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.
You think you know Tinder, but you don’t really understand the true power, poetry and madness of the dating-and-hookup app until you’ve seen it through the eyes and heard it explained live onstage by Lane Moore.
Letting Moore Lanesplain Tinder for me was a revelation. Not only seeing how far too many men present themselves and the horrible first impressions they make, but also how impressively Moore types replies on the fly, trolling these garbage men (no offense to actual men who work in sanitation) onstage in front of a live audience. I saw Moore preside over a Tinder Live panel last month at Union Hall that included Jean Grae, Zerlina Maxwell, Christine Nangle and Pia Glenn, and it didn’t make me want to throw my phone in the river so much as it wanted me to become a better man on behalf of all humanity. To be fair, Moore spares the seemingly nice guys from her mockery. And she’ll invite a panel of men to swipe Tinder with her this week as she welcomes Jon Glaser and Scott Adsit, plus Stephanie March in a Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter edition of Tinder Live on Thursday night at The Bell House in Brooklyn.
But what about the real Lane Moore? The woman you don’t see on Tinder? Well, she’s as honestly hilarious in print as she is onstage, offering regular commentary for Cosmo as the magazine’s website sex and relationships editor and a hot new Tumblr called “Male Feminists of Tinder.” You’ve also seen and heard Moore’s wit and wisdom on VH1 and MTV, Jezebel, McSweeney’s, XOJane and The Onion. And you can hear Moore rock out with her band, It Was Romance, which drew raves for its self-titled debut album in 2015 from Pitchfork, BuzzFeed and BUST.
Name: Lane Moore
Arrival date: 2010
Arrived from: Los Angeles
When and where did you start performing comedy? “I started doing stand-up as a kid actually. My Sunday School teacher gave me 10 minutes at the top of every class to tell jokes. Probably because she knew if she didn’t, I’d just interrupt her the whole time to tell them anyway.”
What was your best credit before moving here? “I wrote for a TV pilot that never made it off the ground, but it was still really awesome to be writing sketches for TV. I also performed at The Comedy Store regularly, which is a better credit than ‘a show that almost happened.'”
Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? “Because Stevie Nicks appeared to me in a dream and told me I should. That seemed like a good reason.”
How long did it take to get your first paid gig in NYC after moving here? “I wrote for The Onion for a long time, so in terms of that, it was right away. As far as stand-up goes, I think I got paid $20 to perform on Hot Tub With Kurt & Kristen and that was so cool.”
How is this scene better/same/worse than the scene you moved from?
“It was worse initially because I loved my comedian friends in Los Angeles so much, man. We did all our shows together and really encouraged each other. When I moved to NYC it definitely took longer to find my tribe, but that’s to be expected anywhere.”
Can you describe an “only in New York City” moment from your experience here?
“I slept in a bedroom that was the size of the bed and my legs were too long for the bed, so I’d kick the wall when I slept. So basically I was bigger than the room I lived in. That seems pretty “only in New York City” to me.”
What tip would you give to any comedian who moves here?
“Give it way more time than you think you need to to find your tribe. Watch a ton of great stand-up and ignore the people who are mean to you because they hate themselves, not you. Try to find something to love about every set you do, even if it doesn’t go well. Be a genuinely nice person. We need more of them.”
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
“Creator and star of my own TV show. Touring more and playing really awesome comedy clubs. Making my own films and starring in other people’s. Living life without worrying about checking every single social media platform and email address to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I have a lot of career goals but I’d also like to have a dog and chill at some point.”
You can see Lane Moore hosting Tinder Live monthly in Brooklyn, usually at Union Hall, but this month at The Bell House on Jan. 7, 2016, featuring the cast of Adult Swim’s Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter.
(photo at top by katia temkin)
Below: Lane Moore hosting Tinder Live with cast members from Orange Is The New Black.
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