Elise Czajkowski

Comedy Journalist

New York, New York

Elise Czajkowski

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


How @midnight made America fall in love with the panel show

The New York Comedy Festival had plenty to talk about this year, from a controversial Bill Cosby show to a topless set by Tig Notaro. But its most prominent inclusion wasn’t a standup show at all. Its big coup was in drawing Comedy Central’s hit late night show @midnight away from its comfy Los Angeles confines for a week of shows in the Big Apple.
The Guardian Link to Story

The Edinburgh Fringe is a Comedy Festival Unlike Any Other

All roads in British comedy lead back to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Established in 1947, the 26-day festival holds a revered place in U.K. comedy history. In the 1960s, it became a place for future stars like Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and future Pythons to cut their teeth, and today it remains a vital training ground for young comics.
Paste Magazine Link to Story

When Getting Laughs Annoys the Neighbors

“THIS is the kind of show you’re really going to appreciate if comedy is ever illegal,” the comedian Sam Morril said, looking around a small basement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was a rainy night, and about three dozen people were gathered in the downstairs of a duplex for “Live @ the Apt,” a regular stand-up show held in the home of its producers.
The New York Times 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 First Non-Almost Billionaire Comic': Q&A With Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress is having a bit of a he's-everywhere moment right now. The former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock writer can be found as the sidekick on Adult Swim’s TheEric Andre Show and as love interest Lincoln on Comedy Central’s Broad City, in addition to providing voices for two animated series: FX's Chozen and Adult Swim's China, IL.
Rolling Stone Link to Story

Shut Up, 'Variety': The Cluelessness of Claiming that Sarah Silverman Shouldn't Be "As Dirty As the Boys"

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

The Funny Pictures

In the past few years, as comedy has once again boomed, a new generation of fans has begun viewing the craft as more than just entertainment. With more websites devoted to coverage, more critical engagement with the craft, and more artistic interest in the forms of stand-up, sketch and improv, the craft of comedy is being seen as something seriously artful. Around the United States, comedy photographers are snapping evocative and distinctive pictures of comedians. Each approaches it differently—a few are documenting the live scene, while others are crafting portraits in studios or on location. Some photos are destined for promotional material, some will adorn comedy club walls, some are just for fun. But the sum total is a visual representation of a booming comedy scene that views comedians as a highly unique and fascinating group of artists.
Paste Magazine Link to Story

Splitsider's Guide to NYC's Comedy Scene

"This is where comedy works - where people are the most miserable," Doug Stanhope lamented as he walked the streets of New York City at the beginning of his special, No Refunds. Maybe it is the misery, dirt and exhaustion that comes with life in NYC that fosters great comedic voices; an optimist would say its the city's vibrancy, diversity, and bustling energy.
Splitsider Link to Story

Inside Britain's Growing Comedy Crisis

For the past few years, America has been experiencing a spectacularly creative comedy boom that continues to grow. But in the UK, the comedy scene may be heading in the other direction. For the past decade, live and televised comedy have been big business in Britain.
Splitsider 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 The Spit Take.

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.