By Lisa Kava
Single mom and comedian Katie Blunt was searching for a live comedy show where she could bring her eight-year-old son. But she was unable to find one geared specifically towards children and families in New York City. So, she decided to create one.
Families with children of all ages can catch “The Milk and Cookies Family Friendly Comedy Show” on July 9th and, later in the summer, on August 27th, right here on the Upper West Side, at West Side Comedy Club, 201 West 75th Street at Amsterdam Avenue. (Ticket prices listed below.)
“New York City comedy can be really mean and intense,” Blunt told West Side Rag in a phone interview. “I thought it would be so much fun to have a playful space where I could include my son who has autism.”
Previously an elementary and middle-school math and science teacher, Blunt was burned out at the height of the pandemic. “When everything was online, I felt I was providing therapy rather than teaching. It was time for a change.” She began attending comedy classes, then open mics (events where comics can try out material). That’s when she realized “there was no such thing as family comedy. There was ‘clean comedy,’ but nothing officially for families,” she said.
A former Upper West Sider, Blunt was familiar with West Side Comedy Club. In the fall of 2022, she approached Felicia Madison, talent booker and managing partner, with the idea of producing a monthly family show. “We had done a few family shows before, but nothing on a regular basis,” Madison told the Rag. “I loved the idea of involving kids and the community.”
“The Milk and Cookies Family Friendly Comedy Show” premiered in October 2022. It is now a monthly event, including five to six comedians, who each perform a short set. It lasts 75 minutes, and children in the audience are invited to come up on stage throughout. “Kids love to be included and ask questions. Last time a parent came on stage,” Blunt said.
Initially scheduled for lunchtime on Sundays, Madison switched the time to 5:30 p.m. in May. “City kids are very busy with their sports and activities,” she explained. Audiences order dinner served from Playa Betty’s restaurant (located directly over West Side Comedy Club) while watching the show. There is a raffle where winners receive vouchers from Crumbl Cookies at 301 Columbus Avenue (74th Street.)
The July and August shows will be the first where each comedian in the lineup is a veteran of “The Milk and Cookies Family Friendly Show.” Chase DuRousseau, who has performed in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe with Armed Forces Entertainment, will host on July 9th. Comedians Gibran Saleem, Brittany Carney, Daniel Simonsen, and Kate Hannigan will perform. The July show will feature a fart machine, which a child in the crowd will be chosen to operate, Blunt said.
She described the shows as joyful and warm. “Families are laughing together and experiencing the joy of being around other people laughing.” Blunt’s son, the inspiration for Milk and Cookies, has been enjoying the experience. “He loves watching, participating, and getting on the stage,” Blunt said. “At one of the shows he got a birthday shout out.”
Madison has also been pleased with the success of the shows. “The feedback has been great. I actually had a family fly in to see the show,” she said. “I love everything about Katie, her comedy, enthusiasm, and organizational skills.”
Tickets to “The Milk and Cookies Family Friendly Comedy Show” cost $25 for one adult and up to two children, and $40 for two adults and up to two children. Additional adult tickets are $15, and additional children’s tickets are $5. To purchase tickets for the July 9th show click here. To purchase tickets for the August 27th show click here.