When Kevin Bauer moved from Ohio to Astoria four years ago, it reminded the 26-year-old comedian of home.
He was struck by the neighborhood's small town-feel, with its many low-rise buildings tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. He also noticed the neighborhood chatter, the "hearsay and small talk," of locals discussing what was happening in the area.
"There's this kind of, like, palpable buzz among people," Bauer said. "Anytime I go to a coffee shop, I hear people talking about what's new, what's closing down, what the changes are in the neighborhood."
That's how "Good Morning Astoria" was born — a parody web series shot by Bauer and fellow comedians Dan King and Aaron Nemo, staged as a morning news show that covers local events, from the real to the mundane.
Filmed in the apartment the creators share near Steinway Street, the show features Bauer as a slickly-dressed news anchor, while his friends offer commentary on the weather and local gossip.
"Theres something about the town of Astoria, as a city, that I felt made it really conducive for a morning show," Bauer said.
There are only two episodes so far, uploaded to YouTube, which joke about local events like Shia LaBeouf's now-shuttered art installation at the Museum of the Moving Image alongside the rising price of eggs at a health food market on Broadway.
"On Thursday evening, a man in a van yelled something at me, but he didn't slow down so I didn't quite catch what it was," Bauer announces in one segment, while a chyron reads, "Man Yells From Van."
There are also repeated references to Fresk'o Frozen Yogurt on 30th Avenue, which Bauer says they worked in because "the name is very fun to say."
The roommates plan to keep making episodes when they have time, aiming to release a new one about once a month. The feedback so far has been mostly positive, Bauer said.
"My parents like it a lot, which I think that’s a pretty good gauge for hitting the morning show aspect of it," he said.
You can watch episodes of "Good Morning Astoria" here. You can also catch Bauer outside of Astoria performing as part of Lo-Fi NYC, a "no budget" variety and comedy show at the Under St. Marks Theater the third Saturday of each month.