Brooklyn stands with Kerry!
Bedford-Stuyvesant comedian Kerry Coddett holds court once a month at “Brooklyn, Stand Up,” a show that is half comedy night and half game show, with audience members hopping on stage during “halftime.” The show happens on the first Wednesday of every month on second floor of Cobble Hill pub 61 Local, and its reputation grows every month.
We chatted with Brooklyn native Coddett about her three-year run at the helm of the show, and the dangers of getting the public involved.
Your show has a lot of audience participation. Was that always the plan?
Kerry Coddett: From the very first show, we wanted to make it an event. That’s why we have programs that we hand out to the audience and it includes the lineup, their credits, website and social media information. It’s also purposeful that there’s a halftime because I like to get the audience involved. I like interacting with people and I find it’s best when people can be a part of the show.
Does inviting people onstage ever get out of hand?
KC: Oh, absolutely. There was one time — it was probably my third or fourth show. I like to rap, and I’m always rapping, so I thought it would be cool if I invited some people that I know who can freestyle rap. That was the worst idea ever, because I learned that you don’t invite multiple comics and rappers on your stage at the same time because everyone is going to showboat. One dude even took the mic from me! Like, first of all: It’s my show. Second of all: take it down a thousand, there’s no award. I simply could not reign them in, so that’s when I started to scale back the amount of comics during halftime, and just leave the participation up to the audience members who get a chance to be a part of the show.
What does “Brooklyn, Stand Up” mean?
KC: If you’re from Brooklyn, there are certain things that are just catch phrases, like “Bed-Stuy, do or die.” When Biggie says, “Is Brooklyn in the house?,” we all go “Without a doubt!” So if you’re from Brooklyn, you know exactly what “Brooklyn Stand up” means. It is personally significant. Brooklynites are a prideful people, so we represent no matter where we are. Some version of the term “Brooklyn, stand up” is in every Brooklyn rap song, especially from the ’90s. It was everywhere, including the graffiti on the trains. It’s also a double entendre, because it’s a stand up comedy show in Brooklyn. How awesome! When I purchased the website, I was shocked when I saw that no one had taken the name already. So, I’m from Brooklyn, I do stand up, and I own “Brooklyn, Stand Up!” I love it.
“Brooklyn, Stand Up” at 61 Local [61 Bergen St. between Smith Street and Boerum Place in Cobble Hill, (718) 875–1150, www.brook