brooklyn comedy festival

Crab Bash, Babefest, DIY Vegan Cheese, Rock the Pulaski, Bill Murray Birthday Tribute— What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (9/19-9/25)

Saturday, September 23rd, 2-6PM @Greenpoint Beer & Ale (7 North 15th St) Come enjoy unlimited blue claw crab for 90 minutes served with potatoes and corn, topped with KnicKnacksbk special seasoning. And what goes better with crabs than beer – which is available a la carte (extra cost). Find a session that fits you and join us so you can eat all you can! Tickets will sell out fast, don’t be the one to miss out again! Buy tix [Sponsored]

 

WEDNESDAY 9/19

* Yom Kippur @The Williamsburg Hotel (96 Wythe Ave), 10am, FREE, Join the Chabad of North Brooklyn for Yom Kippur services with Hebrew-English prayer books and insights in the the many Holiday prayers throughout. Yom Tov! More Info 
* Yoga for Witches
@Catland (987 Flushing Ave), 6:30pm, $15, Tarot-inspired yoga class designed to heal and hone your magical intuition and manifestation. Bring your own mat, Buy tix
♦ Sundance Kidd at Two Boots @ Two Boots Williamsburg (558 Driggs Ave), 7pm, FREE, Local photographer Sundance Kidd showcases work from close to 1000 shots he took between going to shows, private work, and also working for LEAP NYC. Pay as you wish pricing for prints. 100% of art sales will be donated to a non-profit that focuses on music education for youth. FREE beer from 8-8:30PM, RSVP
Napoleon Dynamite Screening @ Bushwick Inlet Popup Outdoor Cinema (50 Kent Ave), 8pm, FREE,Join Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park for an outdoor movie screening of classic indy deadpan comedy NAPOLEON DYNAMITE in view of the majestic Gotham City skyline! More Info


Brooklyn Comedy Festival Closing Weekend begins on Thursday, September 20th and runs through Sunday, September 23rd. @Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave)  with multiple stages featuring podcasts, film, stand-up, panels, and more! Buy tix and learn more.


THURSDAY 9/20

♫ Caché | Afro House Sunset @The Roof (74 Wythe Ave), 5pm, No Cover, Close this summer strong with some Afro House, More Info
# DIY Vegan Cheese with Contraband Ferments @ Anima Mundi Apothecary (31 Noble St) 7pm, $40, Learn to make your own dairy free and probiotic rich nut-based cheeses. Basic principles behind making cheese using a variety of nuts and seeds plus basic skills in fermentation, the history behind fermentation, and a variety of ways to make soft and hard rind cheeses,  Buy tix
^ Pete’s Reading Fall Season Opener @ Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St), 7:30pm, FREE, Four remarkable readers, and a special benefit for RAICES, The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. Come hear them read, then linger to chat, drink, and pick up their books, More info
♦ Still/Here @ UnionDocs (322 Union Ave), 7:30pm, $10, NYC premiere of Christopher Harris’ film, still/here . Harris paints a portrait of civic neglect and apathy in his hometown of St Louis’s northside neighborhoods that are inhabited by almost exclusively working class and working poor black and African American populations, Buy tix Continue reading

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Behind the Scenes at the Brooklyn Comedy Festival

Founders+Reggie
BKCF Founders (Julian Kiani, Chris Nester and Ashleigh Walker) headliner, Reggie Watts. Photo by: Rafe Baron

Last week the Brooklyn Comedy Festival filled Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s bars and music venues with top names in both local and big-time comedy. It was the festival’s third year to take over our hilarious borough, and we caught up with one of the founders, Chris Nester, to see how things went and what goes into making the fest a success.

Greenpointers: So, the festival is over! How’d it go? 

Chris Nester: Oh my god it’s over? Really?! How did it go? JUST KIDDING…We’re really happy with how this year’s festival went. We were trying to pull off a lot, and I think we did it without letting anyone know how tired we were.

GP: I don’t know about that. You look pretty awful. 

CN: They sent a comic to do the interview. Perfect.

GP: (Sorry). What made you decide to start the Brooklyn Comedy Festival in the first place?

CN: Julian [Kiani] and I were performing and going to shows in Brooklyn every night. We saw that something special was happening in NYC comedy, and that it was happening in Brooklyn. One night after a show, we had a candid conversation that basically went, “Is there a Brooklyn comedy festival?” “No, I don’t think there is…” “That’s crazy. We should start that.” Then we pitched it to Ashleigh [Walker], our producer, and less than a year later we had the first Brooklyn Comedy Festival.

GP: How long have you been in Brooklyn?

CN: I’ve lived in Brooklyn for six years. Moved here Sept. 10, 2010.

GP: Have you seen a change in the Brooklyn comedy scene since you moved here?

CN: Mostly, I’ve just seen it grow – not only in the amount of performers getting up every night in BK, but also in the number of shows happening and the number of people coming to watch those shows. In many ways, the festival has grown with the scene and the borough, and I think that has helped us a lot.

GP: Your team works out of the Pencil Factory in Greenpoint. What made you choose that space as a home base?

CN: Free coffee.

GP: Sounds about right. What’s your favorite place to watch comedy in Greenpoint? 

CN: I am a huge fan of the show Broken Comedy that happens at Bar Matchless every Monday night. They’ve tapped into something there – there’s always a good crowd and a full room, and the line-ups are always killer. It’s FREE. It’s become a great Monday night spot for comics to hit before they run off to Whiplash or wherever, and also for comics to hang if they’re done for the night.

GP: What’s Whiplash?

CN: It’s a great showcase at UCB’s mainstage every Monday night. Also free.

GP: Back to the festival: What venues were added this year that weren’t a part last year?

MusicHallCrowd
Crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg on the last night of the fest. Photo by: Rafe Baron

CN: We had a few this year… Bell House, Threes Brewing, Dizzy’s Backroom, Music Hall of Williamsburg… As the scene continues evolving, with certain weekly [and] monthly shows ending and new shows always popping up, I think we’ll have new venues every year. A lot of our new venues are for shows that already exist and we attach to the festival.

GP: Did you notice a difference in the turnout this year?

CN: Every year we add more shows and bigger venues…it’s amazing that every year people continue to pack out almost every single show. It blows my mind, every single year.

GP: There were some big names on the roster like Reggie Watts and Vanessa Bayer, to name a couple. How do you get the larger acts on the lineup?

CN: I’ll just say that we have a lot of friends doing amazing things in comedy, and sometimes the stars align and we get to work together.

GP: Can we be friends? 

CN: I sent you a friend request like five min before this interview even started, soooooo ball’s in your court. 

GP: Score. What would you say is the biggest factor in the success of the festival?

CN: One huge factor in our festival’s success is the growth of its namesake borough. There are so many more people in Brooklyn now, and that mixed with the comedy boom we’re currently living in… I think people wanted this type of festival and they’re responding to it. We also work our asses off year-in and year-out to put on a good festival.

GP: Did you have a favorite show from this year?

CN: Reggie Watts, Reggie Watts, Reggie Watts. And with Jena [Friedman] and Michelle [Buteau] both doing feature sets….it was a really fun night.

GP: Reggie is magic. So, what are your plans for the future of the festival?

CN: 1.) To make sure Trump doesn’t get elected….not sure how but we’re really working hard on that.  

2.) That’s a tough question, and we try to make changes every year based on what we’ve seen and learned from the year before so we’re kind of just starting to look at next year. Our main goal has always been to lift up our scene, its fans and performers however we can, so we’re going to try and continue to do that as best we can.


Check out the Brooklyn Comedy Festival on places like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for highlights from this year and info on the next!

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Brooklyn Comedy Festival: North Brooklyn Roundup

via Brooklyn Comedy Festival
via Brooklyn Comedy Festival

This Sunday the Brooklyn Comedy Festival kicks off for the third year in a row, this year with plenty of hilarious stand-up, sketch, improv, panel discussions, short films, and an evening with Reggie Watts. For $99 you can get a VIP pass to hit up all the shows all week, tickets to special parties including food and booze, entry into the pool at the new William Vale Hotel, and more. If rollin’ that fancy isn’t your style, many of the shows are free or less than $10 if you buy in advance. After the jump, check out our roundup of everything happening for the fest in North Brooklyn!

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Brooklyn Comedy Fest, Summer’s End, Waku Waku – What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (8/26–9/01)

There are more events in our weekly calendarSubmit Greenpoint events, too!

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 12.26.06 AMWEDNESDAY 8/26
* Voices of Brooklyn: Build Houses & Plant Gardens 
@ St. Paul’s Theater (334 South 5th St) 6:30pm, FREE, Latin American songs of love and protest are paired with stories about building a sustainable home from discarded shipping containers, RSVP
☺ Bk Comedy Festival: Fringe With Benefits @ The Gutter (200 North 14th St) 8pm, $5, With Nick Vatterott / Lauren Maul / Julio Torres, and more, Buy tix

11017508_1756458864581546_401409585472842099_oTHURSDAY 8/27
♦ Vivid Stills
@ Cloud City (85 North 1st St) 6:30pm, FREE, An exhibition of posters designed for screenings at Spectacle Theater, RSVP
# Forage + Fire in the Forest @ North Brooklyn Farms (320 Kent Ave) 7pm, $85, A wood-fired tour of wild edibles and August farm bounty, Buy tix
* Kevin Geeks Out About Lady Robots @ Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave) 9:30pm, $15, a virtual parade of robots from the last 100 years of science fiction, More info

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