Carolines break out comedy artist: Myq Kaplan

Print this page out to get $5 off admission to Myq Kaplan’s show at Carolines on June 1. Get more ticket info here.

World famous comedy venue Carolines on Broadway and Punchline Magazine have joined forces to present the Breakout Artist Comedy Series. Each Tuesday, at Carolines in New York City, an emerging stand-up comedy star will headline their own show and prove just why they’ve been quietly building a name for themselves in the national comedy scene.

And since we here at Punchline Magazine are all about exposing the best comedians – well-known or not – we’ll be profiling each comedian taking part in the Carolines series each week. So let’s get to this week’s headliner: Myq Kaplan!

Myq Kaplan is a comedian named Myq Kaplan (pronounced “Mike Kaplan”).

The Comedians magazine calls him “a comedy machine, in the best possible way. The way that some machines vend soda or prevent other machines from killing future revolutionaries – that’s how Myq Kaplan does comedy: relentlessly, methodically, unblinkingly.”

Myq has appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and in his own half-hour Comedy Central Presents special. He was voted 2008’s Best Local Comedian in the Boston Phoenix and won the 2009 NY’s Funniest Stand-up Competition. He invites you to hear more bragging by going to or calling by his grandmother.

Not including at a comedy club or comedy event, tell us about a time where being a comedian came in handy.
One time when I was answering interview questions for a comedy website, I easily thought of snappy answers instead of responding sincerely. (Unless this counts as a comedy event, in which case, you got me.)

More sincere answer: I enjoy making elevator rides with strangers more entertaining. One way to do this is to look at the weight limit, and if there’s only one other person there, ask them if they weigh some large number close to that limit. (Make sure it’s not actually a person who MIGHT be that heavy. Or someone who might be sensitive about their weight even though they’re skinny. So, anyone. Maybe don’t do this.) Fun!

Who do you think are the breakout comedy artists of the next few years?
It’s hard to distinguish between who has already broken out and who will break out later, but here goes.

Ken Reid, Josh Gondelman, MC Mr. Napkins, Micah Sherman, Joe List, Dan Hirshon, and Shane Mauss are all hilarious comedians and great friends of mine from the Boston comedy scene who I think are all destined for great things.

Baron Vaughn, Reggie Watts, Rory Scovel, Jared Logan, Myka Fox, Victor Varnado, Danny Lobell, Baratunde Thurston, Sean Patton and Hari Kondabolu are all hilarious comedians and great friends of mine from the NYC comedy scene who I feel the same way about.

Aparna Nancherla, Alex Koll, Brian Moote, and Erik Charles Nielsen are hilarious friends in cities that I have less allegiance to. (The cities, not the people.) Also, the comedy podcast Keith and the Girl is great and destined for more greatness.

People use the words “nerdy” and “weird” to describe your comedic style. Is there a certain power (or license) associated with being nerdy and weird that the cool kids just don’t get?
First, I prefer dorky to nerdy. But I accept that I am both. Also, I think a lot of cool kids today ARE nerdy and weird. And all I can do is be myself and hope that my nerdy dorky weirdness overlaps with that of others, and that we find each other. So far, so good. (Unless that didn’t answer the question. In which case, you’re one of the cool kids that just doesn’t get it, let’s say. Cool?)

What’s up with the way you spell your name?
Great question. The way I spell my name is unnecessary. It can be off-putting and make it hard for people to know how to say it or write it, depending. I agree, everyone who thinks that… you’re right! I just made a decision as a weird teenager when Prince changed his name to a symbol, and that decision has stuck with me into less weird adulthood. Main positive feature: it makes it very easy to find me and only me on Google.

Has your passion for comic books worked its way into your comedy? Is there a middle ground between the two?
Having a “middle ground” seems to suggest that comic books and comedy are diametrically opposed, and I don’t believe that’s true. They’re both creative art forms that garner some criticism from people who aren’t into them for whatever reason, which is sometimes justified on an individual level but never when referring to either medium as a whole. The fact that there are bad movies doesn’t mean that there can’t also be GOOD movies.

Now to answer the question you asked… I enjoy reading comic books. I enjoy doing comedy about the things I experience, including comic books. Ideally I make audiences enjoy this comedy, even if they thought they didn’t like comic books. Or comedy.

What’s next for Myq Kaplan? Where will you be in a few years?
Good question. Hopefully being interviewed again and having a better answer? (I’ll definitely be able to tell you about the next few years after they’ve happened, though.)

Print this page out to get $5 off admission to Myq Kaplan’s show at Carolines on June 1. Get more ticket info here.

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