French-Speaking Comedians On-Stage in New York

The French Comedy Festival offers five French-speaking comedians a chance to perform on-stage in New York from June 21 to 24, 2017.

The French Comedy Festival was founded in 2016, and this year will be hosting five comedians — two French, one American, one Canadian and one Belgian — across four New York venues. “The festival aims to promote French culture through humor,” says Michael Sehn, who founded the event. “But it also tries to open the French comedy community up to the American market and enable them to connect and exchange with U.S. talent.”

Michael Sehn recognizes that humor is a cultural affair. This is why the festival’s shows are all in French with the exception of the closing night, and aimed first and foremost at French people living in the United States. There were 1,000 people last year, and this year is set to double the numbers. “The French make up 80% of our audiences,” says Michael Sehn. “Many of them came and thanked me last year. They said they really missed French humor.”

“American humor is very direct,” says Michael Sehn, a comedian himself, who has been living in New York since 2011. “The audience is supposed to laugh every ten seconds, that’s the norm. French comedians, on the other hand, are subtler and aren’t scared of spending five minutes telling a joke before they get a laugh.”

Reims-born French comedian Kyan Khojandi was discovered via a micro-series, Bref, broadcast on Canal+ in 2011-2012, and will be presenting his new show, Pulsions, at the Symphony Space on Thursday, June 22, at 7 pm. “It’s one of the best comedy shows I’ve seen in the last two years,” says Michael Sehn.

Sebastian Marx is from New York, but he performs in French. In his YouTube video entitled Le terrorisme, posted just days after the Nice Attacks in July 2016, he discusses the subject of terrorism in France and the United States. “Even on that, you’re way behind us!” he says. He will also be performing at the Symphony Space on Thursday, June 22, at 9.30 pm.

The French Comedy Festival
From June 21 to 24, 2017