Best Stand-Up Comedian - 2009
When Brooklyn funnyman Eugene Mirman does his stand-up, he sometimes tells the story about why his teacher in Massachusetts placed him in special-ed in the sixth grade. Instead of giving a book report, the Russian-born Mirman came to class dressed in a cowboy costume and lip-synched Bill Cosby's stand-up routine for five minutes straight. Oh, if only he'd attended a Brooklyn montessori school. Of course, Mirman hasn't exactly changed much: Whether he's recording his bizarre conversations with telemarketers or staging a protest against himself in front of the White House (inciting the crowd to shout, "Down with Eugene!"), Mirman has only nurtured and improved upon the absurd humor of his sixth-grade self—and his fans love him for it. Besides hosting the incredibly popular comedy night "Tearing the Veil of Maya" with Michael Showalter at Union Hall, he's been busy this year promoting his first book (The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life), playing a Russian hitman/stand-up comic on Adult Swim's Delocated, hosting his second annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, and releasing his third album, God Is a Twelve-Year-Old Boy With Asperger's, on Sub Pop. Needless to say, we expect many more "special" things from him in the future.