So a microbiologist and an astronomer walk into a bar…

Nerd jokes will fill the air like fog from dry ice during the Stand-Up for Science showcase at the New York Hall of Science on Saturday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Entitled “Real Experts. Real Funny,” the brainy comedy night features local scientists showing off their stage antics for the first time ever via Science Riot, a nonprofit that trains them to be engaging speakers through comedy writing and performance.

Queens native Lorena Russi (AKA “La Rata”), a former writer for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” who’s known for her bilingual dad jokes, will be the host. The six confirmed jokesters will deliver 10-minute routines in a “late night” style as prepared with help from Science Riot’s Kyle Marian, who describes herself as a “former physical anthropologist” who turned to comedy. (She produces a monthly live show, “The Symposium: Academic Stand-Up.”)

The headliner is Shannon Odell, a neuroscientist who co-hosts and produces the experimental comedy show “Drunk Science” and the YouTube series “Your Brain on Blank.” Another neuroscientist, New York University Biology Department Postdoctoral Fellow Yelena Bernadskaya, will also participate. It’s hard to predict her shtick, but her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of heart cell migration and polarity during the embryonic development of the Sea Squirt (Ciona intestinalis). Hilarious stuff.

The performers have to follow three rules: they have to teach something; they have to be funny; and their only tool is a microphone. If successful, the end result is basically a funny TED Talk.

General admission is $15. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and attendees will be able to enjoy a drink at a makeshift bar, which will be outside on the terrace if weather permits. Projects by some of the museum’s 2019 designers-in-residence will be on display there.

Science Riot is a nationwide program, but this is its first-ever appearance in New York state. Proceeds will support Science Riot, which offers its services for free.

The New York Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th St. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. There’s a large parking lot on site, and the 7 train’s 111th Street/Roosevelt Avenue station is a few blocks to the north.

Images: Science Riot


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