BINGO used to remind me of old folks, 2nd graders and B-i-n-g-o the dog. But when I went to Bingo Nite at the Bowery Poetry Club a few months ago, all of that changed.

Let me set the scene: On Monday nights around 6:30, Bingo players drift into the club, order drinks and drape jackets over coveted seats. Bingo veterans know it is important to arrive early, because in less than an hour, the place will be packed. On stage,  Taylor Meade, the former Warhol Factory member, and downtown NYC icon, sits in a gray pool of light, grumbling profane poetry into the microphone. He has shrunk to a disturbingly small size, and crumples around the middle like a puppet.

As the tables begin to fill, the M.C.s Murray Hill and Linda Simpson grace the stage. Murray and Linda are the genius behind the game. Together, they exchange snarky quips and keep the game on track.

Their assistant, a mostly naked, physically fit and extremely flamboyant Bingo-Card-Boy, sells BINGO cards for 2 dollars a pop whilst dancing down the aisles.

At 7:30, Bingo Nite round one begins!

Every round, a new gorgeous prize is raffled off – from massive dollar-store-snack-packs to spa kits, to christmas tree ornaments. Whenever a winner yells “Bingo!” They are called up onstage, so Linda and Murray can verify their winning numbers, and dish insults or hilarious come-ons while presenting the BINGO victim with their prize.

Intermittently, Linda and Murray will launch into short dialogues about the prizes, like the following about a badminton set:

Murray: “I played on my highschool Badminton team. We were all-state Badminton champions!”

Linda: “Well that’s nice Murray. Badminton keeps you in shape. Were you in good shape when you played badminton, Murray?”

Murray: “Whad-a-ya getting at Lisa?”

Linda: “Well it is very aerobic exercise Murray.”

Murray: “Well I did have cheekbones back then. So, if that’s what you mean by in-shape…”

Fairly enlightening, and always hilarious.

Near the end of the night, the stakes rise, and the two most important rounds of Bingo are played: the nude-off and the cash prize!

The nude-off is a round of four corner Bingo, in which the first three winners go backstage, get naked and use a plastic bag, some duck tap and a bingo card, to cover themselves, and dance onstage for the audience.

The cash prize is a round of four corner Bingo, in which the winner gets all of the money collected from Bingo card sales for the entire evening – an amount that is usually somewhere between $200 and 300 dollars!

So whether you are looking for some comedy, a couple hundred bucks or a little pedestrian nudity, check it out, and Bingo the Nite away!

Rosie duPont BC ’10
ArtsLink Associate

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One Response to BINGO!

  1. Gerald Ulich says:

    Excellent site i will do come back definately. Great article.

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