Tell Your Friends, the movie! Liam McEneaney aims to show how comedy rose up from NYC’s basements

When I first heard that Liam McEneaney planned to make a concert film of "Tell Your Friends," I wondered how you could get a production crew and an audience together in the basement of Lolita to even do such a thing. Of course, my imagination is not always our reality, and in reality, McEneaney is making a movie that's about much more than just his long-running Monday night show in the Lower East Side. As he told me the other night, he aims to show how the basement-style alt-comedians of New York City and elsewhere have risen up to become mainstream stars that people across the country know and love. As he is telling his friends: "This movie will be based on a true story – that of a plucky little show that started in a bar basement and, like the Tree That Grows In Brooklyn, sprouted through the concrete cracks of the NYC alt.comedy scene, into a mighty oak that's seen some of the country's best comedians, writers, and musicians perform with us."

And Tell Your Friends! A Comedy Concert Film, to be directed by Victor Varnado (who just made and sold his own stand-up documentary, The Awkward Comedy Show), will take place June 22 at in the more spacious venue of The Bell House in Brooklyn.

McEneaney said he is filming interviews with Jim Gaffigan, Janeane Garofalo and other national headliners who, when they're not on the road, continue to work out new material in basements and alternative venues. He said he'd like his film to be the Woodstock or The Last Waltz of documentaries about the indie comedy scene.

The June 22 shows (6:30 and 9 p.m.) will include performances by Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler, Reggie Watts, Christian Finnegan, Rob Paravonian, Leo Allen and music from TYF regulars A Brief View of the Hudson.

Would you like to be in the audience for the filming? McEneaney may have a pair of tickets to the 6:30 p.m. show for you! To be eligible, contact him at

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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