13 TikTok Comedians Who Deserve Your Prompt Attention

Prepare to laugh to yourself on the train.

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For years, YouTube reigned supreme as the go-to platform for budding comedians, helping to forge the careers of performers like Issa Rae and Lilly Singh. 

But alas, those days may be numbered: as audiences have moved to TikTok, so too have comedians, where they’ve had to adapt to a speedier comic form. 

When the pandemic brought forced a halt in live performance, comics ended up on TikTok. No longer a platform just for viral dance videos, TikTok is now exponentially growing as a space for comedy — and some of it is really, really good. Here are some comedians who are making waves on the platform for you to consume.

1. Elsa Majimbo

Elsa is a Kenyan TikToker who has risen to worldwide fame. Featured recently in The New Yorker, Elsa’s alter ego of a sassy girlfriend who encourages your bad life choices and self-destructive behaviour is a brilliant concoction of empowering yet savage counsel. Her signature sunglasses and cackle (if you’re lucky she’ll toss a chip into her mouth) make Elsa a truly iconic presence. 

 2. Fern Brady

Scottish comedian Fern Brady’s bluntness is her most appealing attribute, as she jokes about relationships, her distaste for alcoholand imitations of her accent. Her recent autism diagnosis is also featured as part of her stand-up, sharing her disappointment at the lack of hot women in the community and questioning if she should create a sex tape for her feelings. 

3. Isaac Compton

The Wiradjuri and Yugambeh comedian Isaac Compton uses comedy to interrogate pop culture, politics and community traits. This 15-second clip that shows Compton fill a cup of coffee with milk is liquid gold.

4. Samantha Andrew

Samantha has really honed commentary on millennial pop culture that is distinctly Melbourne-centric. From this commentary on a gay version of Karen’s Diner and Married at First Sight to a Jukebox Musical created in her car featuring local chart topping hits, there is a shitload here for you to scroll through during on your lunch break.

5. Sashi Perera

Australian comedian Sashi Perera’s TikTok account exploded after she joined the platform this year, amassing global fans and trolls. Her Sri Lankan heritage influences her material, including uncles who answer video calls shirtless, being mistaken for a refugee on her first day as a lawyer and white men mistaking her hair tie for an object of cultural significance. 

6. He Huang

Shooting to mainstream fame after appearing on Australia’s Got Talent, He Huang plays on Western preconceptions of Chinese people by leaning into some very dirty humour. Her routine on whether women should carry condoms is essential viewing. 

7. Anisa Nandaula

Anisa is an Australian 2016 Queensland Poetry slam champion and comedian, exploring race and gender through her comedy. Whether it’s her biting retort to the age old school tradition of ‘no hat, no play’, or a Black reimagining of Rapunzel — it’s all just very, very good.

8. Rahul Rai

Meanwhile, in America: creator Rahul Rai’s comedy focuses on everything from the dynamics of straight relationships, to the exoticisation of Indian culture in the West. As a bonus, his taste in music is killer. 

9. Sunthar V.

Sunthar is a Canadian comedian whose routines focus on his experience as a queer Tamil. With cross-culturally relevant material that would have broader appeal, he often slips into Tamil and breaks down famous Tamil tunes. When he’s not creating videos, he hosts and performs at a Tamil Comedy Club in London.

10. Ash Uthayakumar

This is for comedy lovers who like their laughs in-language. Tamil Sydney-based content creator Ash Uthayakumar’s alter ego, customer service representative Kamala, is truly a gift. Kamala truly captures an understanding of idiosyncratic auntie dynamics in the community. Possessing a self-awareness even your Tamil parents will enjoy, she occasionally features guest appearances such as influencer Swarnaa Rajalingam. If you don’t understand Tamil, you’ll just have to take my word for it — it’s hilarious.

11. Nick Trawick

Dressed as Dora the Explorer with a wig, pink top, orange shorts and backpack, Nick’s shtick is simple yet effective. Often focusing on day-to-day experiences including hangs with your white friend, petty arguments and major cultural moments, Track’s style just works

12. Atsuko Okatsuka

American comedian Atsuko Okatsuka’s chic haircut and bold fits are just part of her charm. Her repertoire includes cute dance videos with her grandma, how surprise treats turned her relationship with her husband into a father-daughter duo and a surprising realisation that people of colour can develop a gluten intolerance. Who knew!?!

13. Cassie Workman

Cassie’s comedy features illustrated narrative drawings and commentary on the trans experience. Come for the fun; stay to learn this cool fan trick.

Vyshnavee Wijekumar is a freelance writer and culture critic. She is on the board of the Melbourne Women in Film Festival and is a fortnightly film reviewer for Triple R Breakfasters. She was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and has lived in this country since the age of two. You can follow her on Twitter @vylentfemme.