Comic and NPR host Ophira Eisenberg is a riot act at our Women of Distinction awards night • Brooklyn Paper

Comic and NPR host Ophira Eisenberg is a riot act at our Women of Distinction awards night

A NOTE ON KEY: Comedian, Keynote Speaker and Park Slope resident Ophira Eisenberg of National Public Radio’s “Ask Me Another” (which is recorded in Brooklyn), left the audience in stitches. And now, on to the honorees.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

That ritzy borough across the East River doesn’t hold a candle to Kings County, according to the keynote speaker at our Women of Distinction awards night — a new and notable Park Slope resident.

“Brooklyn is so much better than Manhattan,” said comic, writer, and National Public Radio’s Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg, who read her adopted quarter the riot act and lobbed gags like grenades during a side-splitting gig at Sirico’s Catering Hall in Dyker Heights on June 10.

“If anyone is doing drugs on my street, they are doing organic, free-range drugs, artisanal, small-batch drugs that were grown in a community garden,” cracked the Canadian spark plug, one of New York Magazine’s “Top-10 Comics that Funny People Find Funny,” and author of “Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy,” which “Airplane!” producers Zucker Productions optioned recently for a movie.

Eisenberg and her husband moved to Brooklyn six years ago, settling in Boerum Hill across from the Atlantic Avenue prison before soaring rents forced them out.

“Now the only way I could get a place in Boerum Hill is if I commit a crime and get in that jail,” she quipped.

The couple relocated to the Slope last month, around the same time the renaissance woman discovered she was expecting a baby.

“As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, you get a notice in the mail that says you’re required to move to Park Slope,” said Eisenberg, who is equally at home playing silly games with John Turturro, Ethan Hawke, and Dr. Ruth as she is tickling millennials and centennials with her deadpan deliveries.

She performs at Union Hall in Park Slope and the Bell House in Gowanus, in addition to storytelling with the Moth crew at the Brooklyn Historical Society and holding court in Bushwick lofts.

She finds the borough and its audiences mesmerizing.

“There is no end to great and unexpected venues in Brooklyn,” Eisenberg said. “People here are smart, artsy, edgy.”

The borough-phile unwinds at Lavender Lake, Henry Public, and Bar Tabac, and schleps across the borough on marathon walks to take in the local sights. One six-hour amble from Downtown to Williamsburg was an eye opener.

“We walked through so many different neighborhoods and cultural enclaves, and got caught in three different festivals,” she said. “It was like a tour of the world.”

Eisenberg says she lost her virginity at 15 in a hotel bathroom to a guy she picked up in a bar and nicknamed Goose, but she is thrilled to be on virgin territory again.

“I love that I don’t even know Brooklyn yet,” she said.

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