Gabe Liedman and Jenny Slate are the saucy comic duo best known for co-hosting Williamsburg's signature weekly free stand-up show, Big Terrific, along with Max Silvestri. The show has moved on from the late Soundfix Lounge to its current home at Cameo, even closer to the Bedford L stop on North Sixth. Tonight they'll be celebrating Big Terrific's one-year anniversary with guests including Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal, Hannibal Buress and Sean Patton.

Both Gabe and Jenny are also currently working on their own solo shows. Jenny has been performing "Dead Millionaire," which takes place at her funeral, only if she died as an eccentric millionaire who left $300 million to her dog. It's been running at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater with its next show coming up on June 26th. And Gabe hopes to soon follow with a show he's been developing where he poses questions to a slideshow of pop star celebrities from The Jonas Brothers to TI that would never get past the censors if the celebrities themselves were within a mile. Gabe and Jenny checked in with us to talk about the strange ways performers react to doing a show in the heart of Williamsburg, if there is a secret "positive comedy" movement currently taking place and just what a love triangle could be in store for the two of them and TI, set in a prison.

Do you find comedy plays different in Williamsburg than when you perform in the city? Do performers ever have strange reactions or expectations to the stigma of the neighborhood when they come out to do Big Terrific?
One thing is for sure, when a joke bombs, it’s usually because a comedian made a joke about “fucking hipsters”. Our audience tends to be really smart, and yes, pretty hip. And we like them that way.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen around the 'burg?
Jenny once saw her ex-boyfriend from drama camp. That was pretty crazy. Oh, and Gabe is blind. Maybe you should write an article about that.

You guys have anything you’re really excited about doing this summer around town? We’re definitely going to go to Trout, an outdoor bar in our neighborhood, and see how many micheladas we can drink. We like to leave there with both of our shirts off.


Which pop stars do you most consistently defend?
Gabe is always asserting to everyone that Kylie Minogue isn’t a one hit wonder, and that Solange isn’t trying to be like Beyonce. Jenny is always defending herself as the best pop star in town.

Any early predictions on “song of the summer”? Any hot jams right now?
We don’t even know any modern songs, and we’re usually the last to know, but Gabe is still pretty hung up on “No Letting Go” by Wayne Wonder, although we both agree on the “Stanley Steamer the Carpet Cleaner” jingle as a rump-shaker.

When gay marriage passes in New York, who do you think should be the honorary first couple to make it official? What? Gabe and Jenny should be married first. No Der. Duh. What? Der.

Did you ever go to sleepaway camp as kids? If you guys were camp counselors, what advice would you give to twelve-year-old Gabe and Jennys?
Yes, we both went to camp. Jenny still has a close relationship with her camp friends, whereas Gabe didn’t want to admit that he just didn’t fit in at summer camp and WAY outstayed his welcome. He actually has a terrible nightmare, about once a year, where he has to go back to camp. The only suggestion Jenny would give to her 12 year old self is to not show everyone her pubes the second she gets them.

Do you guys feel like you missed out on the whole Catskills scene?
Yeah, we’re really sorry about that. If there are any two people who would have really fit into that scene, it’s a lady and a fag who talk about their diarrhea all the time and use the word “kike” like it doesn’t mean anything. So, yeah, sorry we missed that.

If you guys could have a show together on a niche cable network, which would it be and what would the show be like?
We’d just love to have a reality show on NY1 where we would go around New York and re-enact scenes from the movie “Se7en”.

Twentysomethings these days always wanna bring back proms and put on prom-themed parties, but no one seems to do throwback mitzvahs. Why is that? Would you guys be up for starting that trend?
We would LOVE to have a joint bar/bat mitzvah, but the problem is that we just can’t agree on a theme. (Gabe wants “Mighty Ducks” and Jenny wants “Famous Women of the 20th Century), plus, we can’t find a make-up artist who can give us realistic acne.

I like that interview where Jenny described your dynamic as “like George and Elaine, but we like each other.” Gabe, how do you feel about Jenny comparing you to George Costanza? Have you ever found yourself going on adventures around New York inspired by Seinfeld? That comment actually came out of real life, during a time when Gabe had a major complex about George, and a mild, public, mental breakdown where he was convinced that he was a real life George Costanza. Let’s just say it reached a climax when he stood outside in the middle of Fort Greene and screamed “I’M GEORGE! I’M FREAKING OUT!”

I thought that it was great that the show didn’t miss a beat when Sound Fix shut down and seemed to keep going as if there was no second thought about it. There’s been comedy in Williamsburg for a long time now, but for some reason it felt like it never was able to hold down a consistent staple show like Big Terrific. What about your show do you think made it work? There’s just so much energy behind the show. The three of us share the responsibilities and make it a party every week. Our number one goal is to make sure that everyone has fun and that everyone is nice to each other, which is usually not really a priority at comedy shows. There’s something familial about the show that starts with the relationship that the three of us have, and extends to all of our audience members.

Which NYC neighborhood do you predict will be the next frontier in comedy?
We hope it will be Cobble Hill, because that’s where we live and we’re crazy shut-ins.

Was there a point where you had an “oh shit” moment when you found out who was coming out to do the show? Who would be some comedians that you’d really pinch yourself if they came to do it? We’ve already had to pinch ourselves a lot, having guests like Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Fred Armisen, Kristen Schaal and Todd Barry, but we would extra pinch each other if we could get The Genie from “Aladdin”, but not Robin Williams.

Which comedian has the best Twitter?
Gabe, Done. His twitter is the best.

What’s the rawest thing you’ve ever said on stage?
I guess Jenny’s story about taking a shit in a trashcan “by mistake” is pretty raw, but we usually black out on stage so it’s hard to say.

Brooke Astor of Leona Helmsley?
Brooke Astor, 1,000 %.

I swear that Big Terrific is emblematic that there’s some sort of positive movement going on in comedy. Like in the early 90’s when rap started churning out singles like “Hip-Hop Hooray” and “Whoomp! There It Is.” Do you think comedians today make a conscious effort to present themselves as more likable people than eras past? Does “asshole shtick” even fly any more? If you’re doing the “asshole shtick” you’d better be good enough at it to be admired. Our approach is pretty simple, we just try to make people feel how we want to feel, and we think it would be nice if that caught on. We hate when people are dicks to us and we never forget it.

Gabe has a routine where he asks interview questions of pop stars that no network or PR people would probably allow. Have you considered that since the rapper T.I. is now in prison it might be the perfect chance to actually ask him some? If (slash-when) you sit across from T.I. on your respective prison phones, what do you think that interaction would be like? Feel free to take us through what that entire day will be like for you.
Gabe would probably spend all morning getting high enough so that his heart didn’t pound out of his chest, and then when he finally sat across T.I., he would just compliment him and pretend that he knows what T.I.’s songs are called. No matter how little of it Gabe eats, he’s a huge pussy.

Now imagine Jenny was in prison and T.I. comes to visit her. Takes us through how you see that going down.
If Jenny was in prison it would be for something she totally deserved to be locked up for. She wouldn’t get any visitors, but if T.I. did show up, he would probably say, “you’re an animal, you deserve to be in the zoo.”

Please share your favorite "only in New York" story.
One time we ate all of these pot cookies and were hanging out in Gabe’s dorm room, staring out the window. We were looking directly across the street into the wards of St. Luke’s hospital, commenting on how peaceful and helpful people are. Then, out of nowhere, two cop cars, chasing a suspect on Amsterdam Avenue right below us, ended up crashing head on at about 70 MPH. It seemed to happen in slow motion and it was super loud. It was so bad that the Jaws of Life had to come and sort it out. We didn’t talk at all until about 30 minutes later when one of us asked the other if we should watch TV. ONLY IN NEW YORK!!!