20 best jokes about New York City (video)

Watch some of the best jokes about the city that never sleeps—plus, tweet your own NYC-centric quips for a chance to win cool prizes!

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  • Best jokes about New York City: Woody Allen

  • Photograph: Fernando Leon

    Best jokes about New York City: Todd Barry

  • Best jokes about New York City: Hannibal Buress

  • Photograph: Eric Leibowitz/FX

    Best jokes about New York City: Louis C.K.

  • Best jokes about New York City: Wyatt Cenac

  • Best jokes about New York City: David Cross

  • Best jokes about New York City: Jim Gaffigan

  • Photograph: Anya Garrett

    Best jokes about New York City: Dan St. Germain

  • Photograph: Malcolm Mackinnon

    Best jokes about New York City: D.L. Hughley

  • Photograph: Anya Garrett

    Best jokes about New York City: Mike Lawrence

Best jokes about New York City: Woody Allen


We’ve already tipped you off to the 50 funniest New Yorkers and the 21 comedy linchpins that keep Gotham’s scene alive. Now it’s high time to bring you the best jokes about our fair city. Bits by comedy titans like Woody Allen, Louis C.K. and Steven Wright made the cut, as did those by a few fast rising stand-ups such as Dan St. Germain, Hannibal Buress and Kumail Nanjiani. Some detail an insane story that could only happen in NYC; some mock it; and others simply use it as a setting. Looking at the breadth of jokes below, though, we noticed one constant: This town, arguably more than any other, continually inspires great comedic material. Here are our favorites so far, in alphabetical order.

RECOMMENDED: Best comedy in NYC

But wait! We want your New York jokes too! For five days starting on Monday, October 8, we’re asking you to tweet your best jokes about a specific borough with the hashtag #borobash. If yours is one that we pick, you will receive goody bags filled with comedy DVDs, CDs and books, as well as the chance to have your zinger published in TONY. Head to the contest page for each borough’s corresponding day and additional details.

Woody Allen

“My love life is terrible. The last time I was inside a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty.”

NEW YORK, NY- DECEMBER 1:  Comedian Todd Barry performing onstage during the One Hour Comedy Central Special taping at the Gramercy Theatre on December 1st, 2011 in New York City. ..(Fernando Leon/PictureGroup), Todd Barry

Todd Barry

“I love giving tourists directions. That’s one of my favorite things to do. I’ll sometimes offer directions when people don’t even ask me. I saw these two women who were clearly lost, and I walk up and go, ‘You need help finding something?’ She looks up and goes, ‘Oh no, we prefer to find it ourselves.’ Isn’t that a weird preference? Yeah, my friend and I have always been passionate about you not helping us. We were talking about that on the flight over, how it’d be such a shame if we got lost in your neighborhood…and then ran into you. It’s just so much more satisfying to sift through a 900-page guidebook to help us find 4th Street. When we’re standing on 4th Street.”

Laugh to the mighty Hannibal Buress at the Knitting Factory

Hannibal Buress

“I was on the train. I made eye contact with this woman. The train stopped, and she got off and moved to another car. Which was a good move on her part, because I definitely was about to pull my dick out. So great intuition, random lady on the train! Good call. But’s it’s my move now; I got legs too. What’s up? Not gonna foil my creepy plans that easily! I’m dedicated to this.”

Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.

“I’ve been living in the city for 15 years; I have no idea where the train is going. The worst is when the train goes express on a whim. Like mid-ride, they decide, Let’s not stop. Why are we stoppin’? Let’s just go. And let’s not tell them either. Or let’s tell them as the doors are closing. [Closing doors sound] ‘Next stop 205th Street.’ The worst thing is you can’t really react, you know? I can’t go, 'Oh my god, somebody help me! I don’t belong on this train! That’s not my area up there!' You can’t do that. When you get there, you gotta get out like, Alright, I’m home. Yeah. Good to be back on 6 trillionth street.”

Wyatt Cenac

Wyatt Cenac

“Derek Jeter, to play in the All-Star Game, he got a million votes. That’s a lot of votes. To put that into perspective for you, that’s twice as many votes as the Mayor of New York City got to become the Mayor of New York City. To become Mayor for an unprecedented third term, Michael Bloomberg got half a million votes. There are over 8 million people in this city. There’s a saying that there are 8 million stories in this city. Seven and a half million of those stories are just excuses why people didn’t vote for mayor. They all go like this: Once upon a time, I forgot. The end.”

Sunday 5David Cross features in Comedy Does Poetry Does Comedy at Bowery Poetry Club

David Cross

“In New York, you are constantly faced with this very urgent, quick decision that you have to make about every 20 minutes. And it doesn’t matter where you are—indoors, outdoors, fuckin’ in a park, in a museum, in a restaurant…. About every 20 minutes, immediately, you have to go [gasp], Oh my god. Do I look at the most beautiful woman in the world or the craziest guy in the world? Look at her; she’s fucking beautiful! But look at him, he’s wearing orange footie pajamas and he’s got tinfoil on his head and he’s playing a Casio!”

Wednesday 29Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan

“I love how New York is so multicultural. I wish I was ethnic; I’m nothing. ’Cause if you’re Hispanic and you get angry, people are like, He’s got a Latin temper. But if you’re a white guy and you get angry, people are like, That guy’s a jerk. Stay away from him. He’s a turd.”

Dan St. Germain

Dan St. Germain

“I’ve lived in New York City way too long. I realized this ’cause I was on the subway the other day and I heard a meow moewwww and I’m like, Oh great, here comes some frickin’ guy pretending he’s a cat. And I turned around and it was a cat. In a bag. That’s what New York City’s done to me. I’m like, Cat noise? Can’t be the animal that makes that noise. It’s gotta be some weird cat guy. Like I was gonna turn around and there was going to be some guy with like cat ears and a unitard and felt whiskers.”

D.L. Hughley

D.L. Hughley

“In L.A., rich people live with rich people and poor people live with poor people. In New York, that’s from building to building. Like I asked my friend, I said, 'Man, what’s a good building?' He said, ‘A good building, you got a door man. A bad building, you just got a man in a door.’”

Mike Lawrence

Mike Lawrence

“I live in New York. I love this city; it’s a great city. But I hate when people go, New York City: 8 million people, 8 million stories. There’s three New York stories, alright: There’s ‘I moved here,’ ‘I lived here all my life’ and Ghostbusters.”


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