The Experiment Comedy Club was forced to close its Grand Street location last night. Via Facebook.
Williamsburg’s eclectic comedy venue the Experiment Comedy Gallery was permanently shut down for safety reasons by the New York Fire Department last night, displacing dozens of performers in a move supporters worry is tied to an alt-right campaign to shutter left-leaning venues. The surprise inspection came from a tip to the fire department that led to the discovery of a lack of proper fire exits. But fans and regulars point to a campaign by on sites like 4chan to shut down “radical left” and DIY spaces in the wake of the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. Fathelbab said he suspected the tip was made by a comedian he had banned from the venue who is known in the comedy community for being a right-wing agitator.
“The Trump supporting comic and I got into [it] on Facebook the other night about us being a SJW venue,” Fathelbab told us in an email today. “Vowed to see us kicked out onto the streets. The next day, marshals get an anonymous call and then we’re shut down that night. Don’t have a smoking gun, only a suspicion because of the coincidence in timing.”
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…)
Come for the comedy, stay for the literal underground bunker. Via Facebook.
Among the many tragic things to consider about a Donald Trump presidency is just how humorless and dour it’s going to be. After eight years of Obama earning the title as the first alt-comedy president with appearances on Between Two Ferns, a bunch of viral videosand a literal mic-dropping White House Correspondents Dinner, the thought of a guy who’s hiring white supremacists to help run the country trying to crack a joke just adds a whole new level of depression to an already droopy outlook. It’s enough to make you want to lock yourself in an underground comedy bunker for the duration of the presidency.
That’s the idea (sort of) behind the Fuck Donald Trump comedy marathon coming to the Experiment Comedy Gallery in Williamsburg a week before the inauguration. It’s a 31.5 hour all-night-all-day event meant to entertain, provide some relief and group therapy, and to help raise money for groups that will be crucial fighting for justice in the coming years. And to needle the future president a little.
“To me, Donald Trump has no sense of humor,” organizer Mo Fathelbab told us. “The guy has thin skin. This is aimed solely at just mocking him. [It] gives me great pleasure as a Muslim-American to stick it to this dude that hates us.” (more…)
Celebrate an entire decade of Jalopy with Karen Poliski (#8)
1. Join some of Brooklyn’s best boozy bakers, Butter & Scotch, at the launch of their cookbook — expect free desserts and Jell-O shots, plus discounted cocktails including Honeychile Rider, made with Brooklyn-distilled Dorothy Parker Gin. (Monday, New York Distilling Co., FREE)
2. Hear comedians make tough choices at Would You Rather, where hosts Andre Medrano and JR Strauss dole out stumpers to Chris Pappas, Jana Leigh Heaton, Maya Sharma, Luis Leon, and Ryan Douglass. (Monday, The Experiment Comedy Gallery, $5)
3. Mellow out at Soft Rock Tuesday, with DJ Mara Schwartz Kuge spinning the most relaxed tunes from the ’70s and ’80s, from Boz Scaggs to Kenny Rogers to Olivia Newton-John. (Tuesday, Baby’s All Right, FREE) (more…)
The Experiment was one of the few vestiges of ‘weird’ on the waterfront. Sam Corbin / Brokelyn
Many of us were lucky enough to drink in the emergent comedy scene at The Experiment Comedy Gallery, an awesome BYOB comedy venue formerly in residence at 20 Broadway. The Experiment rose to notoriety during the “Donald Trump Special” they ran last year, when owner Mo Fathelbab announced he was offering Muslims free admission to shows.
But as with most good things in Brooklyn, Vice bought it. Just kidding. But the Experiment was forced to cease operations last week due to conflicts with the housing board and management company. Comedian Elsa Waithe set up a GoFundMe page on Fathelbab’s behalf in order to bring back the Experiment, citing a deadline of May 1 to gather the necessary funds for relocation. “As a result [of the closure],” she writes, “many amazing shows have had to cancel, or be put on hold. Mo’s first concern in all of this was not for the financial loss of his business but the loss of stage time for so many terrific comedians.” (more…)