queens of Comedy, starring Adele Givens, Mo'Nique, and Sommore.

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These days, black comics are at the top of their game. From sold-out comedy clubs to streaming platforms, these comedic geniuses are commanding attention and reshaping the landscape of comedy.

While comedy giants like Steve Harvey and Mo’Nique have secured their place in entertainment history, there is a new wave of stand-up stars waiting to make their mark. Here are five of the best stand-up comedians around.

Tony Baker

tony baker stand up the ice house comedy club
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Comedian Tony Baker performs during his appearance at The Ice House Comedy Club

With his infectious humor and impeccable timing, Tony Baker has built an impressive comedy career. The entertainer began his career performing at clubs across the windy city before getting a big break.

His appearances on popular shows like Last Comic Standing and Comics Unleashed showcased his abilities to a broader audience.

Tony has also built a massive social media following. He boasts more than three million followers on Instagram, where he regularly shares his comedic commentary.

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Nate Jackson

nate jackson stand up
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Nate Jackson performs on day six of the NOHO Comedy Festival at Ha Ha Cafe Comedy Club.

Nate Jackson is quickly emerging as a force to be reckoned with. The Detroit native has become known for his over-the-top stand-up routines. In addition to performing on the road, some may recognize Nate from his time on Wild 'N Out.

Nate appeared on the sketch comedy show during Season 8, but his time on the series was brief. Nonetheless, Nate continued to entertain audiences on social media and his podcast, OpinioNATEd with Nate Jackson.

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Josh Johnson

josh johnson comedy central pre emmy party
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Josh Johnson attends Comedy Central's Pre-Emmy Party.

Josh Johnson's rise in the comedy scene was swift. Josh got his start as a writer on shows like The Daily Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon before he stepped into the spotlight. Hailing from Louisiana, Josh used his connections and comedic chops to land a spot on Trevor Noah’s "Loud & Clear" Tour.

Josh later landed his own comedy specials – Josh Johnson: # (Hashtag) and Up Here Killing Myself – solidifying his place as one of the brightest young comics.

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Jess Hilarious

jess hilarious attends bet awards
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Jess Hilarious arrives to the 2023 BET Awards.

Before landing the coveted role as the co-host of The Breakfast Club, Jess Hilarious was a rising comedy star.

She got her start on Instagram – gaining popularity for her unfiltered opinions about celebrities – before venturing into stand-up comedy. Jess, like a few other comics on this list, also appeared on Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out, where she sharpened her comedic skills.

Jess also did a stint on Lil Rel Howery’s short-lived sitcom, Rel, which aired for one season on Fox.

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Preacher Lawson

preacher lawson performs onstage during moontower just for laughs
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Preacher Lawson performs onstage during Moontower Just For Laughs

Preacher Lawson is quickly becoming a household name. After appearing on America’s Got Talent, the Oregon native’s fan base was large enough for him to go on a national tour.

In 2024, he has performances scheduled in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and more. For those unable to catch Preacher’s stand-up routine, his Instagram account is filled with hilarious content.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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