Central New York Comedy has found a home at Funk n Waffles in Syracuse. For the past few months, NYC comedian Brian Enck has put together well-received and hilarious shows in Downtown Syracuse, in a music venue of all places.
Brian is a nationally touring comedian who’s been in dozens of comedy fests, hosted award shows, podcasts and anything else you can think of. But his new home is here in Syracuse and his new favorite show is the monthly at Funk & Waffles.
Honestly I didn’t think I’d be able to get them. To be real, Funk & Waffles was my target college and my grades were not good enough. They’re known for being this very cool music venue with amazing bands coming through and I walk up with my dumb face and go ‘Hey how about I bring you some comedians?’ We talked for a few weeks, tweaked out the details till we made it work. We’ve had two of the past three shows sold out, and the comics love the space, so it must’ve been the right call.Brian Enck
Enck, originally from Webster, outside of Rochester, moved to NYC once he started getting paid gigs freshman year of college in 2010. For over a decade Brian made stand up not just his passion but his career drawing on his influences like Dave Chappelle, Monty Python, Lenny Bruce, Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford and others. “I moved from Upstate because there wasn’t a scene around here, it was just angry recently divorced 50 year olds yelling about their ex wives and giving me a hard time because I was working out jokes.” Now the whole state has a great network of talented comics in well run rooms. From the clubs, to bar shows, to little pop up rooms, or monthlies in a place that had a heavy metal band the night before it’s like a renaissance for the New York comedy.” Brian also spent his last few years as a comedy producer for a TV Network. “I loved being able to work on scripts, talk out characters with actors, and making a budget work with the accountants, actually no that part sucked but the rest was fun.”
Brian’s shows have had the same outline grab the funniest people and turn on the microphone.
Because of COVID, he would take some time to work remotely and spend time with his family. That summer Brian met his now wife and made the move from Brooklyn to Syracuse and hasn’t looked back.
With a goal of drawing NYC comedians north, and Rochester, Buffalo and Albany each having ripe comedy centers, Syracuse fits right in the middle of that I-90 corridor and would benefit CNY comedy fans in need. Turning Syracuse into a city that is great for comedy is Enck’s plan, just as Madison, WI is great for comedy just because it decided to be; there is no reason Syracuse can’t be the same, given how close it is to NYC.
Though Brian thought choosing a music venue was going to be a long shot, it has worked out perfectly for a comedy series. Every comedian wants to be a musician and vice versa, to quote Seinfeld “Musicians and Comedians are like Chimps and Orangutans, we know we have something in common we just can’t place it.”
Working with the clubs, comedians, and other venues the next plan is for a Central New York comedy festival. With each city hosting comics from all over in the great rooms that already exist here and now.
Upcoming Comedy Nights at Funk n Waffles
Summer dates to be announced soon.
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