Entries tagged with: Invite Them Up

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by Arielle Gordon

Eugene Mirman has 10 Reasons and... (more by David Andrako)
Eugene Mirman

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

In related news, Eugene Mirman, John Hodgman and Kristen Schaal are going on tour!

by Klaus Kinski

Kristen Schaal & Eugene Mirman (more by David Andrako)
water

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...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest 2011 -- lineup & tix"

words & photos by David Andrako

Daniel Kitson / Jim Gaffigan
Daniel Kitson
Jim Gaffigan

The 2nd night of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (read about the first here) featured two shows: "Montreal Callbacks" and a super sized "Invite Them Up."

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.

The 2010 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival concludes Sunday night. Read about Thursday night HERE. More pictures from Friday below...

Continue reading "Jim Gaffigan showed up & Daniel Kitson was there at night 2 of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest (pics & review) "

by Klaus Kinski

Eugene Mirman comedy festival

Good ole Brooklyn is going to be the epicenter of some of the world's best comedy from September 25th - September 28th when the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival rolls into Park Slope. The 4-day festival boasts 10 MASSIVE shows that will take place at Union Hall and the soon-to-be-open Bell House. The exact line-ups and guests have yet to be set in stone, but prepare yourself for a sweet opening night awards ceremony, an Invite Them Up reunion, an Apartment 2F renuion, an installment of Variety Shac, some fresh faces of comedy, a Tearing The Veil of Maya closing night blow-out, and, of course, appearances by the best of the best (think Galifianakis, Birbiglia, Schaal, Oliver, Showalter, The Sklar Brothers, and many many many more....). Here's how the schedule looks thus far:

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (9/25-9/28 in Park Slope)"

It's been a while since I posted much comedy-related news, and the last thing I did post turned out to be somewhat of a false alarm caused by completely erroneous listings on Ticketmaster and Live Nation (which they've since corrected). Sorry about that.

Eugene Mirman & Bobby Tisdale cakes, final Invite Them Up (Anya Garrett)
Invite Them Up

One of the bigger bits of NYC comedy related news was the final installment of Invite Them Up which took place at the still-to-remain-open Rififi on 2/27/08. It was the last of three final shows and, having heard the crowds weren't actually that insane at the previous two, I decided to get there at 8pm sharp. That was a huge mistake. When I arrived the bar was so full that I couldn't even close the door behind me. As the crowd began to file into the live room, I knew there was no way I'd fit in there either, so I decided to watch the show on a large flatscreen from a stool at the bar. The evening's line-up was absolutely insane and featured Kristen Schaal, Jim Gaffigan, Slovin & Allen, Todd Barry,Chelsea Peretti, Eugene Mirman, Jon Glaser & Jon Benjamin, and Demetri Martin. Craig Baldo did the very final "30 Seconds of Stand-Up" during which Rififi received a noise complaint from one of the neighbors.

a cop storms Rififi (Heather Fink)
Invite Them Up

Because the bar itself was completely packed and everyone was really focusing their attention to the flatscreen, I don't feel like I missed anything by not being in the actual live room. Plus, being at the bar I never had to wait for a beer which was truly joyous. Like every other ITU I've gone to, I left this one extremely drunk and amply satisfied with the fantastic comedy they gave me for a mere $5. Although I am sad to see ITU go, the reality is that it isn't the only cheap, awesome, and reliable comedy showcase in town. We've still got Greg and Larry, Totally J/K, Tearing the Veil of Maya, CBS/NYC, Sweet, ITU's replacement Gelmania, and so many more. So cheer up.

Demetri Martin, Invite Them Up RIP (Driven By Boredom)
Invite Them Up

One night later I co-hosted our first installment of Rock 'n' ROFL at Pianos, but more about that HERE. Stay tuned for another announcement coming any second with the lineup of our March 31st edition.

Keep reading for news, upcoming shows, videos and more....

Continue reading "Klaus Kinski's Comedy Canon (03/22/08)"

words by Klaus Kinski, photos by Elizabeth Weinberg

We had our first ever Brooklynvegan and Klaus Kinski present Rock n' Rofl at Pianos on Thursday February 28th, 2008. Aside from the noise coming in from the bar everytime someone opened the door and the lack of chairs for the comedy, I thought the show went really well. An ill (literally, as in he had the flu) Peasant started off the show with some surprisingly powerful folk music.

Peasant
Rock n ROFL

Comedians Joe Mande, Dave Hill, Pete Holmes, Kristen Schaal, Leo Allen, and host Bobby Tisdale were really incredible. They brought such a great variety of videos and comedic material to the table. This was my first ever comedy showcase I felt honored to have such amazing talent on the bill, and especially to be playing host to host Bobby Tisdale who had just hosted his very last Invite Them Up at Rififi only one night earlier. It was a bummer Kurt Braunohler couldn't make it last minute (because a wizard turned him into a llama), but Kristen did a great job handling it on her own, and the world premiere showing of the new New Pornographers video that they both star in was an extra special treat.

Bobby Tisdale
Rock n ROFL

Continue reading "the next Rock 'n' ROFL is March 31st @ Pianos - save the date ++++++++++++ the pics from last time finally!"

Demetri Martin, Invite Them Up, RIP (Marianne Ways)
Invite Them up

Tonight (March 10, 2008) @ Pianos goes something like this:

11:00 SOUTH (UK)
10:00 KRISTOFFER RAGNSTAM
8:00 IT IS IT
"It is It" is free, and goes something like this....

Continue reading "'It is It' comedy @ Pianos (Demetri Martin) before South"

words by Jon Roren, photos by Marianne Ways

Todd Barry and Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo) @ Rififi, Feb 26, 2008
Invite Them Up

Eugene Mirman
Invite Them Up

The penultimate Invite Them Up at Rififi Tuesday night (Feb 26, 2008) was perhaps as close to perfection as downtown comedy gets. It was also about as crowded as it gets. There were so many people that they had to open up the back room, put up a projection screen and seat people in there. This of course inspired some visual humor with Eugene Mirman standing in between rooms, watching himself in the back room while waving his arm in front of the camera in the main room a la "Spaceballs."

Continue reading "Invite Them Up, night 2 of 3 final shows (pics & recap) "

Invite Them Up ended forever last night. More coverage coming soon, but in the meantime here's a picture of Bobby Tisdale hugging Demetri Martin as Eugene Mirman looks on in the background......

Invite Them Up
* photos by Marianne Ways

* ROCK N ROFL
* Jim White @ Union Hall
* Henry Rollins @ Warsaw
* Georgie James @ Union Hall (& Conan O'Brien last night)
* The Acorn & others @ Maxwell's
* Apes & Androids @ Hiro Ballroom
* The National & Phosphorescent are @ NYU
* St Vincent & Foreign Born play Music Hall
* Team Robespierre & friends @ Market Hotel
* Fred Armisen & Petra Haden @ Knitting Factory
* Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood @ Madison Square Garden
* Balkan Beat Box & Chin Chin @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple
* Deer Tick & Phosphorescent (now listed as special guest?) @ Glasslands

(as if you didn't realize it by now), the very first "BrooklynVegan & Klaus Kinski" presents Rock 'n' ROFL is happening TONIGHT (7:30-midnight) @ Pianos. Three bands, seven comedians, one free beer, $10. Bobby Tisdale (pictured above) is hosting. Last night he hosted the last Invite Them Up ever (see photo above). All the other info is HERE.

Corduroy is a new monthly dance party at Cake Shop. That is also tonight, and Sparrow House (who isn't danceable, but nonetheless) is playing it at 11:30 pm.

Noise Pop is going on in San Francisco right now. Full coverage by Ryan Muir coming soon.

Phosphorescent (who played Union Hall last night w/ Bowerbirds & The Acorn) is playing NYU. I didn't research it, but he may not also be playing Glasslands. Or maybe he is. Who knows?

Thom Yorke called on governments and European Union to commit to year-on-year emission cuts. Video below. What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Thursday? (Rock 'n' ROFL)"

Leo Allen & Bobby Tisdale (will be together again Thursday night) *
Leo Allen and Bobby Tisdale
* 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.

Check out the interview with Peasant that Gothamist posted today. Check our recap of the Monday night Invite Them Up show.

P.S. Todd Barry will be on Conan O'Brien tonight (Feb 27)

Continue reading "Bobby Tisdale replacing Greg Johnson at Rock 'n ROFL"

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

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.

John Oliver
Invite Them Up

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.

Continue reading "Invite Them Up, night 1 of 3 final shows (pics & recap) "

by Klaus Kinski

Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale

For over 5 years, Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale's weekly comedy showcase Invite Them Up has been bringing New Yorkers the best comedy (and sometimes music) on the planet. But as mentioned earlier, Invite Them Up will cease operations on February 27th, 2008. And although this loss will leave a huge hole in the comedic soul of NYC, Eugene and Bobby are saying goodbye by giving us three nights of comedy and music beginning Monday 2/25 (tonight)

Obviously such a renowned comedic institution like Invite Them Up won't die quietly. These final three shows will feature line-ups so insane that I'm not going to bother to mention a single participant. I won't even bother to mention a few of the lesser known names and append that with the vague "Plus Special Guests". These three nights' line-ups are comprised of special guests only. Want an idea of how good the line-ups might be? Take a look at their More Info Page and let your imagination run wild.

As with all other installments of Invite Them Up, each show will conclude with a wonderful afterparty featuring a different guest DJ each night. Comedian Craig Baldo is confirmed to DJ the 2/25 afterparty. To accomodate the legions of comedy fans that will stick around for these afterparties, the bar and the showroom will both stay open after the show.

But that's not all. They're going to make a large time capsule. They'll mostly have comedians put stuff in relating to the show, comedy, or this point in time, but Eugene and Bobby would like to Invite the audience to bring stuff for the time capsule too! Bring something. They'll be collecting the stuff over all three nights.

Despite previous reports, there is now no official closing date for Rififi. Nate Sloan at the NY Press reports....

"Whether or not the liquor license will be revoked is up in the air," explains Antonio. "The owner is making an effort to keep Rififi open, and it seems as though Rififi will remain open for at least another four or five months and could remain open permanently if the license is saved and hopefully will continue to operate as it has been."
This means the departure of Invite Them Up leaves Wednesday nights open for a brand new show. What will the show be? Who will curate it? With a little bit o' luck, I'll have the answer real soon....
Invite Them Up - The Final Shows
February 25, 26, 27 - 8:00pm

$5
Rififi
332 East 11th Street
.Check out some now-classic videos from Invite Them Up below....

Continue reading "Invite Them Up, RIP - 3 more to go, all this week (@ Rififi)"

Bobby Tisdale, Invite Them Up @ Rififi, NYC - Oct 3, 2007 (CRED)
Invite Them Up

Numerous comedians are reporting (supposedly not as jokes) that unless someone swoops in and buys it or something, NYC club Rififi will be (despite their plans to continue) closing at the end of February. The last Invite Them Up will be held at Rififi on February 27th. Trash, "I Like Attention", "Totally J/K with Joe and Noah", "At Night with Gabe and Jenny", Starshine Burlesque, Sweet and Nasty Burlesque and The Greg Johnson show will also be without a home.

This comes just a few months after Mo Pitkins closed - another East Village home to regular comedy and burlesque shows.

Jon Brion and friends in Chicago

Pat Sansone, John Stirratt, Jon Brion, and Britt Daniel perform "I Feel Fine" at the Harris Theater in Chicago on New Year's Eve [ilamya]
* Petra Haden is playing The Stone
* The Killing of John Lennon opens at IFC
* Big Brother and The Holding Company is at Knitting Factory
* INVITE THEM UP @ Rififi
8:40 PM doors, 9 PM show, $5
With Bobby Tisdale and Eugene Mirman
Featuring: Chris Jurek, Tig Notaro, Greg Johnson, Rob Cantrell, Nick Kroll, and special guests.
What else?

Max Silvestri @ Rififi, NYC - Oct 29, 2007 (CRED)
Max Silvestri

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.

What else? -Klaus