Best Comedy Show Remix

Comedy Brains at The Marsh Berkeley

All of a sudden, the East Bay is awash in comedy. We’ve got it at bars, at coffeehouses, at stage theaters, in BART stations; pretty soon, your local funeral parlor will install a faux brick wall and start hosting open mic nights. We are positively up to our eyeballs in yuk-yuks — and it’s both despite and because of that oversaturation that Comedy Brains stands out. The brainchild of local funny lady Marga Gomez, the weekly showcase aims to subvert the standard comedy-show template by favoring acts that are a little more storytelling-oriented, a little more personal, a little more highbrow than your typical comedy show (not for nothing does the event have the word “brains” in the title). The setup keeps the basic comedy-show format intact — three sets by three comics, sometimes centered around a theme (“smart smut,” “clean and sober comedy”), sometimes not. But at Comedy Brains, you’re unlikely to find the standard rat-a-tat setup-joke-punch-line rhythm, or any of the shopworn motifs that tend to dominate mainstream comedy shows — hell, there’s not even a brick wall. Instead, you’ll get asides, anecdotes, and personal stories, told with all the honesty of a close friend but all the observational wit of a trained comic. The Saturday-night series is currently on hiatus, but keep an eye out come autumn.

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