What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they’re comedians? No, that’s not it. It is a fact, though, that America’s biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York’s vibrant comedy scene. It’s called Meet Me In New York.
I first met Ben Kronberg six years ago this weekend in the snowed-in Rocky Mountains at the final HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Kronberg had an easier trek than most to the fest in 2007, as he was a local then, in from Denver. There’s photographic evidence, taken by me, that Kronberg already had aptitude at that altitude to catch thrown pretzels with his mouth. Fun times. That was then. Fast-forward to today, when Kronberg is taping his first half-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central’s The Half Hour tonight in Boston. In between, you may have seen him on John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel Live, or even Wipeout.
His Comedy Central half-hour will air later this year. Get to know him now!
Name: Ben Kronberg
Arrival date: February 2010
Arrived from: Los Angeles
When and where did you start performing comedy? Denver
What was your best credit before moving here? Jimmy Kimmel Live but I get recognized more for being on Wipeout!
Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? The vibe. My first visit was filled with all the things you want from a first visit: Awesome shows and a BJ in the back of a cab driven by a lesbian cabby. Neither of those two things have happened since.
How long did it take to get your first paid gig in NYC after moving here? Probably a year. I think Hot Tub was the first time I got paid in NYC.
How is this scene better/same/worse than the scene you moved from? It’s better cuz of the stage time and also collaborating with people has been easier and more satisfying.
Can you describe an “only in New York City” moment from your experience here? I ran into Thom Yorke in the West Village at a Juice place. He held the door open for me and said “hey.”
What tip would you give to any comedian who moves here? You have to be hungrier than New York. If you don’t eat it, it will eat you.
Where do you see yourself five years from now? In five years I will have my own TV show about a webseries that is trying to get made into a movie.
In the meantime, you can see Ben Kronberg in a funny webseries called “Ted & Gracie,” and also keep up with him on Twitter @benkronberg and now, too, on Vine. Here is a brief clip of Ben Kronberg’s appearance on John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show on Comedy Central. Roll it.
Kronberg also provides the music for Scott Moran’s documentary webseries, “Modern Comedian,” and appeared himself in that series’ second episode.
Which NYC comedian would you like to see me style and profile next for Meet Me In New York? Send your nominations to: thecomicscomic AT gmail DOT com