Homeschooled: A Comedic Lecture Series

By Andrew Andrews

As you might have guessed from our SASS review, we like shows that feature slide decks. If we can learn a little something while being entertained, well, that makes the evening feel more rewarding. Tonight, we had a choice of not two, but three different shows with that very promise, including this month’s installment of the aforementioned SASS and another favorite that we’ll eventually review: Secret Science Club. But considering that we already reviewed the former and didn’t feel like lining up outside in the cold for the latter, we instead headed to UCB East for the third option: Homeschooled, A Comedic Lecture Series.

Hosted by Jim Tews and produced by the equally-funny Kara Klenk, this show ups the number of laughs in the equation by recruiting comedians with little connection to their subject matter to create and deliver the presentations instead of the usual experts and enthusiasts. Tews started the show with his deck about our felid overlords—although he does have quite a bit of experience on the topic thanks to his book Felines of New York. Eli Yudin gave the first guest lecture about Cotard Delusion, a neurological disorder that makes people believe they are dead. If you’ve ever met someone who asks you to bury them (or burn them, or chop off their limbs), this just might be the explanation. Yudin finished his set with a video of a dog jumping around in a field like a kangaroo, which has nothing to do with the disease, but certainly ended on a high note!

Farah Brook followed, with a series of scientifically-proven predictions about what famous (and not-so-famous) people are going to die in 2017—including the prognostication that Bill Cosby will trip on a carpet and be fatally-wounded by a knife. Next, Blair Socci provided some advice to anyone inspired by Merrill Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes. And last up, Dan Wilbur postulated that Napoleon was History’s Biggest Asshole—or the biggest so far, at least—while enlightening us about the negative and positive sides to such a claim to fame.

As with TED Talks, industry conferences and motivational speakers, some of tonight’s presentations were better than others, but all of the comics made us laugh in one way or another, and I think we learned a little something (intentional or otherwise) from each of them. That’s not bad for the $7 entry fee, so if you find yourself in the mood to laugh and learn something at the same time, check out the next Homeschooled at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater for a different set of guests and an all-new collection of presentations! 3

Andrew Andrews attended Homeschooled: A Comedic Lecture Series at Upright Citizens Brigade East in Manhattan on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @ 8:30pm to write this review.