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I’m a stand-up comedian, and when I found myself in the position to move to Paris last year, I was thrilled but slightly concerned about the comedy scene here. I mean, when I think about Paris, I think about a lot of things, but stand-up comedy is definitely not one of them. I wasn’t even sure if there was stand-up, let alone in English. Sure, I saw “How to Become Parisian in One Hour,” but I needed to find some good old-fashioned “what’s the deal with these people” joke telling!

To my delight and surprise, I stumbled upon a blossoming English-speaking stand-up comedy scene thanks to a little show called “A New Yorker in Paris,” and to the godfather of English-language stand-up comedy in Paris, Sebastian Marx.
Sebastian, an American expat of nine years and counting, performs his one-man show “A New Yorker in Paris” every Friday night at 8 on the top floor of the Théâtre du Gymnase at So Gymnase. Seriously, the joke is on you after you climb five flights of stairs to get to the very cozy theater within a theater. The show is performed in a one-hour stand-up comedy format, touching on the comedy of daily life in Paris—from jumping the turnstiles on the metro, to the art of eating a croissant without turning everything you touch into butter, to (not) understanding his French girlfriend singing Michael Jackson. I think what makes Marx’s show such a success is that he creates a perfect blend of American self-deprecation and Parisian criticism that tourists, expats and locals can all appreciate and enjoy.

Immediately after his show, Marx hosts a stand-up open mic, the New York Comedy Night. Basically, by sending him an email beforehand, anyone from newbies to professional comics can get a shot to work his or her material onstage.


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