Recent Posts in comedy
October 2, 2015
by Bill Pearis
Childbirth's 2014 song "I Only Fucked You As a Joke" (from their self-titled tape) was a hilariously mean shoutalong insta-classic. The band, made up of Julia Shapiro (Chastity Belt), Bree McKenna (Tacocat) and Stacy Peck (Pony Time), return with their second album, Women's Rights, which is out today via Suicide Squeeze. It delivers 13 razor-sharp jabs, lampooning everything from the state of online dating ("Siri, Open Tinder"), the plusses of dating the newly wealthy ("Tech Bro"), "cool moms" ("Cool Mom"), doing coke at a baby shower ("Baby Bump") and so on.
A friend of mine from Seattle calls it the funniest thing out of the city since the heyday of the Young Fresh Fellows and like them, Childbirth do it without coming off novelty. There are a couple cheap jabs ("Breast Coast" pokes fun at vapid lyrics of certain indie bands) but overall, Childbirth deliver pointed barbs but also some serious punky hooks. You can stream the whole thing via NPR or Rdio, below.
October 1, 2015
The New York Comedy Festival (November 10 - 15) just announced 50 new shows to its 2015 lineup, including panel discussions, stand-up, musical comedy and podcasts. Among them is "Comedy Central Live in Brooklyn" which happens at Kings Theatre on November 13 and will features sets by Hannibal Buress, Nick Kroll, Natasha Leggero, John Mulaney, Jeff Ross and more TBA. Tickets are on sale for that show.
Other new additions include: Bridget Everett & the Tender Moments at Gramery Theatre on November 12 (tickets); Craig Robinson & the Nasty Delicious at Brooklyn Bowl on November 15 (tickets); "A Sit-Down With The Tonight Show Writers" on November 14 at The TimesCenter (tickets); and "Keepin It 100: An Evening With The Creative Team Of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore" at the Paley Center on November 14 (tickets on sale 10/7).
Full schedule for the 2015 NY Comedy Festival is here.
September 28, 2015
photo: Will Butler @ Baby's All Right in March (more by Erik Erikson)
Will Butler will close out a very busy 2015 with a holiday show at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 17 with comedian Jo Firestone and the Hearing Things opening. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (10/2) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (9/30) at noon. You can watch a video preview about the show below.
Jo Firestone, who was just named one of Brooklyn Magazine's "30 Under 30," is a very busy performer as one look to her show calendar will attest. (She's also a writer on the Chris Gethard Show.) Her very very full schedule this week includes: Littlefield tonight (9/28) as part of Night Train with David Cross which is sold-out. She's also at Littlefield on Tuesday (9/29) with her show/competition "Punderdome 3000" that she co-hosts with her dad, Fred (tickets). On Thursday (10/1) at Housing Works she hosts her monthly series "Loose" (tickets); and on Friday (10/2) you can catch her at both the Slow Dance comedy show at Niagra (8 PM) and then at midnight she's part of "The Incredible Gameshow Showcase" at Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea (tickets). And on Saturday (10/3) at Over the Eight in Williamsburg it's "Jo & Billy Talking About Chocolate" with Billy Nord and that show is free. She also cohosts "Dr. Gameshow" on WFMU every Monday night from 6-7 PM EST. Jo has lots more stuff coming up, check out that calendar for details.
She's also warming up the crowd for bands TEEN and Ava Luna at Saint Vitus on October 24 (tickets). Check out some Jo Firestone videos below.
September 23, 2015
by Klaus Kinski
Your man Klaus is a little late to the announcement party, but that is how I roll. Comedy legends Bob Odenkirk and David Cross have wrapped up production of their new Netlix-only sketch comedy show With Bob and David and a release date has been set; November 13, 2015!
As a fledgling comedy aficionado in the mid-90s, Mr. Show With Bob and David was my bible and Bob and David were my Christs. I had been a Monty Python fan since I could understand English and, to me, Bob and David carried that marriage of irreverent live-action and pre-recorded material sensibility into a "hipper," more profane and contemporary arena. And although they reunited for a live tour in 2002 and for the production of Mr. Show movie Run Ronnie Run, Mr. Show superfans like me have always hungered for an all out, full-fledged, Mr. Show reunion series. Thank Cod for Netflix. The official teaser for "With Bob and David" (also featuring Brian Posehn) and some of my favorite Mr. Show sketches are below.
Meanwhile, fellow Emersonian, college drop-out, Emmy Award winner, Klaus-favorite, and indie comedy legend David Cross has really been making the rounds on the NYC comedy scene these past few weeks. He performed at Sweet's 11th anniversary show, he dropped in on a recent installment of comedy showcase Myrtle Comedy, and he was a guest on a recent installment of The Talk Show Series Presents: The Corrigan Show. He also dropped into Loose: A Comedy Show with Jo Firestone! at Housing Works Bookstore earlier this month. And these are just the appearances I can recall off the top of my head which is amazing considering I regularly forget what day of the week it is.
This past Monday (9/21), Cross hosted Night Train at Littlefield in place of usual host Wyatt Cenac. David Cross will again host Night Train at Littlefield this Monday (9/28), again in place of Wyatt Cenac, with Jo Firestone, Randy Liedtke, Aaron Glaser, KT Tatara, Donwill (DJ set) and more. That is sold out, but before that Cross has a headlining slot at Late Night Basement on Friday (9/25) at Livestream Public (195 Morgan Ave b/t Stagg St & Meadow St). Other items on the bill include a performance by Astronautalis, an interview/stand-up with Joe Berkowitz and comedian Josh Gondelman who collaborated on a book called "You Blew It: An Awkward Look at the Many Ways In Which You've Already Ruined Your Life" and an appearance by the great Jo Firestone. The show is free with 8:30 PM doors, 9 PM show. Oh, First 40 people to arrive receive will receive a free surprise gift: your choice of Josh Gondelman & Joe Berkowitz's upcoming book, "You Blew It!" or a nice cold can of Narragansett.
I am not sure if this barrage of live appearances is in preparation for a new stand-up special or what, but without a twitter account, an up-to-date facebook page, or an official website, keeping up with live Cross is pretty difficult. But he seems to be hitting all the usual comedy shows, so take a gamble and get out there.
September 22, 2015
photos by David Andrako
Eugene & Reggie / 'Bob's Burgers' songfest / Stephin Merritt / John Hodgman
The 2015 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival happened over the weekend with events at The Bell House and Union Hall (and then a EMCF edition of StarTalk Live! on Monday at Beacon Theatre). Among this year's festivities: Mirman's 'Pretty Good Friends' show featured the work of Elegant Too, the production team behind the songs on Bob's Burgers. They brought up different performers to sing the songs, including Jon Spencer & Cristina Martinez (Boss Hog, etc) who did "Sex Song" and a couple others, AC Newman and Eleanor Friedberger performed "Fart School for the Gifted" and "Electric Love" and Mirman sang "Gene's Snake Song." They brought out everyone at the end to cover Blondie's "One Way or Another."
On Sunday, since the Emmys were happening in real life at the same time, the EMCF hosted the Fake Emmys. It should be noted that there were a few past EMCF performers up for real awards, including Amy Schumer, Jon Glaser, Jessi Klein, John Oliver, Josh Gondelman, John Mulaney, Louis CK, not to mention Archer and Bob's Burgers
Other fun things at this year's fest: Mirman hired a mariachi band to play the crowd out; there was free ice cream for everyone on Saturday night; and there were curiosities like the "Eye Contact Booth with Eugene" booths where you could "Get Local Real Estate advice" and "Swear at a Local Broker" and outside Bell House was the "Bounce with someone we paid to compliment you in a bouncy castle." Also: Reggie Watts, John Hodgman, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, Jessi Klein, Janeane Garofalo, Ira Glass, Jo Firestone, Scott Adsit, Jon Benjamin and many more.
Check out more pictures from the 2015 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival below...
by Bill Pearis
In this YouTube age, there are no shortage of weird/wrong VHS-era videos floating around, but few have the curatorial taste and demented affinity for the stuff like the folks at Everything is Terrible!. What makes them a few cuts above isn't just finding this crap, but also editing and juxtaposing it into something that takes on a funny, surreal and occasionally nightmarish quality. Everything is Terrible! have have a new traveling show, titled "Legends," which will be touring this fall. More:
Once a millenium, something emerges from the darkest corner of the universe and enlightens us to the true meaning of being. Something so mystickal, so magickal, and so mind-splitting that all concepts before its existence sounds stupid and boring. Of course, we are talking about Everything Is Terrible! The Legends show is a culmination of the first seven (of 777) years of work from the video alchemists at EIT! These mindfreaks have taken thousands of forgotten VHS tapes, chewed them up, and spit them back to their young via daily website postings, six movies, and world tours. In that time, they've exposed us to wonders such as massaging cat ladies, apocalyptic facial exercises, pizzas parties in hell, and our immortal party-god, Duane. Nobody could have predicted the cultural, psychological, and illuminating impact EIT! would have on our consciousness, but seeing all their greatest works chronicled in one place reminds us that in the right hands, garbage can be turned into gold! It is time pack up your copies of Jerry Maguire and accept the fact that your life up until this moment has been pointless.You can check out a few videos to give you a taste. The tour hits NYC on November 1 at The Bell House and tickets are on sale now.
All tour dates are listed below.
September 18, 2015
by Klaus Kinski
By many estimations, British comedy legends Monty Python did for comedy what the Beatles did for music. Beginning with the first episode of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" back on October 5, 1969, a series which spanned 45 episodes over 4 series and ballooned into countless books, albums, touring stage shows, movies, and a Broadway musical, the Python fingerprint is all over such comedy staples as SNL, The Kids in the Hall, and Mr. Show with Bob and David. One of the most recognizable faces of the 6 person comedy machine is John Cleese. His post Python career has probably been the most robust of the 6 members, having appeared in nearly 60 films, 20 TV shows, 23 direct to video projects, video games and, of course, his masterwork television series Fawlty Towers, which ranks #1 on the BFI TV 100 list (beating out "Monty Python's Flying Circus" which landed a #5 spot).
Mr. Cleese has a few items on his plate that might be worth noting if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Monty Python super-fan like your man Klaus. Back on November 4, 2014, Cleese released, on hardcover, a book entitled "So, Anyway...." This memoir recounts Cleese's journey through his rise and mastery of the comic arts; from awkward small town lad (who was already 6 foot tall by his 12th birthday) through the 10 immediately-sold-out 2014 Python stadium shows at the 02 arena in London (to an audience of 16,000 people per night). It is an unbelievable look into one of the most prolific comedy careers of all time. A softcover version of the book is coming out on September 29. 2015. We're giving two copies away! Details on how to enter are below.
In honor of his recent memoir, John Cleese will be appearing live at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, November 14 at 6:30pm. Celebrating stories from "So, Anyway...", the Cleese will regale the audience with tales of projects including "The Meaning of Life", "The Life of Brian", "The Holy Grail", "A Fish called Wanda", "Fawlty Towers" and more. Tickets are now on sale. There is also a VIP option that gets you a signed copy of the paperback and a photo-op with the man himself. Get em before they're gone!
Britain's living legends of comedy, John Cleese and Eric Idle perform in their must-see new show, John Cleese & Eric Idle: Together Again At Last...For The Very First Time. The British icons will perform unforgettable sit-down comedy, blending scripted and improvised bits with storytelling, musical numbers, exclusive footage, aquatic juggling and an extended audience Q&A to craft a unique comedic experience with every performance. No two shows will be quite the same, thus ensuring that every audience feels like they're seeing Together Again At Last... For The Very First Time, for the very first time. And now you know why the show is called that, don't you?I am not kidding when I say I would kill to see one of these performances. Why there isn't a single show in the greatest of all cities, NEW YORK f'in CITY, vexes me to the point of tears. I mean, I guess I could drive to Maryland. But who wants to drive to Maryland. Gross. Anyway, tour dates are listed .
In other Python news, back on November 11, 2014, Eagle Rock Entertainment released Monty Python Live (mostly) : One Down, Five To Go on BluRay, DVD, and digital.
Filmed live on July 20th on the final night of the run of ten sold out performances at The O2 in London, "Monty Python Live (mostly) - One Down Five to Go" sees the five surviving members - John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - together with Carol Cleveland, perform many of their classic sketches and much-loved songs. The show also encompasses film inserts from Monty Python's Flying Circus, Terry Gilliam's iconic animations, outrageous dance routines by an ensemble of twenty and a fantastic live orchestra. The show cements the Python's reputation as the most influential comedy group of all time and, more importantly, still one of the funniest. "Monty Python Live (mostly) - One Down Five to Go" is the ultimate Monty Python show.While you're at Amazon or wherever ordering that, you should, as the Python completist you are, pre-order the "Monty Python and the Holy Grail Limited Edition Castle Catapult BluRay Gift Set which will be released on October 27, 2015. This doozy of a release features deluxe packaging complete with catapult and little animals you can hurl at your enemies, letters from Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam about the film, commentary from the 5 remaining Pythons, footage of the Pythons being interviewed by John Oliver at the Tribeca Film Festival, outtakes, lost animations, and more. I'd insert a "Holy Grail" pun here, but I know better.... Watch a video of this thing getting unwrapped with other videos and tour dates and stuff below...
September 17, 2015
by Andrew Sacher
Amy Schumer played MSG last night opening for Madonna and will do the same tonight (and then Barclays on Saturday), but looks like she's big as Madonna, I'll say it again, because she's now set to headline Madison Square Garden on her own on June 23, 2016. It's been a good year or so for comedians making the jump to headlining MSG, with Louis CK and Aziz Ansari (who Amy just co-headlined the Oddball tour with) doing the same. Tickets are on sale now.
Amy also teams up with Jerry Seinfeld to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Jessica Seinfeld's Baby Buggy organization, which "takes an innovative child-focused approach to curbing generational poverty by linking access to critical child gear items to parental participation in programs designed to lift the family out of poverty." That show happens November 16 at Beacon Theatre. Tickets are on sale.
All of Amy's tour dates are listed below...
September 16, 2015
photos by P Squared
Laetitia Sadier / Deradoorian
Former Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier began a tour in Brooklyn at Baby's All Right this past Friday (9/11) and sounded as enchanting as ever. Opening was her tourmate Deradoorian, whose otherworldly new album The Expanding Flower Planet came out a few weeks ago. She was introduced by none other than actor/comedian Pauly Shore, as you can see in the pictures in this post.
Speaking of, Pauly Shore just announced a NYC show for October 4 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets are on sale now.
Opening the Baby's show was Operator (not to be confused with Dan Boeckner's band Operators). More pictures below...
September 11, 2015
by Bill Pearis
There was a while there -- oh, 2009 or so -- when you could barely go a day without someone posting a new parody of the scene in Downfall when Adolf Hitler learns he's lost the war. If you missed that somehow, the subtitles were redone so that the scene was about Hitler finding out there'd be no camera in the iPod Touch, or that his friends aren't going to burning man, or him failing to get The Fall's RSD09 single. Then someone made one where Hitler actually finds out about the Downfall Meme, and the meme quieted down, but I just came across a new one where he finds out that The Cocteau Twins aren't actually reuniting this festival season. It works in Slowdive, Ride and a few other shoegaze bands as well. It's clearly from this year, and funny, and you can watch it below...