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About Us

At Kids ‘N Comedy, we grow hilarious children in test tubes, and then set them loose on New York to run amok and make neighboring states funnier and odder places to live!



There is no science involved - only hard work, strange brains, and big laughs! We teach our students how to write and perform stand-up comedy, while providing a nurturing community and a space where they can be themselves in all their smart, weird, edgy, baffling, adolescent glory.

Our staff is made of a group of New York writers and comedians that, as teens, had no access to a program such as this, and as a result, are trying to fill their various tragic voids by providing the comic experience to the youth of today.

Founded by Jo Ann Grossman and Stu Morden, KIDS ‘N COMEDY has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalNew York MagazineNY PostNY Daily NewsNew York NewsdayTime Out NYTime Out KidsTime Magazine for KidsDisney AdventuresBergen RecordBoston GlobeVarietyNational Geographic WorldScholastic, and Contact Magazine. It has also been seen on NY1, The Early Show on WCBS-TV, Inside Edition, Fox Style News, This American Life on Showtime, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, Biz Kids, Teen Kids News, Weekend Today show on NBC and Good Morning America on ABC.

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Ashley Brooke Roberts

Teacher & MC

Teacher & MC

ASHLEY BROOKE ROBERTS is a writer, actor, and comedian from Chapel Hill, NC. Currently residing in Brooklyn, she is a performer at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater and co-hosts a stand-up show, Fresh Out! NY. She’s performed comedy all over the world and writes for a bunch of blogs. Ashley teaches stand-up at both classes and summer camp at Kids ‘N Comedy plus improv at Camp Kids ‘N Comedy. She also MC’s at the graduation and “pro” shows.

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NICK MARITATO is a working comedian, actor, and writer who has been living in Brooklyn NY since 2007.  Originally from the mean streets of Hazlet New Jersey, Nick began writing and performing stand up comedy as a high school junior, albeit, he was 24 at the time (J/K!!). Along with stand up comedy, he has written for TV shows on MTV and MTV2 as well as writing and performing many sketch shows, and plays that have been put up in theaters all around NYC. Nick’s newest adventure is his podcast JUNK FOOD that he hosts along with his fellow colleague Sachi Ezura. Nick has been teaching Kids ‘N Comedy classes since summer camp along with Ashley.

JO ANN GROSSMAN and her partner/husband Stu Morden founded Kids ‘N Comedy in 1996. Kids ‘N Comedy has been teaching kids to write and perform stand-up comedy for 13 years. Camp Kids ‘N Comedy is in its 6thsummer at the Gotham Comedy Club. It is the only place that kids can take classes to learn to write their own personal stand-up comedy routine, improv and comedic acting in a two week intensive or in a nine-week session of laughter, culminating in a hilarious graduation show. Jo Ann is the producer and director of Kids ‘N Comedy.


Stu Morden


STU MORDEN teaches the advanced comedy workshops with a staff of professional comedians/teachers. 

He got his masters in comedy growing up in the Bronx while rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers and his doctorate running a chess house on the Upper Westside for twelve years. He is considered by most people who know him as being interfering and meddlesome, which he claims are perfect traits for a good comedy teacher. Also, despite being very old, he never grew up.

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Jo Ann Grossman

Producer & Director

There are even more of us..


Julia Johns

Assistant Teacher

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Nadia Pinder

Assistant Teacher


Teacher in training & MC

Lucca Libera

Teachers Emeritus


EMMA JANE GONZALEZ is a graduate of NYU, with a B.F.A. in Television Writing. She also has a culinary degree that is of little use to Kids ‘N Comedy. She works as a freelance vegan chef and is the co-creator of a comedic food web series. Emma is the dean, guidance counselor and associate teacher at Kids ‘N Comedy and the chief counselor of Camp Kids ‘N Comedy and the director’s right hand for the past 5 years. She will never get any taller. 

Emma Jane Gonzalez

David Smithyman, Fresh Off the Boat

David Smithyman

Failing to ever fulfill his true potential as an Australian child actor, DAVID SMITHYMAN moved to New York City in 2004 to try his delicate, uncalloused hands at stand-up comedy. Whilst at NYU, he was privileged to study joke writing from working writers whose credits included shows like Seinfeld, The Simpsons and Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Emerging from NYU with a degree in Television Writing and an award in comedy writing, David continued to perform at clubs and bars around the city, until his control issues kicked in, and he began co-hosting and producing his own monthly comedy show, We’re Nice People!, in the Lower East Side (now in it’s second year.) Currently, David divides his time between writing jokes, reading comic books, and teaching stand-up comedy to hilarious teenagers at Gotham Comedy Club. He also does an excellent Ian McKellen impression (but only if you ask him nicely.) David was hired to work in LA on a team to write for the new sit-com “Fresh Off the Boat” for Fox Studios airs on ABC. We’re hoping for some guest visits and perhaps a few DVDs?

Karen Bergreen

Karen Bergreen

KAREN BERGREEN has been teaching comedy for over ten years. She is known to her audiences as clever, quirky and geeky. Lurking beneath her wimpy exterior is a Harvard graduate (See feature on Karen in January 2002 issue of Harvard Magazine), and dictatorial mother of two.

A regular on the New York comedy scene, Karen has been invited to perform at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, the Friars Club in New York City and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She has performed her stand up on television on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and New Joke City with Robert Klein. She was a comic panelist on the Oxygen Network’s nightly game show “Can You Tell?” She has been a guest comedian, correspondent and panelist on various television and radio programs in the U.S., Great Britain and Canada, including “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.”

David Smithyman
Karen Bergreen
Jane Condon

JANE CONDON lives Greenwich, CT but she’s still a nice person. She has two boys. Otherwise, everything’s fine. She won Audience Favorite-NY on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” She has also appeared on ABC’s “The View” and Lifetime TV. She also won the Ladies of Laughter contest. The Associated Press calls her “an upper-crust Roseanne.” The New York Times says, “Condon had the audience cackling, guffawing and in hysterics as she sliced through marriage, husband, kids, politics and other topics.” Jane teaches workshops and emcees an occasional show for Kids ‘N Comedy. She also has taught the Kids ‘N Comedy classes at the Nantucket Comedy Festival 2008 and 2009.

Jane Condon

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