Brooklyn’s 50 Funniest People: Cole Escola

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Cole Escola
If you’ve ever seen Cole Escola live, you’ve probably seen him in his underpants. His character-based, one-man sketch performances often involve quick costume changes—an evening gown and a curly wig can transform him into Bernadette Peters, although a plain bob and a delicate plaid blouse can turn him into an Everymom. But the wickedly sharp, spritely Escola can sometimes command an audience in nothing but a pair of American Apparel briefs—which always are, albeit, brightly colored and attention-grabbing in their own right. But his maniacal, sold-out shows at the storied West Village cabaret The Duplex have earned him all the right attention (Lena Dunham has offered her stamp of approval), and his biggest role to date has been the scene-stealing turn as Billy Eichner’s undermining co-worker on Hulu’s Difficult People.
When was the first time you remember making someone laugh? What happened?
It was raining. Someone was trying to get in the house. Richard was saying something about his gloves. Sorry, it all comes to me in pieces. That’s all I can remember.
What is the toughest part about being on the comedy scene in Brooklyn today? What is the best?
The toughest part is staying positive. Sorry, but there is no “best part.”
Who do you find funny?
Hamm Samwich
What was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Listening to Hamm Samwich’s podcast
What are your goals for your comedy career?
I want to show the judges I’m more than just a cheese plate with great legs and a dead son.
What is your favorite knock-knock (or otherwise goofy) joke?
What do you call a penguin with no eyes? A no-eyed-penguin (you might have to repeat it to yourself out loud a couple times to get it).
To see 49 more of Brooklyn’s funniest people, click here.
Photo by Nicolas Maloof.

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