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…)

10/24/16 1:23pm
Trew whips it out for the crowd without ever taking off his pants. via Facebook

Air Sex founder Chris Trew whips it out for the crowd without ever taking off his pants. via Facebook

Sex is weird. In conversation, it’s kind of out in the open. But in practice, it’s something we prefer to do with the lights off. We do it without communicating, and we sneak out quietly after it’s done, and we certainly don’t disclose the physical details without purposeful prompting from close friends.

But one comedian has set out to bring sex definitely out of the bedroom — by making people do it onstage, with imaginary partners.

It’s called Air Sex. And by presenting people’s most intimate behaviors in a performative context, Air Sex brings a whole new meaning to “foreplay.”

Established in 2007 in Austin and touring since 2009, the Air Sex show has brought invisible sex antics to countless comedy stages across America. Next year will mark the show’s ninth season in “action,” and its founder, Chris Trew, couldn’t be more excited. On the occasion of the show’s upcoming Brooklyn pit stop this Saturday (Oct. 29), Brokelyn sat down with the 35-year-old New Orleans-based comedian to get a better understanding of just what makes Air Sex — which is essentially the American equivalent of an Amsterdam sex show — so easy to stomach.

“It’s kind of like a sketch comedy show where the premise is the same for every sketch, which is, how do you fuck?”  (more…)

09/29/16 3:00pm
The ladies of Buzz Off Lucille, a feminist comedy group that gets to work for Lady Parts Justice.

The ladies of Buzz Off Lucille, a feminist comedy group now with Lady Parts Justice. Credit: Alex Schaefer Photography

In case you’re hearing for the first time, we happen to be in the middle of a pretty important election year. I know, it snuck up on me, too. And as if the usual white noise of platforms and spin weren’t enough, we’ve been forced to deal with the absurdity of candidates who literally refute recorded evidence of their actions and accusations of “coughing prevention machines.”

In all the ridiculous chatter it’s hard to remember that there are actual issues that people care about, such as women’s health care and abortion rights. That’s where Lady Parts Justice comes in. The organization was founded by Lizz Winstead, who also co-created The Daily Show. LPJ is committed to shining a light on the fight for abortion rights through comedy, writing, videos, and even apps.

Working in comedy while in service of a worthwhile cause, not to mention in direct contact with Winstead herself, sounds like a dream for any performer or comedy writer. Fortunately, Lady Parts Justice representatives and comedy group Buzz Off Lucille — Jenn Roman, Julie Rosing, Abby Holland, and Molly Gaebe — have some advice on how they “yes, and”-ed their way into a gig, how the moon provides, and how everyone can take part in the conversation about reproductive rights. (more…)

09/16/16 1:35pm
Photo credit: Matt Monath

Photo credit: Matt Monath

When you hear the name “Glazer” in comedy, your mind rifles through a rolodex of at least five major comedians in New York and beyond: Jon, Nikki, Ilana, Eliot and Aaron (though we doubt the latter comic will be working much anymore).

It’s usually a curse to share a last name with another working artist in the entertainment industry, as personal branding becomes a challenge. But 33-year-old comedian Eliot Glazer has never worried about that, because he’s never had any trouble standing out.

When we sat down to talk about this Saturday’s much-anticipated return of Glazer’s musical comedy show Haunting Renditions, the comedian said he felt as though he never quite fit the “rubric” of standup comedy. 

“I’ve done improv and I’ve done standup and I’ve done storytelling,” Glazer, who currently writes for Fox’s New Girl, told us. “And having tried all those other mediums, this is the perfect ideal channeling of what I can do best that separates me from other comedians. Haunting Renditions was a web series that we turned into a comedy show, and that’s my standup now because it’s what comes most naturally to me — a strange left-of-center amalgam of music, concerts and nostalgia.”

Even though Glazer now lives in LA, he shared his excitement to revive Haunting Renditions in Brooklyn as part of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, which runs through Saturday. Brokelyn chatted with the comic about his show, the Glas/zer Family Reunion, and what it means to discover a comedy identity that falls outside the rubric.
(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…)