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!

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.”

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.”

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.

“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

“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.”

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!”

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

“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

“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

“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.”

Norm Macdonald

“They’ve got homeless guys everywhere you look. It breaks your heart. I saw one guy the other day in New York, a homeless guy; he had a dog with him. And that’s tough. You feel sorry…for the dog. You know? I mean, the dog’s not thrilled with the deal. He’s got a homeless guy. He’s going, Hey, I can do this by myself; I don’t need a goddamn…. It’s like the longest walk in the world for the dog.”

Joe Mande

“I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is a very hip, cool neighborhood in New York. And really all that means is that I'm constantly surrounded by pretty girls who wear defiantly ugly clothing and a lot of dudes who look like they're about to go operate a steam engine.”

Marc Maron

“It’s a thrill to be in New York. But I’m frazzled to the point where things are a little tweaky. I didn’t get much sleep. I’d flown in yesterday, and I had this very weird, genuine New York moment. I was on an elevator in a building in Manhattan. There was a guy on the elevator with me. Looked exactly like Spalding Gray. And my first thought was not, He committed suicide years ago. It was like, You pulled it off. My lips are sealed, bro. Looking forward to the show.”

Kumail Nanjiani

“I went to Coney Island recently. I rode this roller coaster called the Cyclone. The single most terrifying experience of my life. And I’m from fucking Pakistan. I had like bruises everywhere. It’s like I paid a guy. Like, Here’s a bunch of money…just kind of punch me all over. And then when I got off I found out that the Cyclone is the oldest functional roller coaster in the world. Wish I’d known that before I risked my life. Do you know what year the Cyclone was made in? The Cyclone was made in the year 1927. They should change the name of that ride to 1927. ’Cause that fact is way scarier than cyclones. Or hurricanes.”

John Oliver

“This one businessman came flying down the stairs [towards a subway train I was on]. As he ran towards me, the doors started slowly coming together. He was carrying a briefcase in one hand and a suitcase in another. I could see him thinking, I can’t do what I normally do, which is stick out my hand and stop these doors, as I’ve got these bags. He just stuck out his head and the doors closed on his neck. Now, he wasn’t hurt. Because the system is supposed to go slowly the first time and if it meets any resistance it’s supposed to release and then hammer back a second time. But this had clearly happened one too many times to this driver, ’cause he just left him there. This man was left with his head in the train and his body and bags flapping around outside on the platform. You’ve never seen anyone de-age so fast in your life. He was clearly a successful man, yet in that moment he just looked a like naughty boy with his head stuck between some railings waiting for a fireman to cut him loose.”

Emo Philips

“New York’s such a wonderful city. Although I was at the library today. The guy was very rude. I said, ‘I’d like a card.’ He said, ‘You have to prove you're a citizen of New York.’ So I stabbed him.”

Colin Quinn

“Everybody in New York has lost their minds. Even when they try to be nice, they just can’t. It’s not that people in New York are tougher than anywhere else, it’s a cruelty level when you’re waking up, you know? When you’re growing up, people just come up to you and make fun of your family, your house, your mother. You can always tell who’s raised in New York by how they take a compliment when they’re an adult. You know, like, ‘Hey, nice haircut.’ ‘Screw you; what’s wrong with it?’”

Anita Wise

“I just got in from New York City. I don’t really like living there. I have to for health reasons. I’m very paranoid, and New York’s the only place my fears are justified.”

Steven Wright

“I know the guy who writes all those bumper stickers. He hates New York.”

Sasheer Zamata

“I was walking home. It was like five in the morning on a weeknight. And this guy approached me. And he asked me if I needed a walk home. He was like, ‘Miss, you need somebody to walk you home?’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m good.’ He’s like, ‘Are you sure?’ I was like, ‘No, I got it, thanks.’ And I kept walking, and then he slowed down, pulled down his sweatpants, took out his dick and was like, ‘Hey Miss, this is for you.’ And I was like, ‘No.’ And then I kept walking all the way home. It was like a 15-minute walk. And when I got home, I was like, What was I thinking? I should have gotten in a cab or called the cops immediately. I was so nonchalant about it. I turned down his dick as if he was trying to sell me a CD or something.”

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