When The Experiment Comedy Gallery opened last fall, just steps from a fast-changing corner on the Williamsburg waterfront where Broadway meets Kent Avenue, it was a little surprising to hear that a DIY comedy club catering to up-and-coming standups and underrepresented comics was setting up shop in an area that, strangely, seems to be shriveling up as it hurdles toward major development. “Vice isn’t here yet,” joked The Ex’s founder, Mo Fathelbab, when we first met last October. That might have been true, but the luxury developments were definitely there already– and funny thing was, the venue was actually located on the ground floor of one such condo building, Broadway Riverview, which had been around since the start of the Williamsburg condo boom.
In a booth at a coffee shop on Bowery, artist Tim Platt hunches over a small piece of cardstock and tries to figure out how to turn a collection of near-random shapes and lines he’s made into a finished drawing.
“Oh, I’m going to destroy this one,” he finally decides. Platt, 28, dashes a thick red line over the drawing and, in the corner, writes You’ve failed me by agreeing to look at this. “Yup, I’d give this one a C minus at best.”
Perhaps your idea of a night out at Greenpoint’s Bar Matchless includes drunkenly windmill punching your way through the crowd, loudly sighing when you realize that literally every seat in the house is taken, then dodging skeevy dudes who try to buy your drinks, and having to resort to physically batting them away when they throw money at the bartender anyway, apparently having misinterpreted your “shove off” through the loud din of god-knows-what kind of music to mean “let’s shove” (or maybe you’re one of those skeevy fellows– in which case, uh, sorry).
If all this sounds scary-familiar, then maybe it’s time you see another side of Matchless. Actually, there’s no better time than the present (i.e. tonight, at 8 pm) to get your foot in the door on a night when that foot is much less likely to get groped.
At 81 years old, D’yan Forest describes herself as a “young Betty White.” The octogenarian and veteran performer doesn’t mask her sexual conquests in grandma-speak. Indeed she speaks Millennial more fluently than some natives I know– she’s sex positive, has done her fair share of swiping left on Tinder, and is open-minded toward all kinds of people. Before I set off to the West Village apartment to meet D’yan where she’s lived since the ’60s, I phoned her and she assured me: “I’m very interesting, too, darling.” Click. It’s hard to argue with that: the multi-instrumentalist’s career spans at least three continents, and she can sing in nine languages. On top of all that, she’s now trying to hack it as a stand-up comic.
Way before Patton Oswalt was hosting awards ceremonies at Cipriani, he was a budding comic making prank calls with his San Francisco roommate Brian Posehn. I know this because, back when I was collecting bootlegs in the mid-’90s, I came on a cassette trader who had something called The Speed Round: “Friends of mine challenge each other on who can make someone hang up the phone faster. Very offensive.”
A new comedy club with a DIY ethos has opened on the Williamsburg waterfront. They’ve been running mics and stand-up shows for a few weeks now, but Friday October 16th is when things are officially up and running. To celebrate, all three shows are free: Skater’s Only open mic, Affirmative Laughter: Black Girls are Funny, and The Weekend Drop, hosted by The Experiment’s founder Mo Fathelbab. And hey! There’s an after party too.
Read more about the new venue here.
While DIY music venues are pretty much done for on the waterfront, a new independent comedy club– run by comics, for comics– has popped up amongst luxury housing and sprawling new developments in Williamsburg. The Experiment Comedy Gallery isn’t located inside a gritty warehouse, but this former furniture store is an equally barebones kind of deal (for now anyway), save for a monochromatic psychedelic window mural.
The space is much closer to the Silent Barn than it is to, say, Caroline’s– and that’s very much intentional– the founder Mo Fathelbab and his artistic director, Eliana Horeczko, are trying to keep ticket prices at a minimum. “If there’s one word to describe what we’re really all about, it’s accessibility,” Eliana explained. “We’re really focused on giving people the opportunity to perform– like, all people, not just a small group.”
You’d expect someone like Brooklyn-born comedian Simeon Goodson to be straight up freaking out right about now. Depending on who you are, an impending move to Abu Dhabi could strike you as utterly terrifying or worthy of giddy anticipation. The dazzling, conservative Vegas of the Middle East is a polarizing place to say the least. But somehow Simeon’s experiencing these two extremes and managing still to take things as they come. While the United Arab Emirates is hardly the dream home for a guy who enjoys swigging glasses of Hennessy (“OD ice”) and belting out karaoke renditions of “Trap Queen,” Sim sees his impending move there less like a stint in purgatory and more an enjoyable challenge and the chance to be a transplant for once in his life.
A local cartoonist whose comics and illustrations appear regularly on Bushwick Daily has created a limited edition crayon to coincide with the release of his new book, Stranger Than Bushwick. Jeremy Nguyen says the delicately named “Gentrification White” was inspired by a punchline from one of his first comic strips.
This past weekend, MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) teamed up with the Society of Illustrators at the 69th Regiment Armory for the 12th annual MoCCA Fest — a convention with artist booths and panel discussions celebrating the work of both amateur and established comic artists alike.
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