I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Published February 26th 2010
Forget everything you've ever thought about bingo. With gender bender Murray Hill and Linda Simpson taking over Le Poisson Rouge, Saturday nights have never been funnier.
You know Murray Hill. He's the self-proclaimed Mr. Showbiz, a man about town with more jokes you can shake a sthick at, and whose wild, over-the-top downtown style has made him popular with New Yorkers and celebrities alike.
Murray Hill is downtown. Village Voice writer Michael Musto called him an "equal opportunity offender." He's like your favorite uncle only he tells better jokes and never misses a chance to deliver one-liners with perfect timing. If you're good, he might even break out with a song from his debut comedy album, "Murray Hill is 100 Percent Polyester." Forever modest, Hill will tell you that he's just getting started on his fifth comeback.
The unrivaled King of Comedy, known mostly for his long-running Christmas Show, has played virtually every club below Fourteenth Street, introduced all the major players in New York's popular burlesque crowd, and has helped elevate cabaret performances to a new art form. In addition to bingo night at Le Poisson Rouge, Hill is hosting the upcoming event Queens of Burlesque in March.
Le Bingo is the perfect night for those interested in jumping in the nightlife-participation game, as hilarious antics mix well with stiff drinks in Le Poisson's cozy Gallery Bar. Rose- and blue-tinted lighting creates a mellow, upscale atmosphere, while you and your party relax at your own private table.
There's no cover charge, bingo cards are an affordable $2, and the Gallery Bar's full-menu offers hearty provisions for one and all, including $5 options (Prawn Chips! Tater Tots! Grilled Cheese! and two six-packs of Rolling Rock in a bucket of ice for $40). For the few of us not watching our wallets, entrees include traditional American fare with a few Asian staples thrown in for color.
Shouting B-I-N-G-O might seem a little nerdy, that is, until winning the cash prize makes you the envy of your friends.