Taking Comedy to the People: Laughter in the Park

(Photo Credit: NYLaughs)

From humble beginnings in 2007, the NYLaughs outdoor comedy show has a lot to be proud of. Now featuring Comedy Central comedians such as Ophira Eisenberg or Pete Lee, Laughter in the Park has grown in popularity from what used to be a small gathering of funny people in Central Park at night to a Big Apple cultural phenomenon. The show now frequents four locations and boasts of being New York’s only outdoor comedy show. Says chairman and founder of the program Suzette Simon: “Our ultimate goal is to change people’s perception of the comic arts, especially stand-up comedy, and to strengthen the shared cultural bonds that humor engenders.” In short, their mission is simple: to bring laughter to people of every kind in New York City.

And the comedy is good! Ranging in styles from the giggle-inducing silly to the self-depreciating sad-funny to the borderline-inappropriate hysterical, each performer brings a fresh new take on stand-up comedy with their act. The six comics in the show touch on all areas of life: from hellish yoga classes and whispering to strangers to polite pickpockets, from marital bliss (or lack thereof) to day-to-day life in Brooklyn, their wit catches all. The Central Park show is headlined by the laugh-out-loud hilarious Vanessa Hollingshead.

Admission is free and shows run between 2 and 4 PM. They have locations not only in Central Park but in Tompkins Square, Washington Square, and Greeley Square parks. Visit their website for showtimes at their different locations: http://www.nylaughs.org.

By Allyson Larcom


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