Elise Czajkowski

Comedy Journalist

New York, New York

Elise Czajkowski

I write about comedy and other things that tickle my fancy.


A Roomful of Funny Women, Bonding Over the New York Comedy Life

The idea was simple but novel: Take one picture of as many women in New York City’s varied comedy scenes as possible. And so on Saturday afternoon, despite the cold and rain, more than 200 female comedians gathered to have their photo taken together at a performance space in Brooklyn. Amid a festive, buzzing energy, some of the comedians were in formal wear and extravagant makeup, while a few were in full costume (an elderly woman with a walker, a Vine star with painted-on eyeglasses and crab claw hands).
The New York Times Link to Story

How a new crop of hosts is reinventing an old format

It’s been just over six months since Trevor Noah took over as host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and a year since James Corden debuted as the host of CBS’s The Late Late Show – two largely unknown foreigners moving into prominent US television real estate. In another time, either would have been a game changer, but 2015 was a year of unprecedented turnover in the ever-expanding world of late-night comedy talkshows.
The Guardian Link to Story

Fahad Albutairi: The Saudi funnyman challenging his conservative country to think big

Stand-up comedy may have been born in the United States of Vaudevillian heritage, but the format’s simplicity and endless flexibility have attracted fans and followers across the globe. In Saudi Arabia, its popularity can be attributed to one man. Fahad Albutairi is often credited as the first Saudi to perform stand-up comedy professionally, following a performance in 2008. Now the 30-year-old comic lords over a massive YouTube empire that has racked up nearly a billion hits. His next challenge is to change the way Saudis view entertainment forever.
GOOD Magazine Link to Story

The best (and worst) US culture 2015: comedy

Ever since Inside Amy Schumer debuted on Comedy Central in 2013, the show has received rave reviews for its filthy feminist approach to sketch comedy. Alongside her brilliant head writer Jessi Klein, Amy Schumer dives deep into the honest experiences of modern day women by embracing the indelicacies and indignities of everyday life.
The Guardian Link to Story

Gad Elmaleh: Talking Funny in French and English

As stand-up comedy becomes an increasingly global phenomenon, international stars are starting to emerge, like the South African Trevor Noah, who played to huge audiences in Africa before taking over “The Daily Show.”. Now Gad Elmaleh, a Moroccan-born stand-up comedian often called the Jerry Seinfeld of France, is hoping for crossover success here as well.
The New York Times Link to Story

On the Hour: The State of the Stand-Up Comedy Special

A stand-up special has long been a sign of arrival in the comedy scene, informally marking someone as a “comic of note.”. Whether an audio-only album or a taped performance for TV or cinemas, the “hour” has been the foundation of many successful stand-up careers. With the rise of alternative forms of production and distribution online, a comedian can now just as easily use a series of six-second Vines or a 180-minute podcast as a calling card.
Grantland Link to Story

How Weird Stand-up Became a Women’s Game

“Would you say you're the boldest person in here?”. Jo Firestone asks a guy seated in the front row of a Williamsburg bar show. She’s introduced her short set as a “sampler” of her (presumably nonexistent) 100-minute one-woman show about moving to New York with her then “love partner," which she explains is full of pain and anger.
Vulture Link to Story

The Inside Story of Whiplash

"Whiplash is like a magical kingdom where laughs run free and jelly beans are the main form of currency," says comedian Aparna Nancherla, of UCB's late night standup show. It's the reason that Splitsider turned to Whiplash for our first concert film, where host Leo Allen welcomed Jared Logan, Sheng Weng, Eugene Mirman, Carmen Lynch, Janeane Garofalo, Sarah Silverman, Michael Che, and Sean Patton.
Splitsider Link to Story

The Cluelessness of Claiming Sarah Silverman Shouldn’t Be So Dirty

According to Brian Lowry at Variety, “being as dirty as the guys” is the worst thing that Sarah Silverman can do for her career. This Sarah Silverman?
Splitsider Link to Story

"It Was a Fighter's Comedy Show": the Oral History of 'Tough Crowd'

2013 has brought an unprecedented wave of new late night shows. Most stick to the tried and true late night format of scripted segments and celebrity guests, or.
Splitsider Link to Story

Why, As A Journalist, I Won’t Be Trying Stand-Up

“With stand-up comedy, I think it’s just something you have to do,” Bobby Slayton says confidently in 2012 comedy documentary Alone Up There. “I don’t think people can have any idea what it is like if...
Chicken Scratch Comedy Link to Story

A Chat With Writer Jon Ronson

Bestselling British author and documentary filmmaker Jon Ronson has found his way into the weirdest corners of society. His first book, Them: Adventures with Extremists, found him searching for the secret elite group that many extremists believe rule the world.
The Awl Link to Story


Elise Czajkowski

I take comedy very seriously and read The Economist for fun. I write the comedy listings for The New York Times, and I've written for The New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Splitsider, Flavorpill, Time Out New York, Paste Magazine, Vulture, The Awl, and GOOD Magazine.

I have a degree from New York University in Broadcast Journalism and International Politics. As well as holding real jobs, I have written questions for BBC 4 quiz show "Only Connect", read the news on New Zealand radio, and audio described plays for blind audiences.