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Comedy Review: Recess at B Bar & Grill

by Photo of Jennifer Markert

Quality comedy for free? Affirmative.

Comedy Review: Recess at B Bar & Grill

In this article…

I had the fortunate opportunity this Monday to experience firsthand a new and fresh bi-monthly comedy series: Recess at Soho's B Bar & Grill. As comedian Jim Gaffigan, who casually dropped in for a bit of stand up, so poignantly pointed out – “somewhere in Williamsburg, there is a bar identical to this one, packed with people,” continuing with “you can pretend to be poor in Manhattan, too! Come back!” Whether or not people have been fleeing to Brooklyn, the show proved that Manhattan still has a lot going for it in the laugh department. 

The crowd did indeed start small, with about 6 of us comfortably tucked in a corner booth, but as the night progressed the audience tripled in size, and volume. The back room in which the event was held was intimate with a makeshift stage, a small bar, and lounge-y leather booths and chairs for comedy lovers and comedians alike to perch upon while enjoying the show. Lamps stood on piles of books next to tables, setting a soft glow on both the people and the quirky paintings on the walls – both which became the butts of jokes when appropriate. The great yet scary thing about a smaller comedy show is that you can't disappear. The comedian can and will call you out. Which is probably why my boyfriend was called Han Solo for wearing a vest. 

The initial smallness of the crowd in combination with the hugeness of the humor quickly made B Bar feel like some sort of secret club in which I was a VIP – really I was just lucky to have known about the event, which not only was completely free, but featured hand-selected and quality comedians. Along with Gaffigan, who apparently lives down the street from the bar and will come on a whim, the lineup included Myk Kaplan (Late Show with David LettermanThe Tonight Show, Louie, Last Comic Standing), Nick Turner (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, VH1, SXSW ), Dan Wilbur (Collegehumor.com, Onion News Network, author of How Not to Read), and Jacqueline Novak (RIOT LA, Douchechillz.com, Comedy Central College Tour).

Each comedian brought new and hilarious material to the table, working with ease with their audience to suss out our collective humor hot-spots – as one comedian observed, the racist jokes were a lot better received than Grease references, for whatever reason. As with most comedy, these guys – and girl – weren't afraid to talk about touchy things like race, gender, sex and politics. Rather, they embraced the uncomfortable and made it truly funny. Though I wouldn't necessarily use the word “wholesome” to describe the evening on the whole, considering the healthy amount of sex jokes, the fact that no one relied on extreme vulgarity to make their comedy work is commendable. It was clear that everyone was in their comfort zone, and that these guys both enjoy comedy and have the experience to back it up. 

In the end, it didn't matter if all the hypothetical hipsters in Williamsburg had a slightly fuller house – Recess at B Bar was the place to be to enjoy quality comedy in abundance for absolutely no price other than a ride up the F line. I look forward to seeing this series evolve in coming months, and invite you all to do the same.

Recess is a bimonthly series, with a show every other Monday at B Bar & Grill. Check out the website for more details, and let CHARGED.fm get you the best tickets to see these and more comedians live! 

Comments (1)
  1. Michelle Siegel's profile

    Michelle Siegel

    December 10th, 2012 @10:01

    My brother Rich Mercier created this show and it is fantastic! I live in Rhode Island but have been to a few of his shows and it is always funny. These men and women are brave. I could never get up on stage and do what they do. There are a lot of talented people who do these shows and deserve recognition:) Thanks for the great review! I am proud of you little brother! Love, Michelle xoxo

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