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During one of his stand-up performances at Philadelphia's Helium Comedy Club, Brandon Jackson tells the crowd he's from Delaware and interrupts them when they start to applaud. It's a small moment, but it's reflective of the performer's low-key, self-deprecating approach to comedy.
A University of Delaware graduate originally from Wilmington, Jackson has worked at a youth prison and as a teacher, two experiences he incorporates into his material onstage.
Gregory calls his brand of humor "creepy comedy," and it doesn't take long to figure out why -- after a career in public motivational speaking saw him found a nonprofit that helped inspire children in public schools, he says he "grew weary of stupid kids," which tells you all you need to know.
With a varied set of experiences that include appearing as a punching dummy in a Mike Tyson promo, taking 96 hits from a wooden oar in Kayla Esmond is a busy woman.
A third-generation resident of the nation's 49th state, Anderson hosts the X-Rock Morning Show on KXLR 95.9, which is actually recorded in a cabin. Having worked in Alaska radio for more than 30 years, Anderson has performed alongside comedians headlining national tours, but continues to relish the small-town feel of Alaska open mics.
And in any case, taking his comedy career to the next level would mean less time in Alaska, and it's not worth it to Glenner.
Some of our choices are on the cusp of breaking out nationally, while others seem perfectly content with making locals laugh in less populated areas.
In certain cases, we picked comedians who didn't grow up in or who no longer live in their respective states, but they all identify and maintain strong connections with the place in question.
In selecting the 50 funny people below, we talked to comedy clubs and comedians working in each state, scoured You Tube and other platforms, and sat through countless hours of performances.
In short, we tried to present a snapshot of American comedy today, not just in traditional comedy meccas but everywhere jokes are being told on stage in the United States. That's not unique among comedians, but Elliott's is atypical in that she's already in the spotlight: She's a news anchor for WVTM 13, an NBC affiliate in Birmingham, where you can watch her during the early morning hours on weekdays.