beyond broad city: 5 female nyc comedians you should know

The new leading ladies of New York’s comedy scene share their thoughts on life, LOLs, fashion and freaking out on stage.

by i-D Team and i-D Staff
15 June 2015, 4:25pm

Alison Rich
Age: 28
Hometown: Port Washington, New York
Comedy icons: Lucille Ball, Christopher Guest, Chris Lilley, too many people at SNL to list.
Can you tell us a joke? I can, but I won't because I like to hoard all my jokes for myself. I keep them in a closet and open the closet when I feel sad, and then I just rub them all over my face until I'm done with sadness.
What's the most surprising thing about you? A thing about me: I only have partial feeling in my chin.
What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you? When I was 15, I went on a weeklong cruise with my family, and I met a boy named Kyle Zinni who I promptly fell in love with. On the last night of the cruise, with zero grace or swagger, I asked him to make out with me. He said no, told my three brothers, and then popped pills the rest of the night that he had bought off the cruise ship staff. I felt many emotions. Embarrassment was one of them.
What's the most fashionable you've ever felt? When I discovered high-waisted pants. I wear them pretty much all the time, and sometimes they don't look right on me, but when they do, oh baby they do.

Akilah Hughes
Age: 25
Hometown: Florence, KY
Dream dinner party guests: Oprah (cause she's paying for it), Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jordan, Kristen Wiig, Malala Yousafzai and the hot president from Scandal.
Can you tell us a joke? A baby seal walks into a club.
What's the most the most surprising thing about you? Probably that I was born, raised, and went to college in Kentucky. I somehow escaped without an accent or problematic views on sex and race, so most people in NYC just assume I'm from California. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you? I was in The Rocky Horror Picture Show in college and during the dance scene for "Sword of Damocles" my pants ripped from bellybutton to b-hole and we had like five more songs before the intermission so I just had to dance like Gumby and do tiny movements until I could get backstage and have them sewed back together. HORRIBLE.

Jena Friedman
Age: 32
Hometown: Haddonfield, NJ
Who makes you laugh the most? My mom
Can you tell us a joke? If I told you a joke, then I'd have to tell everybody a joke and my comedy is just not that universal.
What's the most the most surprising thing about you? My three front teeth are fake. A few years ago I fainted while smoking pot on an empty stomach, landed right on my face and broke my three front teeth. It's not something I really like to talk about, but I think it's important for kids to know not to do drugs, on an empty stomach.
What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you? There was once a guy in the front row of a show who was really talkative, like anytime I would ask a rhetorical question he would answer it. So finally, I started to put him in his place, as comics often do when there's a rowdy heckler in the front row, when I realized he wasn't being a dick, he actually just had Asperger's. Now whenever someone heckles me I just smile and assume it's Asperger's.

Naomi Ekperigin
Age: 31
Hometown: New York City
Who makes you laugh the most? My fiancé, comedy writer and host of the "Beginnings" podcast, Andy Beckerman - he's such a wonderful weirdo.
What do you love about NYC? It's a city that is exhilarating, humbling and disgusting all at once. I've lived other places and nowhere else have I been able to get an omelet at 3am and then hop on a train, get yelled at by a hobo, and make it home safe and sound.
Best advice you've ever been given: "Eyes on your own paper." It's as true when it comes to taking a test as it is when trolling Facebook and comparing yourself to others. It doesn't matter what someone else is doing or is given or has - focus on what's in front of you and do the work.
Can you tell us a joke?
What's the most the most surprising thing about you? I used to be a sign language interpreter.
Are you into fashion? I'm not very fashionable but I recently purchased a men's jacket from H&M and have been getting so many compliments on it. I feel very hip and cool for looking in the men's section of the store and finding something that was perfect for me.

Aparna Nancherla
Age: 32
Hometown: McLean, VA
Comedy icons: Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Brent Weinbach.
Who makes you laugh the most? Car dealership promo wind sock puppets, you know the ones.
Dream dinner party guests: Puppies and baby sloths with thoughts on paradigm shifts.
Best advice you've ever been given: "How are you, and don't say fine." - my mom
What do you love most about NYC? Every day here is living among a group of Precious Moments figurines that went rogue.
Can you tell us a joke? A         walks into a bar and the bartender's like, "Why the long space?"
What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you? I once got heckled for having adult braces.
What is the most fashionable you have ever felt? Generally when I'm wearing a blazer, as counterintuitive as that may seem.


Text and production Eleanor Galloway and Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Katie McCurdy

Jena Friedman
Broad City
Akilah Hughes
aparna nancherla
alison rich
naomi ekperigin