Humor is hard. What some find funny others may find lame, and the best written joke will flop if delivered incorrectly. I suppose I always assumed comedians were so successful with humor through some innate ability; I hadn't put much thought into the practice of timing that goes into the art. As someone who loves to banter, I hold stand-up comedians especially high - because when you're alone with a microphone, you can't play off the antics of someone else. Perhaps that's why I was so floored when I went to the Giggle Pit.
The Klimat Lounge is the average East Village bar - dimly lit, with a vague resemblance to speakeasies long-gone. Walking in, I thought I was in the wrong place. I had been told there would be a comedy show here; I had been told there were over a dozen comedians and I was guaranteed to laugh until my sides hurt. There was none of that. There were a few hip kids drinking imported beer and there was a bartender who looked like she wanted to be anywhere but at work. It must have been obvious how lost I was, because the bartender glanced over at me and gestured to the stairs leading to the basement.
My friend and I had arrived in the middle of someone's set, so we hung in the back of the dingy basement until the next person stepped into the spotlight. On assorted couches that were probably accumulated over the years rather than bought with intent sat about twenty people, and we found our places among them. Shortly after, it became painfully obvious that we were the only two non-comedians at the event. This was a comedy show for comedians to perform for other comedians, testing their new jokes and getting feedback from those in the business. It was open to all, but it was remarkable to see as an outsider looking in. Other comedians would shout out when a particularly good joke was told, or provide a critique when one didn't get a good response.
This happens every Monday night, and I highly recommend checking it out. Everyone is friendly and inviting, and (obviously) funny as all hell. For the record, I did end up laughing until my sides hurt. That counts as exercise - right?