With the New York Mets’ 7-2 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers, long-suffering fans can celebrate the team’s first time qualifying for the postseason since 2016. Among those fans are a disproportionate number of popular comedians and comedy personalities.
Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart are probably the most vocal in their support, but the Mets fandom also includes the likes of Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Robert Kelly and Jimmy Kimmel. Adam Sandler has expressed support for the team, but his shared admiration for the Yankees may throw his membership into the 7 Line Army into doubt.
Similarly, Seinfeld’s coworker Larry David has expressed that while he is a diehard Yankee fan, he has room in his heart for the Mets.
There is an obvious reason why New York City-based teams would be popular among comedians. The city after all is known for its comedy scene. But still, there is evidently something attractive about the Mets as opposed to the slew of other NYC team options. Even just within baseball, the Mets seem far more popular within the comedy crowd than the more-famous Yankees.
Maybe it has something to do with the Mets’ status as a perpetually scrappy underdog. Despite being often overshadowed by their higher-scoring cousin, Mets fans are as diehard as they come. This is a mentality that a lot of comedians come from. Comedy is a chance for the little guy to stand up for themselves, to level the playing field a little bit.
Comedy is fundamentally built for people who see themselves as underdogs, or speaking for the underdogs. It’s a way for normal people to laugh at the absurdity around them, to collectively acknowledge the things that don’t make any sense. Laughter happens when we connect with someone and what they are saying on some level.
There’s a long running joke about comedians often being short. It’s not always true in a literal sense of course – see Gary Gulman – but the person who feels a desire to stand in front of a microphone and try to make people laugh might have something to prove. There’s no need to be high minded about this. People make people laugh for money, for attention, for control. But a good comedian often has something to say, and is speaking out about something new.
This isn’t my attempt to puff up the Mets, but it is undeniable that they embody, at least in the world of NYC sports, this same attitude of punching up. The Yankees have more money, they win more games, they have a bigger fanbase. So if you’re attracted to the Mets, you’re focused on a team whose whole identity is wrapped up in fighting against impossible odds, time and time again. When a comedian comes up to another blank-faced crowd, in another sleazy club in another random city, and does everything to get the jokes that work in their head to land, they are embodying that spirit.
For as long as the Mets keep that type of mentality, they will remain the NYC comedian’s team.