Green light for comedy at Fort Greene bookstore

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s full steam ahead for comedy at the Greenlight Bookstore.

On January 21, the Fort Greene shop hosts “Steamboat,” a new monthly literary humor series that features local writers, named not for any obscure comic reference but after the Robert Fulton mural outside the bookstore’s Fulton Street door.

The series looks to will bring together Brooklyn-based comic writers from the worlds of both print and audio/visual.

“The comedy world is so compartmentalized. There really aren’t a whole lot of shows that offer a place for that,” says Scott Jacobson, a comedy writer who lives a few blocks away from the bookstore. Last year, he ran a night of stand-up at Pacific Standard in Park Slope and approached the store about starting up something similar in Fort Greene. “I want to get a good mix I never quite achieved with the stand-up show.”

The first event pulls heavily from talent in and around the neighborhood, with Jacobson and fellow Steamboat runners Jason Reich of Boerum Hill, both of whom used to write for “The Daily Show,” and host Bob Powers, a Clinton Hill-based comedian who ran the humor reading series “How to Kick People” a few years back in Manhattan, getting some of their friends together to kick things off.

Those friends include Josh Lieb, a “Daily Show” producer and author of “I am a Genius ofUnspeakable Evil and I Want To Be Your Class President,” Tami Sagher, a writer for “30 Rock” and Brooklyn fav “Bored to Death,” and Fort Greener Gabe Liedman, host of VH1’s “Best Day Ever” and one half behind the weekly stand-up show Big Terrific at Williamsburg’s Cameo. Future events will also pull from the blogosphere, with writer Edith Zimmerman booked for next month’s.

“I want a lot of locals, and I also want it to be a destination for people outside of the neighborhood. I think we can do that with this, especially the first show. We have a lot of people who are associated with high-profile projects,” says Jacobson, who himself adds another TV credit to his belt, when he moves out to Los Angeles at the end of this month to writer for “Bob’s Burgers,” a new animated show on Fox.

Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, a Park Slope resident who co-owns the bookstore with Bed-Stuy resident Rebecca Fitting, sees it especially appealing to the local Brooklyn audience.

“There’s a great audience for literary events here, we’ve found, and there’s always an audience for smart comedy,” she says. “What could be better than to combine the two?”

Steamboat kicks off January 21 at 7:30 p.m. It’s slated to run every third Thursday of the month at the Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton St.), and is free. For more information, go to or call 718-246-0200.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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