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 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.
Once the live intro music started, Dale Seever was dancing his way onstage, shaking hands with and greeting audience members.
Despite the side-slicked hair and lounge lizardesque ensemble (his teal suit and aviators set him back $13 ten years ago), Dale is a charming guy. As soon as he settled into his musty armchair and his laid back-yet-enthusiastic voice slipped out, it was clear that the crowd was in good hands.
“Our intimacy will only grow as the evening progresses,” Dale said to open last month’s live edition of his comedy talk-show podcast, Dale Radio. “I want you to just take a look at the room and do what I do whenever I get on a subway car and just think about this: if this is the group you’re destined to repopulate new Earth with, or Gaia, if the women have their way.”
“That’s why I run around and shake everybody’s hand,” he said while kicking out a chuckle. “Just to get a good look at everybody.”
The venue, Film Biz Recycling, does feel a bit like a post-apocalyptic bunker, considering the lack of natural light and being filled with antique furniture for sale and free beers being handed out (yes, you read that right).
But because of all that, seeing Dale during one of his monthly live shows feels like you’re eavesdropping on a private conversation. And you sort of are–it’s a small local crowd that gathers at Film Biz most nights.
This Thursday’s show (July 28) is the last before Dale’s summer hiatus and will feature Kerri Doherty, humorist, performer and Fucked In Park Slope managing editor; as well as comedian Jena Friedman, actor Michael Crane and video and performance artist Nao Bustamante.
Simply relaying the exchanges between Dale and his guests doesn’t do his spot-on timing any justice. Just listen to some of the episodes, or at least take my word for it: this guy has a tremendous level of commitment to his character and he skillfully blends improv with scripted material.
It also helps that he’s lovable. Dale’s a sweet, sincere guy who’s having a great time just talking to people.
“There’s not really a level of elitism in this character,” said James Bewley, the actual man behind the “Voice of Gowanus.” “People know that I’m not going to go after them, there’s not a mean-spiritedness to the character.”
The final line on his biography page speaks for itself: “Dale enjoys meeting people and would love to meet you.”
Bewley doesn’t have a set idea of whom that “you” may be, since he’s still figuring his target audience. “Who’s the person that goes to a podcast taping in a basement on the Gowanus to see somebody who’s not real?” he asked.
But here’s the bottom line: it’s a free, fun, light-hearted show in a cool space that also has free beer. But the best part about is seeing someone who’s really talented and committed to his craft, work really hard and give a great performance.
“It’s something you’re not going to see anywhere else and it taps into the creative energy that’s happening around Gowanus, around Brooklyn, around New York,” Bewley said. “It’s a very unique thing in a town full of unique things.”
Do yourself a favor–don’t miss Dale.
Dale Radio Live!
Season Finale, Thursday, June 28 at Film Biz Recycling, 540 President Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues
8 p.m., Beer, compliments of Brooklyn Brewery