02/22/17 8:54am
The state of the scene: Farewell (for now) to two of Brooklyn comedy's best venues

The Annoyance Theatre will close their Bedford Avenue location this March. Via The Annoyance / Facebook

It’s been a tough few months for the Brooklyn comedy scene. The city has is cracking down on DIY venues in the wake of Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire, world events are throwing a wrench into comedy as a whole (or so the think pieces say) and now our fair borough is saying farewell (for now, at least) to two of its best spaces for new, experimental comedy: Over the Eight and the Annoyance Theatre. With that in mind, we step back and take stock in the past, present and future of Brooklyn’s comedy scene. (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…)

01/13/17 11:49am
In the words of Obama: Yes, you can (write jokes about Trump for late night TV). via screenshot

In the words of Obama: Yes, you can (write jokes about Trump for late night TV). via NBC screenshot

President-pee-flecked Donald Trump is a gift to late-night writers everywhere. Even after the election results were in, 2016 remained a gilded age for irreverent political sketch comedy and Trump takedowns, from Kate McKinnon’s Hillary impressions to Samantha Bee’s sermons.

And if, like most late night comics and their writing teams, you spent last year furiously penning sketch ideas for the next four years (gleep), then chin up: NBCUniversal’s Late Night Writers Workshop is once again accepting applications for its writers program, and you (yes, you) can apply to the class of 2017!

The workshop website is “a multi-day program focused on exposing talented sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal’s late night & alternative line-up and readying them for a staff writer position.” In other words, kids, this workshop could be your way into a permanent gig being insulted by Sean Spicer and asked to publicly apologize for your jokes! The deadline is Sunday (Jan. 15) so get on it!  (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…)

12/14/16 10:50am
Colbert wants you. Well, his network does, anyway. via Youtube screenshot

Colbert wants you. Well, his network does, anyway. via Youtube screenshot

Stephen Colbert is a historical figure of the 21st century. Not only did he manage searingly subtle satire on The Colbert Report that carried into the creative license he now boasts on The Late Show, but he’s always kept his political pilot light burning, and evinces a woke-ness that rivals most news outlets.

Now, you can share Colbert’s legacy: CBS is hiring for not one but TWO full-time producer positions on The Late Show, a Digital Producer and a Social Media Producer. FWIW, they were hiring for the social media position earlier this year, which can only mean one of two things: it didn’t work out, or they’re expanding the team. Either way, that’s more job for you, and a yuge chance to work alongside one of the comedy greats in taking Trump’s America to task every damn day. Read on to find out how to apply! (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…)

06/08/16 3:41pm

On this, the day of the complete and total Bernie Bro meltdown, when we realized the true limitations of meme-based politics, let us bring awareness to a very important topic: Awareness. Awareness has had a lot of champions lately, from ice buckets full of awareness to Macklemores who sing anthems of awareness while donning aware-hair. Remember when the Black Eyed Peas brought awareness to chemical gasses? Our lack of awareness on that issue luckily stopped right there. We have keep raising awareness with our tweets because awareness is always too low.

Today, Bedford + Bowery brings us the latest awareness hero in today’s society, Brooklyn-based comedian Catherine Cohen, who made this video “Be Aware (Millennial Anthem)” under the so-apt-it-hurts name Imogen Dragons. It pokes fun at low-investment awareness campaigns plaguing our generation. She’s parodying the point that the most important thing to be aware of is, of course, her. (more…)

03/30/16 3:36pm
via Facebook

These girls are determined keep making weird comedy side by side. via Facebook

This past year, we had Brokelyn’s resident Comedy Dad Eric Silver tell you all about how to self-produce your career in comedy by hosting your own show. But what if, despite your diligence and ambition, you just don’t feel funny on your own?

Luckily, in the wide world of self-produced comedy, there exists a very trendy solution to that problem: pairing up. Dividing to conquer. Co-hosting a comedy show with someone whose voice is different than yours and who might suggest things you’d never have thought of otherwise. Sound easy? It isn’t. In the same way that having a roommate can quickly become a nightmarish coexistence, so can sharing a comedy show. But somehow, SJ Son (28) and Ginny Leise (27) have made it work for the past five years, and they show no signs of letting — or splitting — up. You might recognize this pair of funny women from their very viral “Drive-by Street Harassment” video on YouTube, their popular live show The Shame Game (which later became a webseries) or any number of other video series they’ve self-produced over the past few years. Most recently, the girls have set their sights on a TV pilot with Urban Teach Now, the satirical story of an “achievement-obsessed” Asian-American graduate who takes a job as a teaching artist with urban youth.

With such an impressive CV of co-made comedy under their belts, Brokelyn wanted to get the skinny on just how these women found such a perfect pairing together, and whether there was any hope for the rest of us looking to find The One.

“It’s a lot of trial and error, and it helps if you’re already friends,” Leise told Brokelyn. “But when you find the person you work well with, never let them go.” (more…)

03/22/16 1:00pm

You never can tell what’s coming next in the world of alt-comedy. With two years of an over-the-top variety show in Bushwick, five of a bonafide pun competition (now a home board game) in Gowanus, and that comedy festival Jo Firestone threw inside a car wash, weird has almost become our default setting here in the Brooklyn comedy scene. This latest installment from adultswim is a welcome addition to the canon: local comedian Joe Pera is here to joke you to sleep. (more…)