Watch My Set at ‘NY’s Funniest Professional’ Stand-up Comedy Contest

This was my stand-up set from New York’s Funniest Professional contest at Gotham Comedy Club. I didn’t advance, but I did tell jokes about 12 Years a Slave, The Shining, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, my time at Playboy, the Jonestown Massacre, and much more.

Here’s the deal with this contest. There are supposed to be 11 shows featuring a dozen or so working professionals doing stand-up; each show features a different industry (lawyers, teachers, waiters). However, 3 of those shows feature only college students. Right off the bat, that makes zero sense. It’s not NY’s Funniest College Student. Secondly, another category is F***ing ACTOR! Anyway, 1 comedian per show will advance to the finals, which will have a celebrity host.

Since “Online Video Manager” doesn’t fit neatly into any of the categories, I went with “Advertising / Marketing / Digital Market”. My first question to the contest organizer / booker was, “Does my entire 5 minute set need to be about my work or about advertising, marketing, and/or the digital market?” His response was, “You can do whatever you want.” Interesting. Why even break it out into categories then?

Anyway, I decided to go with somewhat broad office humor mixed with an observation on an ad I saw, and my personal work experiences at New Video and Playboy.

I honestly thought I should’ve advanced to the finals. I saw just about every other comedian’s set and I don’t think any of them got the consistent reaction I did. Keyword being ‘consistent’. That’s what’s key, right? Laughs per minute (“LPM”)? Of course, I didn’t catch the one comic who made it to the finals because I was in the pisser, but I’ve been told by friends that he needed to use a flash card because he forgot his place? Which is severely frowned upon for any beginning comedian, much less a guy who’s in a ‘professional’ contest and has been in and out of stand-up for 15 years. Totally not bitter about it at all.

I unintentionally skipped two jokes – one being “let me touch base and circle back”, the other “at the end of the day”. I managed to skip over 1 line in the kool-aid joke, which I think threw off the punchline. But, other than those minor slip-ups, I really felt like I hit the right notes from a timing / delivery standpoint. Sure, the 12 years a slave joke didn’t stick and I guess most people (read: women) were put off by the somewhat misogynistic overtones of a few jokes, but I thought it ended well.

Thanks to Andy Engel of the Manhattan Comedy School, Michael Codispoti, Chloe Hilliard (who will be appearing on NBC’s Last Comic Standing) and everyone who came out to support me.

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  1. […] I’m progressing with every month. Considering I was going to quit after not advancing in the NY’s Funniest Professional Contest, I think I’ll keep at it for at least another […]


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