Auróra, known for its fun, open, positive spirit, its celebration of diversity, and its dedication to uniting culture and community, was the obvious choice for comedians Michaël Wertenberg and Daniel Ligeti to hold their comedy open mic event.
an article by our guest writer, author-stand-up comedian Michaël Wertenberg
‘Auróra and English-language stand-up comedy is a perfect fit,’ says Michaël. ‘They already have a good, international, open-minded crowd, a semi-centralized location, large, yet cozy, basement room with a broad stage and good acoustics. Moreover, creative people from all over the world sharing their stories, broadening our minds to a larger range of perspectives, and connecting communities through culture, that’s international stand-up comedy, and that’s Aurora: a perfect fit.’
The hosts of Stand-Up Budapest, Michaël and Daniel, had cut their teeth at the BP ComedyHouse open-mics. And, inspired by the success of those open-mics–both in the turn out, and in the quality of the performers–the two comedians, craving more, decided to branch out. ‘Performing can be addictive,’ says Michaël, as he grinds his teeth and scratches at the crook of his arm. ‘We’re always looking for more stage time. The more we do it, the better we get.’
‘Of course, I’ll be performing every week,’ continues the attention-seeking, arrogant, though extremely-gifted, joke writer. ‘While we’re expecting some overlap in the performers and the crowd from BP ComedyHouse, we’re expecting, thanks to Auróra, its history and its location, to attract new performers and draw new comedy enthusiasts.’
Though he has only been in Budapest 14 months and has been doing comedy for less than that, Michael speaks about comedy like a smug know-it-all veteran of the craft. ‘Budapest brings in people from all over the world with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.’ He continues with grandiose hand gestures and airs of someone in love with his own voice–the success of his one-man show, The Comedy Legend Anniversary Show, definitely went to his head– ‘The celebration of that diversity, looking at life from a different perspective, that’s stand-up comedy.’
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Michael strokes his chin, right under the self-satisfied grin he’s slapped on his self-satisfied face. ‘At least that has been the case at BP ComedyHouse. Now, we’re reaching out into a different neighborhood, a different venue, a different community to continue that exploration and celebration of diverse perspectives.’ Michael extends his hands, palms up, so proud of his modesty, and adds, ‘Provide a platform for people to come and express themselves and a receptive audience ready to laugh, that’s all we’re trying to do.’
Auróra is a social enterprise–community center, social club, bar, live music venue–created to promote cultural programs, activist organizations, and community building, in a fun, open environment.
BP ComedyHouse is run by StandOut, a Sudanese expat who performs regularly around Budapest, and Kitti, a Hungarian native, who does English-language comedy in Hungary and recently did Hungarian-language comedy in England; it’s complicated. Together they host a comedy open-mic every other Wednesday (location varies. Check BP ComedyHouse FB page to stay abreast.)
Stand-Up Budapest, while not directly affiliated with BP ComedyHouse, is the combined effort of two BP ComedyHouse Alumni, French-American author/comedian Michaël Wertenberg and Hungarian-Hungarian archeologist/comedian Daniel Ligeti: an effort to expand the reach and influence of the English-language comedy scene in Budapest, provide more stage time for performers, and, generally, meet new people and have fun.
Come join them, if you want to perform, or if you simply want to laugh, meet people and have a good time.