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Alright, so I’m excited to present this, the first of two volumes of a completely shameless and self-promotional Funny Human of the Week column: Comedy Exposition edition. We’re gonna meet four of the eight amazing comedians headlining this stand up comedy festival I help run here in Chicago, and then next week we’ll meet another four, and then we’ll all have fun at the festival next weekend (July 10-12, tickets on sale now, y’all!!!!).

We’ve met many of our headliners before in this here column, so this will be, like, a fun refresher, I think! We’re gonna split them clean in half, alphabetically by first name, so let’s start with Adam Cayton-Holland! ACH is a founding member of the Grawlix, a cool trio of comedians based in Denver who have made waves over the last few years based on the strength of their comedy pilot Those Who Can’t, originally released on Amazon Studios, but is now being developed for TruTV! Adam’s also a very strong standup comic, as evidenced by this set from a few years ago on Conan.

Baron Vaughn is another excellent comedian appearing at the Comedy Expo who has made an appearance on Conan, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Baron’s appeared on TV shows like Law and Order, Fairly Legal and Grace and Frankie and late last year became the co-host of a movie podcast with THE Leonard Maltin, which is super cool. Baron is (of course) super funny and can be seen at shows throughout the festival next weekend, which we’re all very excited for.

Ladies and gentlemen, when we first received word that this next performer was not only interested in appearing at our festival, but AVAILABLE TO DO SO?? Ah man, I was really thrilled. Please welcome to the column Mr. James Adomian. James is one of the best comedians going today, he’s a regular on podcasts like Comedy Bang! Bang!, where his absurdist impressions and character work helped define the show’s voice early on. His standup material veers between character pieces, bizarre observational stuff, and the occasional socio-political filleting of hot-button issues. It’s great. He’s great. I’m excited he’s a part of our festival.

Kate Berlant’s the final comic we’re going to talk about this week. She’s one of my favorite comics going right now and is on the verge of hitting it big in a real way. Her improvisational, character-based standup is unlike anything you’ve seen before and is a total treat. She’ll be dropping in on shows all weekend, and can be seen doing an extended set alongside Baron on Saturday at 1st Ward/Chop Shop, a show which I recommend with my whole heart!