If you live in the Treasure Valley and you love stand-up comedy, you probably know or have seen comic/author Emma Arnold. It's not just people around here who are familiar with her name, though. The mother of six and self-described "warrior woman for female comics" tours every other week and in 2016 alone, she played about 50 cities across the United States. She performs often here at home, too, most recently taping a live show and as part of the new multi-day 208 Comedy Fest, which she co-founded. emmaarnoldcomedy.com
2nd Place: Lady Bizness—If one of something is great, it stands to reason two of something would be even better. That is so true when it comes to Alisha Donahue and Jynx Jenkins, who, together, make up premier local comedy duo Lady Bizness. Donahue and Jenkins connected when both were contestants in the inaugural Boise's Funniest Person competition—an annual event they now manage. Neither took the title but five years later, the friends and creative collaborators are hosting shows, producing events, doing a podcast and more as they build a comedy empire. ladybiznesscomedy.wixsite.com
3rd Place: Sophie Hughes—When Sophie Hughes talks, people listen—and laugh. Not only is she one of the funniest stand-up comedians around, she's one of the most fearless. Though rather soft-spoken and sweet, Hughes isn't afraid to get on stage in front of a crowd and say what's on her mind. What's even more remarkable is how respected by her peers Hughes is. When asked who their favorites are, a number of local comedians put Hughes on their list—and deservedly so.