Photo by Brian Tamborello
Brooklyn-based comedian Eugene Mirman* (pictured above on this dog’s t-shirt) revels in the question “wouldn’t it be funny if…?” As dedicated readers of my SKC bio already know, the unstructured, absurd and often “meta” realm of alternative comedy, in which Mirman and his pals are key players, holds a special place in my heart. September 15-18 brings the 4th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, which originated from Mirman’s joking thought, “wouldn’t it be funny if I named a festival after myself?”
At Brooklyn’s The Bell House and Union Hall, each show has a theme, including “An Evening of Science” and Sunday’s 6pm show… this warrants an ellipses… “A Special Food-Themed Comedy Show For You.” For me. They mean me. They just do.
But feel free to join the guest of honor (me) for amusements that festival co-producer and head of Creaghead & Company Caroline Creaghead describes as follows:
“It’s very true to the festival, kind of like a strange mix of people who Eugene likes and things that Eugene likes coming together in this magical little way,” she says.
Who does Eugene like? Hilarious historian, author and frequent Daily Show guest Sarah Vowell, who will share charming culinary chronicles; voice actor and comedian Larry Murphy, who will perform as a surely bizarre restaurant-related character; and Chicago-to-Oregon transplanted comedian Ron Funches*, who will tell a frightening story about cranberry muffins, according to Creaghead.
What does Eugene like? Status. He named a festival after himself, didn’t he? Consequently, the festival boasts the world’s first caviar eating contest, featuring the red salmon variety. Number two is meat. Status and meat, if I may speak for him, having met him once. He signed a CD for me. Meat lovers for miles will embrace the aroma of a lamb and goat roast with rabbit and duck side dishes from The Meat Hook. Lastly, expect dazzling demonstrations from a professional chef.
Photo by Brian Tamborello
Besides Mirman liking both topics, Creaghead feels that comedy and food are related in that they can be enjoyed by “experts” and novices alike.
“I don’t know anything about food,” she says, “but it’s one of those things that you don’t have to know everything about it to enjoy it. I appreciate and love all of this amazing food available in Brooklyn. I think comedy is the same way. My friends say ‘oh, you know so much more about comedy than me,’ but the truth is you don’t have to know everything about it to have a laugh.”
Well put and a good reason for non-locals like me to make a 4+ hour trip down to NY for the weekend. As for my to-be-decided daytime plans, I may stop by a couple spots on Cara and Phoebe’s hit list, grab some early fall produce at one of the city’s many farmers’ markets or track down some free samples. SKC also recommends cheap eats at Totto Ramen, beer from Stone Tavern and hot dogs from Crif Dogs. All reasons it’s (almost) a shame I will forgo food all day Sunday in preparation for the event!
*Warning: the attached videos contain a certain “f” word.
Jen Cantin is pursuing a Masters in Communication at Clark University in the beautiful, yes beautiful, Worcester, Mass. She shares other (a)musings at Deep Fried Epiphany and dedicates this post to this fictional protected witness’ true passion for sandwiches.