QUEENS — He knows how to kid around.
Jack Fuld is only 11 years old, but the budding funnyman from Queens is already on his way to being the king of comedy, performing at some of the most popular clubs in Manhattan.
“I always had a sense of humor,” said Jack, who lives in Kew Gardens with his parents, Xiaobo and Robert, and a 5-year old brother, Parker.
Jack took his first steps in stand-up comedy two years ago when the family went on a cruise to Mexico.
“They had a family friendly comedy show,” said Jack’s father, Robert. The comedian was interacting with kids and “Jack was playing it up and I could see that he really wanted to be on stage.”
After they returned, Jack’s father contacted a friend who had a stand-up show, and he agreed to put the boy on stage at Fontana’s Bar on the Lower East Side. Jack was 9-years-old at the time.
“Off of that he got a few other gigs and he’s been doing that for two years now,” said Robert.
He jokes about being a half-Jewish, half-Chinese kid (“I know what you're thinking: 'nerd’”). He has some bathroom jokes (“I have 20 minutes of material that has nothing to do with feces, but that’s what I want to talk about anyway”) and subway jokes (“How can there be train congestion when you just waited 10 to 15 minutes?”).
Jack, who says George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Woody Allen inspire him, hopes to follow in his hero's footsteps.
Before each show, Jack practices at home in front of his dad and his little brother, who is too young to go to bars and night clubs.
Then, just before the performance, Jack likes to eat a cheeseburger.
He says he never gets nervous and he loves interacting with people.
“They introduce me, I walk up and I get some [groans],'” he says. “And then I say a couple of lines and they say, 'Wow, the kid is actually good… let’s listen to him for a couple of minutes.'”
Fuld usually plays about eight to ten minute sets and gets a nominal fee for his performances. So far, he's played about a dozen sets in Manhattan clubs, but has also performed at his school and at talent shows.
Jack's parents say he didn't inherit his talent from them. His father works in real estate, his mother in software development. “Nothing funny about that,” joked his mother.
But Jack's father helps him with writing material.
“We collaborate,” said Jack’s dad. “He has ideas, I have ideas, I write them up and then he fits it to his personality.”
Jack said he had never met another comic his age. One of his favorite routines starts with the line, “I'm different from most comedians you'll see here tonight.”
When the audience starts nodding acknowledging that they've never seen a comedian that young, he puns, “because I'm half Jewish and half Chinese."
From then on, he said his audience often forgets about his age and focuses on his humor.
Jack Fuld’s next performance is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m., at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club at 99 MacDougal St.