Entries tagged with: Greg Johnson
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...
As we've said before, Reggie Watts is a busy beaver and and true performer who'll loves to get on stages big or small. Tonight NYC has two chances to catch him. First he'll be performing at The Blind Barber on E. 10th St. at 7:30 as part of an event titled "An Evening of Original Sin" that is a fundraiser for Genesis, a new aerial play by Julia Kaminsky. Also performing is onetime Das Racist cohort Lakutis. More info on the show is here.
Then, Reggie will hop on the L Train (or take a cab) to head to Cameo's weekly free comedy show, "Big Terrific." It's host Max Silvestri's 30th birthday tonight and he's also got Hannibal Buress and Greg Johnson on board for the celebration. Big Terrific starts at 8 PM and is FREE.
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.
by Klaus Kinski
August is more than half over, the hottest July ever is behind us, September is around the corner, I can hear October's footsteps slowly trudging up the stairs. Fall and it's cool weather cannot get here fast enough, but until then here are some good comedy things happening that will hopefully make what remaining ball-danglingly hot and humid days are yet to be endured a little more tolerable.
Before I mention some cool shows, I must acknowledge the fact that there are hundreds of great comedy things happening every freaking week in this awesome city, but I don't have the time or the resources to even scratch the surface. My contributions to BV are completely erratic at best and I tend to stick with what I know and like. If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously. Forget tour dates, show reviews, pics, exhaustive commentary, snarky comments and crap like that.... It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is. Anywhoozle...
Don't let his show fool you; late night talk show host Craig Ferguson is actually a pretty f-ing funny stand up comedian; definitely worth checking out if you've got the means. He's doing a ton of fairly expensive, large venue dates in October, one of which happens to be at Radio City Music Hall on October 6th. Tickets, which fall in a price range from $53.40 to a whopping $96.35 are currently on sale. However, I am going to assume you've got credit debt and student loans to worry about, so I am happy to report we are giving a pair of tickets away to one lucky winner. Instructions on how to try and win are waaayyyyyy down below.
On Saturday August 18th, the great Greg Barris brings his wondrous feast for the senses, Heart Of Darkness, to the cool and windowless confines of Union Hall's basement. Hosted By Greg Barris, the show will feature comedian Kate Berlant musical act The Bowery Riots, and Mind Warrior Daniel Pinchbeck as well as music by The Forgiveness. HOD is not just some straight-up comedy show; it is literally an incredibly engaging live experience that will wake your ass up and get you thinking, man. If you are in Philadelphia and happen to be reading this, Heart Of Darkness invades your town TONIGHT, August 16th, at Underground Arts. Part of the Heart of Darkness Summer Forgiveness Tour 2012, the show will feature Greg Barris, New Beard, Corrupt Autopilot, Wigmaker's Son, and Yazan. Philly, you are in for a treat. Take a break from your Toynbee Tile investigations for a night and check this shit out.
The following night (Sunday August 19th), at the same place, Union Hall, Klaus favorite Greg Johnson brings his show Greg Johnson - Live: One Night Only! to what I can only assume will be a sold out audience. At the show Greg performs stand up comedy, along with a few very special guests, one night only. $5 tickets are still available but the last installment sold out and I betcha this one will too. Greg is one of my favorite comedians in NYC and he is also one of the most painfully overlooked ones out there. You gotta go.
Then on Tuesday August 21st, the hilarious Gabe Delahaye brings his monstrous comedy showcase The Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show to Union Hall's basement for yet another staggering showcase. The show will bring to the stage Gabe Liedman, Max Silvestri, Greg Johnson, Dan St. Germain, David Rees, Jessi Klein, and John Mulaney. I'd like to think that if Darrell Sheets knew anything about comedy and saw that line-up he'd say "That line-up's a 50 dollar bill all day long." BUT it's only 10 bucks! As of writing it is, predictably, sold out. But keep your eyes on ticketweb for last minute ticket releases (if there are any)(not likely)(but not impossible) OR just show up the night of the show and hope some loser's +1 didn't show up or some comedy dignitary who has a freebie awaiting him or her doesn't show up and snag their vacancy.
Oh yeah, also, I almost forgot! Tom Shillue's Funny Story returns to Brooklyn Brewery on Thursday August 23rd with guests Jessi Klein, Lisa Delarios, and Trace Crutchfield. Tickets are CHEAP and you get a nice, cold, free beer!
Union Hall's big brother/big sister venue The Bell House is no stranger to epic comedy. The first not-to-be-missed event is on Friday, August 24 a fundraiser for the always incredible Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The event is called Bring Your Checkbook: The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Fundraiser and, as the title states, is a fundraiser in support of the upcoming Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival which will invade Brooklyn September 14-16. The fundraiser will feature a cocktail reception from 7pm - 8pm as well as an AMAZING raffle and silent auction. At 8:30pm an epic show will commence featuring Eugene Mirman, Brendan Small (!) from METALOCALYPSE and a TON of other guests who I am not able to divulge but who will knock your socks off. Like, you won't believe it. Tickets are $25 and are currently onsale. You will not believe what prizes and guests are in store for you, so I wouldn't put off buying a ticket because it's gonna sell out and no emoticon in the world will adequately express how f-ing bummed you will be.
Blasting ahead a bit, the Bell House will play host to two other awesome comedy events, one of which is already sold out! The show is called The Thrilling Adventure Hour and it's basically a staged show in the style of old-timey radio. The cast features Paul F. Tompkins, Paget Brewster, John Hodgman, Busy Philipps and James Urbaniak (!). The show takes place on Sunday September 30th at 7:30pm and 10:00pm. The 7:30pm show is SOLD OUT, but there are a handful of tickets left to the 10:00pm show, so get on this now son.
Oh, and don't forget: On Wednesday October 17th you can catch a live taping of the ever so wonderful Julie Klausner's podcast How Was Your Week? at The Bell House with house band Ted Leo and friends. Tickets are available!
Pat Kiernan is hosting 'The Ultimate Trivia Night: 15 Minutes of Fame' at The Bell House on August 21. Tickets for that are on sale now. These shows always sell out in advance.
Tell Your Friends! hosts a special event at The Bell House on August 1 with Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac, and Todd Barry with host Liam McEneany. Tickets for that are on sale now.
Fountains of Wayne are playing The Bell House on November 8. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
"Communion", which used to be at Public Assembly, continues at Union Hall on July 11 (tonight) with Lucius, Seasick Mama, Faces on Film, and Dave Doobinin. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Greg Barris is hosting 'Heart of Darkness' at Union Hall on July 21 with musical guests Steven Bachmann and Susanna Raeven plus Mind Warrior filmmaker Vikram Gandhi, Barry Rothbart, and more. Tickets for that are on sale now.
Greg Johnson is playing Union Hall on August 19. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
by Klaus Kinski
Speaking of Hot Tub with Kurt & Kristen, maybe you were at the weekly variety show this past Monday when Andy Blitz, one of my favorite people in the biz, performed. It has been a really really long time since I last had the good fortune to catch him live, but all of a sudden multiple opportunities are popping up!
In general, I try to remain apolitical in my writings here on BV. Believe me, if you knew my views on society it'd be like a scene in a movie where some dude (me) farts in a crowded elevator and everyone in there (you guys) nonchalantly scuttles to the other side of the elevator. However, there is no denying that many many many members of the comedy community are still very much involved in the Occupy Wall Street community. Perhaps not always physically, but definitely philosophically. Case in point; an event called 99 Comics For The 99% happening at the UCB Theater East on Tuesday May 1st at 8:00pm (May Day). This massive undertaking will feature 99 Comics telling jokes in support of the 99% and OWS. Man I don't even think I could name 99 comics. Anyhow, the line-up (included below) features some seriously great talent and many Klaus faves including Adam McKay (via video), Adam Newman, ANDY BLITZ, Eliot Glazer, Giulia Rozzi, Greg Johnson, Jamie Kilstein, Jimmy Dore, John Frusciante, Jon Friedman, Murderfist, Rob Cantrell, Sara Shaefer, Seth Herzog, Stucky & Murray, Tom Shillue, Two Fun Men, and, well, many many more. Two Fun Men were actually on Fallon the other day in what has to be one of my favorite sketches in ages. Video of that below too!
I am also really happy to announce that Jesse Popp, one of the most pants-shittingly funny up and coming NYC comic geniuses of our time, is recording a Comedy Central special over two nights at Union Hall. The shows will take place on May 2nd and May 4th. Both shows have 7:30pm doors, 8:00pm shows. Tickets are only $5, so you not only get to see one of NYCs finest comedians on the cheap, but the back of your numbskull might even make it on TV. Check out Jesse in the New York Times' One in 8 Million series. Jesse is a great down to earth comedian with a good head on his shoulders. This country will be a much better place when the name Jesse Popp becomes a household name, I tell ya.
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.
by Klaus Kinski (of Klaus Kinski's Comedy Canon)
Two films I've been dying to see quickly made their way in and out of our fair city this past June. Being an idiot that cannot seem to prioritize anything, I missed them both. The films I speak of are Big Fan starring Patton Oswalt and Visioneers starring Zach Galifianakis. You may recall from previous articles that Zach and Patton are among my favorite comedians of all time; thus the eagerness to see these films and the anguish at missing them. Big Fan is the directorial debut of Robert Siegel, the man wrote The Wrestler, a film that featured comedian Todd Barry (another favorite). In Big Fan, Patton plays the role of Paul.
Paul is a 35-year-old toll booth operator from Staten Island who lives and dies by his New York Giants. When he has a chance encounter with Giants linebacker Quantrell Bishop, however, things go horribly wrong and a brutal beating at the hands of his idol tests Paul's allegiance to the team. Comedian Patton Oswalt delivers a heartbreaking, layered performance in this pitch-black comedy that reveals the disturbing side of obsessive fandom.Thankfully, word is out that Big Fan will begin showing in theaters in New York and Philadelphia August 28th, Los Angeles, D.C, Dallas and Houston theatres September 11th and then expanding! In the meantime, visit the official website for trailers and whatnot. And definitely check out Patton's diaries from when Big Fan played at Sundance back in January. Trailer below.
Having seen the trailer last year, I feel like Visioneers has been on my radar for a really long time. It definitely looks to be a somber, Orwellian, supremely dark comedy. The film, directed by Jared Drake, stars Galifianakis as George Washington Winsterhammerman.
George lives a comfortable yet completely uneventful life, and when he starts having dreams in which he's the first President of the United States, his doctor informs him that they could be signs of impending explosion. Later, as the dreams become more frequent and his co-workers continue to detonate, George is prompted to reevaluate his mundane existence.It looks like that June 3 screening at the 92Y Tribeca may have been my only opportunity to see it theatrically; it comes out on DVD July 21st (using Zach's role in The Hangover to reach a broader audience) and there only seems to be independently organized screening parties scattered across the US. Trailer below.
Zach did a split 7" with Ted Leo a while back, available only via Chunklet.com and only available if you purchased another item from the Chunklet store. Now you no longer need to buy a second item in order to purchase the record. This extremely limited edition 7" is only $5 and is available on four different types of wax. Get 'em while they're hot!.
In Other News........
words by Klaus Kinski, photos by Bao Nguyen
As a person who gets pretty agitated when a schedule starts to fall apart before my very eyes, the fact that the Channel 101 show was running 45 minutes behind schedule had me wound pretty tight. Add to that the fact that we couldn't get The Perfect Storm's sampler working, forcing them to (rightfully) bail, and you've got a Klaus on your hands who's on the verge of frenzy. Luckily, a blown schedule and the loss of part of our line-up turned out to be really just minor bumps in what ended up being a completely off the hook night of comedy and music (May 5, 2008).
When I got to Pianos, somebody told me that a beardless Louis CK was hanging out and host Max Silvestri persuaded me to see if he'd want to do a set. He agreed on the condition that he could go on as early as possible in the show. I was beside myself with glee. However, we were plagued with delay upon delay, so much so that during Max's opening, Louis waved good-bye to me and left. I was heartbroken. But then a few minutes later he re-appeared, I gave Max the 'times-up' light, and Louis ended up doing nearly 20 minutes of completely new (to me at least) material. As already pointed out, his set really was mostly amazing. Like any comedian trying new material, some of his jokes didn't hit the mark, but even those were hilarious. Louis is beyond one of my favorites. He's almost a deity to me. The fact that he showed up to do a set was really a ridiculous honor.
Leo Allen & Bobby Tisdale (will be together again Thursday night) *
* photo by Marianne Ways
Comedian Greg Johnson was all set to host our inaugural Rock 'n' ROFL party at Pianos tomorrow night (Feb 28, 2008) until he suddenly went ahead and 'pulled a Paul' (aka he has removed himself from the lineup), BUT DO NOT FEAR...... we are not only NOT cancelling the show, we have already confirmed a more than qualified replacement, and that is none other than Invite Them Up's own Bobby Tisdale.
Tonight (Feb 27) you can catch Bobby at Riffi co-hosting the very last Invite Them Up show EVER. Tomorrow catch him hosting Rock 'n' ROFL at Pianos. He'll take the stage around 8:30 - right after Peasantt finishes soothing our souls with his sweet sounds. Tickets include a free bottle of Newcastle.
P.S. Todd Barry will be on Conan O'Brien tonight (Feb 27)
words by Jon Roren, photos by Marianne Ways
DOWNLOAD: Cobra Krames - What More Time! (MP3)
Karin, Bobby and the time capsule @ Rififi, Feb 25, 2008
Invite Them Up has been a mainstay on the Downtown comedy scene for about six years, and has played host to many great talents. This week sees the end of ITU's run as a weekly show, with shows on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night to celebrate more than a half-decade of fart jokes and fireballs. If you're coming on Wednesday, bring something for the fancy time capsule.
Host Bobby Tisdale got night one-of-three underway with his patented rubbing of the microphone on some dude's balls before bringing up opening comic Greg Johnson - the co-host of the ECNY award-winning Rififi variety show 'Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy Show'. Johnson was followed by Michael Showalter whose set consisted of one of his trademark "showbiz rants" - this one about how he was only 3rd-to-last-night material and that he clearly wasn't good enough for Wednesday night before trying to tell jokes about shows nobody in the audience had seen.
7:30 - Peasant$10 admission includes a complimentary bottle of Newcastle ale. Tickets are on sale. More info, the flyer (that was designed by Creek Bed Industries), and a video of The Forms covering Nirvana at Union Hall, below....
8:30 - comedy hosted by Greg Johnson
10:00 - The Forms
11:00 - Bear in Heaven (pictured above)
by Klaus Kinski
You Should Probably Go To Rififi Tonight (Feb 8)......
Why? Because every Friday night (this month at least) Rififi (332 east 11th, b/t 1st and 2nd) plays host to The Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy Show. If I wasn't so lazy/busy, I would have finished my Top Ten Best Things In Comedy In 2007 list for BV; a list that would have had the ECNY Award Winning Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy Show at the #1 slot. Every single week the line-ups their myspace bulletins boast are so packed with top-shelf talent that I often think Greg and Larry are the biggest liars in the business. But then I show up to the show and, sure enough, they deliver what they promised for a mere $5. Here's what makes tonight's show so great.....
DOWNLOAD: The Forms - Knowledge in Hand (MP3)
Greg Johnson @ Knitting Factory, NYC - Jan 29, 2008 (Anya Garrett)
It is with an unprecedented amount of glee that I annouce a new monthly party brought to you by BrooklynVegan and I (Klaus Kinski) called BrooklynVegan and Klaus Kinski present Rock n' ROFL (or just "Rock n' ROFL" for short).
Taking place at Pianos in NYC (158 Ludlow Street at Stanton), the purpose of the show is to bring you a night of great comedy and music in an intimate setting. Our premiere installment will take place on Thursday February 28th, 2008, and will be hosted by ECNY Award winner Greg Johnson. There will also be comedy by Pete Holmes, Dave Hill, Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler, Leo Allen, and maybe more TBA. Maybe. After the comedy comes two bands (approximately something like 8-10pm comedy, 10-12 bands). The first band is one of my favorites The Forms, and the second band will be announced soon. Your sides will hurt from laughing, your ears will hurt from the loud music, and your liver will hurt from all the booze you're going to drink. It's gonna be great! (ticket info TBA soon)
No members of Human Giant are performing at the premiere show - at least partially because they'll be out on tour.
Fred Armisen definitely won't be joining us either - at least partially because we uknowingly scheduled this show the same night as his own at Knitting Factory.
Can't make our show, but still want to see the Forms? Or you want to see them twice? Or you love Gothamist? Catch The Forms and Pattern is Movement at Union Hall on February 15th (13 days before our show).
Max Silvestri @ Rififi, NYC - Oct 29, 2007 (CRED)
In addition to all the special comedy shows always going on, don't forget that there are plenty of shows that happen weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly in NYC that are always reliable, rarely over $5, and usually feature some of the biggest comedians in the business. Why, just the other day Invite Them Up featured Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin, Nick Kroll, Andy Blitz, and Max Silvestri. Nuts, right!? Here are some other recurring shows I highly recommend.
- Totally J/K with Joe and Noah: Every other Monday at Rififi with Joe Mande and Noah Garfinkle
- At Night with Gabe and Jenny: Mondays at Rififi
- Sweet: Tuesday at The Slipper Room with Seth Herzog
- Invite Them Up: Wednesdays at Rififi with Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale
- Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy: Fridays at Rififi with Greg Johnson and Larry Murphy
- It is It: Monthly at Pianos with Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show)
- Tearing the Veil of Maya: Sundays at Union Hall with Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter