For the past six years, photographer Seth Olenick has been taking pictures of comedians. He's curating his efforts into a pretty cool book project, titled "Funny Business." The story below, via his Kickstarter:
I have loved comedy in all forms ever since I can remember, and my sense of humor has been largely shaped by the "alternative comedy" scene that came out of the early 90's, and remains prevalent today; albeit in a more mainstream way. As a fan of The Ben Stiller Show, The State, Upright Citizens Brigade, and various incarnations of SNL, I tend to gravitate toward the more off-beat. In 2003, my photo and comedy worlds collided at Lansky Lounge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was there that I had the opportunity to photograph comedian Todd Barry hosting Heeb Storytelling, a series put on by Heeb, the magazine for which I was Photo Editor. Being that this was my first experience photographing live comedy (I had only photographed live bands up to that point), I had an epiphany. And so began the long journey that led me to this next phase of my photo career - photographing comedians.
Over the course of this project, I have photographed many of the major players and up-and-comers that have formed the comedy landscape as we've known it for the last 20 years. This includes stand ups, actors/actresses, writers, directors, and producers.
Just a few of the people you will see in the book are Paul Scheer, Scott Aukerman, David Wain, Thomas Lennon, Zach Galifianakis, The State, Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt, A.D. Miles, Zak Orth, Elizabeth Banks, Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Adam McKay, Jon Hamm, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick, David Cross, Megan Mullally, Todd Barry, Jessica St. Clair, Scott Adsit, Marc Maron, Derek Waters, Mike Birbiglia, Wyatt Cenac, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Rob Riggle, Aubrey Plaza, Kumail Nanjiani, Greg Proops, Allison Becker, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Schrab, Hannibal Buress, Jane Lynch, Greg Behrendt, Geoffrey Arend, David Koechner, Joe Mande, Larry Wilmore, Charlyne Yi, and Martin Starr
Though not an exhaustive collection of comedic personalities, Funny Business features those that I feel are a good cross section of household names along with some that you may not have heard of. In the 6 years since beginning the shoots, some of the up-and-comers have actually become widely recognized. Though known by die-hard comedy fans, people like Aubrey Plaza, Donald Glover, and Aziz Ansari had not yet been on tv when we did our shoots, and had not yet broken into the mainstream. There is no doubt that all three are a huge part of the next generation of comedy, each starring in hit shows on NBC, HBO and in numerous films. They are joined in the book by some of my early comedy heroes - David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Judd Apatow, and every member of The State.