Brooke Van Poppelen (photo by Seth Olenick)
Brooke Van Poppelen

So, you already know that British comedian Noel Fielding has six shows happening at the Gramercy Theatre in March and that fellow British Comedian Jimmy Carr has three shows happening at the same venue later on in March. I've been in a considerable state of comedy hibernation for a while now, but these two sets of shows have rekindled the comedic fire within me. As usual, The Bell House and Union Hall are killing it with the comedy programming. Here are some highlights (click the show title for tickets).

Saturday, February 20th, Union Hall : Comedy Outliers - The 4 Year Anniversary : Brandon Collins and Mike Brown celebrate the fourth anniversary of their high energy, critically acclaimed "Comedy Outliers" stand-up showcase. This event's line-up is nuts and features Ophira Eisenberg, Pete Lee, Dan Soder, Anthony DeVito, Jared Fried, and Omar Thompson. A better cross-section of the current NYC comedy scene you will not find.

Sunday, February 21, Union Hall : Nate Craig & Friends : Hosted by Nate Craig, this is as classic a NYC stand up show as you can get. Featuring Rachel Feinstein, Nick Vatterott, David Angelo, Josh Gondelman, and Jon Rudnitsky.

Tuesday, February 23, Union Hall : Deep-er-ness : Host Joe Zimmerman presents his favorite comedians for stand up sets that explore the more meaningful topics (i.e. philosophy, psychology, religion, environment, economy, death, love, childhood, race, history, social commentary, current events, personal stories, etc). After each set, Joe and the comic sit down for a "deep talk," in which Joe and the featured comic sit awkwardly close and Joe asks them a few ridiculous questions

Wednesday, February 24, The Bell House : RISK! Hosted by Kevin Allison: RISK! is a live show and podcast created and hosted by Kevin Allison (MTV's The State, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Reno 911!, etc), where people tell true stories they never thought they'd dare to share. This installment features recovering child actor Mara Wilson, Klaus-favorite Sean Patton, and the great John Fugelsang RISK! will return to the Bell House on Wednesday March 23 with a line-up TBD.

Thursday, February 25, Union Hall : Brooke Van Poppelen Headlines a Basement! : I haven't done a top 10 comedians list since 2012, but if I had to do one today Brooke would be near the top of the list. You may know her as the host of "Hack My Life" on truTV, but as a stand-up she's practically peerless. Do. Not. Miss. This. Show. Hosted by Maria Heinegg with sets from Seaton Smith and Giulia Rozzi.

Picture This

Friday, February 26, Union Hall : Picture This! : I love the concept of this show; As stand-up comedians perform on stage, and army of illustrators draw them. Hosted by Peggy O'Leary with stand-up from Josh Gondelman, Giulia Rozzi, Joe Pera, Mike Drucker, Wendi Starling, and Mike Lawrence. Animators include Bryan Brinkman, Dan Pinto, Gabe Pinto, Kate Cropper, Nelson Diaz, and Rachel Gitlevich.

Monday, February 29, Union Hall : An Evening with Mark Normand : Mark Normand made my top 10 list in 2012. He's one of the best.

Friday, March 4, Union Hall : Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets : An evening of comedy, music, and whatnots host by friend-of-BV Dave Hill. As with previous installments, the evening will feature music from Hill's hot rock band Valley Lodge. Other guests include Norwegian comedian Daniel Simonsen, comedian Ramon Rivas, and cabarettist and actress Molly Pope.

Monday, March 14, The Bell House : Crybabies LIVE with Susan Orlean and Sarah Thyre : This is one show I am looking forward to more than most others currently on my radar. "Crybabies" is a podcast where hosts Susan Orlean and Sarah Thyre interview comedians, musicians, actors, and writers about the movies, tv, music, plays, art, and culture that make them cry. Your man Klaus loves a good cry, and with a staggering line-up featuring Dave Hill, Amy Sedaris, Ted Leo, and Eugene Mirman, you know I'll be there.

Monday, March 21, Union Hall : Keep it Surreal with Rob Cantrell: Rob is one of the most unsung heroes of comedy. I first came to know him many years ago via the Marijuana-logues and have seen him several times since then. He is brilliant. For this show Rob will do a full 45 minute set. Expect some special guests too.

Friday, April 15, The Bell House : Jen Kirkman : I Know What I'm Doing and Other Lies : Jen Kirkman was the secret headliner of a 2014 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival show. By deciding not to stick around for her set, she incorrectly and perhaps criminally made the assumption that I was a hispter white "kid" whose attitude was steeped in sexism. What she didn't realize was that I was at the show as a civilian but decided the next day to review what I saw anyway; I wasn't there on assignment for the purpose of covering the show. But I'm all about the bygones. Kirkman is a very talented comedian and author and I won't let a little libel prevent me from making sure BV readers know about this upcoming show. Jen will do some storytelling, participate in a Q&A (all questions are in bounds), and afterwards she will sign "books and boobs" (not my words). Get tickets now before it inevitably sells out.

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