How is your comedy scene celebrating Halloween?

That seems like such an odd question. How is your comedy scene celebrating Halloween? I didn't know Halloween was known for comedy, is something that a rational human being who can read and write on the Internets would say (but that wouldn't be a category on The $25,000 Pyramid or any other monetary-pyramid-game show equivalent — Something a Rational Human Being Who Can Read And Write On The Internets! — that just would never fit in the pyramid-shaped box, and you should have known better). And yet. Maybe comedians find something comfortable in the pagan world of horror — we talk about our experiences with audience members as killing and bombing, after all.

For whatever reason, it seems as though Halloween brings out a number of themed shows (more, I'd argue, than for Christmas and Hanukkah) in comedy clubs across the nation. In Boston, slasher-comedy-gore-musical Gorefest is celebrating its seventh year of blood-splattering fun with Improv Boston. A quick check of the Los Angeles UCB Theatre's schedule reveals themed shows this week from Comedy Death-Ray, The Apple Sisters, a Friday-night party and a Gallery of Evil show on Halloween night.

Here in NYC, my radar already has turned up multiple shows finding ha-ha's in horror this week. It began last night at the UCB Theatre with Thunder Gulch's presentation of Monster Night Live, an SNL-gone-Halloween spoof. The UCB's big show, with three performances each on Friday and Saturday, is Killgore. Written by the UCB's own Matt Walsh, Killgore's cast this year includes: Emily Axford, Matt Fisher, Jonathan Gabrus, Chris Gethard, Molly Lloyd, Thomas Middleditch, John Murray, Ben Rameaka, Craig Rowin, Jim Santangeli, Gavin Speiller, Kate Spencer, Andree Vermeulen and Zach Woods. Roll the clip!

But that's not the only Halloween-themed comedy show in NYC this week. To wit…

TUESDAY (Oct. 27, 2009): Descend into the basement of Comix, if you dare, for there in Ochi's Lounge shall be a summit of Vampires and Werewolves that has absolutely nothing to do with Twilight's New Moon. Or does it? Christian Finnegan will moderate the ultimate debate, with The Onion's Joe Garden and Janet Ginsburg representing the case for Vampires (they co-authored The New Vampire's Handbook: A Guide for the Recently Turned Creature of the Night), while Ritch Duncan and Bob Powers will be siding with the lycanthropes (conveniently and coincidentally enough, they've written The Werewolf's Guide to Life: A Manual for the Newly Bitten).

WEDNESDAY (Oct. 28, 2009): The second annual Schtick or Treat has moved to the Bowery Poetry Club, where dozens of comedians will pay tribute to their favorite stand-ups (or those they can pull off) by getting into the proper costume and/or voice of said stand-up as their Halloween costumes! It was great fun last year.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY at the UCB: Killgore

FRIDAY (Oct. 30, 2009): The Magnet Theater presents The 1978 Paul Lynde Hollywood Special. Spooky!

SATURDAY (Oct. 31, 2009): Six of The PIT's improvisers will be telling spooky stories late at night. Want to Follow The Fear? Storyteller Mike Daisey will craft a special Halloween story for WNYC radio, which he will tell and record live, and you can listen in person. Details here. Rob O'Reilly's Saturday night showcase at Karma in the East Village, "If You Build It," will include a costume party and afterparty thrown by the kids from Don't Touch Me There and New Young Comedians.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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One thought on “How is your comedy scene celebrating Halloween?

  1. At Mottley’s, we’re having all the comics who do costumed characters as part of their act all do the characters on the same show – so we have Chris Coxen (Stever Pate, Ripps McCoxen, Future Queer) hosting Sean Sullivan (Bill King), Nate Johnson (Freddy Nachos), Paul Day (Billy Bob Neck), with Ronald Reagan (80’s pop saxphone duo, with many costume changes) closing it out…

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