just for laughs

5 queer male comedians making stand-up a more accepting (and hilarious) place

Comedian Jerrod Carmichael recently surprised audiences by coming out in his newly released HBO special Rothaniel. His announcement was met with thunderous applause, and followed up with a hosting gig during last weekend’s Saturday Night Live.

Carmichael is now part of a growing group of hilarious, out, male comedians who are making comedy a more welcoming place for queer men. While there are thankfully many to choose from, here are five who especially tickle our funny bone and who are staying active with upcoming projects.

Jaboukie Young-White

This 27-year-old comedian first came out as queer during his first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. However, he is perhaps best known for being a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, He quietly left the show in November 2021 and is working as a writer and executive producer on the upcoming HBO series adaptation of the book The Gang’s All Queer: The Lives of Gay Gang Members.

Joel Kim Booster

After breaking into the comedy scene, this South Korean-born comedian released their debut stand-up album, Model Minority, which covered racism in the gay community and his experiences defying stereotypes about Asian Americans. Booster has since worked as a writer for the queer-inclusive adult cartoon Big Mouth, served as a regular panelist on the NPR trivia show Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and will soon appear alongside fellow gay Asian comic Bowen Yang in the gay romantic comedy Fire Island.

Julio Torres

The deadpan delivery and wry observations of this El Salvadorian comedian have made him an understated favorite. He has written iconic queer sketches on Saturday Night Live, such as “Wells for Boys” and “Cheques”, but he’s perhaps best known for his work on the Netflix comedy series Los Espookys (which just wrapped up filming its second season).

Mawaan Rizwan

This 29-year-old Pakistani-born comedian actually began making YouTube videos at age 16. He filmed the documentary How Gay Is Pakistan?, worked as a writer on the queer Netflix dreamed series Sex Education and opened for Queer Eye‘s nonbinary fashion maven Jonathan Van Ness on tour. Last year, the BBC’s Comedy Association awarded him as the first Young People’s Comedy Laureate.

Matteo Lane

The trained opera singer often throws attention-grabbing musical performances into his acts which cover dating, homophobia and his life in New York City. He has performed as a stand-up comedian since 2014 and has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers and a handful of comedy specials. While he has been recognized as an important contributor to the increasingly accepting comedy world, he has also acknowledged that gay comedians existed long before he and his peers came around.