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Browntown Clowns Win Brown Crown So Bow Down

Saurin Choksi and Sareen Patel have been gathering comedians and fans in the backroom of a Brooklyn bar for over a year now. As the guests get settled into the chairs, Patel begins spinning the music from his DJ project Brown Privilege which gives the night its name.

By the time the first billed comedian takes the stage, the crowd is already laughing, warmed up by host Choksi. This is Brown Privilege Comedy, a monthly comedy night that happens on the third Tuesday of every month at the bar Friends & Lovers.

The comedians Choksi and Patel choose every month are a combination of friends and colleagues, representing groups not typically seen in comedy. You won’t get a white guy complaining about dating here, but you might get a few women talking about vaginal care or a Korean guy explaining why he doesn’t use his real name (Dong, in this case) in conversation.

But it’s not like the duo set out to represent every marginalized group. It’s really just about taste.

“We want it to be like a very good experience for everyone in a unique way,” Patel told Kajal. “Not unique like groundbreaking but very specific to our own personal tastes. First and foremost we want it be funny and a good show, so people just enjoy themselves. It’d be great if we became the brown Desus and Mero but there’s no mandate.”

The show came out of Choksi and Patel’s, both childhood friends who grew up in Houston, Texas, desire to collaborate. Before Brown Privilege Comedy became the Brooklyn fixture it is today, Patel released an album in 2014 called Brown Privilege and since then he’s been DJ-ing around New York City under the heading. Choksi was also hosting a regular comedy show near the end of 2015. It was only after Patel saw Choksi on stage that the idea for Brown Privilege Comedy came about.

“I’ve known Sareen my whole life, or he’s known me his whole life because I’m a little older,” Choksi recounts. “Sareen is more like a family member than a pal. When I moved to New York he came to a bad show I did. It was a bad show. He was the only one there. “I was like ‘this is bad’ and he was like ‘yeah.’”

After that fateful reflection, the two began putting on Brown Privilege Comedy, with Patel spinning before and after the show, in addition to providing crucial sound effects during, and Choksi hosting.

Brown Privilege Comedy has become the perfect place to catch up-and-coming stars alongside new internet favorites all for free. Notable guests in the past have included Aparna Nancherla, The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr., and Insecure’s Langston Kerman.

As an aside, their social media flyers for the shows are works of art in themselves; a blend of nostalgia, puns, and information.

Brown Privilege Comedy is about community as much as it’s just about putting on a good show. Choksi doesn’t like any political assumptions around the show’s lineup.

“It’s just what we want to see,” he said. “It’s mostly people I know. There’s not a mission for it to be this thing. It’s just the natural result of the show Sareen and I want to do.”

Every inch of Brown Privilege Comedy is picked and decided by Choksi and Patel. It’s theirs and they give it freely.

“This is our taste, this is our show,” Patel said.

You can catch Brown Privilege Comedy the third Tuesday of every month at Friends & Lovers in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Their next show is April 18.