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Harlem’s First Comedy Festival

Written by Kate Morgan

Harlem’s First Comedy Festival

Neruda Williams ever first annual Harlem Comedy Festival, this week was in full swing as expected by many people. The show was a success, and many funny things happened where I could not decide whether they were the part of the show or not. For instance, a big guy named Daniel Ahrens entered the stage and immediately fell down, and it became very hard for the host to help him up. Apart from this, he also spilled water all over himself and not only us but everyone else was also confused to decide if this was part of the act or not because it all seemed pretty real.

Another funny incident happened when a woman named L. Michele started performing on the stage and suddenly a maintenance man came out of nowhere and started to mop the floor. The maintenance guy just focused on his job and did not bother with the woman at all as if she was not even on the stage. Maybe it was again part of the show or maybe the poor guy was just cleaning the water that has spilled before.

The festival ran for about six days and Neruda had booked everything by himself, but of course with the help of some of his friends such as: Comic/Producer Jimmy Martinez and Antoine Ash. They do a weekly Monday show there as well called Uptown Comedy Classic.

Another funny incident happened when Jimmy came to say hello and was holding a wad of cash and said to me, “How about doing a tight ten?” This caught me off guard and I thought that maybe he was asking me to borrow ten bucks. So I took out my money and he started laughing when he realized that I thought that he was asking for money. In reality, he was actually offering me a ten minute spot and this made me feel like a farmer who was visiting New York for the very first time.

Apart from this I met with many interesting people like Luisa who used to book The Knitting Factory. The show is the new one on Seeso, but it has been 9 years since it has been around as a live show. It had been doing live shows in venues such as: Bowery Poetry Club, The Knitting Factory and Arlene’s Grocery.

Kenny Warren was there as well and telling me this show of his Comics Cutting Comics. His show is very original and really fun to watch. Apart from this, Kenny is a busy guy and is producing many shows in the town at The Village Lantern and the Grisly Bear.

After many other things, I finished my Comedy week at Corinne Fisher’s birthday party at a bar on St Mark’s Place. Many people were there at the party such as A.Marie Castillo, Madison Malloy, Walker Hays, Mike Coscarelli, Myka Fox and Krystyna Hutchinson. I ended up hanging with   Emilio Savone, Ankara Savone, and Harry Terjanian and left the party around 1:30 A.M.

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