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.
There aren’t that many people who know how to use the word “you’uns” in a sentence, or even know what I’m even talking about, but comedian Jared Logan is one of those people. Logan grew up in West Virginia, which is in the same time zone as New York City, but as my mother’s side of the family resides in Southwestern Pennsylvania, rest assured that it inhabits another time and place entirely. Of course, being from someplace is only one thing to know about a person. You’uns may have seen him on Comedy Central or Last Comic Standing. Let’s get to know more about Jared Logan!
Name: Jared Logan
Arrival Date: May 15(?) 2008
Arrived From: Chicago, Ill.
When and where did you start performing comedy? I went to college in Memphis, Tenn. My friends and I had a sketch group there called Giggle Jones (one of those awful sketch group names that references the laughter that is about to commence!) and I would do monologues to open the show. Occasionally I would drive 45 minutes to a casino in Tunica, Miss., to do an open mic in the comedy club there on Thursdays.
I didn’t really get my start in comedy until I moved to Chicago in 2003 and began working on a stand-up act.
What was your best credit before moving here? I didn’t move to New York until after I had taped a set for Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. It aired a couple weeks after I arrived.
Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? I love that New York has a frantic — you might say desperate — pace. I am a very laid-back guy so I need a city that will light a fire under my ass. Also I hate driving.
How long did it take you to get your first paid gig in NYC after moving here? Not long, probably, because I had friends here and I had a credit. Like a couple weeks? But, still, it was a brave and noble struggle. See the Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness if you want an idea of how hard I struggled.
How is this scene better/same/worse than the one you moved from? Chicago was a fantastic playground of creativity, but there was no entertainment industry there. I think the people in that early 2000s Chicago comedy scene — guys like Hannibal Buress, Kumail Nanjiani, Pete Holmes — were able to build really original acts BECAUSE there was no industry there. Nothing was expected of you. You could perform whatever weird idea that came into your head and you weren’t afraid to fail.
But of course the downside of that is…you’re not making any money. Nobody is hiring you. Entertainment industry people aren’t seeing you. So I think Chicago was a great place to get started and develop an act but I feel like my career didn’t really get rolling until I moved to NYC.
Do you have an “only in NYC” moment yet? I was on the J train heading into Brooklyn and there was a man in my car loudly preaching from the bible. He was screaming “If you’d only praise Jesus! If you’d only trust Jesus! If you’d only accept Jesus!”
And then a guy on the other end of the car suddenly yelled “Jesus Christ is a SLAVE SHIP!”
Differing ideologies in the same subway car. That’s what makes New York so great.
What tip would you give to any comedian who moves here? You’re going to think you want to live in a scummy neighborhood to save money on rent. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Find a way to make the money and spend an extra two or three hundred dollars a month on your apartment so you can live in a place that is good for your positivity and mental outlook.
I thought I was punk rock and I’d be happy living in a rough neighborhood. But rough neighborhoods are depressing. Everything closes at 6pm and there are bars on all the windows. Spend the extra rent and live someplace that contributes to your emotional well being. That’s hugely important when you move to a new city.
Where do you see yourself five years from now? Thinner. Healthier. Sexier. Stronger. Faster. More agile. Ten times smarter. Smart like a super computer. Terrifyingly smart. More married. Funnier? HOW COULD THAT EVEN BE POSSIBLE?
In the meantime, you can see Logan host every Tuesday at 10 p.m. at Comedy Juice at Gotham Comedy Club. Also watch for him on TV this year on John Oliver’s New York Stand-up Show and Mash-Up; both on Comedy Central.
And here’s a video in which Logan explains you’uns to you’uns in his stand-up. Roll the clip!
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