Sure, you could trek out to Jones Beach to see Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer headline the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival in September, but that’s a big production. Instead, walk on over to a couple of lower-key comedy fests happening in the next couple of weeks.
August 2 to August 4, the East Village’s Empire Biscuit will transform into what sounds like some kind of comedy heaven, where comics you’ve seen on TV will perform from just feet away while you stuff your face with one of the restaurant’s delicious biscuits, included with the price of admission. And this weekend in Williamsburg, Black Bear will give you the chance to discover the next Flight of the Conchords.
The Cool Show (Not Lame) Comedy Music Festival is a marathon mixture of comedic performers, like UCB’s Josh Sharp and the adorable Jo Firestone, who’s pretty hilarious in the spot-on spoof The Brooklyn Date. Of course there will also be comedic musical duos like Chase and Rose and Squirm and Germ. For anyone who’s dreamed of being a professional dancer in a choreographed routine (and who hasn’t?), there’s an opportunity to get down with Nationals: an Amateur Adult Dance Competition Comedy Show. (Admission is $5. Black Bear Bar, 70 N 6th Street, Williamsburg.)
The following weekend, the Empire Biscuit Comedy Festival will feature more than 40 comedians in nine shows Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Given the takeout joint’s tiny size, this should be a great chance to see big names like Sasheer Zamata of SNL and Mike Lawrence (who just opened for Marc Maron) in an (all too?) intimate setting. “There will be comedians from Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing and Louie. Usually we’ll have shows and there will be one big name per show, but this time we thought, what if we just got all the big names together at once?” said festival organizer Tovah Silbermann, adding that it wasn’t hard to get the comedians to sign up. “Those biscuits are pretty damn good, and it’s gong to be a fun time.”
Jonathan Price, owner of Empire Biscuit, said he’s already planning on holding the festival again next year. Tickets are $14 online, $16 at the door.