After you attend a lot of comedy open mics, you learn two things. Making people laugh is a talent. Being a comedian is a craft.

After you attend a lot of comedy open mics, you learn two things. Making people laugh is a talent. Being a comedian is a craft.

When he moved to Columbus nine years ago, Sumukh Torgalkar started hitting local open mics and confirmed he could make people laugh. In the years since then, he's put in the work to hone those skills to pro-level.

"I'd always loved standup, but I never thought, like, I could do that," said Torgalkar. "When I came to Columbus and saw there were open mics, I was, like, why the hell not?"

Winning some early comedy competitions at the Columbus Funny Bone gave Torgalkar the encouragement that "hey, I can actually do this" he needed early on. Earlier this week, he released a full-length comedy album The Mispronunciation of Sumukh Torgalkar - which gets its track titles from various real-life butcherings of his name - which was recorded at the Funny Bone during a recent headlining set in front of a sold-out crowd.

"Recording that album here was very special to me. Every table was filled, 260 people in my home club, you know, your name on the marquee," said Torgalkar. "It's like, all of those years of hard work? It paid off for one night."

Early in his career, Torgalkar's dry observational humor was rooted in one of his comic idols, Mitch Hedberg, but as he grew in confidence, he also grew into his own comedic voice.

"When you're new, you have no voice. You have no idea how to present yourself … I certainly was embodying [Hedberg], but it was also still me, and audiences liked it," said Torgalkar. "And like three years in, I was doing this one-liners and stuff and thought, this isn't really me … so I started to do longer material and stories, because I had the confidence to do that. And that's when it all really changed."

While the siren call of cities like New York and Los Angeles always beckons comics - Torgalkar not being an exception - he has advice for young comics cutting their chops here.

"You can make things happen here, as long as you're committed to it, you can get better," said Torgalkar. "You can get good here. And that's important before you go somewhere else."

We didn't put Torgalkar on this list because he's a great local comic; we put him here because we think he'll be a great national comic, one we'll be proud to say honed his craft in Columbus.

"Enough people have laughed at me where I can say, I'm good at comedy," said Torgalkar. "And all that got built here."