For the last couple months, the free Monday night show Broken Comedy – in the dark and dingy back room at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint – has really been hitting its stride. Lately in particular, Broken has drawn solid crowds with consistently strong talent. That’s impressive as the show (which was created in 2011) has been re-upping with the absence of favored host Michael Che.
The good news is, while Che has been busy playing shows around the world and performing on Saturday Night Live, co-hosts Nimesh Patel and Mike Denny (along with producer Becky Asthphan) have been quietly building a busted-up and black-eyed sleeping giant. Here’s proof: The last two weeks have seen Trevor Noah take the stage to work out new material before his upcoming debut hosting The Daily Show next month (last week, he slayed). And lately, heavy hitters like Judah Friedlander of 30 Rock have begun to come through again. The other week, Chris Rock even made the trek to the bar, but only to see the show.
Tonight’s performance, part of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, is no exception to Broken’s building momentum. The killer lineup includes Mark Normand, who’s appeared on Conan and opened for Amy Schumer at Carnegie Hall; Michelle Wolf, a performer and writer on Late Night with Seth Meyers (her Grown Up Annie is everything); Seaton Smith, who starred on Fox’s Mulaney and recently appeared on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore; Gary Vider who, the next night, will perform at Radio City Music Hall on America’s Got Talent, and some special guests. Do not be surprised if those guests include Trevor Noah once again, plus Hasan Minhaj (also of The Daily Show), and perhaps Che (who was briefly on The Daily Show himself), as he has occasionally dropped in since he last dropped the mic at Matchless and took a seat behind the Weekend Update desk.
Broken Comedy earns its name for its very chill approach to the show. Host Nimesh Patel is known to tease the crowd by telling them, “Stop acting like you paid for this shit.” The stage is known as one where comics work out their material for bigger rooms. Better get there tonight, before Broken Comedy becomes the small room that’s full of bigger comics.
Doors open 8:30 p.m., show is at 9 p.m. Get there early. Free.