Must-See Times Square
by nycgo.com staff, 12/25/2012
Jo Koy at Carolines on Broadway. Photo: Phil Provencio
Do You Like Comedy?
If you spend more than a few moments in Times Square, chances are someone will ask you if you like comedy. They're not just curious—these intrepid young men and women want to sell you tickets to shows at venues like Stand-Up New York.
Dyler Crews, 24, is one of the folks who want to know whether you enjoy listening to people tell jokes. His motivation is twofold: first, he gets cash for selling tickets. And second, it's a way for the aspiring comedian, who recently moved up to New York City from Georgia, to get a foot in the door at Stand-Up New York. "It's all about who you know," he reasons. While he hasn't taken the mic in prime time, he's had "a couple bits of stage time toward the later end of the night." Dylan says he's a pretty successful salesman and hasn't had trouble making a living ("In a day, I can make anywhere from $200 to $400"), but that sometimes New Yorkers are not happy to hear his pitch. "They're like, 'I'm from here,'" he says of their dismissiveness. He doesn't approve of such reactions: "I'm offering you dirt-cheap tickets and alcohol! It's a good time. … If you can combat people's cynicism and relax them to the point where they want to laugh and buy [tickets], then that's what you've got to do."
Fair enough, but it has to be said: if you want to be sure what you're spending your hard-earned cash on, you can always buy ahead of time to see an act you already know. Times Square's Carolines on Broadway—which hosts headline sets by big-name performers like Louis CK and Tracy Morgan—doesn't hawk tickets on the street. If you're looking for passes to one of their shows, you'll have to buy online or at the box office. Also consider Gotham, check the Comedy Cellar lineup a few days in advance and head downtown for an evening there, or take your chances on the many cheap and free shows always scheduled citywide (our Comedy Calendar has suggestions). If you like comedy, you may well enjoy a show you bought tickets for on the street—but while the two-drink minimum remains constant, the quality of the comics will surely vary. —Jonathan Zeller