Entries tagged with: John Oliver
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is about a month old at this point, with the former Daily Show correspondent (and guest-anchor)'s move to HBO. The pay-cable network not only allows for no language restrictions, but also longer form pieces as well, that allow Oliver and his writers to go a little more in depth. The show had its first viral moment this past Sunday with its 13-minute segment on the possible changes to the FCC's "Net Neutrality" regulations that could allow cable providers to offer different speeds to certain corporate clients. While being very funny, Oliver consisely explained Net Neutrality, noting they were "the only two words promising more boredom than 'Featuring Sting.'" He then urged the internet commenters to let the FCC know what they think of the proposed changes by going to the FCC's website that allows a 120-day public comment period. So many people did just that, and it crashed the FCC's servers (though it's working now). If you haven't seen the piece you can watch it below.
If you've watched Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, you maybe have also noticed its very catchy theme music, which is actually the song "Go" by Dave Hill's band, Valley Lodge. You can watch the video for that -- which came out last summer -- below. Your next chance to catch Dave and Valley Lodge is at The Bell House on June 18 which is part of his "Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets" variety show that features David Cross and more. Tickets are still available.
And if you're interested in attending a taping of Last Week Tonight, tickets can be requested here. "Net Neutrality" video and Valley Lodge song below...
New York nonprofit 826NYC is celebrating 10 years of providing students ages 6 - 18 with free literacy and writing programs. Part of this year's festivities is a fundraising event happening March 5 at Town Hall called the Tenth Anniversary Chat Spectacular. Hosted by Eugene Mirman and Sarah Vowell, the night pairs distinguished artists in conversation, specifically: documentary filmmaker Ken Burns & author Kurt Andersen; former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver and musician / journalist Questlove; Portlandia's Fred Armisen & the Audience; as well as Russian author Masha Gessen and music by Robyn Hitchcock. 826NYC promise more guests to be announced.
Tickets to 826 NYC's Tenth Anniversary Chat Spectacular are on sale now.
by Klaus Kinski
826NYC is a nonprofit tutoring center dedicated to helping students, ages 6-18, develop their writing skills in the realm of creative writing, expository writing and English as a Second Language. The 826NYC writing center provides free, daily, one-on-one tutoring sessions for students in need of after-school help. It also offers a free publishing resource to students, where volunteers are available to assist them in creating their own story collections, zines and other extracurricular student publications. In order for 826NYC to keep their vast array of programming free, they often throw insane comedy/music fundraisers in Brooklyn. 100% of the time the shows are more than worth the price of admission; but knowing your money is going to help childhood literacy makes dropping some coin on the event that much easier.
True to form, 826NYC has a fundraiser coming up on Wednesday July 10 at the Bell House featuring a pretty unbelievable line-up. The evening will be hosted by Sarah Vowell and Eugene Mirman and will feature sets by BV fave Reggie Watts, another BV fave Daniel Kitson(!), and more special guests (UPDATE: Mike Birbiglia and John Oliver added). If you haven't seen Daniel Kitson... my Cod... dude, he's the greatest. Quite simply, one of the most brilliant and talented comedians to come out of the UK ever. Not kidding. Tickets are a reasonable $40 and on sale NOW. Get em while they're hot, because this bad boy is going to sell right the F out.
Meanwhile Reggie Watts will perform at another benefit at the Bell House on Thursday (6/20) that's also with Wyatt Cenac, Todd Barry, Max Silvestri, Sara Schaefer and Crappy Cinema Council duo Jim Vanblaricum & Jim Crocamo. This one benefits New York City Coalition Against Hunger's Craig Murphey Fellowship Fund. Tickets are $15 and still available.
James has been doing the poster at the door each night, and doing great work (in fact, Sunday's poster may have been too good -- stolen within seconds of being taped up). But he outdid himself last night...On the fifth day of Hanukkah, while some of the biggest names in rock were playing abbreviated sets at Madison Square Garden, Yo La Tengo performed their entire Maxwell's set as a trio, which hasn't happened this week yet. The evening's special guests were El-P and comedian John Oliver. Night 5's mix was made by YLT drummer Georgia Hubley and proceeds went to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund.
...By now, the careful reader has surmised that the night began with a set by El-P, supported by Shannon Moore and backed by a three-piece band including James on bass. It looked to me like culture shock in the best sense-I'm not going to pretend I attend a lot of hip-hop shows, and clearly El-P is used to seeing a lot more hands in the air when said request is made. On the other hand, the singalong on "No Kings" went kinda swimmingly.
During this Sandy-related Hanukkah (by now, the careful reader knows last night's charity was the Brooklyn Recovery Fund), it was especially helpful to have John Oliver join us to provide some much-needed perspective. It's not damage from the storm that should be worrying us, it's America's declining empire and the digital record we're bequeathing to future generations. He suggested a few more looted treasures and a few less videos of being kicked in the family jewels. And maybe a new national anthem. - [YLT]
Three more nights of Yo La Tengo Hanukkah action left. Who is going to open tonight? UPDATE: It's Barbara Manning and Eugene Mirman, with the mix by Three-Lobed Recordings.
Night 5's setlist and mix CD cover art are below.
Once we decided to give all of this year's money to Sandy-related charities (last night's was Hoboken's volunteer first responders), it seemed especially appropriate to keep the opening acts close to home as well. With Real Estate, we managed to keep it close to everyone's home: formed in New Jersey, based in Brooklyn--the only thing missing was they don't seem quite so broken up about Dames closing their Hoboken location as we are. They played a beautiful set--had I been more on the ball I would have asked the name of that supercool long new song they did third.For the fourth night (12/12) of their Hanukkah Week shows at Maxwell's, Yo La Tengo got fellow New Jerseyans Real Estate (who just played a hardware store in Williamsburg) plus comedian Todd Barry to open for them. Also, keeping up with the extra percussion trend we've seen all week (see Fred Armisen and The Feelies), Kid Millions of Oneida sat in on second drumkit for the entire set. Todd Barry, who can keep a beat himself, played drums in an encore cover of Blue Öyster Cult's "Burnin' for You." Martin Courtney of Real Estate came onstage to to sing the night's final song, "Our Way to Fall." The entire Hanukkah Night 4 setlist is below.
When Alex Beeker sang his first lead vocal of the night on the second to last song of the set, he probably didn't realize the shock waves were going to still be reverberating a half hour later. But at least one person in the audience found it hilariously noteworthy: our next act of the evening, Todd Barry, who spent a minute or two questioning the set list. Just off the plane from Australia where he had performed at the Sydney Opera House, Todd announced his farewell appearance at Maxwell's, as henceforth he will be working exclusively at opera houses and palais. He will be missed. - [YLT]
Last night's mix CD was by Shintaro Sakamoto and proceeds from the show went to Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps. We've cleared the Hanukkah week hump -- any guesses on who will open for Yo La Tengo tonight (12/12)? UPDATE: It's El-P and John Oliver and YLT drummer Georgia Hubley made the mix CD.
Mix CD cover and Night 4 setlist below...
Chris Funk of Black Prairie/Decemberists in Austin in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Decemberists side project Black Prairie released their new album, A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart, this past September and went on a tour which brought them to NYC earlier this month for a show at Mercury Lounge (11/10). They'll be touring again in January and will return to NYC on January 16 at Union Hall with John Wesley Harding. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Chris Funk of Black Prairie/Decemberists was one of the producers for the new Holidays Rule compilation, which features Black Prairie teaming up with Sallie Ford for a cover of the old holiday chesnut, "Man with the Bag." That compilation and the new Black Prairie album are on sale for 20% off at the Black Prairie webstore for the holidays. You can listen to a sample of Black Prairie and Sallie Ford's cover of "Man with the Bag" below.
Speaking of John Wesley Harding, he's got other upcoming shows, including the previously mentioned Cabinet of Wonders show in NYC at City Winery on December 16. John has since revealed more guests for that show, and the lineup now includes Fountains of Wayne, Josha Ferris, Colum McCann, Eugene Mirman, John Oliver, Ron Sexsmith, The Silver Ages, and David Wax Museum (who also play Mercury Lounge this week). It's far from the only place to catch Eugene Mirman in NYC this month and next. Tickets for the Cabinet of Wonders show are on sale now.
Lists of dates and song stream below.
Eugene Mirman and Wyatt Cenac are already playing a Hurricane Sandy Relief benefit at The Bell House on November 25 for a special edition of Pretty Good Friends, and Jonathan Ames is doing one on Monday (11/12) at Union Hall, and now the three of them will be teaming up for a different benefit show with Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), Sarah Vowell, Jonathan Frazen, Gail Collins, John Oliver, and Jon Ronson at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharp Theatre on December 7. The show is presented 826NYC and dubbed, "'Rants and Other Suggestions,' a very special evening of readings, performances, and music." Eugene Mirman and Sarah Vowell will be handling hosting duties and the others will be performing. Tickets will be available at the Symphony Space website and all proceeds will benefit 826NYC's writing lab for New York City students.
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.
Kristen Schaal w/ Mad Men's Jon Hamm dressed up as the Big Apple
As mentioned, NYC comedian and actress Kristen Schaal (who plays Symphony Space in NYC tonight, 7/24) is moving to Los Angeles, which is sad or all of us, but probably great for her because she's surely moving on to exciting things. On Thursday (7/19), Kristen joined Eugene Mirman, Mike Birbiglia, Kurt Braunholer, John Oliver, Bobcat Goldthwait and musical guests OK GO at the new Williamsburg Park for a giant and free edition of "Pretty Good Friends" where Kristen's pretty good friends, special guest Jon Hamm included, helped wish her goodbye (You may remember Kristen was in Mad Men's first episode). Jon Hamm appeared as the Big Apple, as you can see in the picture above. More pictues from the whole show (Williamburg Park's 2nd-ever show) (it was supposed to be the third), backstage included, below...
Amadou & Mariam
As you may remember from the past couple of years, "Summerstage" now encompasses more than just Central Park, but Central Park Summerstage will still always be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the series. Here's the 2012 schedule. Check it out below...
by Klaus Kinski
Pete & Pete reunion @ Bowery Ballroom, 2/24/2012 (photo by jenipherlyn)
Hey guys. So, lookit, you're about to ingest a lot of comedy data in a moment. But it's just the tip of the NYC comedy iceberg. No, it's less than the tip. It's a piece of dandruff that sailed from an Arctic explorer's head and settled on the tip of the iceberg. I don't have the time and you don't have the attention span to handle an entire survey of the NYC scene right now. What follows is a brief glimpse into some cool goings on in the coming weeks. Take it with a grain of dandruff.
First thing's first. Rob Delaney added a fourth NYC show, but you knew that. Moving on...
Did you miss the two Adventures of Pete & Pete reunion shows that happened at the Bowery Ballroom on February 24th? Bummer, right? Well, unfortunately the show I'm about to tell you about is already sold out, but where there's a will, there's a way (and that way could possibly include standby tix). Get a load of this. The great Kurt Braunohler has a late night talk show at The Pit called Night of the Living with Kurt Braunohler. The next installment of this show happens on Friday March 9th and features guest Mike Maronna (Pete) and Danny Tamberelli (Pete)! It's a fun sized, mini-reunion just for you! Also, Wyatt Cenac (Daily Show) will be there and a surprise musical guest who I am unable to mention, but whom we love and idolize here at BV headquarters (an internet cafe)! Hint, it is a man whose name may or may not rhyme with 'bread'.
Thursday March 8th marks the return of Tom Shillue's story-telling-centric show Funny Story to the hallowed halls of UCB East. This time he will have guests Amine Zaitzeff (owner of Zaitzeff Burger), Mike Albo, the great Margot Leitman, and Stephen Gevedon. A super-diverse and well curated line-up. Show is at 7:30pm, tix are on sale.
Speaking of burgers, Bob's Burgers is my favorite animated series on the TV and I was thrilled when it was (rightfully) renewed for another season (which premiers THIS Sunday March 11th on Fox). The casting a so fucking impeccable; H. Jon Benjamin, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Andy Kindler as well as guests like Jon Glaser. Holy! Well get a load of THIS shit. On Friday March 9th you can see the CAST OF BOB's BURGERS LIVE AT THE BELL HOUSE!! And IT'S FREE. I am not an all-caps kind of guy, but that pronouncement certainly merited such action. OK, full disclosure, the Bell House show doesn't feature the entire cast I listed above. The show will feature Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, and Larry Murphy doing funnies and also previewing clips from the next season. You can only get in with a wristband, and those will be distributed starting at 5:00pm. So, wristbands at 5pm, doors at 8pm, show sometime after that. 21+. Sorry, junior.
While I'm on the subject of TV-related comedy, NYU's Skirball Center will play host to John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show from March 10th through March 12th. The show, being taped for Comedy Central, will include sets by David O'Doherty, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac, Dana Gould, Michael Ian Black, Marc Maron, and a shit-ton of rising stars from with the stand-up world. You can totally get in to these things for free, but you gotta head on over to The Blacklist NYC and get yourself situated. And for the record... as far as people who put together audiences for tapings, The Blacklist is pretty tops. Very well managed, never confusing, very organized. Totally rad. Just saying.
Next Thursday, March 12th, Symphony Space will play host to an incredible comedy event called Uptown Showdown: Comedy Debate Series. This is not the first time Symphony Space has hosted this show, and I am wicked pissed at myself for not mentioning it to you people prior to earlier installments.
Uptown ShowDown is a comedy debate series that tackles some of the most important issues of our time, such as which decade was the coolest-the eighties or the nineties, is cake really better than pie and who would win in a showdown pirates or ninjas? Forget about school reform and health care, these issues, heatedly argued by some of the funniest, smartest, intensely wacky creative thinkers around, are the topics that keep us awake at night....in a good way. Past Performers include Michael Showalter, Leo Allen, Dave Hill, Jessi Klein, Julie Klausner, Andrea Rosen, A.D. Miles and more.Next week's show will have Michael Ian Black and friends facing off with The talent Show's Elna Baker and Kevin Townley on the subject of Fashion vs. Comfort. Tom Shillue will host the festivities. Following the event, Mr. Ian Black will read from his new memoir You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations. He'll also sign your copy. I wish I could tell you how funny or awful this book is but I never got a galley copy because I am chopped liver or something. Tickets are on sale now, and I am also giving away a pair AND a copy of Michael Ian Black's book! Instructions below.
The next installment of the mind-blowing experience known as Heart of Darkness will take place on Saturday March 17th at Union Hall. This time around, host Greg Barris will be joined by Joe Mande, Dave Hill, and more special guests that I shan't announce but are no doubt worthy of your attention. My thoughts? Get your tickets in advance, you.
Speaking of Dave Hill, did you know that motherfucker wrote a book and that it comes out on May 22nd? If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, then you're thinking "Wait, Dave Hill is a flawless comedian. Dave Hill is a master guitar player, maybe the best in the world. Dave Hill is easy on the eyes. And Dave Hill can also write a freaking book? What can't that guy accomplish?" I know, right? The book is entitled Tasteful Nudes. If you like stories...
...about stolen meat, animal attacks, young love, death, naked people, clergymen, rock 'n' roll, irritable Canadians, and prison, you have just hit a street called Easy because my book talks about all that stuff and a bunch of other stuff, too.I am nobody's shill and I wouldn't be saying this if it wasn't the Cod's honest truth; this book is absolutely impossible to put down. It is so funny and well written that I simply could not put it down. Pre-order it now, then forget you pre-ordered it, so then one day it shows up in your mailbox and you're all "Ha. Dave Hill's done it again."
And speaking of Joe Mande, he has a ton of upcoming dates all over the Northeast. Check out his tour schedule below.
And now, before I hang it up for the day, I am happy to report that The PIT is going to unleash its first ever NYC Improv Festival! The NYC Improv Festival will take place from March 21st to March 24th at Peoples Improv Theater and feature OVER 40 improv troupes as well as workshops. A TON of the shows are free, and some require tickets. You can also buy a festival pass for next to nothing that will get you into all the shows. I also have two UNLIMITED festival passes to give away. Instructions on how to win them are down there.
Joe dates and contests below...
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...
John Oliver is hosting/taping a "New York Stand-Up Show" at NYU's Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Saturday & Sunday - January 14-16...
"Stand-up Comedian and Daily Show correspondent, John Oliver, hosts a unique series of stand-up comedy shows for Comedy Central which feature some of America's most influential stand-up stars and great upcoming comics. Season 2 is sure to be amazing. Headliners this year include Greg Behrendt, Pete Holmes, Al Madrigal and Maria Bamford as well as these great comics Brendon Walsh, Kyle Kinane, Anthony Jeselnik, Marina Franklin, Jen Kirkman, Deon Cole, Mike Lawrence, Kumail Nanjiani, Rory Albanese, Glenn Wool, Moshe Kasher, Rory Scovel plus more tbd..."Sign up for free tickets to the Comedy Central event.
Wyatt Cenac is doing something similar. Free tickets available.
Free weekly series Whiplash continues every Monday night at NYC's UCB Theater. Tonight's special guests are John Oliver, Rory Scovel & Mike Lawrence.
Reggie Watts and Daniel Pinchbeck are having "An Open Dialogue About the Future" at Cameo Gallery tonight (1/10) (doors at 9pm). On January 17th, 2011, Daniel Pinchbeck will host a screening of "2012, Time for a Change" at the same venue.
The Wednesday night free "Big Teriffic" show has been happening again at Cameo Gallery, and it will happen again on 1/12 and 1/19 (and probably after that!). Max Silvestri, Gabe Liedman, and Jenny Slate host. Other special guests perform too.
Hannibal Buress still hosts the free show every Sunday night at Knitting Factory. 1/16 promises Rory Scovel, Ben Lerman, Jermaine Fowler, John Mulaney & Rob Shapiro
Monthly show Variety Shac with Andrea Rosen returns to UCB on January 13th with special guests John Mulaney, Aasif Mandvi & Negin Farsad.
Joe Mande breaks out at Caroline's this Tuesday, January 11th. Tickets are on sale.
Neil Innes of Monty Python and The Rutles fame plays Highline Ballroom on May 10th. Tickets are on sale.
Did you miss the opening weekend of Daniel Kitson's show at St. Ann's Warehouse? Well, you have until January 30th to correct that!
Aziz Ansari's Carnegie Hall show happens on January 22nd. Tickets are still on sale.
Louis CK has a new CD and DVD entitled "Hilarious" which gets relesaed this Tuesday, 1/11. That's the cover art above. Have you seen it on Comedy Central? Well, the DVD is " uncensored and feature an additional 40 minutes of content not aired on TV." Check out the trailer/e-card thing below...
The Tallest Man on Earth @ Town Hall in 2008 (more by Chris La Putt)
today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* comedy @ Pianos
* Jim Campilongo @ Living Room
* M.I.A., Rye Rye @ Terminal 5
* Grant Hart, Remma @ Bruar Falls
* Jesse Harris, Spookhuisje @ Zebulon
* Breathe Owl Breathe, The Loom @ The Rock Shop
* Beach Fossils, Grass Widow, Oberhofer, Ovens @ Old Firehouse
* The Tallest Man On Earth, S. Carey @ Webster Hall
* Maximum Balloon (David Sitek DJ set) @ Other Music
* Teenage Fanclub, Radar Brothers @ Bowery Ballroom
* Ghastly City Sleep, Industries of the Blind, The Stationary Set, Heliotropes @ DBA
* Byron Westbrook, Keith Fullerton Whitman @ Issue Project Room
* Bobby Bare Jr., Blue Giant, Sallie Ford & Sound Outside, Thieving Irons @ Mercury Lounge
* Regina Spektor, Carina Round, Cooper, Jenny Owen Youngs, Jupiter One, Only Son, Rachel Platten, The Candles, Tracy Bonham, Wes Hutchinson (Daniel Cho Benefit) @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tonight's Whiplash lineup includes John Oliver (The Daily Show), Josie Long, Myq Kaplan, Sean Patton, Rory Scovel, Nate Bargatze & Jarrod Harris. Last week, right after the Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest ended, Louis CK and Jim Gaffigan performed surprise sets on the bill that included Daniel Kitson and Reggie Watts.
Blank Dogs played Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos on 9/24. An (((unartig))) video from that show below...
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.
Laugh with the stars at Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education on Saturday, October 2 at the Beacon Theatre.A great lineup for a great cause.
Hosted by Jon Stewart, the evening will feature Lewis Black, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Joel McHale, John Oliver, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and too many more scheduled to appear!
Proceeds benefit autism education and family service programs across the country in support of the overabundance of autistic individuals that so desperately need quality services.
American Express® cardmembers can purchase advance tickets, Thursday, July 29 from 10AM - Sunday, August 1 at 10PM before they go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 2 at 9AM.
Much sooner: Tearing The Veil of Maya, the sometimes-weekly show that mostly happens at Union Hall is turning four and celebrating at Union Hall's sister venue The Bell House. The Four Year Anniversary Show will feature Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Leo Allen, AD Miles, Wyatt Cenac "and friends!" Maybe Michael Showalter will be there too? That's at the Bell House on August 1st and tickets are on sale (note: "This show will be mixed seated/standing - please come early for the best seats.")
And speaking of weekly comedy shows happening in bigger, near-by venues, The Cameo's "Big Terrific" is happening at Music Hall of Williamsburg on August 27th. Hosts Gabe Liedman, Jenny Slate (SNL) and Max Silvestri promise "Many Special Guests". Tickets are on sale.
Central Park Summerstage (more by Chris La Putt)
The schedule for the 2010 SummerStage series, which has music not just at Central Park, is out, and there are some great looking shows to highlight.
At Central Park, the first "rock" show happens on Saturday, June 5th with Living Colour, Ebony Bones!, Pillow Theory and CX KiDTRONiK. Baaba Maal, who just played Irving Plaza, will be at Central Park too on Monday, June 14th The Tinariwen show on Saturday, June 26th also features Syrian beat & mikeman Omar Souleyman. Gil Scott-Heron plays Central Park in June and Marcus Garvey Park in August.
There's also El Guincho, Bostich and Fussible and others in Central Park on July 7th. Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff plays Central Park on Sunday, July 11th. Raphael Saadiq performs there Saturday, July 17 at 3pm. The Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba/Fool's Gold show on Sunday, July 25th will also feature "West African electronica" band Burkina Electric.
On Wednesday, July 21st, there'll be a Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Friends Central Park gig hosted by Lewis Black with John Oliver, Rob Riggle, Wyatt Cenac, Adam Lowitt and Rory Albanese.
There's also music from St. Vincent, Tune-Yards and Basia Bulat on August 1st at Central Park. The xx play with Jack Penate and Chairlift there on August 8th. At the same spot, Public Enemy play an August 15th day show to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fear of A Black Planet, and the Specials play on August 22nd with Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears and $mall ¢hange.
There's lots of great jazz too: McCoy Tyner plays with Ravi Coltrane, Esperanza Spalding and Francisco Mela as part of the CareFusion Jazz Festival on June 23rd. He also plays in the Charlie Parker Jazz Fest, which comes at the end of the summer with an incredible lineup. McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Scott, Jason Moran and the Bandwagon and Revive da Live play during the day at Marcus Garvey on Saturday, August 28th. Then the next day, James Moody, Catherine Russell, Vijay Iyer and The JD Allen Trio play at Tompkins Square Park.
The park benefit shows include John Butler Trio and State Radio on June 15th (tickets on sale), The Flaming Lips on July 26th, The Black Keys with the Morning Benders on July 27th and 28th, Hot Chip/Hercules & Love Affair/Holy Ghost on August 4th, Govt' Mule on August 11th (tickets), and one of the four Pavement shows September 21-24. Plus there's a "songbook of Simon & Garfunkel" benefit on June 8th.
Not all "Summerstage" shows are in Central Park anymore which drives home the point even further that the name of the venue in Central Park is actually "Rumsey Playfield" which hosts non-"Summerstage" shows too. Those so far include Coheed/Torche, CAKE, Ween, and Broken Social Scene.
The full Summerstage free show schedule is below...
...with Liam McEneaney, John Oliver, Caroline Rhea, Kristen Schaal & more TBA @ Comix in NYC on December 8th.
photos by Andrew Frisicano
"...big thanks to S.I.T. & Die, The Black Lips, John Oliver, Gary Panter and Joshua White. YLT tour phase 2 begins Friday in Montreal!" - Yo La Tengo
DOWNLOAD: Yo La Tengo - Here to Fall (MP3)
"YLT augmented their show with a light show by Joshua White and Gary Panter projected on a large screen at the rear of the stage. It very much reminded me of the time they played The Sounds Of Science at the Prospect Park Bandshell, but this time without the angry octopus. From the Mezzanine, I had a good vantage point from which to spy the setup. The band played on the stage where you'd expect them to be while the light show crew of about ten people worked behind the screen.A video of "Here to Fall" from the show is below.
Pretty nifty! It resulted in a great psychedelic backdrop which pulsated and evolved with the trippy music, kinda like seeing the old Pink Floyd laser light show at the Hayden Planetarium, except live and more organic. [During] "Here To Fall"...they brought on a small troupe of accompanying strings" [QbertPlaya]
Andrew stopped by the show last night (9/25) and took some pics, but he got there too late to see opener Black Lips (who after the show went to Brooklyn and caused some WAVVES-related trouble). He did see host John Oliver, and Susquehanna Industrial Tool and Die Co, who were playing in the lobby, though. How was the show? More of his pictures below...
Yura Yura Teikoku
As promised, Yo La Tengo added some more names to the bill of their September 25th NYC show at Roseland Ballroom that already includes opening an set by Black Lips, and a set in the lobby by Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co (tickets). I'm not sure if this is the final update, but there are two more additions. Joshua White & Gary Panter Light Show will be there (I guess doing a light show), and John Oliver of the Daily Show will be hosting (and presumably telling some jokes). I have one pair of tickets to giveaway. Details below.
Yura Yura Teikoku opened for Yo La Tengo at shows on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week...
"Warming up the stage with a lean blast of angular guitar rock, Japanese trio Yura Yura Teikoku was a fitting opener, just as interested in its music's fringes as the headliners so obviously were." [Boston Globe]Yura Yura Teikoku headline their own show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn tonight (9/18). Tickets are still on sale, and I have two pair to giveaway. Details with some videos, and all Yo La Tengo tour dates, also below...
"But for me -- and several bewildered folks I spoke with during and after the show -- the night belonged to Yura Yura Teikoku, a Tokyo-based psych-rock trio that opened the show. Sweet holy hell. They might be my new favorite band. I even bought a CD at the show, which I rarely do -- mostly because I typically already have CDs sent to me from bands playing shows at HG. And also 'cuz I'm cheap." [Solid State]
by Klaus Kinski
Secret Wars @ All Points West 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
So we've got the Del Close Marathon happening this weekend (8/14-8/16) and we've got the New York Comedy Festival happening in November. And now it is with unbridled enthusiasm that I can achieve a comedy-festival-posting-hat-trick by announcing the EUGENE MIRMAN COMEDY FESTIVAL which is set to take over Brooklyn venues Union Hall and the Bell House from September 17 - September 20. OK, so we briefly mentioned the festival before, but with line-ups, showtimes, as well as venue and ticket info just released, it's time to spread the word.
Curated by the great Eugene Mirman, this year's festival has a gasp worthy line-up that is truly beyond belief and will feature stand-up, panels, videos, special guests, 'theme' shows, the occasional free drink, after-parties, and much more. The highlight of the festival for me are two Daniel Kitson headlining gigs at Union Hall. Daniel is a British Stand-up comedian who I've only had the opportunity to see once, but that one experience was epic. More monologuist than stand-up comedian, he is one of the smartest, funniest, most energetic and eloquent performers I have ever seen. We are blessed to have two chances to see him headline such an intimate room. Besides that, the festival boasts appearances by Reggie Watts, Todd Barry, John Hodgman, Bobby Tisdale, AD Miles, Kristen Schaal, Michael Showalter, Marc Maron, John Mulaney, Jon Benjamin, and many many more. And, of course, Eugene.
The schedule so far is below. According to the folks in charge, even more excitement will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!! Tickets for all shows go on sale
Sunday August 16 Saturday, August 15 at noon via Ticketweb (Bell House, Union Hall).
Full lineup and more below...
The above flyer points out that there will be a free show this Friday at Santos Party House in NYC with comedian Jon Glaser, Andrew WK, and Cheeseburger all on the bill. The below list contains the special guests that will be appearing at Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me show during the month of February...
Eugene Mirman's new book The Will to Whatevs will be releaed on February 10, 2009. Coincedentally that is the same day he is having a party celebrating the release of the book at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Sarah Vowell is DJing, and John Oliver, John Hodgman, Kristen Schaal, Paul F. Tompkins, and "more special guests" are also performing at the $15.00 show.
Also on Eugene's calendar: four headlining shows at Comix in January. Actually:
@ COMIX in NYCTickets are on sale for all of those shows.
Jan 02 (early) - Todd Barry
Jan 02 (late) - Todd Barry
Jan 03 (early) - Todd Barry
Jan 09 (early) - Aziz Ansari
Jan 09 (late) - Aziz Ansari
Jan 10 (early) - Aziz Ansari
Jan 10 (late) - Aziz Ansari
Jan 03 (late) - Todd Barry
Jan 16 (early) - Eugene Mirman
Jan 16 (late) - Eugene Mirman
Jan 17 (early) - Eugene Mirman
Jan 17 (late) - Eugene Mirman
John Oliver @ South Street Seaport (EV Radio Fest) by Chris LaPutt
MON 12/15: 7:30pm / $25This is at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Tickets are on sale.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS! THERE'S NO CHRISTMAS IN DARFUR!
A comedy benefit for Save Darfur. Hosted by Liam McEneaney.
GREG GIRALDO / EDDIE BRILL / ANDRES DUBOUCHET
and way more! PLUS: The Comedy Nerd raffle, with prizes from The Onion, Comedy Central, Comix, more... PRODUCED BY: Liam McEneaney and Jessica Flores
David Cross and Dave Hill are performing at another benefit at Knitting Factory on December 8th.
Dave Hill's next Explosion takes place at UCB on December 18th.
Mike Birbiglia stars in the new show Sleepwalk With Me.
Stella & Demetri Martin have cheap/small-venue shows coming up.
The holiday edition of Eugene Mirman's show Tearing the Veil of Maya takes place at Union Hall on December 7th ("on sale soon").
Sara Schaefer will be Conrad of Takka Takka's guest at "Outsmarted: The Music Trivia Night" at The Bell House on December 1st (free).
"HANUKKAH with HOT SAUCE!" is the name of a show at UCB on December 26th. Add it to the list of other Hanukkah-related events happening in NYC this year.
John Oliver opened for Yo La Tengo at one of their 2007 Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's. Watch a video from that show - John is discussing "alternative energy - below...
Photos by Ryan Muir
While millions were home watching the town hall debate betwen Barack Obama and John McCain, I was at Town Hall the venue
missing it watching a variety of entertainers help raise money for 826NYC, an organization that helps educate children (Oct 7, 2008). The night went like this: Ira Glass came out and told a story. Then Thao Nguyen played two songs by herself. Zach from Rogue Wave was supposed to be with her, but he had to cancel. The Daily Show's John Oliver was the host and he was my favorite performer of the evening which was an extra bonus because he performed comedy between almost every other act.
Department of Eagles then played three songs - two of them as the core duo of Daniel and Fred and one just as Daniel. It was, as they pointed out, only their second show ever. Their first was the night before at the Bell House and was much longer, and I guess they weren't counting Conan where they only played two less songs than they did at Town Hall. Their album is out now (as they also pointed out).
Then 826NYC board president (and driver license-less) Sara Vowell pretended to be Sarah Palin unintelligently explaining what 826NYC is as 826NYC founder Dave Eggers told us what it was in an intelligent fashion. TV on the Radio's members did not perform music. Kyp Malone came out next and read a funny little story written by a kid at 826NYC and then (not counting John Oliver again) Paul Simon played four songs - three classics including "Mrs. Robinson", and one brand new song that he recently wrote and never played before. The new song felt the most special, but the old songs were definitely very great to hear from the legend in the somewhat intimate atmohsphere that is Town Hall. Paul was accompanied by one guy on guitar who also sang backup and played other instruments. You would think Paul would have played last, but I guess he wanted to get home early. After Paul came a surprise two song set by Angelique Kidjo who got the whole crowd to sing along with her and her guitar player.
And last but not least (well, maybe least), a whole group of people including TV on the Radio's Tunde Adibempe (showing off his acting side) and Parker Posey read a story about NY that was also a sorta-funny chapter from a book that was available for sale in the lobby. More pictures from the night below...