How Rude! New comedy night makes up for the Annoyance

Yes, and?: Every comedy night starts with a wacky improv session.
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He’s a Rude dude!

A new weekly comedy show in Williamsburg is trying to fill the gap left by recently closed comedy venue the Annoyance. The host of Rude, happening each Tuesday at the South Fourth Bar, says that the title of his four-shows-in-one comedy extravaganza is an oblique homage to the shuttered improv spot.

“The name — besides just being a fun name that I like — is kind of a nod to the Annoyance, where a lot of the performers come from,” said Williamsburg comedian Ian Lockwood. “We are inspired by the Annoyance, but we are a completely different entity. They might be annoying, but we’re a little bit rude.”

Many of the shows feature some amount of audience participation, said Lockwood — a factor that lets them take advantage of the many comedians in the audience.

“The truth is, the people who come out to comedy shows every night are largely comedians themselves,” he said. “So we want to have a few slots for the audience to come up and join the show.”

But anyone who tosses their name into the hat might join the stage, and Lockwood is not worried about a few amateurs spoiling the show.

“The performers at Rude are pretty talented, and they can handle it,” he said.

Each evening includes an improv performance, followed three more shows, which lean towards experimental and absurd comedy, said Lockwood.

“You won’t see a standard five-minute stand-up set,” he said. “You’re more likely to see a weird character or a bizarre sketch.”

Each Tuesday has a different line-up, but there are two recurring segments. One is “Sponsored By,” where hosts Sophie Zucker and Justin Linville pay over-the-top tribute to sponsor New Belgium Brewing, the makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale. The second is Lockwood’s own sketch group Fiona, which starts with loose plots but uses completely improvised dialogue, so the stories often go off the rails.

“It can get pretty wild, and anything can happen,” he said.

Rude Comedy at South Fourth Bar and Cafe [90 S. Fourth St. at Berry Street in Williamsburg, (718) 218–7478,]. Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm. Free.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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