2016 is Angela Cobb’s Year
Named this month by Queens: The Magazine as one of the Queens, New York-based “Top 15 Comedians“, up-and-comer Angela Cobb’s star is rising. The 28-year-old Long Island native is a regular performer at NYC’s top clubs. Now she also hosts both a local comedy series and a monthly storytelling show. It’s evident that 2016 is the year this young performer is being lauded and recognized.
“There are comics who I have their back even if at times I may want to stab them in it, and I think they feel the same way about me,” Cobb said.
Cobb says although she has always had a natural comedic aptitude, the business of comedy is rough enough that she realized early on “stand-up is not something you can BS your way through.”
A New York State of Mind and Birth
Cobb lived on Long Island until the age of 9. Then her family moved to upstate New York to a little town called Davenport. After graduating from the State University of New York at Oneonta, Cobb made it a point to move to New York City.
She says she never really felt particularly at home in upstate New York. She notes, “and for as long as I can remember having an idea about where I wanted to live as an adult, New York City was it.” So, when she began looking for day jobs and other gigs to pay the bills after college, she was mainly looking for work in NYC. That was, she explains, “so that I could then be in what I feel is the optimum place for creative pursuits.”
Early Search for Comedic Outlets in Life Activities
She’d always wanted to do comedy. However, she says chorus, drama, and other artistic forms were generally available as school-based activities. Comedy, though, was less accessible.
“What I would do is always infuse comedy where I could into my performance in other mediums. In college, as I got involved in slam poetry I became more aware that I could be funny on purpose,” Cobb said. “Being funny seemed to be how I best connected with people, and who I am as a person resonated with audiences.”
Cobb credits slam poetry for helping prepare her for stand-up. “Writing autobiographically and knowing I had to affect an audience immediately, these things were already at the front of my mind.”
She first tried stand-up on October 6, 2009 at the now-defunct Sake Club in Oneonta. It went well enough for Cobb to continue.
“It’s amazing how confident I can be once you stick a microphone in my hand, and I sometimes wonder, if I carried one around with me through life like Linus with his blanket, how much more I could achieve.”
Cobb a Staple on NY Scene
Currently residing in the NYC borough of Queens, Cobb has played most of the big clubs in NYC. She’s a regular at Broadway Comedy Club. She also plays the New York Comedy Club and the Greenwich Village Comedy Club. She’s graced the stage at Albany’s Pearl Street Pub & Dirty Martini Lounge. McGuire’s in Bohemia, NY and Poconuts in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains are also on her resume.
The Queens resident plays most of the big clubs in NYC. She has performed as the warm-up act for “The Burnstroms.” That’s a one-act play by Clifton King, which ran at the Producers Club in Manhattan in the spring of 2013.
Leading Storytelling Trend with “My First Time”
Cobb also hosts the storytelling series “My First Time” at Q.E.D. in Queens on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. The series asks comedians and storytellers to share their hilarious accounts of their first sexual experience.
“The circumstances in which I lost my virginity were also pretty unique, and I talk about that quite a bit in my stand-up,” Cobb said. “The other reason I wanted to do a show of this nature is that QED is a venue that encourages experimentation and a little deviation from the standard comedy show format. I’ve been able to create a space where, while audiences are entertained. They also feel a certain connection and shared vulnerability with the performers who are telling some pretty revealing truths about themselves.”
Everyone has a First Time to Share
With “My First Time”, Cobb tries to ensure she’s not featuring stories only from a heteronormative perspective. She wants to feature stories from different backgrounds, sexualities, etc. She explains that it’s “because sex, particularly first time sex, is as unique as the people who are having it.”
Another series Cobb is involved with is Fun Size & Venti , a free monthly stand-up comedy show she has been co-producing and co-hosting with Cindee Weiss for the past four years.
Comedic Roots: Organic and Close to Home
“I am extremely fortunate to have grown up in a family of funny people and in a family where being funny was encouraged,” Cobb said. “Everyone on either side of my family was/is funny in their own way and humor was a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I often call my Italian grandma the family’s original comedian.”
Most of Cobb’s comedy influences do not come from stand-up. “My big comedy heroes are The Three Stooges, Marty Feldman and Mel Brooks,” Cobb said. “I’m also influenced by the comedy of people who weren’t comedians per se. I’m a huge Beatles fan, and their comedy – all four of them – influenced me from an early age.”
Inspiration of Iconic Sitcoms
Cobb also cites sitcoms as influencing a lot of her comedic sensibilities. She mentions “All in the Family,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”
Understanding what is funny is a foundation of her art Cobb takes seriously. “Vulnerability in my writing and performing is important to me. For example, I talked about being a virgin on stage before I’d ever talked about that in a one-on-one conversation with someone. Thank God for stand-up, or I might still be hiding it and feeling terrible about myself for it.” http://www.angelacobbcomedy.com/about.html