Best Stand-Up Comedian (Male)

Tommy Johnagin

Tommy Johnagin's sets sound like business presentations gone off the rails. When the clean-cut 27-year-old with the flinty blue eyes tells stories of deviant-sex safe words and ugly strippers, he's all confidence — and no cussing. "I like to have a large percentage of my stuff be able to be on TV immediately, that's basically the only reason," he once said, adding: "And HBO hasn't ever called me." Perhaps not, but the eternally self-deprecative Benton, Illinois, native has performed twice on the Late Show with David Letterman. He has also been showcased as a rising star at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal (a big deal in the industry) and taped his own 30-minute special for Comedy Central. In August he was the second to the last comic standing in NBC's Last Comic Standing, which caused considerable howling online from comedy nerds who'd been rooting for him. These days if you can catch him during a weeknight open-mic at the Funny Bone (in Westport Plaza, Maryland Heights; 314-469-6692) when he's loose and trying out new material, be ready to buckle over and guffaw.

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