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2017 round up

In many ways 2017 was a benchmark year for CCB. From ownership restructuring and all that that upheaval entails to entering our statistically improbable second year of operation, CCB is one enduring mother fucker.

Here’s a quick round up in numbers:

  • 342 shows put on
  • 51 visiting acts played the stage
  • 3 shows cancelled due to low turnout
  • 2,935 Large Vagabund APAs served
  • 2 major panic attacks

Here’s a quick round up of non quantifiables:

  • GRILLED CHEESE
  • Dick Joke Jar
  • A growing community of awesome people – both performers and audience alike

Thanks to everyone who makes CCB run. In particular, Leah Katz and the staff: Christoph, Emma, Jaja, Julieta, Kareth, Trevor and the assists by Jakob and Matilde.

And a major thanks to all the comedians. You are all artists.

Let’s kick 2018’s ass.

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The Berlin EdFringe Previews!

This Wednesday (19.07.2017) CCB is kicking off the second annual Berlin EdFringe Previews. Together with Damien Warren-Smith (Plague of Idiots) we have scheduled 20 comedy acts from all over the globe (ok – mostly just the UK and Australia) BUT they are some of the hottest award winning shows happening right now!

You won’t have to travel far to see some of the best acts the comedy scene has to offer. We’re running the gamut from cutting edge stand-up to full-on Gaullier clowning. It’s not to be missed.

Here’s just a hint of what people are saying (in order):

  • Mark Watson is “Hilarious… clever, touching and funny” – ★★★★★ Mirror.
  • Sofie Hagen won the Foster’s Award for Best Newcomer 2015.
  • The Establishment is “One of the best shows I’ve seen” ★★★★★ (MumbleComedy.net).
  • Plague of Idiots: Lulu & Pudding “the perfect antidote for a week of work.” (TheClothesLine.com).
  • Tamar Broadbent won Best Comedy Show Perth Fringeworld 2017.
  • Josh Telson: “This is usually where comedians put a nice review about their standup, but no one knows what to say about my shows.” – Josh Telson
  • Eleanor Conway is ‘Reminiscent of early Graham Norton (albeit sexier)’ ★★★★ The List.
  • Josh Glanc won ‘BEST COMEDY’ at the Perth Fringe World 2017.
  • Elf Lyons is “Hilariously Brave’ One of British Vogue’s ‘Top Twenty Names of Now’.
  • John-Luke Roberts: ‘This is alternative comedy close to its pinnacle’ ★★★★ (Chortle.co.uk).
  • Double Denim: Stand-up comedy allows you to laugh at others, ‘Double Denim’ allows you to laugh at yourself. ★★★★ – Scenestr (AUS).
  • Dr. Neal Portenza: “An hour of unpredictable, whacked-out weirdness from one of Australia’s most off-the-wall comics.” ★★★★½, Herald Sun, 201
  • Helen Duff is “Absolutely shameless, boldly ridiculous, embarrassingly funny” ★★★★ (Australia Times).
  • Wil Greenway: ‘One of the most masterful storytellers I have ever seen… I cannot recommend seeing this show enough’ ★★★★★ (Ed Fringe Review).
  • Juan Vesuvius is ‘Bizarre, sexy and very, very funny’ ★★★★★ (BroadwayBaby.com).
  • Betty Grumble is “Transformative & Wild. Betty Grumble is a MUST SEE.” ★★★★★ PEACHES
  • Zach & Viggo won the Best Comedy Adelaide Fringe Weekly (2017)
  • Tez Ilyas “has a slickness more reminiscent of US comics, and the gags to back it up” (Guardian).
  • Zach Zucker is ‘Ridiculous, hilarious, and genius, a must-see ‘ ★★★★½ Kryztoff (AU)
  • Viggo Venn won the Rising Star Award – The Media Eye (2016)

Damn! Damn, damn, damn!
Get your tickets now.

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A spotlight on visiting acts

 

Keeping things fresh

We pride ourselves on putting up shows that are constantly changing and never exactly the same twice. Whether it’s the very nature of an improvised comedy show or a Saturday night stand-up act, the comedians we spotlight are committed to keeping things fresh.  

Part of that commitment is also bringing in talent from abroad and showcasing comedy we don’t otherwise see in Berlin. In the coming months we have booked some of the most exciting acts from the UK, Sweden and the States and not to mention an entire 2 weeks of EdFringe Previews in July.

Berlin as a comedy hub

3 years ago Berlin would never have seen so many visiting comedians from outside of Germany as we see today. Today, however, we (all of us) have made Berlin a veritable force in the comedy world. Not just from the comedians we’ve homegrown but also in the dedication we’ve put to putting up high quality shows and the deep interest shown by you, the audience.

Support the scene

That growing interest in comedy has made itself shown and we are hopefully answering the calls. So don’t let us down! Bringing in acts from abroad is never an easy endeavor and we’ve done everything in our power to keep the shows interesting and affordable (10€ to Asperger’s Are Us? Yes, please!). Come out, support the scene and see something different.


Upcoming visiting acts

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Wrapping up 2016

It’s our last week of shows for 2016!
Come hang out with us, we’ll be celebrating all weekend!

But first! Some news:

Learning to be funny

 CCB and Hive Improv have announced comedy courses for January! 
There are currently 3 classes on offer:

  • Intro to Improv on Monday evening with Jakob Grotewohl
  • Intro to Improv on Friday afternoon with Noah Telson
  • Stand-Up Comedy on Saturday afternoon with Caroline Clifford

Early bird rates apply to anyone who signs up before January 1st!
Also a great gift idea!

For more information check out
http://www.hiveimprov.com/courses/


We’re giving away 10 free tickets for FRIDAY NIGHT IMPROV with CCB at the MOVIES!
Take them until they’re all gone!
First to act gets them!
CLICK HERE


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A few words on the comedy community.

Since we opened just shy of one year ago, one of our main visions was to create a community of comedy-lovers who share in our mission of spreading laughter. By offering classes through Hive Improv and providing an open stage for them to perform in front of an audience, we’ve seen the devoted community grow like rapid fire and it’s incredibly heartwarming.

This Fall we have over 60 students taking improv, stand-up and sketch courses. This Fall we’ve been able to offer workshops by professionals from arguably the most renowned comedy institutions. And this Fall we have expanded opportunities for everyone:
For improvisers to get on stage by making the CCB Improv Jam a weekly event! For the first sketch group, The Weird Show, formed from a Hive class, who will debut their monthly show this October! And for budding stand-ups this November when we unveil the biggest stand-up open mic night in Berlin!

But it doesn’t end there! We have big plans!

We are throwing a big one year anniversary party October 28th and you are invited!
To celebrate we’re kicking off a second round of crowdfunding at the party!

What are we crowdfunding for?
To expand operations and increase comfort.

More soundproofing: the theater is solidly built. In fact, it’s so solid that we almost qualify for after 10pm shows. All we have to do is improve the floor, get it tested and we’re golden. This means we can do multiple shows in an evening allowing for us to get even more creative and bring in even more acts!

Ventilation: we’ve got a beautiful space that we’re super proud of and when so many people come to enjoy that space with applause and laughter the windows get foggy and the air gets hot. It’s time to fix that! We aim to install a ventilation system that can keep the air in the bar and theater fresh.

Watch this space.

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Full Steam Ahead!

It’s been almost one year since we opened and just over a year since we first announced to the public and launched our Kickstarter campaign, letting everyone know we was a’comin’.

It’s been a year. Holy shit, it’s been a year!

If you’ve been following us you know what’s up. If this is the first you’re hearing about us, WTF?! Catch up!

Like any 1 year anniversary we’re looking back and reflecting on all the things we’ve gone through – remembering the lessons learned, the battles won and lost and HOPEFULLY making the right decisions to keep us going forward and growing. Those decisions, we realize, often mean (to borrow from the startup world) pivoting and boy we’ve done that! Remember pretzels?

So in the spirit of improvement and looking forward, here’s what’s in store:
 

  1. CHAIRS – You won’t believe it but we’re ditching the theater stools (well most of them) and getting foldable chairs that you can all lean back on. They’re ordered and on the way.

  2. BARROOM – We’ve rethought the layout with space and comfort in mind. This means the big square tables are gone! So kick off your shoes and relax your socks. This is still a work in progress and you’re likely to see things continue to change here.

  3. DRINKS – We’re adding some new items to the menu including another tasty keg of Vagabund beer. A DOUBLE IPA KICK IN THE GODDAMN FACE. Get ready.

  4. FOOD – Here’s a doozy buried in the 4th bullet point: We’re closing The CCB Kitchen starting this week. Casper and Rich have decided to move on to other adventures and it’s a good opportunity for us to explore more exciting food options. We thank them for all the efforts they put into their tasty sandwiches! For now CCB is focusing on the drinks, the comfort and as always, the laughs.

  5. THE LAUGHS – Shows continue to kick ass and we will continue to bring in outside acts (see La Carpe Haute this Friday!) as well as cultivate local talent. We’ve already unveiled most of the Fall program which includes solo shows by Paul Salamone (Robot Suit), Chris Davis (The Wandering Barman, this Saturday!) and Josh Telson (Happy F*cking Birthday). And we fully intend to make an improv tournament (like the August Offensive) a regular event. Tickets are already, as always, available online.

  6. CROWDFUNDING – That’s right! One year down the road and we’ll be once again appealing to you lovely supporters to help us finance some of the projects we don’t have the cash flow for just yet i.e. ventilation (y’all know what I’m talking about), further soundproofing (for the theater floor so we can do midnight showssss!) A second round Kickstarter will naturally tie into…

  7. A ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY PARTY – October 28th – Mark your calendars. Details to come soon!

And there you have it! A lot to do!

Thank you all for your continued support and we hope to see you around soon!

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The CCB State of the Union

The CCB State of the Union

In many ways this summer has been very challenging for us at CCB. Weathering the storm of the Ordnungsamt was just the tip of the iceberg, it was immediately followed by beautiful scaffolding engulfing our building (everywhere is a bike rack!) plus stupid EURO2016 distracting our audiences, oh, and it just being summer and hot and nice outside (GAAWD) and YES we get that our air conditioner isn’t most well functioning device for the theater. AND YES, we knowthat the neighbor situation sucks! No one hates the “quiet outdoors after 10pm” situation more than us. The list goes on.

Though we are indeed weathering the storm, they feel at times like pyrrhic victories (victories won at too high a cost — I’ve been watching lots of Jeopardy lately).

BUT all the stress and uncertainty vanish when I see the crowds file in through the door to watch a show. I hate to say I’m proud because I’m part German and pride is a shameful thing — but something inside me ticks and I feel like somehow the struggles and challenges have been and are worth it.

Here’s what I mean:

The past two weeks we’ve held host to some of the world’s finest comedians as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Previews. Amazing! A tip of the hat to all the performers and especially to Damien of the Plague of iDiOTs. And just a week week before that I hosted the monthly CCB Improv Jam, where anyone can sign up to perform improv on stage with other complete strangers. Roughly 50 people attended with 35 signed up to play. On a Sunday. In July. That. Is. Humbling. Period. There were new faces and familiar faces, there were family and friends. It was so great to see, especially after the last 2 months. AND then there was that week prior when 2 improv teams, Hot Box and Guillotine, and The Weird Show a sketch group, all formed from Hive classes, packed the house with their first shows ever. Gosh dangit.

Like a little oasis in the desert.

The CCB State of the Union is strengthening and our resolve is strong. We’ll keep trudging on; providing a stage for this growing scene.

So now what?

We’re back to semi-regular programming with some exciting new SCHTUFF! New shows and new programming and, of course, Berlin’s very first improv cage match tournament, The August Offensive! 8 teams, 3 Saturdays, 1 winner.

We’re excited to see you there, being a part of it all!

– Noah

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Edinburgh Fringe Festival Previews

People of Laughland — this is important! The EdFringe Preview at CCB starts tomorrow!

What does this mean? It means some of the funniest acts are coming through Berlin to preview their acts before bringing them to the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this August. This is a great chance to see something completely new and we’re kicking it off with a bang! with Zach & Viggo previewing their show Thunderflop which just won the best act at the Brighton Fringe Festival. And it only gets better from there:

Tickets are available online WITH NO PROCESSING FEES! That’s right! No additional fees to buy your tickets online!

All preview shows are in English! 
Show start: 8:00p
Door: 7:30p
Tickets: 8€/6€

As always come early for food from The CCB Kitchen.

Just another reminder! We’ve changed our opening hours.

They are as such:
Wednesday – Friday: 6:00p – ??
Sunday – Saturday: 11:00a – ??

Mondays will be open for select shows.

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Oh my gosh we’re back again.

Good news everyone! We’re back as a fully licensed “event place”. Which means we can have events like other places. Exciting times.

What’s new?

We spent the last two weeks making small improvements here and there while we had the time. You most likely won’t notice them except for the fact that we have AIR CONDITIONING in the theater now. AAwww yis!

What’s in the works?

While we are super pleased with our modular theater seating, we do realize some people like to ‘lean back’ rather than ‘lean in’ during shows. We’re looking at a modular bench solution so we can keep our seating but provide some additional comfort.

Furthermore! Because we were forced to re-test our soundproofing we learned that it’s better than we thought and almost good enough to carry on shows past 10pm. We’re looking into small fixes to be able to do this – then we’re in real good shape! 

In the meantime…

Continue coming to see shows and laughing your nuts off. 

 

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Berlin Regulatory Agency cares deeply about CCB inventory.

Shows at the Comedy Café Berlin (CCB) will be on a minimum 2 week hiatus as of May 19 after the Berlin ‘Ordnungsamt’ expressed its deep concern for the safety of some stuff stored in the CCB basement. The agency, which enforces rules and regulations for businesses throughout Germany, has told the owners to install an emergency exit in the cellar, for what they can only assume is the safe evacuation of  beer kegs and old signs, since the area is off limits to the public and used solely for storage.

“We’re taking this very, very seriously,” said Noah Telson, co-owner of CCB, “we do not wish to be fined or even worse shut down.” Telson, who struck an oddly positive tone about the recent developments, says he likes to spend extended periods of time in the basement lying amongst the kegs of Vagabund Brauerei beer, and realizes that the Ordnungsamt “has a good point and we should definitely spend exorbitant amounts of money on this door. I’d hate to think what would happen to all this stuff.” Indeed, the Ordnungsamt has threatened CCB with fines of “up to 4 digits” and possible permanent closure if shows continue while regulations aren’t met.

When asked about the countless bars in the neighborhood that most certainly do not have emergency exits in their cellars, Telson said CCB deserves to be treated differently, “I mean, we’re not just a bar, we’re an independent alternative theater space that sells only the finest quality beer and wine. And we’re really thankful that someone is actually thinking about the drinks down there. Not to mention, we attract the kind of people that would definitely lift a 20kg trap door and sequester themselves downwards into a cellar in a mad panic. It just makes sense.”

The Comedy Café Berlin, which opened its doors in Neukölln in October 2015 and boasts itself as the city’s first international alternative comedy stage, bar and café, was also told by the agency that they will need to re-test their soundproofing because, “why not?” While their biggest draw are the comedy shows, owners Noah Telson, Nina Spiri, and Dino Spiri are confident that business won’t be affected too much by this unexpected hiatus, particularly at this most important moment in the growth of their business. “We’ll have drink specials and some non-event events just to make sure we’re attracting people to come out.”

If anyone has any leads on cheap emergency doors and/or knows someone who can do the work please contact the owners at info@comedycafeberlin.com.

If you’d like to support CCB with a donation, please also send an email.