Some of you know that I used to perform both improv and stand-up comedy. Some of you had no idea. Either way, I thought that if you’re going to come and visit and see what I have to say about the comedy world, then you might be curious to see what it looked like the last time I told jokes. This set is from the New York’s Funniest Reporter contest in October 2007, as part of the New York Underground Comedy Festival. I’ll put the video after the jump so you don’t have to watch it if you don’t want to. But if you want to laugh with me (or even at me), I’ll include some background self-analysis critiquing, too.
OK. Here is the set:
First, let me acknowledge that I had not performed in about six months before this contest. And I only have performed once since October, in the funniest comedian in NYC contest held the following month by the New York Comedy Festival (semifinalist). So I’m not looking for gigs on your show. That said, most of my stand-up career has been as a host, and perhaps my stage presence and crowd work reveals some of that skill set, which is far different from being a feature or headliner. Anyhow. Some of the jokes I picked for this night date back several years to my regular hosting days, while there are a couple of jokes I had never uttered publicly before. I make a remark about Israeli TV because a camera crew was at Gotham filing a news report about American comedy. At least that’s what they told us. So if you think you saw me on your TV in Israel last fall, then maybe you did. Also, I went up second in the night. First up was Julia Allison. Yes, that Julia Allison. She brought her dog to the comedy club, sat on a stool and read from her laptop. She was very nice to me and told me I deserved to win. There were only a few other reporters and TV producers in the contest, and 2006 winner Mandy Stadtmiller performed at the end, but did not compete. So it’s not as if most of the people you think of when you think of New York reporters took part — I like to paraphrase a joke of Myq Kaplan’s, by noting that of the thousands of reporters in New York, I am the funniest … of the six people in the competition. Thanks, Myq. Oh, and I noticed that I have an odd habit of paying tribute to Emo Philips every time I feel a weird silence onstage and say "you guys are really cheering me up." Thanks, Emo.
Emily Gould worked for Gawker at the time and was a judge. Here was her Gawker recap.