By Meredith Deliso
The joke continues.
A couple of years ago, Brooklyn comedian Eugene Mirman said on the fly he should throw a comedy festival. Last year, just that happened, as friends and colleagues alike came to Union Hall and the Bell House for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival.
“The nature of the whole thing, I sent out an email to a bunch of comics. Not everybody was free, but the people who were happy to do it,” said Mirman at the time. “It’s all being put together in a shoestringy way, it’s sort of for the fun of the thing itself.”
The fun continues this year, when the festival returns to both venues September 17-20 with even more panels – and laughs – promised.
First up, on September 17 at 8 p.m. at the Gowanus venue the Bell House (149 7th Street), there’s the opening night party, featuring performances by Kristen Schaal, Pete Holmes, Jon Benjamin and Sal Lupo, Mirman himself, and more, as well as videos from Leo Allen, Max Silvestri and others, and a special musical guest. Tickets are $20.
The following night, choose between Invite Them Up, a weekly comedy show in the East Village being brought to The Bell House and featuring Bobby Tisdale with Mirman, Todd Barry, Reggie Watts, John Hodgman and special guests (tickets are $15 for the 9 p.m. show), or English stand-up comedian Daniel Kitson at Union Hall (702 Union Avenue), with a show at 8 p.m. (tickets $12). You can also catch Kitson same time, same place, the following night.
Ever recognize your favorite comedian in a small bit role on the various Law and Orders? Zak Orth and AD Miles hold such distinctions, and they, along with more special guests, will be featured in the show “The Comedians of Law and Order,” 9 p.m. at the Bell House (tickets $15).
Earlier in the evening, Hannibal Buress, Kumail Nanjiani, Brent Sullivan, Patrick Borelli, and more will be featured in the glass half full (or empty) show “I’ll Be Famous in 5 Years (or a Copywriter/Audience Coordinator),” 6:30 p.m. at the Bell House (tickets $10).Closing day of the festival, September 20, has plenty to offer.
At Union Hall, there’s “Witty Cartoons for Snobs!”, featuring top cartoonists from The New Yorker and other publications battling it out in a no-holds-barred cartoon-off with cartoons based on audience suggestions. There will also be a surprise musical guest. Tickets are $10 for the 6 p.m. event.
At the Bell House that day, Eric Slovin and Leo Allen host a panel of comedians, executives and industry people called “Why Talented People Created Terrible Shows,” discussing just that. Tickets are $7 for the 3:30 p.m. show.Later in the evening, there’s “Stories Leading to Sobriety,” hosted by Marc maron and featuring Michael Showalter, John Mulaney, Brett Gelman, Tony V and special guests. Tickets are $15 for the 6:30 p.m. show.
And, last but not least, the festival closes out with “Tearing the Veil of Maya,” a weekly comedy showcase usually at Union Hall with Mirman and Showalter, also featuring Daniel Kitson, John Mulaney and special guests for the festival. Tickets are $15 for the 9 p.m. show.
Tickets are available through ticketweb.com, and it is highly encouraged to buy them in advance.