We’ve been through a lot over the past year and a half. Whether it’s public health scares, international crises, or natural disasters, organizations have seen how, through it all, their people have persevered, endured, and kept the gears of our society turning. Now many of these organizations are ready to show their appreciation. And so, it’s time to shift our focus towards our end-of-year events and celebrations.
Whether you’re planning an in-person or virtual event, who doesn’t love a great party featuring amazing entertainment? Check out some of the top comedians, musicians, magicians, chefs, and mixologists for your most exciting, mind-blowing, and unforgettable end-of-year events yet.
Comedians and Social Media Personalities
From corporate and university events to annual conferences and parties, these popular comedians are bound to make any virtual event a memorable one with their natural charm and hilarious comedy routines. There’s a stand-up comedian that will appeal to any type of audience and who can bring levity and excitement to your end-of-year events or parties.
Stand-Up Comedian, Founding Member of NC Comics All-Stars, Writer & Actor for “The James Davis Project”
Anthony “Chico” Bean is ¼ of the infamous 85 South Show Podcast Crew along with DC Young Fly, Karlous Miller, and Clayton English, as well as a current cast member of MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out.” Although Chico has only been doing stand-up for 6 years, he has compiled the experience of a well-seasoned comedian. Through his budding success as an opener for Chris Wiles, Chico became a founding member of the NC Comics All-Stars as well as NC’s Freestyle Funny Comedy Show. He has performed all over the country at Comedy Clubs, Colleges, and Universities.
Jimmy O. Yang
Comedian & Actor; Known for His Role in HBO’s “Silicon Valley”
Jimmy O. Yang plays the series regular role “Jian Yang” on Mike Judge’s hit HBO comedy Silicon Valley. He played his breakout role of Danny Meng in 2016 in Peter Berg’s Patriots Day opposite Mark Wahlberg for CBS Films. He has also appeared in Crazy Rich Asians and Fresh Off the Boat. Yang is also the author of “How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents,” released in 2018. He continues to tour and perform stand-up.
Stand-Up Comedian & Actress Known for “Parks and Recreation”
Actress and comedian Retta has delighted audiences with her performance aptitude and comedy precision, and she has established herself as a consistent first pick for Hollywood. Retta spent a memorable seven seasons playing beloved office mate Donna Meagle on NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy “Parks and Recreation.” In addition to her success in acting, Retta is also a critically acclaimed author, publishing her first work entitled “So Close To Being the Sh*t Y’all Don’t Even Know,” and is the title voice on the successful Audible Original audiobook “Tinaca Jones.”
Social Media Influencer & Comedian
Trey Kennedy is a social media personality who has established himself in most of the major social media sites. His social media following is sizeable, including 130K followers on Twitter and 3 million on Facebook. His YouTube channel, Trey Kennedy Weekly Videos, has collected over 10 million views with 487 thousand subscribers. Kennedy is also a touring comedian, performing shows across the country.
Host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Actor, TV Director, Award-Winning Dancer & Broadway Star
As the host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” actor, TV director, award-winning dancer, and Broadway star Alfonso Ribeiro has spent more than 30 years leaving his unique mark on the worlds of television, theater, and beyond. After earning a Theater Arts education from Cal State University, Los Angeles, he was given the opportunity to choose a role on the established sitcom “A Different World” or a new pilot called “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Showing an adventurous streak, he chose the latter and created the iconic character of Carlton Banks for which he is known throughout the world.
Chefs, Mixologists, and Sommeliers
End-of-year events often include team bonding over dinner and/or drinks. From cooking demonstrations to wine tasting to cocktail parties, these food and lifestyle experts bring something unique to any virtual happy hour or other end-of-year events. These celebrity chefs, award-winning mixologists and sommeliers, cookbook authors, and restaurateurs know how to use their craft to both entertain their audience and delight their taste buds.
Chef, Cookbook Author & Proprietor of The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, Bar Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc
Chef Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills and high standards. He has established a collection of restaurants that sets a new paradigm within the hospitality profession. He is the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide, as well as the first American male chef to be designated a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor. For embodying the state’s spirit of innovation, he was inducted into the 2018 California Hall of Fame. Keller is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 1.5 million copies of his cookbooks in print.
Winner of the 9th Season of “Food Network Star”
Damaris Phillips, a Southern spitfire from Louisville, KY, graduated from Jefferson Community and Technical College with a degree in culinary arts and now teaches at the same school to inspire up-and-coming chefs to follow their dreams. She won the ninth season of “Food Network Star,” where she impressed judges with her fresh take on Southern cuisine, and won over the audience with her impeccable charm, and now hosts her own show called “Southern At Heart.”
Chef & Restaurateur Known for “Chef & the Farmer,” Featured on the PBS Series “A Chef’s Life”
Vivian Howard is a chef, author, and PBS personality from Deep Run, NC. In 2005, Howard and her now-husband Ben Knight returned to her roots to open a farm to fork restaurant in the small town of Kinston, NC. They opened Chef & the Farmer in the summer of 2006 serving local, seasonal, and creative cuisine. Howard has developed strong relationships with local farmers, making it possible to source over 70% of the restaurant’s foodstuffs from within 60 miles. Chef & the Farmer has become beloved by locals and a destination for diners all over the state. Howard also owns the Boiler Room Oyster in Kinston, NC.
Chef & Owner of Crafted Hospitality
Tom Colicchio is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark, and Temple Court; LA’s Craft Los Angeles; and Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak. In an effort to broaden his long-standing activism around food issues, Colicchio served as an executive producer of the 2013 documentary “A Place at the Table” about the underlying causes of hunger in the United States. Colicchio and his restaurants give back to the community through their impact partnership with FEAST and by serving on the boards of Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, and Wholesome Wave.
Celebrity Chef, Author, Winner of “Top Chef” Season 4 & Partner of Three Award-Winning Chicago Restaurants
Stephanie Izard, James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” recipient 2013, and 2011 Food & Wine “Best New Chef,” is the Executive Chef and Partner at four Chicago restaurants: Girl & the Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat, and Cabra, as well as the forthcoming Girl & the Goat in Los Angeles. Izard was also awarded the coveted title of “Iron Chef” after winning season 1 of Food Network’s “Iron Chef Gauntlet.”
Musicians and DJs
It may be hard to beat the experience of listening to your favorite music performed live on stage, but that hasn’t stopped these popular singer-songwriters, bands, and DJs from entertaining and connecting with audiences online. From professionally produced virtual performances to acoustic sessions to Zoom parties, these famous musicians and international DJs are eager to provide electrifying performances and new musical experiences for your end-of-year events and festivities.
Musician & Internet Celebrity Who Rose to Fame on YouTube
Independent artist, singer, songwriter, and content creator Sam Tsui took 2020 by storm with a new single release every month, beginning in January with “Double Vision,” leading up to the release of his new project: “The Yearbook Album.” As one of the first independent musicians to harness YouTube and social media, Tsui has cultivated a combined social following of over 5 million loyal fans: the #Samily. His videos, which range from originals to covers, medleys, and mashups, have amassed over 500 million views on YouTube alone.
Leslie Odom Jr.
Broadway Actor & Grammy Award Winning Singer
Leslie Odom Jr. is an American actor and singer. He made his acting debut on Broadway in 1998, and first gained recognition for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in the musical “Hamilton,” which earned him a 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in the same year. Odom is also known for his roles in the television series “Smash” (2012–2013) and “Person of Interest” (2013–2014), as well as the films Murder on the Orient Express (2017), Harriet (2019), and Hamilton (2020).
Singer, Songwriter & Model
Justine Skye got her start at a professional singing career when she performed songs to go with the book “Rules To Rock By.” She is known for having made a cover about “Headlines” by Drake, which received 2 million views on YouTube. Her debut EP, “Everyday Living,” helped the Brooklyn kid with the purple-hued hair ink a deal with Atlantic Records in 2013 and release the album “Emotionally Unavailable.” In December 2016, she released her new EP “8 Ounces,” which features artists such as Wale. On November 19, 2018, she did an interview with The Breakfast Club where she opened up about being in a relationship where she was a victim of domestic violence.
Singer-Songwriter Known for “Fight Song”
Born in New York City and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Platten is an Emmy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling recording artist. Few artists in the past decade have struck a chord of hope and resilience like she did with her empowering hit “Fight Song.” Fans instantly adopted the transformative anthem as their own, linking personal tales of empowerment across the globe. Platten topped countless radio and iTunes charts worldwide, with her major-label debut album “Wildfire,” which also included the platinum Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Stand By You.”
DJ Jazzy Jeff
Record Producer, DJ, Actor & Comedian
Now, this is a story, all about how, your end-of-year events got flipped, turned upside-down! Since 1985, DJ Jazzy Jeff has wowed us with his flawless turntable skills, innovative production, and musical versatility. With the success of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, his acclaimed production company A Touch of Jazz, a DMC Championship, and multiple Grammy and American Music Awards wins and nominations, DJ Jazzy Jeff has proven his music industry dominance time and again.
Magicians, Illusionists, and Mentalists
Whether it’s in a sold-out arena, a street corner, or a viral video, magic shows have captivated audiences of all ages for hundreds of years. These popular magicians use a combination of comedy, showmanship, and illusion to delight and confound their audiences, making virtual performances feel immersive and interactive. No matter the scale of your end-of-year events or parties, magicians are a fun addition to any speaker or comedic lineup.
Magician, Actor, Comedian & TV Personality
Magician, comedian, and recent Critics’ Choice nominee Justin Willman has cemented himself as one of today’s most prolific entertainers. In 2018, Willman premiered his six-episode magic series on Netflix entitled “Magic For Humans with Justin Willman.” In the series, Willman brings his skills as a magician to the strange and misunderstood subcultures of America, while incorporating his disarming demeanor into street magic and social experiments that will boggle the mind. Throughout the pandemic, Willman has successfully created “Magic For Humans At Home,” a virtual and family-friendly magic show experience that is open to the public.
Viral TV Mentalist & Hypnotist; Persuasion & Influence Speaker
Spidey was named US Mentalist of the Year and has performed on NBC’s “Today” show, “TMZ,” and “Rachael Ray.” He’s also a favorite with major celebrities, having performed for Jennifer Lopez, Steve Harvey, Neil Patrick Harris, and more. He joined the cast of CW’s “Masters of Illusion” and his Netflix Original Series, “Brainchild,” is being watched in 170 countries. Spidey’s countless national/international TV appearances also include FOX’s “Showtime at the Apollo” with Steve Harvey, Discovery Channel, and Entertainment Tonight.
Actor, Magician & Improv Artist
Known for his original hidden camera magic series, “The Carbonaro Effect” on truTV, Michael Carbonaro has been seen on television in shows such as “Happily Divorced,” “30 Rock,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “CSI Miami.” A performing magician since his youth, Carbonaro went on to study experimental theater at New York University with the aspirations of entertaining audiences through a variety of theatrical mediums, including hidden-camera magic, which he later showcased frequently on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Magician & Illusionist
One of the world’s most celebrated illusionists, Rob Lake’s mind-blowing illusions have dazzled and entertained millions across network television, in Times Square, on the Vegas strip, Atlantic City, Atlantis Bahamas, and before sold-out audiences in casinos, arenas, and theatres worldwide. His astonishing original illusions are uniquely presented as awe-inspiring storytelling on the grandest scale.
Entrepreneur, Magician & Coach
Vinh Giang is first and foremost a businessperson and entrepreneur. While in his 20s, he started an online business with two good friends; all of them had decided to leave their careers in accounting and pharmacy to pursue their dream of building a successful business. Their online platform, Encyclopedia of Magic, now teaches magic to almost 50,000 students around the world. For this innovative and successful business idea, Giang and his friends were awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Business SA.
Whether your goal is to delight, entertain, educate, or inspire your audience, you have many great options for entertainers to book for your holiday party. End-of-year events and parties are also about relieving stress — so the booking process should be smooth and seamless. We can make that happen. When you’re ready to book one of these sensational entertainers, AAE is here to help. With our vast experience in virtual events and unparalleled service, we can help you to quickly book your dream speaker for your end-of-year events. Contact us to get started.