The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival — “a very silly festival that people seem to enjoy,” according to its own creators — is returning to Brooklyn for its 10th and final go-round from Sept. 15-19.
Founded in 2008 by Julie Smith Clem and absurdist stand-up pioneer Eugene Mirman, the festival has grown into a widespread mixture of both fresh-faced comedians and legends of the stage and screen.
Fortunately, amNewYork has narrowed down the events you must see, from live podcast recordings, to in-depth scientific discussions, to the friendliest roast you will ever experience.
[Expletive] Show: Comedy From Humans Rearing Other Humans (Because If You Don’t Laugh, You’ll Die Screaming)
Hire a baby sitter for this one. The festival kicks off with an afternoon of very funny comedians discussing the very life-changing, very terrifying decision to raise a child. Hosted by comedian, author, and trivia guru Ophira Eisenberg (NPR’s “Ask Me Another”), this show will feature “New Yorker” cartoonist Emily Flake, Ben Schwartz (“Parks and Recreation”), Jordan Carlos (“Guy Code”) and Mirman himself. “None of the children of the performers are likely to be present,” the event promises, “which is a good thing, because they’re probably gonna say really mean things about them.” (The Bell House, 7:30 p.m.)
An early evening of aggressive kindness, competitive friendliness, and head-to-head affability, “Boast Rattle” is a “compliment contest” hosted by Missouri-born comedian Kyle Ayers. Contending complimenters include Brooklyn-based stand-up Joel Kim Booster, musician and artist Jean Grae, and actor/comedian/Adult Swim regular Scott Adsit. Not feeling the love enough from afar? The event guarantees “even a lucky crowd member gets to have their day improved with some on-the-spot boasting.” (The Bell House, 6 p.m.)
Yikes! Most of These Comedians Were Born After ‘Police Academy 2’ Was In Theaters
Remember the late-’80s? These performers probably do not, and that’s OK! The freshest faces of the entire festival come together for a marquee of names you may not recognize now, but you will remember in the future. Notable names to keep an eye on: Boston-based Phoebe Angle, “Last Comic Standing 7” semifinalist Claudia Cogan, and downtown cabaret performer Cole Escola. (Union Hall, 8 p.m.)
A Festival That Was Just Supposed To Be A One Year Joke: The 10th Year Anniversary Show
A star-studded lineup brings the festival full circle from its humble beginnings to a still humble but a decade older ending. Eugene Mirman takes the stage alongside heavyweights like comedy icon Bobcat Goldthwait, widely beloved poet Derrick Brown, Janeane Garofalo (“Wet Hot American Summer”), and king of all that is absurd and insightful, Reggie Watts. (The Bell House, 9 p.m.)
You’re the Expert
The Bell House plays host to a live recording of the wildly popular “You’re The Expert” podcast, which sees three hilarious but decidedly nonexperienced comedians attempting to figure out what a scientific expert does on the job. Hosted by longtime stand-up and writer Chris Duffy, the panel also includes Roy Wood Jr., whose poker-faced exasperation has been the consistent highlight of the Trevor Noah era of “The Daily Show.” (The Bell House, 2 p.m.)
“Hold On” is a podcast that encourages the rude storytelling interrupter that lives inside us all. A free-for-all style blend of narration and comedy, this live taping offers beloved, bespectacled NPR host Ira Glass and comedy creator extraordinaire Michael Showalter a space to tell their stories, while host Eugene Mirman consistently interrupts “with the questions on everyone’s mind.” It’s exactly as rude and hilarious as it sounds. (The Bell House, 4:30 p.m.)
Full-time physicist and occasional nit-picker of sci-fi films Neil deGrasse Tyson brings his live show of cosmic queries and intergalactic theories to Brooklyn’s Kings Theater. Co-hosted by Mirman, “StarTalk Live!” is a night to ponder the furthest reaches of space and the boundaries of modern science, while comedians and “special guests” help bring things back down to Earth. (Kings Theater, 8 p.m.)
This is Probably The Last Show Of Our Last Festival, But Who Knows, The Eagles Got Back Together And I Only Moved To Massachusetts
Like Jay-Z and Michael Jordan before it, the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival officially retires with the idea it is probably going to come back, because that is what the greats do. But until then, the event goes out with a bang on its final night. The send-off includes performances by comedian and actor Jon Glaser (“Parks and Recreation), multi-hyphenate funnyman Mike Birbiglia, and “Late Night With Seth Meyers” writer Aparna Nancherla. “Special guests” are guaranteed, and Mirman himself hosts the final show of a festival that bore his name — kind of as a joke, but mostly not — for 10 years. (The Bell House, 8 p.m.)