The Five Most Surprising Performances At New York’s Funniest Reporter Show
Since 2006, over 30 Media Professionals have taken to the stage and courageously given stand up comedy a shot. These are five individuals whose performances caught the masses completely off guard.
5. Lori Harfinest / The Resident (2009) – Donning a neon pink wig and green fashion attire, Lori Harfinest did her entire comedy set in an improvised character (the only time in NYFR History). She had pre Lady Gaga charisma and the audience’s full attention. She brought tons of energy and stood out from all the other participants that year.
4. Paul Messina / NY1 (2006) – A last minute entry in the very first NYFR, Messina walked on stage with ice water and papers with notes. After reading a few jokes, Messina abruptly quit his routine and decided to tell funny stories about his years as Reporter & Producer. The audience welcomed the stories and laughter grew progressively louder until the end of his performance.
3. Ellis Henican / Fox News (2008) – For millions of American who had regularly watched Ellis Henican out-debate Bill O’Reilly (a rarity on “The O’Reilly Factor”), this was the first time they actually saw him do stand up comedy. Henican’s debut was highly anticipated and has tremendous buzz amongst Liberals & Conservatives. Henican did not disappoint and his performance proved that he was just as sharp & witty on stage as he was on TV. Henican caught the stand up comedy bug and has performed over 100 times since then.
2. Lauren Sivan / Fox News (2010) – Lauren entered into NYFR a mere 5 weeks before the show with no previous stand up comedy experience. With her mentors TJ McCormack & Jeffrey Gurian, she was determined to give it her all and hopefully connect with a few jokes. Sivan’s debut (her first time ever at stand up) was one of the most dominant performances in the history of New York’s Funnies Reporter Show. According to one judge, “Sivan had a presence, confidence and timing that you’d expect from a seasoned professional comedian, not a first-timer.” Sivan would go on to win the 5th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show.
1. Wendy Gillette / CBS (2008) – Having worked intensively with her comedy mentor Bernadette Pauley, Wendy Gillette walked on stage an immediately connected with the audience on her first joke. However, the stage jitters quickly settled in and Gillette struggled to keep her routine on track. Gillette immediately told the audience that she was nervous and scared but, that it wasn’t going to top her from finishing her set. Something magical happened as the audience began intensely supporting & cheering her on and Gillette’s nervousness rapidly melted away. She finished strong and the audience gave her a Roman-arena applause. It was the performance that summed up what New York’s Funniest Reporter Show is about: Media Professionals conquering fear for a greater cause while laughing all the way.