Five Questions With Emma Willmann: One of New York’s Funniest Finalists

emma willmann

This Saturday, as part of the New York Comedy Festival, Caroline’s on Broadway will hold their annual New York’s Funniest contest. The yearly competition searches among New York City’s younger comics, to find who is New York’s funniest.

We talked with NY’s Funniest contestant Emma Willmann, and asked her five questions about her experiences in New York. You can follow Emma on twitter @EmmaWillmann and see her this Saturday at Carolines at 4pm. You can catch her headlining later the same night at Stand Up NY at 8:20pm.  Visit Emma’s website,

Here are Emma’s 5 questions.

The IBang:  Did you have any major culture shock moments after you moved here?

Emma Willmann: Yes absolutely. Ordering a drink in New York is really hard. Like you have to be aggressive, you have to go right up to the bar. For the life of me I couldn’t get a drink in a bar because I was coming from an area where it wasn’t like a sport.

The IBang: What was your first New York City comedy show that you took part in.

Emma Willmann: I remember this very clearly. I had been here about two weeks, and I was just hitting, doing the open mics. And a guy named Chris Calligaro said “hey, I think you’re funny, do you want to do my Valentine’s Day show in NJ.” And I ran out of that mic and I called my mom, and I’m like, “two weeks in! and I’m already on a show! I’m gonna make it!” Then I got the show, it’s like a tiny bar show out in NJ, and I did alright. But that was my very first show.

The IBang: Where do you go to write?

Emma Willmann: I’ll go to a cafe. There’s a cafe near where I live, its kind of like a nondescript coffee shop, or I do most of my writing in between shows and mics. So last night I did an open mic and then I was killing time before a show, so I was kind of in that zone from being at the mic, and then I started writing, and then I had a show and then I wrote, and then I had another show. So I kind of write around wherever my shows are at. I’m a night time writer.

The IBang: What is your ideal first date?

Emma Willmann: Alright I’m going to tell you this. My ideal first date- this is a big leap for me. If you asked me this four months ago, I would do something overly sexual and trashy whatever. Now, the ideal first date for me totally depends on being with someone whose company you actually enjoy because you’ve got to date someone for the right reasons. My ideal first date is going to a cafe and then going to the sex museum. Now, I haven’t started dating since i started this new mentality of ‘it’s about the person’ but I would want to take people to the sex museum because I’d be trying to weed out if someone wasn’t sexually adventurous. So then you’re at the sex museum you can gauge their comfort level or you can gauge if they’re going to be too much for you. I rememember going with this one girl– literally we’re outside. It’s four on a Sunday. She shows up drinking wine, she’s tipsy and high. Shows up, she goes, I ain’t fucking around I want to go straight to the anal. And I was like, alright. And then I was with her for like two months but that should have been a warning sign. Not that she was into anal…but she had no tact.

The IBang: Have you had any memorable hecklers?

Emma Willmann: Yes. I was in a tiny club in the East Village. It was during Santa-Con so everyone is dressed up as Santa and wasted. There was some guy dressed up in a giant penis costume with a hat on. He literally had balls on each one of his feet. Was dressed up as a giant penis. He stumbles into the back barroom and he goes, oooooh nooo, what’s going on. He wasn’t being mean but he was…. I would say something and he would go “aaaand thennnn what haaappened. ooooh my giant dick.” And it was just unbelievable to me. That was my moment. Giant Penis. Heckling. Santacon.

The IBang: What is the best place to see live music?

Emma Willmann: I am not someone who goes to music venues a lot. But the best place that I’ve seen live music is Le Passion Rouge in the West Village just because I like the vibe, its an intimate setting and they kind of have acts on the up and up, so that’s the place I would pick.


New York’s Funniest Competition Finals will take place at Carolines on Broadway on Saturday November 8, 2014 at 4pm. You can get tickets here. 


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