Adam Cayton-Holland

Why So Serious, Kumail Nanjiani? (Meltdown edition)

Contrary to the career aspirations of most comedians, Kumail Nanjiani was not desperate to land a series on Comedy Central. The 35-year-old Pakistan native, based in Los Angeles, enjoys a busy touring, podcasting and acting career with spots on "Portlandia" and "Franklin & Bash," and late-night sets for Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien.

Why So Serious, Beth Stelling?

Judge not Beth Stelling for her professional credits -- although that would be both fair and flattering, since the L.A.-based stand-up sports a number of comedy merit badges, including a recent "Conan" set and a spot on the prestigious Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, in addition to releasing her first album (last year's "Sweet Beth") on Rooftop Comedy.

Why So Serious, Chris Miller?

Bringing a great stand-up show together isn't just about intelligent booking and sequencing, although those things help immensely. Nor is just about each performer having a solid set with a good audience.