Once upon a time, Brooklyn was a place for comedians to brush up on their routine before taking the stage at Manhattan comedy clubs. These days, though, the borough is a comedy destination in its own right — as the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, now in its fourth year, proves.
“In the past, it used to be practice [in Brooklyn], get good and perform in Manhattan,” festival co-founder Julian Kiani told amNewYork. “But the festival is refocusing that and saying, ‘Let’s bring people here and see the community that already exists.’”
Kiani, along with fellow co-founders Ashleigh Walker and Chris Nester, says the festival is a gateway for improv, stand-up and musical comedians, and the like, to grab the attention of comedy fans, alongside established comedians and favorites.
Beyond individual tickets, a VIP badge offers entry to all shows, free food and drink and even access to the pool at the new William Vale Hotel.
Here are some festival highlights.
The Fancy Show: BKCF Edition
Get your laugh on as Langston Kerman and more deliver “smooth stand-up comedy.” Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., free, 21+, The Room at Dizzy’s, 230 Fifth Ave., Park Slope
We Bee Spelling
This “outrageous” spelling bee, hosted by Alex Greer, will donate ticket proceeds to Safe Horizon, a nonprofit victim services agency. Wednesday, 9 p.m., $15, 21+, Union Pool, 484 Union Ave., East Williamsburg
IFC & Ice Breakers Comedy Showcase
“Difficult People’s” Julie Klausner hosts this show, featuring “SNL’s” Sasheer Zamata, Sean Donnelly and more. Thursday, 8 p.m., $15, 21+, The Bell House, 149 Seventh St., Gowanus
IFC’s Slightly Off Showcase
Come along for games and prizes with “SNL’s” Vanessa Bayer before performances by Joe Pera, Bridey Elliott and others. Friday, 5:30 p.m. $25, 21+, The Bell House, 149 Seventh St., Gowanus
This veteran of the festival will be joined by Jena Friedman and Michelle Buteau, among others. With musical guest The Gotham Easy. Saturday, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., $30, 21+, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg