Reggie Watts

Reggie Watts emerged from the relative obscurity of underground comedy and musical performance art to national prominence in 2010 when late night host Conan O'Brien tapped him to open for his "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour" comedy tour, spurring a wave of praise and recognition of Watts as a next-wave renaissance man. Spending his early years abroad in a military family and coming of age in Montana, Watts developed a flare for language and music, eventually finding a groove with fusion band Maktub, with whom he released four albums. Along the way, he gestated an irreverent, stream-of-consciousness comedic stage identity. After migrating to New York City in 2004, he began putting more emphasis on the comedic aspects of his act, improvising songs, morphing seamlessly into different characters and developing a cult buzz with Internet videos. It proved enough to garner O'Brien's attentions when looking for a unique opener for his tour, and that limelight initiated a flurry of press coverage, a stint as the face of Comedy Central's late-night TV block, an eponymous comedy film and its accompanying record Reggie Watts: Why Sh-t So Crazy? (2010), and a growing presence as a semi-regular on "Conan" (TBS, 2010- ). Instantly recognizable for his billowing, untamed Afro, Watts had the entertainment punditry forecasting him as the next major crossover star of avant-garde comedy.