Entries tagged with: Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival
Eugene Mirman with Robyn Hitchcock and H. Jon Benjamin
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival took over the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn for the past few days to bring audiences an audacious, eclectic, and titillating smorgasbord of comedic events. Of all the events, I chose to attend You Never Know Who Might Drop By at the Bell House on Saturday September 20 at 10:00pm. The only guest to be announced ahead of time was H. Jon Benjamin. The rest of the line up was listed as "Special Guest." Remarkably, even with only one guest announced, the show was very sold out.
The show ended up being hosted by special guest Eugene Mirman. I sort of assumed that would be the case, but you know what happens when you assume right? Ass. U. Me. Anyhow, Euge was the host and he performed his duties with his usual grace and aplomb. His hosting agilities shouldn't be surprising considering he's a non-stop performer and has hosted recurring comedy showcases Invite Them Up, Tearing The Veil of Maya, Pretty Good Friends, and probably more. Saturday evening, he kept his opening set extremely short and tight, but he did have an extremely funny riff about how you can literally write whatever you want about yourself on LinkedIn and there is zero proof required. He read off samples of his own bullshit LinkedIn profile and I gotta tell you it was pretty damn funny.
Eugene's first guest was Wyatt Cenac. Throw a dart at an open page of Time Out New York and chances are you will hit a show listing with his name on it. The dude not only has his own show called Night Train every Monday night at Littlefield, but you can see him practically every night of the week at several other venues throughout the city. The dude's a machine. A relentless performer. It has taken me a while to be drawn into Wyatt's super low energy delivery and stage demeanor, but I gotta say he was killing me on Saturday. He's definitely a super popular comic who is definitely worth checking out.
Glaser as Johnny Ding-Dong
After Wyatt wrapped up his set, the great and Klaus-Approved Gold Pass Favorite Jon Glaser came out (not his first time this year), reprising his role as Brooklyn's #1 Insult Comic Johnny Ding-Dong. I haven't seen this particular character of his in eight freaking years; the last time was during a Comedians of Comedy stop at Irving Plaza (video here). Johnny basically insults audience members over pretty banal and obvious characteristics of theirs; a hat, glasses, how they're sitting...then he sits down and eats a slice of pizza, very slowly. At some point during this, the sound guy 'accidentally' starts playing the theme song to the 1978 drama The Deerhunter, which also happens to be one of the saddest instrumental tunes of all time. Johhny then goes through an emotional breakthrough. Aside of being extremely funny, the whole bit intentionally goes on for waaaaay too long, testing the audience's endurance to the fullest. It is not an easy bit, but it is one of my favorites as it so absolutely alienates the audience to the extreme.
Johnny Ding-Dong left the stage and was followed by a bit with Eugene Mirman and the great Robyn Hitchcock. They started out as a duo, offering up bits of very funny advice for problems submitted by audience members prior to the show. Luckily, before the bit got too long, Eugene left Robyn up there alone with an acoustic. Besides regaling the audience with great stories and personal philosophies, Robyn played three tunes, including a beautiful cover of "The Crystal Ship" by the Doors (on his new album) and a fantastic version of his tune "Dismal City" that was so much better than the full band version... it was nuts. He was a fantastic storyteller and I loved his solo tunes.
After Hitchcock came comedian Joe Wong who I actually never heard of, but man did he slay. I cannot tell you how much I loved this guy. There was a brilliant economy to each of his jokes. They were free of flair and BS; they were delivered as perfect as you could imagine. His insights into the racism inherent in American society, though troubling, were so elegantly lampooned that the entire room was roaring. For me he was the highlight of the evening. I love seeing a comic for the first time and having him/her absolutely destroy. Sadly, his calendar is empty, but if you see the name Joe Wong on any upcoming comedy showcases you should go. Refreshing talent. I would like him to be famous immediately, thanks.
Wong's set was quite brief unfortunately, and he was followed by Eugene Mirman and Ted Allen (Chopped, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) for round two of audience advice. I missed this because I had to pee wicked bad and also needed another beer, but I heard some laughs while I was in the latrine so that was a good sign. Next up was the only billed comic of the night, H. Jon Benjamin. HJB definitely had the longest set of the evening, and it started out with a bit featuring him and Eugene, where Eugene read off all of HJB's requirements from his talent rider. This definitely felt like it went on a bit too long as even Eugene regarded the bit as "The exhausting comedy of Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman." Side note: Mirman and Benjamin have created Flotsam, a "Post-Structural Online Shopping Experience" where you can buy sacks of "hand-chosen items that are hand-hewn by machines in America and are shipped directly to you."
Back to the Bell House, after that HJB was joined by one of my personal favorites Larry Murphy. The premise of their bit was that since we were at The Bell House we were most certainly missing episodes of the Big Bang Theory which seems to be on TV in perpetuity. So they acted out some smarmy Big Bang esque dialogue which, like the rider bit, went on a bit too long as well.
Although Jon Benjamin's set was definitely hilarious and worth seeing, it went on longer than I had the strength to endure. I was at a motorcycle block party earlier in the day and had been drinking since 3 in the afternoon, so by the time headliner Jen Kirkman took the stage, I was hot, sweaty, gassy, uncomfortable, and basically seeing quadruple. I can see why she'd headline; she has a history in comedy that stretches way back to the old days in Boston with Larry Murphy and Eugene Mirman, she has a book out that sold a zillion copies, she's a favorite on Chelsea lately, she was in from LA... she's famous and successful. But combine the fact that I don't really care for her comedy and the fact that my liver was hanging out my asshole and down my pant leg, it was time to go.
The early show at the Bell House was a special EMCF edition of "Pretty Good Friends" with Jessi Klein, Nick Thune and Karen Kilgariff. Pics from EMCF night 1 are here and we'll have more to come. Pics from night 3's early show, plus more from "You Never Know Who Might Drop By," below...
Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman, Amy Schumer, Bridget Everett,
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival began last night at the Bell House with a singing competition for comedians dubbed Gowanus Idol judged by festival founder Eugene Mirman along with Amy Schumer, NPR's This American Life host Ira Glass, and comedian Jon Glaser as Derrick Brown's dad. He took over as judge when Amy had to leave.
Tickets are still available to see 5 Comics to Watch Get on Variety's 10 Comics to Watch List featuring Mehran Khaghani, Michelle Wolf, Phoebe Robinson, Janelle James, Joe Zimmerman, host Josh Gondelman at Union Hall tonight, and for the Bell House's A Night of Cutie-Pies with Nick Thune, Jon Glaser, Karen Kilgariff, and SNL's new Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che.
Spoiler: Bridget Everett won the competition. Catch her show at Joe's Pub called ROCK BOTTOM, which we saw last week. It's been extended until October 16th.
Pictures from the Bell House continue below...
For Robyn Hitchcock's new album, The Man Upstairs, he worked with legendary British folk producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Etc). Boyd suggested that Hitchcock make "a Judy Collins album," such as Elektra would have released in in the late '60s, with a mix of originals and covers, all in a spare acoustic style that showcases Hitchcock's skill with the frets and his nicely aged voice. Among the covers are versions of The Doors' "The Crystal Ship" and a particularly lovely take on The Psychedelic Furs' "The Ghost in You." You can stream that and the whole album below.
Robyn will be on tour this fall, including a stop at New York's City Winery on November 10. Tickets are on sale now. Before that, Robyn will be in New York this week for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, appearing as part of the Pretty Good Friends show at The Bell House on Saturday (9/20). That's sold out though you can still buy the Eug Express Lane VIP packages that get you +1 into everything.
All Robyn Hitchcock tour dates are listed, along with the stream of his album, below...
by Arielle Gordon
Neko Case surrounded by comedy admirers at '13 Mirman fest (more by David Andrako)
What do Ira Glass, Michael Ian Black, Mike Birbiglia, and Neko Case have in common? They all made an appearance at last year's spectacular Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, Brooklyn's most well-curated, arbitrarily created comedy festival.
Well, the festival is back for its seventh year from September 18 - 22 at The Bell House and Union Hall, this year with an extra night of festivities added onto the standard four-day lineup. As usual, its an eclectic mix of comedians, entertainers, musicians, and scientists, including H Jon Benjamin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Michael Che, Dave Hill, Elna Baker, Nick Thune, Jon Glaser, Bridget Everett, Michelle Wolf, Jessi Klein, Wyatt Cenac, Robyn Hitchcock and Derrick Brown among those announced so far. There's also two nights of Startalk Live! this year, one hosted by Bill Nye and one with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Like every EMCF, the best shows are always rife with special guests and secret additions. 2014 schedule, as it stands, is below and tickets go on sale Friday (8/8) at 1 PM. You can also buy, for the first time, a ($500) Eug Express Lane VIP Pass that gets you into all the shows and allows you to skip the line.
2014 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival lineup is listed below...
photos by David Andrako
Mirman & Neko Case / dancing Ira Glass / Michael Ian Black
The 6th annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival just wrapped up last night (9/29), bringing four nights of laughter -- from both big names and rising talent -- to The Bell House and Union Hall. Here's picture highlights from the first two days (September 26 & 27), including: The Urbane Comedy Hour (9/26) which featured a string quartet and dancing (NPR's Ira Glass included), along with comedians Jim Gaffigan, Wyatt Cenac and Mike Birbiglia; the always popular Star Talk Live! (9/27) with astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson, Eugene Mirman, Stephen Gorevan, W. Kamau Bell and Jason Sudekis; and Invite Them Up (9/27) which featured Todd Barry, Michael Ian Black, Kurt Braunohler, Neko Case (fresh off her big Radio City show) and more.
More pics below...
by Arielle Gordon
Eugene Mirman has 10 Reasons and... (more by David Andrako)
As we announced recently, the sixth annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival just announced its lineup. With so many comedy options every week in New York, here are ten reasons you should see some shows at EMCF this year:
- The festival started as a joke when Mike Birbiglia and producer Julie Smith suggested that it would be ridiculous to have a festival named after Eugene Mirman. Six years and various tours around the country later, it's still happening, and it's still one of the strongest comedy festivals around. This year's lineup is stronger than ever, featuring everyone from Jim Gaffigan to The Daily Show producer Jena Friedman. Support ironic festival titles. Go see some shows at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival this year.
- NPR diehards will be happy to learn that Ira Glass, host of NPR's This American Life will be making an appearance in the first show of the festival, the aptly titled "Urbane Comedy Hour." It promises to be a hilarious show that you can brag to your friends about, featuring Jim Gaffigan, Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman and more.
- It's the only festival that features accurate show titles, such as the "Comics Marc Maron Will Probably Resent in the Next Couple of Years" Show, featuring up-and-coming comedians such as Adam Newman, Jim Tews, Kate Berlant, and many more who will definitely keep the podcast pundit up at night.
- Eugene brought the festival to Boston this year, with the help of $5,000 in Kickstarter donations. In order to raise that money, Eugene promised (and delivered) some crazy perks, including "an autographed headshot of Eugene that says, 'AMERICA'S LITTLE DARLING' at the bottom," and "your name will be printed in the festival guide, in small print, as Racist." If he's willing to go to those lengths to bring Kristen Schaal to Boston, who knows what insane things he's willing to do to make this year's return to Brooklyn the best festival yet.
- Eugene is bringing back Invite Them Up, a legendary weekly stand up show that has featured everyone from Aziz Ansari to Chelsea Peretti. He and Bobby Tisdale host the show, which so far has Michael Che and Mehran Khaghani billed. More great standups are definitely going to be added, so be sure to get tickets before it sells out.
- Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman both released their first full length Comedy Central specials this year, so this festival is a great time to test if the fame has gone to their heads. Will Kristen wear a diamond-studded dress to Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen? Will Eugene bathe in champagne onstage while Yo La Tengo perform live behind him? Probably not, but who knows?! Only attendees of the festival will find out.
- Pretty Good Friends is a show near and dear to my heart and to the hearts of comedy nerds everywhere (probably). Every Sunday at Union Hall, Eugene and Kristen (until she ceremoniously moved to LA) hosted this awesome standup showcase. Well, it's rearing its glorious head again, closing out the festival with the cast of Bob's Burgers and a premiere of the new season of the show. Get tickets now before you're jealous of everyone who got them before they sold out.
- Last year's festival featured John Oliver, H Jon Benjamin (in a fedora! And in armor!), John Mulaney, Sarah Silverman, Demetri Martin, and so much more. And a naked guy! For sure, the sixth anniversary will bring just as many big-name standups, all while keeping it weird with surprise guests and show titles that plead with its comedians to stay in New York.
- Two years ago, Andrew Bird made a surprise appearance at the EMCF. Who's next? Belle and Sebastian? Stephin Merritt? The Velvet Underground (probably not)?! In any event, this may be the only comedy festival to feature surprise musical acts on a show hosted by Michael Showalter, which should be reason enough to check it out.
- Eugene is one of the hardest working Brooklyn comedians out there. He's constantly working out material at Union Hall, The Bell House, and other local venues, and he's kept his festival there every year. He does great work with 826NYC, and he is very nice in his responses to mail sent to his Dear Eugene email address. He's a good person. Support his festival, won't you?
by Klaus Kinski
Holy smokes dudes. Lookit, I don't really go for the whole 'festival' scene, nor do I have the scratch or the resources to get my ass on a plane to go to some far off place and put myself up in a hotel in order to endure a few days of music and drunk idiots and awful tattoos and dudes in short-shorts prancing around like the world around them isn't basically in the worst shape it has ever been and stuff. And I am too old to do the old bro-out road trip, share a hotel room with eight dudes nonsense. However, two upcoming events in Elsewhere, USA are forcing me to consider eBaying everything I own in order to personally witness their majesty. The first event, which I've already mentioned, is Festival Supreme which is taking place on the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday October 19. Top to bottom, this show boasts the best line-up of entertainment I have ever seen including performances by Tenacious D, Zach Galifianakis, The Mr. Show Experience, Reggie Watts, Tig Notaro, Eric Idle, Tim & Eric, Sarah Silverman, and scores more of top shelf greatness. If ever there was a show worth the price of admission, a plane ticket, and a hotel room somewhere this is it.
Less than a month after that, the incredibly curated Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 has to go ahead and add a comedy line-up to their already powerhouse festival. If you're at the fest, which happens in Austin Texas from November 8 - 10, prepare yourself, for their comedy line-up includes the impossibly great Tenacious D, Patton Oswalt, Craig Robinson, Doug Benson, Rob Delaney, The Eric Andre Show Live(!), Kyle Kinane, Jonah Ray, and tons tons tons more. The fact that, in a single festival, I can see Slayer, Quicksand, The Descendents, Judge, Subhumans, and the Cro-Mags as well as all this great comedy is basically my most wonderfully imaginative dream come true. Tickets are currently on sale and I urge you to get on it tout de suite, sunshine.
But hey, if you're a New Yorker like me and dreams of travel to exotic US locations for comedy/music festivals are just that, a dream, have no fear. For as we mentioned yesterday The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival will return for it's 6th year with shows at The Bell House and Union Hall from September 26 - 29 that are sure to be so good you're gonna want to have a clean pair of underwear handy. This year's festival is bursting at the seams with comedy, maybe some music, and definitely more. Klaus favorites including Kristen Schaal, Jim Gaffigan, Ira Glass, Wyatt Cenac, Jon Benjamin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Che, Kurt Braunohler, and Leo Allen are all scheduled to perform in one way or another. In addition to that, the ALWAYS SOLD OUT StarTalk Live! with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman will be back this year, as well as tons of smaller shows featuring newer talent and comedians who are sure to be sucked into the vacuum that is Los Angeles sooner or later. And you know your man Klaus is stoked for the return of Invite Them Up, Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen, and that super dope Bob's Burgers Season 4 Celebration. It's going to be a great festival loaded with the shows and comedians that made me fall in love with the NYC comedy scene in the first place.
For some of you today is probably payday so get those sweet bunz of yours onto TicketFly and start buying those tickets!
The 6th annual EUGENE MIRMAN COMEDY FESTIVAL is returning to the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn this September...
Featuring expert curator and comedy host extraordinaire Eugene Mirman and an all-star cast of comedians, actors, musicans and super surprise guests, the EMCF has been called "the best ironic-comedy-festival-but-also-real-comedy-festival known to man" (HuffingtonPost).....EMCF 2013 sees the return of popular shows like StarTalk Live! and the legendary Invite Them Up and Pretty Good Friends. The festival is packed with amazing performers such as Kristen Schaal, Jim Gaffigan, Ira Glass, Wyatt Cenac, Jon Benjamin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Che, Kurt Braunohler, Leo Allen and many more!Tickets are on sale now the shows happening September 26-29 at the Bell House and Union Hall. Full lineup with links below...
photos by David Andrako
Larry Murphy, Jon Benjamin and a naked centurion @ The Bell House 9/16/2012
The final day of Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (9/16) was split into two events, one at Union Hall and then one that started later at The Bell House. First was the "The Eugene Mirman International Film Hour" at Union Hall which featured short films and odd videos produced by comedians. The festival closed with "Invite Them Up" at The Bell House. Hosted by Bobby Tisdale & Eugene Mirman, the show featured appearances from John Oliver, Demetri Martin, Jena Friedman, Daniel Kitson, David O' Doherty, Larry Murphy & Jon Benjamin. Pictures from both events are in this post, but beware, some are NSFW.
Jim Gaffigan, Sarah Silverman & Eugene Mirman @ The Bell House 9/14/2012
Friday night saw (9/14) the 2012 edition of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival expand to two venues, with Union Hall playing host to "This Is The Night These Comics Get Discovered and Become Stars!" and The Bell House hosting "StarTalk Live! with Neil deGrasse Tyson." The former event featured stand-up comedy from upstarts like Phoebe Robinson, Nick Turner, Greg Johnson and more, while the latter was a discussion featuring Mr. Mirman himself, Sarah Silverman, Jim Gaffigan and more (Sarah and Jim were both special guests at the same venue the night before). Pictures from both Friday night events are in this post.
Today (9/15) the festival expanded even further, encompassing three shows (an afternoon show and two night events) at the two Brooklyn spaces: "Uh Oh: Dangerous, Inappropriate Comedy For Teenagers" happened in the day and "Comedians Two to Five Years Away From Their Own TV Shows" at night at Union Hall; as well as "Talent Show presents: Speech & Debate" at The Bell House.
photos by David Andrako
Eugene Mirman / Sarah Silverman at The Bell House 9/13/2012
The fifth-annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival kicked off last night at The Bell House with an evening titled "We Appreciate Ourselves: The Five Year Anniversary Celebration of The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival" that featured a VIP herring room, an opportunity to throw water balloons at a slam poet, plus the comedy stylings of John Mulaney, Delocated's Jon Glaser, Todd Barry, surprise guests Sarah Silverman and Jim Gaffigan, plus Mirman himself.
Tonight (9/14) the fest continues at the Bell House and Union Hall with the sold-out "Star Talk Live" which will feature Sarah Silverman again (she's busy this fall) as well as an unannounced line-up of cool celeb types. More pictures from Thursday night are below.
by Klaus Kinski
Merch from last year's Mirman Fest (more by David Andrako)
Somehow my subconscious brain knew that the 5th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival announcement was bloody fuckin nigh. Yesterday I was noodling around flickr looking at pics of Invite Them Up from back in the day. Then last night I had a dream I showed up to the Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest and, while waiting in line, was cut by some d-bags who I then loudly called the C-word only to be publicly reprimanded by Eugene for using such language. He then gave me a 15 foot long nylon tent full of toiletries and candy and I spent the next few REM cycles stressing about how I was going to get all that stuff home.
Flash forward to noon today when I get the formal announcement crammed into my inbox alerting me that the 5th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival will take place September 13 - 16 2012 at the Bell House and Union Hall. As with the announcements for past EMCF's, details at this stage in the game are scant. (Sarah Silverman on 9/14 is one of the few announced names at this point.) Which is fine with me. The announced shows, below, are the mere skeletal structure of a great, big, fat, tall, and deformed monster of what the Fest will actually evolve into as the show dates get closer. Tickets for all shows are NOW ON SALE!
The schedule as of writing is below, but don't forget! THIS FRIDAY! August 24th, 2012 The Bell House will be hosting Bring Your Checkbook: The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Fundraiser hosted by Eugene Mirman and featuring Brendon Small, James Adomian, and many other surprise guests. Per Eugene:
We're doing a show this Friday to raise money for our 5th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. You should come. Then you'll 1) see a great show with me, Brendon Small (Home Movies, Metalocolypse), James Adomian (Comedy Band Bang, Craig Ferguson) and surprise guests 2) be able to bid on awesome silent auction prizes like Sarah Silverman doing your outgoing voicemail message, tickets and a meet and greet to Jim Gaffigan's Appolo show, plus 3) a raffle with such prizes as David Cross' mustache clippings in a Potpourri bag made by Amber Tamblyn, dinner with me and festival producers and more!Schedule, skeletal as it is, for the 2012 Euguene Mirman Comedy Festival is below.
by Klaus Kinski
Pete Holmes @ Rock n ROFL 2008 (more by Elizabeth Weinberg)
In the Klaus Kinski Hall of Fame of Comedians Your Man Klaus Loves Endlessly Even Though They've Left NYC for Greener Pastures, Pete Holmes has his own gallery dedicated to his honor. Bear in mind that this hall of fame only exists in the meaty gore-locker between my ears so visitors are not permitted. But it is a very prestigious place to be, youbetcha. As a matter of fact, when our fearless leader BV asked me to curate a comedy line-up for the premier installment of our epic but short-lived Brooklyn Vegan and Klaus Kinski Present Rock n' ROFL, Pete was the first person I asked and first to commit to the bill. Back in those days, you could catch Pete practically any night of the week here in NYC. Nowadays he is in LA and, by Cod, he's thriving. From his website:
Pete Holmes is a comedian. Maybe you saw his half-hour Comedy Central Presents. Or on Conan. Or Jimmy Fallon. Or maybe you saw him on VH1. Or heard him as the e*trade baby or on Comedy Central's Ugly Americans. Pete was named one of Variety's Top Ten Comics to Watch in 2011. Pete also draws cartoons for The New Yorker, wrote for NBC's "Outsourced" and currently writes for FOX's "I Hate My Teenage Daughter." He is a regular on CollegeHumor.com and makes videos with FrontPage Films.That blurb fails to mention that he has his own podcast called You Made it Weird which is one of the best, most entertaining podcasts in a comedy world that is practically choking to death on half assed, shitty, so-called comedy podcasts. THEREFORE, I am thrilled to fits to tell you that not only is Pete coming back to NYC for a show, but that show will be a live podcast of You Made it Weird!! The show will take place on Saturday April 7th at 10:00pm at the Gramercy Theater. Guests will include Jim Gaffigan, Michael Ian Black, and the great Matt McCarthy!! You can get regular tickets or VIP tickets. But considering Gaffigan sells out some of the largest theaters in the country ON HIS OWN, I think the theater will be a madhouse. My advice to you? Spend the extra $$$ and get a VIP ticket so you get early entry (and a signed poster) and, thus, a great seat. Regular seats are only $12 which is a preposterous bargain, bro. This show is going to be a blast, and I promise it will sell out so get on this. More Pete dates below...
Oh, and speaking of live podcasts taking place at the Gramercy Theater, get a load of this; Klaus fave Doug Benson will be bringing his I Love Movies podcast to the Gramercy on June 11th at 8:00pm. I haven't a clue who Doug's guests will be, but I've been to his Doug Loves Movies live shows before and let me tell ya, he brings line-ups worth 8 times the price of admission.
I also noticed in the dates below that Doug is recording a live album in Bellevue WA. on 4/20 which totally reminded me that Brooklyn-based comedy hero Eugene Mirman will bring his normally Brooklyn-Based comedy festival The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival to Seattle Washington from March 29th - March 31st, 2012!! Such good news for Seattle-based BV readers! You are in for SUCH a treat! You'll be getting:
* Invite Them Up, 3/29 at The Crocodile Hosted by Bobby Tisdale w/ Eugene Mirman, Ron Funches and more TBA!Wow!
*Star Talk Live, 3/30 at the Neptune Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson w/ Paul F. Tompkins, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman and special guests!
*Talent Show, 3/31 at The Crocodile Hosted by Elna Baker and Kevin Townley with Eugene Mirman, Bobby Tisdale and more TBA!
*Pretty Good Friends, 3/31 at the Neptune With Bobcat Goldthwait, Todd Barry, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, Kurt Braunohler and more TBA!
Tour dates below...
photos by David Andrako
The 2011 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival concluded on Sunday night (9/18) with two shows at the Bell House. "A Special Food-Themed Comedy Show For You" was hosted by Eugene Mirman and Leo Allen, with Ron Funches, Sarah Vowell, Larry Murphy, Raquel Pelzel and David Rees. "Pretty Good Friends", hosted by Michael Showalter, was with Eugene Mirman, Marc Maron (who plays the same Brooklyn venue again tonight/Monday), Hannibal Buress, Jared Logan and surprise musical guest Andrew Bird.
Andrew played four songs: Goin Home (Charlie Patton), So Much Wine (Handsome Family), Bein' Green (Joe Raposo), and Give It Away (new song).
Saturday was the biggest day for the 2011 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival which started with just one show at the Bell House on Thursday, and continued with one show each at the Bell House and Union Hall on Friday. Saturday looked like this:
6 PM @ Bell House: The Archer Variety Hour (and Panel)The first show at Union Hall featured Ron Funches, Tom Allen, Craig Baldo, Jena Friedman, Damien Lemon and Greg Johnson. The next was with Rick Jenkins, Ken Reid, Rick Canavan, Erin Judge, Matt D, Mehran Khaghani, Myq Kaplan, and Lamont Price.
9 PM @ Bell House: The Talent Show Presents: The Drunk Show
6:30 PM @ Union Hall: An Evening Of Very Likable Comedians
8:30 PM @ Union Hall: The Rick Jenkins Comedy Studio Showcase
The first show at the Bell House was moderated by Eugene and had Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash, Lucky Yates and executive producer Matt Thompson. That was preceded by a talent show involving the Archer cast. Miss Whitney says, "You guys. The Archer Variety Hour at the Bell House earlier tonight was pretty fucking fantastic... enjoy H. Jon Benjamin's performance of "Non-Dueling Banjos." (video below)" The late show was the 'Drunk Show' hosted by Kevin Townley and Elna Baker featuring John Hodgman, Ira Glass, Rachel Maddow, Eugene Mirman, Jodi Lennon, Leo Allen, Dan St. Germain and Ptolemy Slocum.
The 'Drunk Show' kicked off with Rachel Maddow being interviewed by Hodgman while she made several cocktails from the Savoy Cocktail Book. The show had the participants drinking, arm wrestling "wheelchair style", and ended with a karaoke sing along to "Do They Know Its Christmas."
More pictures from the whole night, both venues, below...
photos by David Andrako
Jon Glaser as Bobby Tisdale
After kicking off on Thursday, the Eugene Mirman Festival (which ends tonight/Sunday) continued on Friday with two shows, "A Night Of Very Likeable Comedians" at Union Hall and "Invite Them Up" at The Bell House. The Union Hall show featured standup from Tom Allen, Tom Shillue, Kurt Braunohler, Seth Herzog, John Mulaney and Jane Borden. Kurt and John also headed over to The Bell House to perform alongside Eugene Mirman, Slovin and Allen, Janeane Garofalo and Jon Glaser, who filled in as/for Invite Them Up host Bobby Tisdale. A set of pictures from the show at The Bell House continues below...
photos by David Andrako
The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival is underway, and continues tonight (Friday, 9/16) at both Union Hall & the Bell House. Thursday night's show at the Bell House (the only Thursday night show there was) was a live taping of Neil deGrasse Tyson's radio show, Star Talk. Eugene Mirman was a guest as were Kristen Schaal and Scott Adsit. Neil's guest, unannounced, was Alan Alda. They recorded the show for future broadcast and had a lengthy Q&A after the taping (stay tuned). Here are some pictures. They continue below...
by Klaus Kinski
Chris Hardwick, Adam Savage, Matt Mira & Jonah Ray at Largo in LA
On August 16, 2011 at 8:18 PM, a whistle-blower came forward and called me out on something that I've been hoping would go unnoticed during my tenure as an esteemed, beloved, respected, deified, reviled, BV contributor; my grammar sux. So now I am back at school, bonin' up my wordliness. But with all this classwork and homework, I only have time for a quickie post thingy for you fine folks. So here goes. Tickets for the partially Kickstarter-funded 2011 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival went on sale a while back and, as expected, ticket sales were rather brisk (brisque?). As a matter of fact, a few shows sold out faster than I could say "It's IT'S not ITS?" The shows that sold out fast were An Evening Of Science featuring StarTalk Live with Neil deGrasse Tyson plus Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman and Scott Adsit on Thursday September 15th and The Archer Variety Hour and Panel featuring Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Adam Reed, Jessica Walter, Matt Thompson, Amber Nash, and Lucky Yates which happens on Saturday September 17th. Both shows are happening at the Bell House. HOWEVER, according to delightful tweet by the Bell House Bot, tickets for those shows will go back on sale today, Tuesday September 13 at noon! Get those F5 buttons ready people! Full updated fest lineup below.
In other sold out Bell House comedy news, once the smoke clears from the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, the great Marc Maron will be in the House on Monday September 19th for a live taping of his better-than-most-other-podcasts podcast WTF with Marc Maron. Yeah, it's sold out, but so were those Eugene Fest shows... so you never know.
Oh, and speaking of live podcast tapings, The Gramercy Theater, who has a new booker in their ranks, has some pretty f-ing awesome podcast tapings coming up. On Friday October 14th, comedian Chris Hardwick brings The Nerdist podcast to the Gramercy with guests Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. In case you want to know, Jonah Ray is one of my favorite LA-based comedians in the business and it's a fucking honor to have him gracing our city with his tall, bespeckled, full head of hair having self. Do you like apples? Jonah is amazing. How d'ya like dem fackin apples? Tickets went on sale back on August 26th and the demand was so great that the added a show later that evening, happening at 10:30pm. It's going to be so awesome. Trust me. Hummus breath.
And speaking of the Gramercy Theater and live tapings, Klaus favorite Doug Benson will have a whopping TWO LIVE PODCAST TAPINGS at the Gramercy on Sunday October 23rd. He kicks things off at 4:20pm with The Benson Interruption. If you haven't seen an Interruption, you are missing out on some of the funniest shit ever. Doug invites his comedy friends to the stage and, while they attempt to do stand-up, he interrupts them. It. Is. The. Best. Tickets are on sale as I type this, so get on that shit Tout de suite. Later that evening, at 8:00pm, Doug brings his legendary Doug Loves Movies podcast to the Gramercy stage. At this point in the evening, I can tell you that Doug and his yet-to-be-announced panelists will be feeling prettttttty loose. As a person who has seen these shows live in the past, I must insist you dust the cobwebs off your wallet and check these suckers out. It may be the best Saturday October 23rd in your miserable lives. And after the shows, go home and buy Doug Benson's new CD Potty Mouth. The package features a CD AND a DVD. Schwing. Welp, I guess I gotta hit the books. Smell ya later.
by Klaus Kinski
Kristen Schaal & Eugene Mirman (more by David Andrako)
When the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival reared it's beautiful head for the first time in 2008, the sheer magnitude of the thing was really and truly mind-blowing; 10 epic shows, 4 nights, 2 venues. And for reasons which I can't fully explain because I don't quite understand them myself, I thought the festival would be a one-off thing. The whole thing had a slight whiff of irony, like it was lampooning the very concept of a comedy festival. Then the sucker was back in 2009 with a similar formula; 10 epic shows, 4 nights, 2 venues, and loads of shiver-inducing top-shelf talent. "Huh," I thought, "Maybe this really is something I can look forward to as an annual event." Then, BAM, Fall 2010 comes around and with it The 2010 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. That time around, the festival included The Rock Shop as a third venue (note: did you get your 8/27 Ted Leo tix yet?) and featured yet another magnificent roster of talent.
Well folks, it's nearly Fall 2011 and I have some really bad news for the humorless, hummus-eating commenters out there and really GREAT news for everyone else; The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival is BACK and will take over the Bell House and Union Hall from September 15-18, 2011. And as with previous years, the 2011 Fest is sure to blow the toupee or merkin right off your body. Expect appearances from H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Jon Glaser as Bobby Tisdale, Aisha Tyler, Matt Thompson, Adam Reed, Jessica Walters, Jon Hodgman, Ira Glass and way way way way way more. Brace yourself, the whole schedule with ticket info is below. Check out the coverage and news from past fests to get an idea how truly remarkable they have been.
Hey. If you think I'm done talking about Eugene Mirman, you are so fucking wrong bro. Because there is another important aspect of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival that I've mentioned before but absolutely bears repeating; The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Kickstarter page. No, Eugene didn't have a DIY venue packed with $40K worth of stuff that he forgot to insure that was subsequently robbed. The Festival costs a lot of money to produce, and the talent and people behind the scenes bust their asses to make it work for little or no money. The purpose of the Kickstarter is to amass a solid kitty (a pool of money, especially one to which a number of people have contributed for a designated purpose) that Festival organizers can use to produce a series of shows that will knock your socks off. Ticket costs can only cover so much. I donated because I am not an idiot who thinks this money is going to line some doofus' pockets; I donated because I know everyone who sees these shows will end up reaping the rewards of our collective generosity. Currently at 81%, The Kickstarter Campaign ends on AUGUST 17th, which is like so soon, so please donate and make this an amazing festival for EVERYONE.
In other Mirman-related news, be advised that there is a Pretty Good Friends 5 Year Anniversary Show happening at The Bell House on Sunday, August 21 at 7:30pm featuring the great David Cross, AD Miles, and more. Tickets are $15 and are currently on sale. Get em while they last. And if you find yourself in riot stricken London at some point between October 5th and October 15th, catch one of many Pretty Good Friends shows happening at the Soho Theater. Tickets are on sale. Don't be a pratt, wanker. Shag baby! Oh, behave! Don't give me that codswallop!
Mirman Fest schedule below...
by Klaus Kinski
Wet Hot Showalter @ Mirman Fest 2010 (more by David Andrako)
If you're like me (you wish), you were looking forward to going to the Wet Hot American Summer 10 Year Anniversary Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday July 26th. Then you were looking forward to making your way to the Williamsburg Waterfront just a few days later (July 29th) to catch the FREE Eugene Mirman & Pretty Good Friends show featuring Todd Barry, Patton Oswalt, Kristen Schaal, They Might Be Giants and more. Please be advised though that 50% of those plans have changed as the Wet Hot 10th Anniversary Show has been rescheduled to Tuesday August 2nd. This sucker has been sold out forever, but rest assured that your July 26th tickets will indeed be honored.
There has has been a shit ton of Kickstarter talk going on around here lately and I'd like to throw another cause your way. This year, The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival has started up a Kickstarter campaign. I actually think the main tenents behind this Kickstarter campaign make a lot of sense, as it's aim is to benefit the people putting the show together, the talent that will be performing, and the people who will be spending money on tickets to the shows.
"In the past, our festival has been funded by our ticket sales, a small gift from Sub Pop Records, and a few ads in our program. We'd originally started the festival as a joke, but enjoyed putting it on and wanted to keep it going. Each year the costs (pig roast, a limo to take audience to the subway after shows, cotton candy machine, giant banners for made-up sponsors, etc.) and time put in have grown and we toy with the idea of corporate sponsors to cover them, but mostly shy away from it. This year, we thought we'd try to raise money with Kickstarter so we can pay employees, keep ticket prices affordable, and still do ridiculous and fun things. Here's a list of the things we will do with any money we raise:So when you're at the Williamsburg Waterfront on Friday July 29th watching Eugene Mirman and his Pretty Good Friends bring laughter and joy to you and your pals, don't hesitate to whip out that 'smart' phone and, after you take a pic of your dopey friend with the big sunglasses, get on the internet and donate to this wonderful campaign before you lose said smart phone in the cab on your way home. Or just use your computer to donate whenever. EVERYONE wins with this one!
- Pay a living wage to the people who work really hard to make this event possible.
- Build an ice cream limo or buy an ice cream truck
- Pay comedians enough money to afford one very nice meal and maybe even buy a pair of shoes.
- Fly out and put up some performers so that we can have more events/ panels/ shows/ comedy/ music
- Set up a petting zoo outside of our venue
- Awkward Party Bus
- Have musical guests on some of our shows
- Have fun after-parties
- Pay recent college grads to have sex in a pit (probably not, but we'll see how much money we raise)
- Delicious free food!
- More surprises!
Tinkle Sunday night @ the Bell House (more by David Andrako)
Hey,David Allen Roman is answering questions on Facebook, including, as he points out, ones about the Tinkle show. If you missed it, Todd Barry is pissed.
I have a shit-ton (real measurement used in the old Soviet Era) of press and what-not's (real measurement used in the pre-post Cambrian Era) to do today, but I am going to check back in later (real measurement used on "The Brady Bunch") and try to answer as many of your questions as I can stomach.
I have to talk to Spin magazine now. That's right, you heard me, Spin!!!!
I will also answer any questions related to the Tinkle show in Brooklyn the other night where Jon Benjamin and I told the audience to boo Todd Barry when he "dropped by". Lot's of blather on the old internets about that!
david allen roman ronald cross
words & photos by David Andrako
"Boo Todd relentlessly. Throw shit at him. When Jon (Benjamin) and I tell you to stop, ignore us and boo louder." - David Cross's instructions to the audience just before Todd Barry's "surprise" appearance.
The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival came to a close on Sunday, its fourth and final day, at The Bell House with two sold out shows. There was the early show billed as "Wes and Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders", and the late show "A Toddless Tinkle."
Friend and frequent collaborator of Eugene, John Wesley Harding, hosted the early show along with Eugene. The show featured performances by Yo La Tengo, John Oliver, Colson Whitehead, Darin Strauss, and Scott McCaughey.
Darin Strauss, the Brooklyn based author of "Half a Life" read a recently written piece entitled "Puberty", which was an autobiographical story set in the mid 1980s that involved gaining entrance to a much cooler high school classmate's party. Scott McCaughey, touring member of REM, performed two songs backed by Harding and his backing band The English UK including a 5 minute tribute to the 1986 Mets.
Eugene Mirman made a brief appearance with his newly purchased $380 Theremin and also returned to the stage to "sing" a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." Colson Whitehead, the New York based author, read a chapter from his best selling 2009 book, Sag Harbor. "John Wesley Harding's favorite comedian", John Oliver, from The Daily Show and the upcoming "Smurfs" movie followed with a set that featured a particularly interesting story about a gig in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Yo La Tengo closed the show with a five song set that featured both Harding and McCaughey and included covers of "I'm A Believer" and The Kinks' "All That Will."
Between the shows Eugene made his way out to the dunk tank in front of The Bell House as John Oliver and Daniel Kitson threw balls at the target and were cheered on by the long line of fans waiting for the 2nd show.
The 2nd show, "A Toddless Tinkle", was hosted by Tinkle founders David Cross and Jon Benjamin. Todd Barry, the other member of the Tinkle crew was at the Music Hall of Williamsburg as an opening act for Superchunk. From the beginning of the show Cross and Benjamin let the crowd in on the fact that Todd would be making a "surprise" walk on sometime between 10 and 11PM. Both agreed that the proper greeting for Todd would be for the audience to boo him off stage. Throughout the evening random audience members were brought onstage to audition to fill the role of "Todd." "Todd #2", an audience member named Andy ventured out into the audience to attempt to do some of Todd's famous crowd work. Andy failed miserably but did offer some unintentional comedy when he approached (and didn't recognize) Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo and mocked him for his orange shirt and told him that he looked like Gilbert Gotfried. Cross quickly jumped in and saved Kaplan from being mocked by the auditioning "Todd".
Todd Barry made his way to The Bell House shortly after 11PM and was greeted by the aforementioned boos as well as cups, beer cans and hundreds of expletives. He attempted to win the crowd over but ended up quickly leaving the stage and the venue.
The nearly 3 hour show featured short sets from John Mulaney, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, and Karen Kilgariff. Festival favorite Daniel Kitson was the final performer of the evening with a 12 minute set that saw him chastise the audience over their reaction to Todd Barry's appearance and pointed out that everyone went along with the "mean boys" (Cross and Benjamin). The show ended with the 2nd ever screening of Cross and Bejamin's "Paid Programming", a mock informercial that aired a handful of times on Adult Swim last fall. The 11 minute short was meant to be aired at 4AM and didn't have any mention of the creators. And with that the 3rd Annual Festival came to a close. 9 shows, 3 venues, 25 velvet paintings of Eugene and 1 angry Todd Barry.
words & photos by David Andrako
"It looks like America might have fallen in love with a Pakistani!" Eugene Mirman after Kumail Nanjiani's well received set at The Bell House.
The third day of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (Saturday) saw four shows performed at three different venues around Park Slope and Gowanus along with performances from over 20 comedians, a song by John Wesley Harding and a heavy dose of Bourne Trilogy references.
The early show, "Mike Birbiglia Interviews A Bunch Of Sort Of Authors and Sarah Vowell", was hosted by the aforementioned Birbiglia and saw him interviewing Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman, Patrick Borelli and Sarah Vowell about their most recent books. Birbiglia based the order of the interviews on his anxiety about the interviews from highest to lowest. Sarah Vowell went first and Eugene Mirman closed. Sarah, the most accomplished author on the panel, admitted being jealous of Chuck Klosterman "because he would get mentioned on The O.C." She also spoke of her next project, a historical book on the American annexation of Hawaii.
Michael Showalter's book "Mr. Funny Pants" will be released early next year and was described as "a book about how to write a book." He and Birbiglia read a chapter from the book that recapped a fictional interview with Charlie Rose. Patrick Borelli gave a surprisingly heartfelt slideshow of headshots from his book, "Holy Headshots." Birgibilia reminded Borelli about their short-lived two man improv team "Michael O' Patrick" from earlier in their careers. Eugene Mirman joined Birbiglia to chat about his book "Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life" that was released in February of 2009. The two also recounted the origin of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival that was hatched during a night of heavy drinking and may or may not have been the result of a dare that Eugene accepted. The early show ended with all of the authors having a Q&A with the audience.
The two middle shows of the evening ran simultaneously at Union Hall and The Rock Shop. Eugene headed over to Union Hall to host "Eugene's World Class Masters of Comedy" which featured sets from Daniel Kitson (who also performed the night before), Ron Lynch, Marc Maron and Todd Barry. Being that I'd seen or would be seeing all of the comedians at Union Hall (except Todd Barry) at other shows during the festival I opted to head over to The Rock Shop for "A Night of Gay or Foreign Comedy." The show was hosted by Gabe Liedman and featured Maeve Higgins (who also performed the night before), Glenn Wool, Brent Sulivan, Kumail Nanjiani and Mehran Khaghani. Standouts of the show were Higgins, Boston based comic Mehran Khagani and Brent Sullivan (I agree with Eugene's description in the Festival guide that one of his jokes is a Top 5 joke of 2010).
The final show of the evening was held back at The Bell House and was billed as (deep breath) "Why Do I Know Everything about Everyone At The French Dinner? An Evening of Espionage Themed Comedy Celebrating Our Love of the Bourne Trilogy and All Things Spy." Eugene opened the show by explaining that his love for the Bourne Trilogy began when he watched the first film and showed a short film that he created in tribute to the trilogy. Kumail Nanjiani, fresh off a quick set at The Rock Shop, was the first comic of the evening and admitted that his set was "based on someone who watched the Bourne Trilogy yesterday". His set, which ended with a story about being subjected to racist taunts in Los Angeles, was rewarded by the loudest applause of the festival (so far).
Jon Glaser returned to the stage, not as Dr. Attitude (his character from Thursday night's show) but as The Man In The Green Mask - a CIA spy sent to educate the audience on what it takes to be a spy. He was unwilling to answer most questions during a brief Q&A but did admit to melting a gun into the shape of a banana. Friend of Eugene, John Wesley Harding (who also plays the fest Sunday night), performed a song written especially for the evening, "A Ballad Of The Bourne Trilogy". Sarah Vowell made several appearances between acts to read Bourne-themed poetry that was penned by Eugene.
Leo Allen and Eric Slovin (Allen and Slovin) performed in complete homemade, glue filled costumes as Spy vs. Spy and spent most of their set lamenting having booked a comedy show on Yom Kippur and talking about their day spent at Temple Beth Chuckles. Marc Maron, after performing at Union Hall, closed the show with a thoroughly researched set that featured his thoughts on spys, espionage, proper mic stands and the existence (or not) of his FBI file.
More pictures from the whole day, below...
words & photos by David Andrako
Daniel Kitson / Jim Gaffigan
The first show of the evening was held at Union Hall and was billed as "Montreal Callbacks" - a reference to the Montreal Comedy Festival. Kurt Braunohler began the show with a brief set before he assumed the role of host for the evening. The night featured young stand-ups many of whom can be found performing weekly at clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Mike Lawrence, Greg Johnson, Max Silvestri, Andrea Rosen, Ken Reid, Dan St. Germain and Hannibal Buress.
Highlights of the show included Ken Reid's set, which featured stories of his "white trash" childhood growing up in Massachusetts, Dan St. Germain's self depreciating tales of living in Brooklyn and Andrea Rosen recounting awkward encounters with celebrities and long lost friends. I caught the first few minutes of always great Hannibal Buress's set before heading off to The Bell House for the second show of the night.
Invite Them Up, the much beloved weekly comedy show that Eugene was involved with from 2005-2008 returned for a sold out performance at The Bell House. The show was again hosted by Bobby Tisdale, and featured performances by ITU co-host (and the host of the night) Eugene Mirman, A.D. Miles, , Maeve Higgins, Morgan Murphy, Reggie Watts, Daniel Kitson and special guest, Jim Gaffigan.
Jim Gaffigan, who headlines SIX shows at the Best Buy (formerly Nokia) Theater in December, was greeted with some of the loudest cheers of the evening and the fact that the comics from the earlier show had made their way down to The Bell House to watch his set from the back of the room speaks to his status as a massively respected comedian. His unannounced appearance strengthened an already packed show.
Daniel Kitson, the British stand-up and storyteller, ended the show with an hour long set that featured some impressive crowd work and allowed him to display his razor sharp commentary and lightning fast wit. After admitting that he "didn't have the professionalism to be a middle act," Kitson launched into quizzing audience members on their names and occupations only to later weave them all together in a freestyle rant comparing audience members to each other. In addition to his biting commentary, he wasn't afraid to display his vulnerability explaining that, "I'm quite lonely and I live alone. This is my chance to chat." He also addressed his stutter, which was apparent during his performance. At the age of 33, his stand-up act is impressive and made even more impressive by the fact that Kitson has turned down most television work in the US and Britain. He has performed both story shows and stand-up at the past eleven Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.
words & photos by David Andrako
"I will erase all of the fun that you've had tonight. You didn't pay to see me. I should do 40 minutes of broken jokes." Surprise headliner Louis CK
The first night of the 3rd Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival was billed as "An Evening of Comedy from 1986" and featured sets from Emo Phillips, Tony V, Larry Murphy, Ron Lynch and Jon Glaser. As mentioned above, Louis CK was the unannounced headliner and he worked out some new material in a 45 minute plus set. Eugene Mirman acted as emcee, dj and Teddy Ruxpin operator.
During the 10 minute walk from my apartment to The Bell House I surveyed the damage caused by the fast moving storms that tore through Brooklyn and Queens several hours before the show began. Downed trees, crushed cars and closed streets were rampant as residents were returning home to a neighborhood that was affected by one of the most powerful storms in recent history.
Eugene Mirman kicked off the evening with a 3D film that he made, offered the audience duck (which he'd ordered from a local Chinese restaurant) and directed everyone towards the merch tables which featured everything from festival posters to personal items that Eugene brought from his apartment and had priced "a little high, so that no one would buy them." Tony V, a Boston comedian whom Eugene admired as a young comedian, followed with a tight set that set the mood for the evening. Larry Murphy, another Boston comedian best know for his work on Adult Swim's "Delocated" and "Assy Mcgee", performed as "Sandy Gorbin" the world's greatest impressionist.
Ron Lynch, yet another Boston comic and one who was a working comedian in 1986 turned in a varied set that featured jokes from his 1986 set, slight of hand magic and the playing of Louis CK's 1986 audition tape that Louie recorded in an attempt to be booked at Ron's comedy club. Louie interrupted Ron's set and chastised him for playing the tape and retreated backstage. Dr. Attitude aka Jon Glaser (aka the creator of Delocated) appeared on stage in doctor's scrubs with FUCK YOU spelled out in electrical tape and Van Halen's "Panama" as his intro song. Glaser's attitude heavy set ended with him mocking the audience and interrupting Eugene as he introduced Emo Phillips, the much beloved comedian. Emo, making his first appearance at the festival, was a ball of manic energy that worked his way through topics including religion, greeting cards and marriage. His 20-minute set was punctuated by biting social commentary mixed in with clever wordplay and a stage presence that could best be described as elastic.
Louis CK, one of the most respected working stand-ups today, closed the show with a set of new material that was both familiar and fresh. Unafraid to attack the audience Louie pointed out that "You all hate everything real. You're a bunch of meta motherfuckers" as he worked through material as varied as the origins of the Roman calendar and back to school clothes shopping with his daughters.
More pictures from last night, below...