02/07/17 11:17am
John Early and Kate Berlant went from Brooklyn comedy shows to Vimeo's new 555. Via Vimeo.

John Early and Kate Berlant went from Brooklyn comedy shows to Vimeo’s new 555. Via Vimeo.

John Early and Kate Berlant are a comedy duo of odd and odd that add up to a perfectly symmetrical monolith of millennial anxiety. Often, two high-energy performers will compete with each other while sharing stage or screen, but not these two. One’s flamboyance complements the other.

For years, John Early has been honing his sharp comedic wit that often takes aim at the self-aggrandizing antics of the social media obsessed generation. He’s perhaps best known lately for his character Elliott in Search Party on TBS, a particularly manipulative and narcissistic Brooklyn hipster who joins a band of friends in their search for a missing person.

Kate Berlant likewise has been channeling her sensitivity to the human desire to be something, to be taken seriously into her stage persona, notably her monthly UCB (the one in LA, sorry New York) show Communikate and her memorable performances on the Netflix series The Characters, also featuring John Early.

Together they form a sort of Voltron of Gen Y frustration, finding themselves powerless against the current of time and the facts of life despite being incredibly smart and informed, perhaps too smart and informed for their own good, and making it funny. Really damn funny. I had the pleasure of seeing both of them individually back when they were lighting up the Brooklyn comedy scene. They’ve since relocated to Los Angeles but continue to convert 20/30-something angst into complex characters with equal parts ridiculousness and pathos. If you’ve been enjoying the Brooklynite-skewering shenanigans of Search Party, check out the duo’s new Vimeo series 555. (more…)

01/31/17 4:45pm
Resistance Comedy Union Hall Make America A Laughstock

Via Clay Bennett / Chattanooga Times Free Press

With tens of millions of Americans poised to lose their health insurance, the curative powers of laughter better start really pulling their weight. While a good hearty chuckle won’t do much for the void left by your inability to afford antidepressants anymore, it’ll make your Saturday nights a lot more enjoyable, and it’ll benefit the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other upstanding organizations, to be chosen by the comedians themselves, that could really use your money about now.

Beer-and-bocce bastion Union Hall’s booker Shannon Manning announced today that she plans on packing the venue’s unused event slots full of politically motivated comedy, with proceeds going to those golden groups that continue to fight for our rights even now that our government has #gonefascist.  (more…)

01/25/17 9:01am

I haven’t seen La La Land yet but from what I understand it’s a movie about how great Hollywood and L.A. are targeted to people who want to be like “wow look how great Hollywood and L.A. are.” This seems to be a good way to get nominated for awards, the equivalent if you wrote a book being like “ah the life of a writer in Brooklyn” that was then lauded by the entire Brooklyn literati class (wait, this is definitely most books already). But hey, L.A. ain’t so bad, and we can argue for days if the trade off of beaches, burritos and idyllic weather is worth sitting in endless traffic every moment of your life.

Comedian Tyler Fischer, whom we dubbed the Nathan for You of Brooklyn last year, today released a parody video the critical-darling movie, transplanting it from sunny L.A. to grimy Williamsburg. It’s a spoof of the first meeting of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, except interrupted by the daily noise and realities of New York City life. (more…)

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…)