09/24/16 11:09am
(Shazi Raja) ditches the hijab as she tries to get The Guy (Ben Sinclair) to sell to her. Via screenshot.

Eesha (Shazi Raja) ditches the hijab as she tries to get The Guy (Ben Sinclair) to sell to her. Via screenshot.

This episode brings us two stories that are as disparate as it gets. What does an apartment of swingers have to do with a Pakistani college student smoking pot, other than New York real estate? The connection might seem hard to draw, but that’s kind of what makes this show great, and perhaps the greater message at play in the whole series. Our lives may seem so far away from each other most of the time, but seen in the right light, we can draw connecting themes and emotions, and maybe see some of ourselves in the unfamiliar, whether it’s living in a Muslim household, being polyamorous or dealing pot. That’s obviously an ambitious goal, but how do they execute it here? As with last week, the title might be a clue.

The episode is called “Museebat,” which my editor was eager to inform me means “misfortune” or “calamity” in Urdu, and then tried pushing the phonic connection to “chlamydia.” Guys, this is a game we can all play from week to week! But what kind of calamity are we dealing with? I would argue that it’s the calamity that comes when you’re living two different and incompatible lives. (more…)

09/19/16 4:04pm
The Guy (Ben Sinclair) dons a stage wig during the High Maintenance premier. Via screenshot.

The Guy (Ben Sinclair) dons a stage wig during the High Maintenance premier. Via screenshot.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” So says the bard (Geddy Lee), but Friday’s series premiere of the new HBO series High Maintenance added a new spin to it. We’re all pretty aware that New York, the home of 30 Law and Order spinoffs, is a city of infinite stories. We read and share Humans of New York, a blog that has been trafficking in true resident stories for years, and we’re always surprised at the perspectives they uncover.

But for all the stories that this city gives us, there is ever-present the lesson in humility that we’re not as quick to take in, no matter how often it burns us: everyone is playing a part, and things are rarely what they seem. And this series premiere, following the travels of a pot dealer as he delivers to his clientele, is quick to teach us that lesson right from the start. (more…)

09/15/16 11:00am
Comedian Pat Brown on the album, black comedy clubs in New York, and her worst side job ever

Pat Brown exposes herself without taking her clothes off. via website

Pat Brown has been on the comedy scene for 22 years, appearing on BET’s Comic View, in Vibe magazine, and receiving honors at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and the She-Devil Comedy Festival, but you might only have heard of her more recently, on the occasion of the release of her debut comedy album Sex Tape, which came out this past July.

The album is a hilarious and frank look into Brown’s life, whether it’s as a black, female, or lesbian comic, or any combination of the three. Brown named Sex Tape accordingly; she believes comedy is about exposing yourself to people.

Brokelyn sat down with Brown to talk about the changes in comedy audiences through the years, the pitfalls of indie comedy, and why black comedy clubs still matter.   (more…)

08/19/16 11:56am
Via Flickr user verseguru.

Kenneth Hubriston on his way to his new home. Via Flickr user verseguru.

Welcome to the Fox Hunt, Brokelyn’s new column inviting you to tag along on a totally relatable story about trying to purchase a New York City home. 

It was last December when Kenneth Hubriston realized he needed to change his neighborhood, or else go insane. Engaged at the time in the fourth revolution of his “gap year” between an undergraduate degree and finding a job suited to his interest level, he had been paying month-to-month living in the uppermost hidden apartments of Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, and it was clear why he hadn’t signed a lease. His downstairs neighbors were constantly playing their music too loud, particularly in the evenings, and there’s only so many times one can hear The Nutcracker in its entirety before admitting that, while beautiful and signatory of Tchaikovsky’s genius, one needs peace and quiet when watching Survivor.

And of course, there were “those vagabond cellists, hanging out every day after rehearsal,” Mr. Hubriston said. He wasn’t aware of the actual figures of the rent he was paying, but the board members in charge of his trust consistently informed him it was prohibitive. It was time for a move. (more…)

05/24/16 3:37pm
Don't let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford / Flickr

Don’t let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford/Flickr

Whether you’re new to town or you’ve been around for a bit, you know the one local issue that keeps popping up, and won’t be going away any time soon, is gentrification. Neighborhoods and demographics in those neighborhoods change, and while real estate agents love to employ the terms “transitioning” (aaaaaaaahhhhh), the reality is that long-time residents are being pushed out.

(It’s worth checking out WNYC’s new podcast on gentrification to hear just how that pushing out is happening; pretty scary stuff.)

What’s more, gentrification tends to be an uncomfortable us vs. them conversation that a lot of folks have trouble participating in, because they don’t always know which side they land on, or would rather not hear. So, for your benefit, we’ve come up with a quick and dirty quiz so YOU can see whether you are, in fact, part of the problem. (more…)

04/20/16 8:00am
Here's the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

Here’s the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

May, the amuse-bouche of summer, is soon approaching and with it comes the annual TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. For 39 years running, the 40-mile tour through all New York’s boroughs has billed itself as “the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S.” On May 1, a stampede of 37,000 riders will shut down the automobopolis (I’m trademarking this) that is our city for half the day as they ride freely in the middle of streets, across bridges, and even on some highways. I’ve done it five years consecutively, and this year, I cannot wait to skip it.

Sure, on the surface the Five Boro sounds great: you get to tour New York on a bicycle alongside thousands of other cyclists (evincing varying degrees of enthusiasm), and go where no bicycles ever get to venture on any other day: the FDR Drive and the BQE. You’re biking 40 miles, so it feels healthy and you get to have a sore ass at the end. There’s even a festival in Staten Island at the finish line, in Fort Wadsworth, just at the foot of the Verrazano Bridge. And all of that would be great! Except you’re actually walking a lot of the time, and you only really ride through three of the boroughs, and it will cost you $94.  (more…)

03/04/16 11:49am
Governors Ball: Like Coachella you have to look at this instead of mountains. Via Flickr user Mike Cicchetti.

Governors Ball: Like Coachella but you have to look at this instead of beautiful mountains. Via Flickr user Mike Cicchetti.

If the groundhogs and the occasionally warm days haven’t been enough of an indication that summer is soon upon us, let us look to the one faithful sign of warmer days: the music festival lineup announcements. This week gave us a new entry into New York’s festival scene, Panorama, and people collectively lost their shit. The three-day festival features headliners Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, the reunited LCD Soundsystem (long may they live), and 50+ other acts. Our own Dave Colon provided the high service Panorama vs. Governors Ball breakdown, and as tickets go on sale today, people will no doubt be jumping online at noon and frantically coordinating with friends to nab passes. To all those people, and, even more so, to the people wondering if they should take a chance on the new Panorama Festival or the more established Governors Ball, I have one piece of advice: DON’T. Neither of them are worth your money, because music festivals actually are a scam for your hard-earned concert cash.

At this point I can already hear people scrolling to the comments section to put me on festival blast, but let’s run through the myths of why people think they enjoy festivals, and the facts of why they actually end up having a miserable time.  (more…)

02/17/16 10:36am
Naomi Ekperigin, one of the behind the scenes broads.  Photo by Mindy Tucker.

Naomi Ekperigin, one of the behind the scenes broads. Photo by Mindy Tucker.

Rejoice, friends, because Broad City Day is now officially upon us! As many of you can attest, it’s been too long without Ilana and Abbi (whose new season debuts tonight at 10pm on Comedy Central) but behind every good pair of women on TV is a whole crew that works tirelessly to bring you all your memes and gifs for the coming year. And in celebration, we spoke to Naomi Ekperigin, a staff writer on the show and your new comedy crush.

Naomi’s been involved in Broad City since Season 1, when she began there as a writers’ assistant. She was promoted to staff writer for Season 2 and worked on this upcoming season, but as eager as we are for the new season, she’s not sharing any surprises. Superfans of the show may also know her from the touring show Broad City Live, where she opened for Abbi and Ilana. Since and in-between, she also worked on Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner’s Difficult People, and most recently began developing a pilot she’ll be hosting for TruTV, Inside Caucasia. Catch her performing around the city and cohosting her own monthly show In Stereo at HiFi Bar in the East Village. The show has comedian duos (friends, couples, writing partners) perform together, giving audiences a glimpse of both bits and real relationships. We talked with Naomi about how she got her sweet gigs and the best uses for drink tickets (other than for drinks). (more…)

11/12/15 9:01am
Showgasm has been doing it for years now. via FB

Showgasm has been doing it for years now. via FB

Hey again. It’s me, Comedy Dad, bringing your Part II of Brokelyn’s two-part series on how to host a comedy show. In Part I, you learned why you should be hosting your own show, how to plan it, and where you should be looking for its home. Now, let’s get into the dirty details of producing it, and making it the hottest ticket in Brooklyn.  (more…)

11/09/15 11:26am

The Experiment Comedy Gallery is a perfect spot for Subreddit Live. Photo by Melton Sharpe

If you’ve been following Brokelyn’s series of articles on getting the nerve up to try an open mic and then killing it at said open mic, then you must have realized we’re telling you (yes, YOU) that Brooklyn always needs another comedian. You’ve been working on your material, getting up on any stage where you can get time, and rotating through all the bars in the metropolitan area. Maybe you’ve even met some people and gotten booked onto shows! And maybe now you’re wondering what the next move is? Contact the Tonight Show? Work on a TV pilot centered around your quirky life? Both of those will work, but you might also consider creating your own comedy show.

Sounds a little intimidating, you say? Don’t worry, Comedy Dad is here to help. (more…)