Broadway has a well-deserved reputation as the pinnacle of cultural entertainment in New York City, but it’s hardly the only place around to find exceptional live entertainment. Much closer to Nu Hotel Brooklyn, Littlefield Theater in Gowanus hosts an event most months that can make you laugh, cry and cringe all in the course of an entertaining evening.

A Punny History

Punderdome 3000 was started by Brooklyn-based comedian Jo Firestone in 2011. The intent was to showcase some of that unabashed weirdness for which NYC is known. Judging by that measure, Punderdome has succeeded with flying colors. Jo’s father, Fred, a professional Rodney Dangerfield impersonator who lives in St. Louis, flies in to co-host the event every month. Even when the punsters fail to make the audience laugh, the Firestones can keep the crowd entertained.

Partake as You Choose

When you walk into Punderdome, the first things you do is purchase a drink at the bar. You try to find a chair, but unless you arrive well in advance of the start time might have to settle for a seat on the floor. Next, decide how you’d like to participate. If you think you’re punny enough, volunteer to ompete. Otherwise, you can vigorously cheering for your favorite punsters to drive up the Clap-O-Meter that determines the winner.

Brooklyn Quirkiness at its Finest

Punderdome plays out in a series of rounds. At the beginning of each round, whiteboard-brandishing participants are given a category and 90 seconds to brainstorm as many relevant puns as they can. Then, each contestant has the chance to weave their puns into a story. The audience votes by applause, and the number of contestants shrinks with each successive rounds until a Punderdome champion is crowned.

A mix of regulars and newbies keep things fresh with a bit of hilarious continuity. It’s easy to imagine some of the punsters performing at Punderdome having a shy streak, but most of them are downright shameless.

If Punderdome 3000 sounds right up your alley and you’ll be in Brooklyn on Tuesday, December 1, you’re in luck. The pun competition is slated to take a three-month hiatus after that night’s show, which promises to be chock full of terrible, awesome, and terribly awesome puns.

Doors open at 7:30, and the show starts at 8.

image via flickr