This week, we’re bringing you video interviews with some of the biggest and most respected names in New York comedy. While many think of comedy shows as cheesy affairs featuring lame stand-up comics and two-drink minimums, a new crowd of performers are changing the game by hosting their own shows to showcase their own talents as well as those of their friends, colleagues, and heroes. Today, we talk to Joe Mande and Noah Garfinkel, who host Totally J/K at UCB East!
"Totally J/K is the best. Joe and Noah are both uniquely brilliant idiots. Their ‘List of Nothing’ which grows in size and ridiculousness every show is one of my favorite pieces of living comedy anywhere." – Nick Kroll
"Joe and Noah are so relentlessly and prolifically funny I almost can’t handle it. Their skin is so, so soft and supple, too. They really are the full package." – Dave Hill
"You should really get some quotes about our show. Noah loves when people talk about him. Negatively or positively." – Joe Mande
If college is a time for experimentation and self-discovery, perhaps it’s perfectly reasonable that Noah Garfinkel touched Joe Mande’s penis because he was curious about a crease in Joe’s sweatpants. It might also explain their shared neurotic vibe, but that’s how two budding comedians at Emerson became best friends. After graduation, they ended up in New York and found a home at the indie/alternative/whatever-you-want-to-call-it comedy breeding ground of Rififi in the East Village where they started their weekly show, Totally J/K, because "anyone could."
Like many who host a show, it was a place for them to develop and test material, best exemplified in their long-running "List of Nothing"—a brain dump of puns and absurd ideas that gives you a peek inside their creative hive mind. While Totally J/K has moved around the city to Sound Fix Lounge in Williamsburg before coming back to Manhattan at the UCB Theatre in Chelsea and now at UCBeast in the East Village on Thursday nights, it remains one of the best showcases for stand-ups in New York.