The 2018 Martin Grant for exceptional promise in stand-up comedy goes to Teresa Lee. The Martin Grant, which has now grown to $10,000, was established by Steve Hofstetter, a comedian known for his heckler takedowns, and Next Round Entertainment in order to identify and reward up-and-coming stand-up comedians. It was inspired by Hofstetter’s work and the loss of his father.
Lee is a stand-up comedian originally from Palo Alto. After spending two years working her way up the New York comedy scene, her life was thrown into chaos in 2015 when her little brother died. Lee left everything she’d accomplished behind in New York and moved to Los Angeles.
Lee has written for Cracked, Good Mythical Morning, and IFC’s Brockmire. She’s appeared on Take My Wife, To Tell The Truth, and videos for College Humor, Cracked, Funny Or Die, and UCB Comedy. She was a semi-finalist for Stand-up NBC in 2017 and 2018 and is the creator and host of You Can Tell Me Anything, a podcast where comedians confess something to her they want to get off their chest.
“I’m honored to be receiving the Martin Grant this year,” Lee said. “One of my goals is to be a staff writer on a scripted television show, and it’s something I’ve been working towards between day jobs and student loans. I’m fortunate to have had all the opportunities I have already had, but having the support of the grant will be like going into turbo speed towards my goal.”
The grant was named in honor of Hofstetter’s father, Martin. The grant is awarded in order to aid a talented comedian with rent, car payments, or anything else that will help them focus on developing their art. “There were so many impressive comedians who could have won this, but Teresa stood out,” Hofstetter told Laughspin. “There’s no question that she’s extremely talented on stage. But her quick rise despite the hardships she’s faced shows me that she has what it takes to succeed in comedy.”
A panel of some of the most influential television executives, comedy club owners, talent agents, and managers view applications and eventually decide on a winner. Past winners include Heather Pasternak, Wyatt Gray, and Brett Druck.
The grant is funded by Reddit.com and their store (a unique comedy tee was designed exclusively by Inkventive, and 100% of all proceeds from sales are used to fund the grant).