Five years ago, a promising 23-year-old stand-up accepted an invitation to perform at the 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival. Taylor Tomlinson is now one of the hottest comics in the business.

The festival has progressively grown in stature and size, which means those who attended the 2023 edition this past weekend had an even greater chance of seeing new talent before everybody knows their name.

Give founder Bob Edwards a lion's share of the credit. The Comedy Corner Underground owner makes sure everyone from headliners to new voices feel special, even treating his guests to a prime-rib dinner on opening night.

A significant portion of the nearly 80 invited stand-ups were comics who Edwards supported back when they were willing to work for beef jerky. Minnesota natives like Chloe Radcliffe, Tommy Bayer and Joey Hamburger may have moved to bigger markets but they returned home to play key roles in 10,000 Laugh's development into one of the most respected showcases in the country.

When Edwards launched the event in 2011, he struggled to get big names. Not anymore. Stars like Aparna Nancherla, Beth Stelling and Chad Daniels played to packed rooms over the course of three nights.

But the real thrill for comedy geeks is the chance to discover talent on the verge of blowing up. Here are five with outstanding potential:

Jordan Jensen

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based comic already has national buzz but her Thursday night performance at Southern Theater marked only her second appearance in the Twin Cities. She made the most of it, tearing into the stage design, Padma Lakshmi and birdwatchers. She was just as vicious — and hilarious — later that evening at Comedy Corner Underground where she taped her podcast "Bein' Ian With Jordan" with Ian Fidance. The pair have a brother-sister vibe, although I'm not sure how many siblings swap sex tales in such graphic detail. Don't be surprised if Jensen is routinely filling theaters by this time next year.

Dan Mintz

I'm guessing that many of the folks who came to see Mintz at the Granada Theater Friday were primarily interested in seeing the person who voices Tina Belcher on "Bob's Burgers." But Mintz is much more than that. He's following in the footsteps of Steven Wright, delivering a steady stream of brilliant one-liners that rely heavily on word play and impeccable timing. "I want to die surrounded by family," he said. "But when I'm not around family, I feel fine." Mintz doesn't have the strongest stage presence — he comes across like the kid destined to get picked last for dodgeball. But that awkward nature is part of his charm.

Salma Zaky and Jerry Hamedi

Comedy festivals live and die by the quality of their showcases in which new voices get a chance to strut their stuff in seven-minute routines. Two that made the most out of their limited time were Zaky, a Denver-based comic who mined laughs out of getting a DUI, and Chicago's Hamedi, who shared clever observations about growing up Iranian in the Midwest. I'm eager to watch full sets from both of them.

Kelsey Cook

Chad Daniels remains the most successful comic still living in Minnesota, but he's getting some competition from his girlfriend. Cook, who moved here in January, has such a girl-next-door delivery that her filthy material can come across like children's bedtime stories. That mix of warmth and wicked wit were on full display Saturday at the Granada during a raucous battle of the sexes with Daniels. It was one of the festival's loosest shows — and one of the funniest.