The 11 Leading Men of Fall TV Comedy (PHOTOS)

arrow - left
arrow - right
Tommy Garcia/FOX

The boys are back in town: A new guard of leading men has emerged in this fall's comedy lineup. Whether they’re daring newcomers or old familiar faces, the 10 guys (and one puppet) in our roundup of cutups are always good for a laugh. Including ...

John Stamos (Grandfathered, Fox)

Full House companion piece Fuller House will premiere on Netflix in January, to the eternal gratitude of Uncle Jesse devotees everywhere. But for those who can’t wait that long for their fix, Fox offers up Grandfathered, which casts the star as a playboy restaurateur who learns he is a father and a grandfather all in the same day. Stamos, who has apparently declined to participate in the aging process, still has all his old swagger… not to mention a head of hair so full and lustrous it could probably carry its own show. As the saying goes: have mercy.
Comedy Central

Trevor Noah (The Daily Show, Comedy Central)

When Jon Stewart anointed Trevor Noah as his Daily Show successor, the internet erupted in a chorus of “who?” The little-known South African comedian and had logged only three appearances as a Daily Show correspondent before being tapped for the big job--a slim resume for the next host of what had become, under Stewart, a cultural and political touchstone. Can Noah rise to the occasion? If his predecessor is betting yes, then so are we.

James Minchin/FX

Chris Geere (You’re the Worst, FX)

Terrible people deserve love too ... or so goes the central thesis of FX’s You’re the Worst, a romantic comedy with a heart of coal. As Jimmy Shive-Overly, a British import with a perma-sneer and a second novel that exists only in theory, Chris Geere somehow makes an asset out of a total absence of charm.
Bob D'Amico/ABC

Anthony Anderson (black-ish, ABC)

A good TV dad is hard to find. Black-ish’s Dre Johnson is a great TV dad. He’s at once even-keeled and blustery, calming and hysterical. He’s got well-laid plans and half-baked schemes. He tries to awaken in his kids a sense of racial identity, and to dampen in them any nascent interest in field hockey. Also sometimes he goes back in time and invents break-dancing. Beat that, other TV dads!
Justin Stephens/FOX

Rob Lowe (The Grinder, Fox)

Praise be to the late, great Parks and Recreation, which dared look past Rob Lowe's criminally pretty face to the untapped reservoir of weirdness just beyond – gifting the world with the relentlessly upbeat Chris Traeger and springing Lowe from a life sentence of playing it (handsomely) straight. What will he do with his new role as the star of a canceled legal drama who heads home to join his family’s real-life law firm? We LITERALLY can’t wait to find out.
The Muppets Studio/ABC

Kermit the Frog (The Muppets, ABC)

It’s not easy being green. It’s also not easy being the executive producer of a talk show hosted by your high-strung, porcine ex-girlfriend. Kermit may be constructed of felt, but that frog is made of steel.
Bob D'Amico/ABC

Nathan Fillion (Castle, ABC)

This fall, ABC’s dramedic procedural enters its eighth season--that's 736 in TV years. But in his role as the titular pop-mystery novelist and amateur detective, Nathan Fillion shows no signs of fatigue. Alternately tasked with the serious (hunting down a serial killer!) and the silly (murder at the circus!), Fillion pulls it off with energy to spare – and a smirk that could cause a power outage.
Comedy Central

Stephen Colbert (Late Night with Stephen Colbert, CBS)

After 10 years spent playing the part of right-wing blowhard “Stephen Colbert” on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert is finally stepping into his own skin as the new host of Late Night. No air quotes, no knowing winks, no caricature: just him. It’s a vulnerable position for a man who is used to a thick layer of irony serving as insulation between him and the world. So who is the real Stephen Colbert? Guess we’ll just have to tune in to find out.
Bob D'Amico/ABC

Hudson Yang (Fresh Off the Boat, ABC)

At 11 years old, Fresh Off The Boat’s Hudson Yang may be more of a leading kid than a leading man – but let’s not split hairs. As Eddie, the oldest child of first generation immigrant parents coming to terms with cultural dissonance and Florida humidity, Yang serves as the show’s center, a burden he carries on his slight shoulders with apparent ease. He’s often hilarious, occasionally poignant, and always believable.
Comedy Central

Derek Waters (Drunk History, Comedy Central)

Though Derek Waters isn’t exactly the star of Drunk History--each installment features a different (inebriated) narrator and a rotating cast of lip-synching actors--the show's creator does make brief, delightful appearances to top off cocktails, supply chicken nuggets, and arm wrestle. In other words, he’s a drunk historian’s best friend.
Jeff Hahne/Getty Images

Aziz Ansari (Master of None, Netflix)

An 8-year run as the unfortunately entrepreneurial Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation and a series of wildly popular stand-up specials have won Aziz Ansari a cult following and the kind of cache it takes to land your own show. Master of None comes to Netflix in October, hopefully bringing with it Ansari’s patented brand of vulnerably observant, oddball humor.
1 of


NO LAUGHING MATTER: This post is presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. NFID wants to remind you that getting the flu is no laughing matter. So get your flu shot today (before you settle in for all of fall’s new shows.)