Jeff Garlin once called New York “the only city where you can be awakened by a smell.”
Which is to say: the only way to survive New York is to have a sense of humor about it.
So we recently asked 10 of our favorite local comedians to share their best jokes about the city.
From gentrification to Staten Island to public indecency, they covered all the things we love to hate.
Because if you can’t laugh here, move to Los Angeles.
“NYC has mounted police … the biggest city in the world
“New York is rough. I remember when I arrived in Manhattan … the first thing that struck me was a stray bullet. I went out clubbing with my friends. We got two tourists and a baby seal.”
“I’ve lived in Harlem for the past decade and I have yet to see a GlobeTrotter. In Harlem, some people live in apartment buildings, some live in
“NYC has every kind of food. We actually have several Ethiopian restaurants serving Ethiopian cuisine, which begs the question … when did THEY start feeding
Stand-up comic, actor
“It's one thing to overhear your neighbors fighting from your apartment, but it's another thing to hear it so clearly that you think, ‘Well, Ashley DOES have a point, you should WANT to hear about her coworkers suck.’”
"New York City is a great place to meet middle-class people that grew up in
"I really love the human connection that comes with living in New York. Just today, I rode the 4-train at rush hour and it was so crowded I was inside of the guy next to me for two stops."
"New York City is filled with people who came from all corners of the earth to experience the world, but refuse to go to another borough."
“I live in Spanish Harlem. Our Mr. Softy guy is a Dominican. He kicked a dude's ass for pounding on his Mr. Softy truck. So I ask you, how tough is your neighborhood when the ice-cream man is beating people up?”
“There’s an announcement on the subway, ‘If you see something, say something. If you witness suspicious activity report it to a New York City police officer.’ I’m going to help you out: if you’re going to spend your day reporting suspicious activity on a New York City subway, you’re not gonna have time for anything else.
“I saw two guys fighting in Brooklyn. Before cops could break it up, construction vehicles showed up, paved over them and put up an apartment complex.”
“The NYC Marathon is really just a bunch of people running away from Staten Island.”
“Some guy asked me for change in Manhattan and said, ‘Can I get a quarter? I'm trying to get my kids back.’ So I asked if they were trapped in a vending machine.”
“My wife is from the Upper East Side and I’m from Queens. So my penis moved on up. Her family isn’t Park Avenue rich, they’re Second Avenue rich. They’re not in the 1%, but they eat the same bagels.”
“The average tourist experience as far as Staten Island goes is people taking a free ferry and then immediately leaving Staten Island. It’s gotten so bad that when the ferry arrives, they don’t even bother to say, ‘Welcome to Staten Island.’ Instead, they say, ‘If you want to return to Manhattan, you need to exit the ferry and then get back on.’”
A stand-up comic and podcaster, FreddyG performs regularly at regularly at Stand Up NY, Greenwich Village Comedy Club and on Roastmasters at The Stand. You can check out his podcast Model and The Mensch on
“We’re in a codependent relationship with the subway. We need it, but we wish we didn’t.”
“New York has the best comedy on Earth. Most of it’s unintentional and very depressing.”
“We resent tourists. Most of us were once tourists. We resent the fact that you can still leave.”
"I will never tell anyone the positives about living in NYC, or my rent will go up."
"It's a great place if you hate having money and committed relationships."
"The biggest lesson I learned when I left NYC is not all salads cost $15."
“The miracle of New York is that there are people living here who can still laugh while being completely sober.”
“Homeless man on the subway pulled down his pants directly in front of a woman reading her bible. ‘You ugly! I'm gonna feed
“I hate when people move to the city and say things like, ‘I saw a homeless guy masturbating on the E train, guess I'm a real New Yorker now.’ When you lived here your whole life and see a guy masturbating on the train it doesn't even phase you. You’re just like,‘I saw Steve on the E train today.’”
“I'm born and raised in Brooklyn and hipsters have completely taken over my neighborhood. This morning someone put a bike lane in my apartment.”