Comics celebrate seven years of Union Hall Sundays
Jon Glaser, Wyatt Cenac and others remember Tearing the Veil of Maya, Pretty Good Friends and Creaghead and Company at Union Hall
Wed Apr 2 2014
In 2006, Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter began hosting a Sunday evening stand-up show called Tearing the Veil of Maya, at brand-new Park Slope venue Union Hall. Since then, the show has morphed a couple of times—into Pretty Good Friends when Showalter left, and into Creaghead & Company when Mirman passed the slot on to his producing partner, Caroline Creaghead—but the consistent quality and silliness of all three iterations have marked the neighborhood as a comedy destination. Before the end of Creaghead's series on April 6, we asked a few regulars to tell us about their experiences playing these shows.
Jon Glaser: One of my favorite things was getting an e-mail or call from Eugene or Caroline when someone had to drop out last-minute. As long as I wasn’t busy, I’d usually do it, since it was only about a five-minute walk from my apartment. One of these times, I had this green Lone Ranger–type-looking mask sitting on my desk. I grabbed it and headed out the door, and decided that between my apartment and Union Hall, I’d think of something to do with the mask. I came up with a really stupid bit called “The Man in the Green Mask,” which is nothing other than me wearing the mask, doing an intro, a joke, some horrible crowd work and then a Q&A with the audience, the only rule being that any question must be prefaced by “Man in the green mask,” which, amazingly, at least one person seems to fuck up any time I’ve done the bit since.
Wyatt Cenac: I always assumed since it was a Sunday night that people would stay at home and watch whatever AMC show they were addicted to, so I was always pleasantly surprised to see the place packed. And not just packed—but packed with fun crowds that made me feel comfortable to the point that when I decided to record an album, I did it at Union Hall (and just shamelessly plugged it because I’m a self-serving jerk).
Myq Kaplan: One Sunday, I was telling jokes onstage about being in an open relationship offstage. A cute girl came up to me (after, not during) and asked me if it was true. Optimism! I told her it was, and she told me she had a boyfriend. Disappointment! She then said they had actually been discussing similar ideas recently. Optimism! However, they hadn’t established rules fully, and he wasn’t there that night. Disappointment! But she said, “You should sleep with my friend.” Optimism! So I did. And we all lived happily ever after. I presume.
Brooke Van Poppelen: There’s always been something so alluring about an It show that happens at a very un-It time of the week. While most people and venues in Park Slope started hunkering down for the workweek, Sunday Nights at Union Hall always had a defiant vibe, like, Work, schmerk! Come see a lineup in a Brooklyn basement that’s way better and more welcoming than a prime-time Friday-night comedy show in Manhattan could ever hope to be.
The final edition of Creaghead and Company, featuring Michelle Buteau, Nick Turner and many more, happens on Sun 6.