01/11/17 2:06pm

We are coping with the upcoming Trump administration by using an alternating mix of activist rage and absurdist comedy, because if we can’t spend an entire news cycle making pee-pee jokes about the president-elect on Twitter, are we even really Americans any more?

Comedian Scott Rogowsky today brought back his hilarious Taking Fake Book Covers on the Subway series (which we last wrote about in April) for a special Trump-shaming edition. This version features book titles like Wet Dreams From My Father by Ivanka Trump and Horton Smears a Jew by Steve Bannon. And it takes place on the L train too. Give it a watch and feel good having a laugh instead of being full of rage for a few minutes: All proceeds from the video will go to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. (more…)

01/05/17 2:00pm

The future of reproductive rights in America isn’t looking pretty right now, and there seems to be little that we women can do to reverse its course. One NYC woman felt the situation was desperate enough that she tried to make her uterus a bank, since that’s one of the few things the Trump/Pence administration doesn’t seem to be interested in regulating.

Comedian Helene Ellford appears in the video above as the woman in question, pleading her case to a federal regulator. When told she needs to have “billions of dollars” in capital in order to start a bank, Ellford responds by saying she’s sold her eggs, which are worth at least $8,000 each.

“And I have one million eggs left, so that’s eight billion dollars.” (more…)

01/03/17 2:41pm

We have all at one point or another attended a performance or a friend’s play in New York City only to leave scratching our heads in a collective “well huh that was surely …. something” sort of attitude. Abstract art is weird, on purpose, and you’re forgiven if you never quite get it or if it doesn’t quite tickle your artistic pickle all the time.

Our own Sam Corbin may have been behind a few of those abstract performances herself, but she gets that the scene isn’t for everyone. So she wrote and filmed this rap video, parodying the absurdity of abstract, post-modernist art, where none of the references make any sense and the actors don’t explain shit but tickets still cost $35. If you’ve ever been to a performance that’s so weird it feels like the actors are trying to make you walk out, you will definitely appreciate this.  (more…)

01/03/17 1:00pm
'Move' your audience to tears of laughter like Cocoon Central Dance Team. via Dance NYC

‘Move’ your audience to tears of laughter like Cocoon Central Dance Team. via Dance NYC

With all the talking pictures and internet memes we’ve got to line our stomachs these days, there isn’t as much of an appetite for Marx Brothers-style physical comedy as there used to be. There isn’t much of an audience, either, outside of the traveling circus and whoever would see another Ace Ventura movie.

But for the past eight years, Triskelion Arts’ Comedy in Dance Festival has sought to provide a space where physical comedians of every sort — dancers, mimes, clowns, and so on — can leap for laughs. And if you’ve got an aptitude for physical antics, you should apply.

“Triskelion Arts believes in the power of funny, especially when it comes to dance,” reads a statement on the application, which is due Jan. 25 at 11:59pm. “We are seeking movement-based work under 15 minutes that tickles a varied adult audience’s collective funny bone.” (more…)

12/20/16 8:39am
Photo by Mindy Tucker

Julio Torres photo by Mindy Tucker. 

This article appears as part of Brokelyn’s “Year in Review” series, which will continue throughout the week. 

2016! What a year we’ve been handed,
The year that the space prince of comedy landed.

In some ways, it was a year we’d rather have none of
Despite all the shit woke queens got to make fun of

It hasn’t been great, but at least humor is climbing,
So we’re looking back on a year in comedy (while rhyming): (more…)

12/13/16 11:30am
Here's the full lineup for next month's 31-hour F*ck Trump comedy marathon

Trump will definitely tweet about this. Poster via Experiment Comedy Gallery.

(Update 12/16: The FDNY shut down The Experiment Comedy Gallery, so the future of this event is in the air. We’ll update when we have more info). We hope you’re enjoying your holiday season, frolicking around in the early season snow while perusing adorable craft markets or slipping into a warm bar to order a hot cider and listen to “All I Want for Christmas is You” in an infinite loop. Because you know that as soon as the holidays are over, we enter the longest, coldest, darkest winter of our lives. Oh joy!

There might not be many pockets of sunshine as the coming Putin Trump administration gets ready to take power in January. But one of the things to look forward to is the comedy it will inspire, starting with this epic 31-hour Fuck Trump comedy marathon coming to Williamsburg’s Experiment Comedy Gallery, which we told you about a few weeks ago.

The full lineup just got released this week, and it features plenty of reasons to stay up all night (and the next day), from 6pm Jan. 13 to 1:30am Jan. 15, a week before the inauguration. Passes for the whole marathon cost $40; individual shows will be $10 at the door. The money raised will go to the Center for Reproductive Rights, the International Refugee Assistance Project and The Trevor Project. Get your party pajamas ready.  (more…)

12/09/16 10:52am

For anyone who suffers from a fear of clowns, November’s election has either cured you or made your phobia worse than ever. Having someone so comically ill-prepared and uninformed in the White House is a nonsense so profound that its depths are hard to fathom, let alone plumb for humor. But one Brooklyn-based art collective is taking a crack at it anyway, and largely succeeds with this weird new video called “Neck Ruffle.”

Inspired by America’s current nightmare, CHERYL‘s “Neck Ruffle” is a thoroughly absurd pantomime that features a bunch of glittery clowns who, after discovering the results of November’s election, go around rescuing apoplectic citizens who are lying, rather poetically, half-buried in piles of dead leaves, clutching newspapers with headlines about Donald Trump. (more…)

11/21/16 10:46am

Since the election, we’ve seen lots of calls to arms rallying writers, activists, artists and whomever to tap into their personal superpower to help oppose Trump’s plans to make America hate again. Yesterday, Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys called on people to “take what you’re good at and what you truly enjoy and lend your services to the causes you are most about.”

For our own managing editor Sam Corbin, that superpower is punning, so Sam — the current reigning Punderdome champion — and co-writer Ally Spier came up with a video that turns the names of 50 famous women into anti-Trump puns. And woah man, is she swinging for blood on this one: She warns “the election wasn’t the Gladys Knight in American history” and that though the future isn’t “Albright,” we all need to “Toklas about making the art and actually make it.”

In all my years of competitive punning I’ve never seen anyone pun with such a steely look in their eyes. We’re declaring a new trend here: puns for social justice. It’s a brave new word.  (more…)

11/17/16 3:12pm
In case the flowers don't fall at your feet, what's your plan B? Credit: John Ambrosio

‘James Joyce’ better have a plan if that whole poet laureate thing doesn’t work out. Credit: John Ambrosio

It’s hard out there for an artist, and it isn’t going to get any easier in Trump’s America. The 45th presidency may provide us with endless comedic material, but there’s a chance things will get so bad that even light-hearted laughs will subject to a $500 fine and all comedic content will undergo a rigorous screening process to determine whether it might offend the Chairman President-elect.

I jest (ish), but the point is, everyone’s going to need to have a backup plan in Trump’s America, and the President-elect’s (boooooo, hissssssss) policies on abortion access are going to make that especially hard for women. Did you know? In order not to let that happen, comedian Brett Davis and a ragtag bunch of local celeb comics are doing a fundraiser comedy show for Planned Parenthood tonight, simply titled “The Special Event” (after Davis’ usual show, The Special Without Brett Davis).

Since SNL just picked up a whole bunch of new writers — local space prince Julio Torres among them— it’s unlikely any of the comics in this show will find stardom before Trump takes the White House. So we asked each one to weigh in about their backup career plans, should the whole comedy thing go kaput. In other words, we wanted to know: “What’s your Plan B?” (more…)

10/25/16 11:03am
Rekha Shankar's 'Hustle' turns freelancing into a video game that's impossible to beat

Shankar’s some talk but all ‘action!’

By the time I arrived to meet Rekha Shankar for a scheduled afternoon coffee, the comedian-turned-filmmaker was already sitting down, hard at work on another project. She waved at me as I came in and then turned back to her iPad, which I noticed as I approached had a baby cow as its desktop background.

“I love everything about this cow,” she said.

In fact I knew this already, since the cow photo is practically a signature for the 26-year old Brooklyn comedian, whose Twitter page and personal website feature the very same picture, tiled over and over onto the screen. A calf isn’t the first spirit animal that comes to mind for Shankar, though. She’s more the beaver type, all due diligence and self-actualization. And as we chatted about her comedy, her morning routine and her latest project — a web series called “Hustle” that portrays freelance life as if it were a video game — it sounded like she was about to birth a new baby cow. (more…)