Recent Posts in comedy - Page 7
July 9, 2014
by Klaus Kinski
New York City has always been a hotbed of recurring comedy showcases, but I feel like now more than ever we are having a serious Renaissance of comedy. Thank Cod for Hy Bender's religiously updated show-bible Best New York Comedy; he is literally the only person in NYC providing daily summaries of what's happening comedy-wise. It must be exhausting keeping that monster of a website alive. These days I don't get out to as many comedy shows as I would like, so for me my comedy Renaissance was in the pre-2009 era and revolved around legendary venue Rififi.
Rififi will always be regarded as a sort of Mecca to me as it was the right venue at the right time and had a weekly roster of recurring comedy shows that absolutely dominated the scene at the time. Obviously, Invite Them Up was the Godfather of comedy showcases, but my all time favorite Rififi showcase had to be The Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy Show, which had the coveted Friday night slot, which meant I could drink my balls off and not have to worry about getting up for work the next day, which means my memories of the show are all euphorically wonderful though extremely hazy. The reason this show had an edge over Invite Them Up (a miniscule edge but an edge nonetheless) was because Greg and Larry not only booked a similar caliber of top-shelf guests as ITU, but because of how much I truly love Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy as comedians and performers. On the one hand, you have Greg Johnson who is a classic stand-up comedian who is all about economical and brilliant set-up and delivery. On the other hand, you have Larry Murphy who is more renowned for his voice-work (Assy McGee, Bob's Burgers, Home Movies) and his varying onstage personas, including Sal Lupo, a cabbie from Canarsie, who is one of my favorite comedic creations of all time. (Check out a video below.) When Rififi died, this masterpiece of a show died with it. As did a large piece of my soul. It sucked.
Flash forward to February 27, 2014; Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy joined forces again for a new weekly comedy showcase called Myrtle Comedy With Larry Murphy and Greg Johnson taking place at Splitty (415 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn). The premier installment featured Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman, James Patterson, and Kate Berlant. Nearly six months later and the show has been going on strong ever since, bringing with it a vibe that I thought died when Rififi shuttered its doors. It's a shame I never mentioned it earlier because the line-ups have been absolutely stacked. Their next installment is happening on Thursday (7/10) and features Jon Glaser, Jessi Klein, Giulia Rossi, and a secret special guest. The show is only 5 bucks. They're there every Thursday with mammoth line-ups, so if you can't make it tomorrow don't flip out. There's always next week. And the week after. And hopefully every Thursday from now until Brooklyn becomes property of Disney.
Sal Lupo video below...
July 2, 2014
Rooftop Films is in the midst of their 2014 season and Thursday's screening (7/3) happens at Industry City in Sunset Park. They're screeening Adam Newport-Berra's Thanksgiving, with a pre-movie performance by Reggie Watts who just played Town Hall. You can stick around for the afterparty sponsored by New Amsterdam Spirits. Doors are at 8 PM, Reggie's on at 8:30 PM and the movie's at 9 PM, rain or shine. Tickets are still available. As for the movie, here's the synopsis:
Alex & Amy are the perfect Brooklyn couple. They have a cat, a Thanksgiving table of bohemian friends, and a glowing future together. Yet the sudden holiday appearance of Amy's mysterious brother Will quickly disrupts their idyllic lifestyle and calls into question what we're truly "thankful" for.After that, the next Rooftop Films screening is Saturday (7/5) at The Old American Can Factory in Gowanus. That night they're showing Russian/American documentary The Notorious Mr Bout with a live performance by Russian/American songwriter and Dirty Projectors collaborator Olga Bell. Tickets are available for that screening too. Trailer below...
July 1, 2014
Singer, songwriter, novelist, humorist, politician and former columnist for Texas Monthly, Kinky Friedman is best-known lately for his 2006 bid for the Texas Governor's set. (He came in fourth of six, with 12% of the vote.) More recently, Friedman lost his recent run for the state's agriculture commissioner seat (it was a very close race), but he sees the campaign as a success nonetheless. So much so he's going on a Victory Tour where he'll sing, tell stories and generally entertain. That tour hits NYC on August 10 at BB King's and tickets are on sale now.
All tour dates are listed below...
June 27, 2014
StarTalk Live! with Eugene Mirman is happening at select dates around the country, including two at this year's Bumbershoot in Seattle with Bill Nye the Science Guy and NYC's Super Week with Neil deGrasse Tyson, which is part of NY Comic Con. Before either of those Eugene will bring StarTalk to Port Chester, NY's Capitol Theatre on August 16 with Bill Nye the Science Guy as filling in for Neil, who's off doing other things. Tickets for the Capitol Theatre show go on sale at noon today (6/27).
All upcoming StarTalk Live! dates are listed below.
June 26, 2014
It's hard to believe it's been well over a decade since the Upright Citizens Brigade first started their weekend-long improv marathon. Since its more modest conception as a two-day festival at one theatre, the Del Close Marathon has expanded exponentially, enjoying its biggest and most diverse year yet this weekend (June 27 - 29). While over 420 (hehe) shows across eight venues may seem intimidating to some, the Del Close Marathon is definitely worth checking out. Passes are $30 (cash only) and can be purchased at any of the venues. They get you into most of the shows, some bigger performances have separate tickets.
This year's lineup is packed with more comedy elite than a Comedy Central roast. Big names include Nick Kroll, Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Thomas Middleditch (of Silicon Valley), Sasheer Zamata (SNL), the girls of Broad City (Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson), and more. Beyond just the celebrities, this weekend promises to bring some of the strongest improvised comedy you're likely to see anytime soon, so stop by! Here are some highlights from the weekend:
Friday is packed with premium shows. "John and Scott" features John Lutz and Scott Adsit, experienced improvisors and 30 Rock cast members, doing what is sure to be a hilarious hour of two-man comedy. You can find tickets to that show here. The Chris Gethard Show is having a Game of Thrones-style battle to the death to see who gets to attend its Comedy Central pilot (which didn't get picked up) for the first, and only, public viewing. You can buy tickets to that show here. However, for the real improv nerds, the place to be Friday night is the original UCB Theatre in Chelsea. Come for the 4 PM press conference and stay for "Director's Commentary with Ben Schwartz [of Parks & Recreation] & Friends"; "MOTHER" (veteran improv team featuring Jason Mantzoukas (of The League and Jon Daly of Kroll Show).
Saturday, stop by UCBeast to listen in on a live taping of Matt Besser's podcast, improv4humans at 2 PM. Then run back to the main Chelsea theatre for "The Hiking Trip," (featuring Gil Ozeri, Ben Schwartz, and Horatio Sanz), "Mantzoukas and Morris" (with Jason Mantzoukas and Seth Morris), "Casey & Woods" (with SNL writer Neil Casey and Zach Woods (The Office, Silicon Valley). Or check out the late night lineup at the theatre, featuring Mike Birbiliga telling monologues, SNL's John Milhiser improvising, and the original Derrick Comedy crew, minus Donald Glover.
If you've made it to Sunday, dear reader, you've made me proud. And you will be rewarded, in the form of a fantastic afternoon of improv. Stop by the Chelsea theatre for "Baby Wants Candy" (an improvised musical act from LA), "The Mantzoukas Brothers," "Adsit & You," and more. Then run over to the Haft Auditorium to wait on a standby line for the legendary ASSSSCAT, featuring all of the original members of the UCB theatre doing what they do best. Both ASSSSCATs are sold out, but you might get lucky.
So grab your friends, grab a bottle of water (as the Del Close Marathon really is a marathon), and grab your wristbands at any of the eight venues hosting the festival across the city. I'll see you there.
June 25, 2014
For the second year in a row, online comedy hub Funny or Die is bringing an insane lineup of comedians, entertainers, and other funny people to 20 different cities around the U.S via the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival. This year, the tour includes a fantastic lineup of comedians young and old with literally someone to please everyone: Amy Schumer, Hannibal Buress, Chris Hardwick and Aziz Ansari to Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, and Mark Maron, with even a few true oddballs (Demetri Martin, Reggie Watts) in the mix. There's also a second stage hosted by Brody Stevens. Lineup varies from venue to venue, but all announced Oddball 2014 performers are listed below.
The tour doesn't stop in NYC proper -- though Aziz has that under control on his own at MSG -- Oddball does have a few stops in the NY area: August 16 at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ, August 17 at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, August 22 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. and August 23 at Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, CT. Tickets are currently on Citi cardmember and Previous Purchasers presale and go on sale to the general public Saturday (6/28) at 10 AM.
The full tour dates are listed, along with a tour poster and 2014 lineup, below.
June 24, 2014
Champagne Jerry and Bridget Everett
Known collaborators and Ad-Rock associates Champagne Jerry and Bridget Everett just got a little closer with the release of a new video, titled "Just Woke Up"...
Champagne Jerry, Max Tannone, Bridget Everett. They're all in your bedroom. You wake up. Early. Like at 5am. And boom. There they are. All three of them. Naked. Or dressed. Doesn't matter. Your choice. The TV is on in the background. A cooler with ice cold alcoholic beverages is within reach. Guess what, world? This is going to be the best morning of your life.Watch the Jason Cacioppo-directed sexy video for Jerry's new Max Tannone-written single ("Starring: Bridget Everett, Champagne Jerry, and the Champagne"), below.
Ted Leo associate Julie Klausner is also at Joe's Pub ALL THIS WEEK as part of a "Cabaret Situation" that "will feature a grown woman saying funny things, medleys of songs arranged suchly to make a point or to to just be pretty, and some visual "pow" that will leave your eyes both stimulated and lubricated."
Maybe you caught one of Champgane Jerry's monthly song release shows at Joe's Pub, like the one that just happened on 6/21 or the one on 4/3 with Ad-Rock. Maybe you didn't. Maybe you'll check out his next one on July 19, the day his full album is finally released. Maybe you won't. Jerry is also heading out on tour soon to "MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW YORK, MARYLAND, NORTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, LOUISIANA, TEXAS", but those are the only details for now.
Check out the video below...
June 19, 2014
The dust has settled at Governors Ball where a whole bunch of artists performed over three days at Randall's Island. (Have you seen our pics?) Among those on the scene was media consultant Janessa Slater (a dead ringer for SNL's Vanessa Bayer) who interviews the likes of Interpol, Tanlines, Frank Turner, and others...as well as random Governors Ball attendees. It's vaguely Ali G and, though most bands seem in on the joke, she definitely gets in some good digs. Watch it over two parts below.
In related news, if you were at Governors Ball and lost anything (like maybe your keys or sunglasses), there's a Lost & Found posted to GovBall's Facebook that you can check.
June 17, 2014
Jon Benjamin / Michael Che / Jon Glaser @ The Bell House 6/13/2014
On Friday (6/13), The Bell House played host to the release party show for A Night at Whiplash, a live movie documenting a single night of NYC's most legendary weekly comedy show Whiplash, which takes place Monday nights at the UCB Theater in Chelsea.
It wouldn't be a Klaus Kinski outing if mother nature didn't deliver a horrendous onslaught of earth shatteringly shitty weather, and boy did she deliver the night of Friday the 13th. Black-green skies, crazy bolts of lightning, long, rolling peals of thunder... the works. Luckily I managed to get to the venue during breaks in the storm, but the rain was so horrendous that the Bell House flooded and needed to be quickly wrung out prior to the show. Hats off to whoever sopped up all that rain water because aside from a few minute wet spots (including the one on the front of my pants lol jk) you never would have known that they had a defcon 5 water situation on their hands just prior to the show.
But enough about wet spots. I got to the show a minute or two into the great Leo Allen's awesome lead-off set. I think I've seen Leo more times than any other comic, and the dude consistently delivers. Leo is the weekly host of Whiplash, so you can, literally, once a week, see this man dominate live. And I'm not even talking about the many bills he pops up on otherwise. He is the man. Leo was followed by Jared Logan who is easily one of the best comics in the biz nowadays. Super high energy, sharp as a tack, and flippin' loud, the dude's a machine of awesomeness. Jared literally performs at least once a night somewhere in NYC when he's not on the road, so I highly suggest you click on his hyperlinked name a sentence or two back and check out his calendar and make it to one of his shows. That dude's going places. Trust me.
Jared was followed by dance duo Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass who did a really well-executed, high energy, and, at times, extremely funny dance number to a James Brown song. I was sort of vexed as to how something like this would fit into the evening's line-up, especially since dance really is not my wheelhouse at all. But I loved it! They were great! And they really kept the momentum going.
H. John Benjamin was next and, as usual, his set was odd but extremely funny. He kicked things off by doing a dance number of his own to the same song Monica and Anna did, only he dragged some poor girl onto the stage to continue the dance while he took her seat. After upbraiding her for not performing as well as he expected, he riffed for a while before finally reading text exchanges between his 11-year old son and his friend. Truly awkward and hilarious, though, man, that poor kid.
The next act up was Aparna Nancherla who I had never seen before but have been hearing volumes of good stuff about lo these past few months. All the positive things I've been hearing and reading about her are beyond well-founded; she's the best. I cannot remember the last time I have seen a comic do "self-deprecating" so well. Her unassuming appearance hides an unbelievable level of snark and biting wit and as her set progressed, the mask of delicacy started to slip. It was awesome. Her CV is already pretty stacked but this kid is going places. Do go to her website and check out one of her many upcoming NY C area shows. Trust me.
Comedy veteran Jon Glaser was next and he definitely proceeded with a very Jon Glaser signature set about soccer and, well, stories about people with papercuts on their penises and how they got them. Glaser is another comic I have seen more than just about anyone else and, as usual, the material seemed totally off-the-cuff and unrehearsed, but completely hilarious nonetheless. The final act was Michael Che, a comedian who, right now, is so on top of his game it's ridiculous. Through relentless gigging and rock solid material, Che is basically world renowned at this point. As a new recurring correspondent, Che made his Daily Show debut earlier this month and was a fantastic headliner and a world class wrap up to a phenomenal show.