Zack Fox isn't so much a conventional stand-up comedian as he is an internet phenomenon and controversy generator with a whiplash wit. In 2017, he became entangled in a Twitter beef with crassly opportunistic EDM DJ/producer Diplo. Fox dragged Diplo for tweeting, "Persian girls are so hot can we lift this travel ban already." Fox responded, "just like a white to only get on board with equality if it serves their pleasures." Things escalated quickly, and shortly after Fox tweeted, "if i knew it was this easy to dismantle a millionaire's entire day i would've done this years ago," his Twitter account was suspended... for arguing with the ex of M.I.A. and Katy Perry. Yeah. Which is damn near a tragedy, as his feed was one of the platform's most crudely hilarious.

Luckily, Fox has many other outlets for his twisted observations. For one, he's associated with Atlanta's radically unconventional hip-hop label Awful Records and its monthly Red Bull Radio show Bruh. Then there's his acting stint with Vice Live, which finds Fox insinuating himself into various thorny and hilarious situations. Some of the episodes include Fox trying to find a cheap apartment in New York City, attending a black comic-book festival at which he draws attendees, and attempting to "go viral" as a rapper at South by Southwest performing under the alias Breastmilk Alabama. (For the latter spoof, search "How I Became a Fake Rapper at SXSW" on YouTube. Be sure to check his SoundCloud for actual decent bars.)

In addition, Fox is an accomplished illustrator who's created cover art for Awful Records' artists and fusion bassist extraordinaire Thundercat. He's also a presenter on the Canadian live-action hidden-camera reality series Just Kidding, whose premise isn't unlike that of older TV programs like Candid Camera and Just for Laughs: Gags, but instead focuses on children pulling pranks. As Fox put it in a Vice Live episode where he wrote his own eulogy, he sees his main goal as spreading "black chaotic male energy," and so far he's kept his word, injecting warped humor into many disciplines, and triggering outrage and robust laughter, both online and off.

And Four More Excellent Comics to Check Out at Bumbershoot

Ian Karmel came into his own as a stand-up comedian in Portland and has used that liberal Northwest city as a fulcrum for much of his material. Now based in Los Angeles, Karmel litters his sets with references to pop culture, food, sports, weight, and his Jewishness, topics addressed on his strong 2015 Kill Rock Stars debut album,9.2 on Pitchfork. "My name is Ian Karmel," he starts one joke, "which sounds like a whimsical British candy store. I'm a six-foot-three, 300-pound Jewish man. My name should be, like... Shlomo Puddingtits." Other preferred topics include hating the outdoors, pet names for your lover (and why the ubiquitous "baby" is creepy), pot-induced paranoia, and how that Amazon River fish that swims into the penises of unfortunate swimmers is proof that there is no god. Voted Portland's funniest person in 2011, Karmel has elevated his profile since then. He currently writes for the Late Late Show with James Corden and hosts the All Fantasy Everything podcast; before that, he worked as a staff writer for E!'s Chelsea Lately.

A wholesome-looking, blonde-haired Minnesota-born comic now working in Seattle, Evelyn Jensen pokes fun at her home state's penchant for bland food, its hokey Scandinavian accent, and its butter sculptures, among other things. As a bi woman, she refutes misconceptions about that sexual orientation and extracts humorous insights out of internalized homophobia, which she calls "the queer spooks." She's also discoursed on the subject of Seattle's weed being too good. After one session, she tried to leave a Yelp review... for a snack she made for herself.

A New Jersey native born to a Haitian father and a Jamaican mother, Michelle Buteau is a woman with a raunchy mind-set and a profane tongue. Her quick wit allows her to excel at crowd work, which comes in handy as host of the Late Night Whenever podcast. The format provides free rein for Buteau to dispense "ghetto Martha Stewart tips," recall anecdotes about a honeymoon trip to Rome in which she stayed in a hostel after the airlines lost her luggage, discuss her struggles of living in poverty as a young woman in New York City, rip on lousy online dating profiles, and detail bad dates, including the guy who paid for two martinis with quarters. Buteau has also starred as "the crazy girlfriend" on Comedy Central's Key & Peele and Adult Swim's The Eric Andre Show.

After moving from Libya to Portland, Oregon, five years ago, Mohanad Elshieky has risen to the upper echelon of the Northwest's stand-up scene and earned the appellation of "genius of comedy" from the Portland Mercury. Elshieky uses his low-key delivery to make witty observations about racism, police brutality, terrorist groups, his disdain for boy bands, and how Al Qaeda members are sitting in a cave somewhere scoffing at ISIS for being "stupid millennials, their fancy cameras ruining everything." During his set on Conan, Elshieky slayed with a bit about how after moving to United States, he wanted to speak to the manager because he discovered "the product looks nothing like the image." On a more serious note, US Customs and Border Protection agents wrongfully apprehended Elshieky on a Greyhound bus in Spokane earlier this year, and you can be sure he'll be converting that traumatic experience into comedy gold for the foreseeable future.