Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen


Love stand-up but hate sketch comedy? Dig the interactive combo of video and live commentary, but hate it when stand-ups single out audience members for ridicule? In LOL, our new comedy column, Kyle McGovern, an aspiring stand-up himself, explores regular comedy shows around Brooklyn and reports back on what brand of hilarity to expect when you settle into your seat.

John Hodgeman at a recent Hot Tub.

Who says broad humor is a bad thing? It’s working for Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen, a weekly comedy show hosted by comic duo Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal.

Every Monday night at Littlefield on Degraw Street, the pair share emcee duties during a 90-minute set of stand-up, storytelling and live music that can appeal to comedy nerds and laypeople alike.

“I’d like to think that our line-ups are broad enough that we would appeal to anyone,” said Marianne Ways, who books Hot Tub with Braunohler and Schaal. “It’s a good place to start because it’s a little bit of everything.”

Long-form bits with carefully constructed laugh lines peppered throughout? Check, thanks to acts like John Hodgman, who closed the show a few months ago by reading from his new book, (modestly?) titled That Is All.

Want quick-hit one-liners? Those came courtesy newcomer Brandon Wardell: “Recently I saw this butterfly and on its lower-back was a tattoo of a slutty 18-year-old girl…”

Or maybe the draw is more straightforward stand-up, like Christian Finnegan.

Ted Leo dropped by a recetn Hot Tub.

“I’m having a great week so far, I’m not going to lie to you,” Finnegan said while opening a show. “A few days ago a Chinese food delivery guy took a shit in my apartment.”

Don’t worry–he unpacked the charming anecdote.

“Who would have the temerity to enter a stranger’s apartment and just start laying cable?” he asked.

The performance space at Littlefield is spacious and the acoustics are great for musical performances (indie rock hero Ted Leo played guest host when Braunohler and Schaal couldn’t make it), but seats fill up quickly, so be sure to arrive a little early. That said; even if there aren’t any folding chairs leftover, take comfort in the $3 Budweisers.

Audience participation happens often, but just remember to relax. It’s a welcoming spot, Ways said, even for other outer-borough inhabitants: “Queens is invited.”

Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen
Every Monday at Littlefield
622 Degraw Street, between Douglass and Sackett Streets
Doors at 7:30 p.m., $5 in advance, $8 day of show, 21+

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