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Queens Chronicle

Joel Kim Booster builds a show for LGBT community

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Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:30 am

For Joel Kim Booster, finding a place for the queer and queer-friendly community to perform stand-up was important.

“There are plenty of gay-themed shows in New York City but most take place in gay bars,” Booster said. “These venues do play an important role, but I don’t want to just do comedy in the back of a gay bar.”

He also didn’t want to have to travel to Hell’s Kitchen or the Lower East Side just to perform at one of these shows either.

So, Booster turned his sights on the Laughing Devil in Long Island City to create his own show for the queer community.

“They had been looking for some new programming that was different from the general showcases they do,” he said. “I had thought a lot about putting up a show where the majority of the lineup had a lot of queer voices in it, so I pitched it.”

“BRUCE: The Best Queer and Queer Friendly Comedy Show in Queens,” is exactly what it sounds like, a place for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and supporters to come together and laugh.

“There aren’t a lot of gay amenities in Queens,” Booster said. “There are a few places that have a monthly event but there aren’t really any venues in Long Island City for the LGBT community.”

Though the show is about bringing the queer community together, Booster said he isn’t about alienating anyone.

“The bottom line is, everyone performing is funny,” he said. “I wasn’t specifically looking for comedians who were all gay or had a joke that touches on the LGBT community. I was looking for a voice that would appeal to our community and the straight community.

“I just didn’t want a show where the punchline is ‘Isn’t it funny the person is gay?’”

The show, hosted by Booster, will feature several gay and straight performers alike.

The Brooklyn resident hopes the event will become a monthly regular at the Laughing Devil.

Booster does acknowledge the difficulties that came with starting a new, niche show in New York City last month.

“It’s a tough sell and a little hard to promote to the right audience,” Booster said. “We don’t want to scare anyone away but I wanted to put out there what the show is going to be.”

Booster anticipates a much larger crowd at this month’s show.

“They best thing would be to see people in seats, laughing, that’s what I’m hoping for.”

When: Thurs., May 29, 8 p.m.
Where: Laughing Devil, 47-38 Vernon Blvd., LIC
Tickets: $10, must be 16 or over l-aughingdevil.com

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Jeanna F posted at 12:45 am on Thu, Oct 30, 2014.

    Jeanna F Posts: 1

    I met this guy when he was working at a call center at Groupon, right after their 2011 IPO. I'm disabled and had to take a short-term job there right after I got out of the hospital. Joel Kim made every one of the lousy days I spent at Groupon feel infinitely worse by mocking me (within my earshot) to my other co-workers.
    Considering his youth, Joel Kim has all the blasé and vindictiveness I would expect from a fat, burned-out middle manager twice his age. I think of him every time I look at Groupon's stock price ($20 at IPO, $5.79 as of this writing).

    I am SO glad that Joel Kim developed "The Best Queer Friendly Comedy Show in Queens" to support storytelling for gay, lesbian, and transgendered people. After all the LGBT community suffered--the Stonewall Riots, Matthew Shepherd, and the religious right cruelly dismissing the YouTubed "suicide notes" of LBGT teens as "propaganda"--what relief for gays to finally be accepted into American life by finding a demographic lower than themselves to laugh at: disabled people, who are funnier to Joel Kim than the 50-yard dash at the Special Olympics.

    A working class city like Chicago was way too small to contain Joel Kim's talents. Hopefully the $36.99 he got from cashing in his employee stock will far toward "improving gay amenities" in the outer boroughs.