Laughy New Year! Comedians crack their first jokes of 2012

Laughy New Year! Comedians crack their first jokes of 2012
Photo By Maryanne Ventrice

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before — but at the sixth annual 50 First Jokes comedy extravaganza event at the Bell House on January 4, the material is so new that chances are, you haven’t.

“It’s always fun,” said comedian John O’Donnell, who hosts and produces the annual event. “It’s a fun kick-off show for New York City comedy.”

The show features — you guessed it — 50 comedians eager to test out their new material, just in time for the new year. Each funnyman or funnywoman gets two minutes to tickle his or her audience with one original, never-before-heard joke.

“It’s an experiment in joke writing,” said co-producer Sachi Ezura. “This is the one show where everybody is doing completely new material.”

Experimentation is half the fun of this show — but it can also be nerve wracking for the performers.

“There is definitely some pressure,” said O’Donnell. “But there are so many comedians in New York City, more often than not, they do really well.”

The show’s lineup is designed to represent the full spectrum of New York City performers, including lesser-known up-and-comers, and comedians such as Pat Dixon, whose stand-up has been featured on Comedy Central; and Jon Friedman, who hosts the “Rejection Show,” and writes for the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon blog.

The Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643-6510] Jan. 4, doors open at 7:30 pm, show starts at 8 pm. Tickets $12 ($10 in advance). For info, visit www.thebellhouseny.com

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.