Entries tagged with: Larry Murphy
"We're not birds, we're a jug band!"
It's that time of year again. You can't seem to walk a block without seeing Christmas lights or hearing holiday favorites (all ten of them) from every passing storefront. If you're looking for something beyond "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for the hundredth time, there's no shortage of holiday-themed shows over the next few weeks. (Though some of them, however, may include that old chestnut.) Here's a few of them:
Sloan Wainwright is bringing the full band version of her intimate project to City Winery on Sunday (12/7) for a special holiday-centric show with the similarly minded Peter Stampfel & The Ether Frolic Mob (who plays new Greenpoint venue Aviv the night before) as well as performances from Cosy Sheridan, Muppeteer Peter Linz, Sam McTavey and more. Tickets for the show are on sale now. You can also catch Sloan at her niece and nephew Rufus and Martha Wainwright's holiday shows at Town Hall later in the month, one of which features, among many many others, Cyndi Lauper who's doing her own guest-filled holiday show.
Old 97's lead singer and prolific solo artist Rhett Miller is hosting his second annual holiday shindig at City Winery on December 16. The "Holiday Extravaganza" features music from Miller and comedy from Jen Kirkman, Dave Hill, Wyatt Cenac and more. Tickets for the show are on sale now.
Like last year, B.B. King Blues Club is hosting a slew of shows dedicated to the holiday celebrations. There's the club's annual Christmas party hosted by Ronnie Spector on December 20 (tickets), and four shows from another Phil Spector protege, Darlene Love, on December 19, 26, 27 and January 2. Tickets for all four shows are still available.
For those celebrating the other major religious holiday during this season, a cappella group The Maccabeats are having their annual Hanukkah show at B.B. King's on December 25 with support from Y-Studs. Tickets are on sale now.
Another option is "Christmas for the Jews" at City Winery. The stand-up show features sets from Avi Liberman, Jon Fisch, Cory Kahaney and more. Sold out.
Meanwhile, Matisyahu plays his annual "Festival of Light" show on December 20 at Best Buy Theater. Tickets for that show are still available.
What else? You can catch Dave Hill, his band Valley Lodge, Todd Barry, Janeane Garofalo, Bridget Everett, Chris DiStefano, Larry Murphy and more at "Meet Me Under The Mistletoe and Tell Me All Your Secrets" on December 10 at The Bell House. Tickets for the show are still available.
As discussed, there's a few other holiday shows at The Bell House including Norah Jones' country band Puss 'N' Boots, The Sweetback Sisters, Eliot & Ilana Glazer, Wasabassco's 70's Christmas Carol and what's sure to be a very magical show presented by Harry & the Potters.
Bridget Everett will also perform at drag king legend Murray Hill's holiday show with Carmine Covelli (who's in Bridget's band The Tender Moments and The Julie Ruin), and burlesque performers Perle Noire, Trixie Little and Mr. Gorgeous on December 13 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for that show are still available.
Another Christmas comedy show is Dan St. Germain's Christmas Spectacular at Union Hall on December 16 with sets from Brooks Wheelan, Jared Logan, Kevin Barnett, Jacqueline Novak and Team Submarine. Tickets for that show are still available.
Also at Union Hall, on December 14 (tix) is a Christmas edition of their monthly "Muppet Vault" series where they'll show classic holiday TV special Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas (done here as a singalong) and other appropriate clips from Muppetland.
For a night of music and comedy, there's Aimee Mann & Ted Leo's Christmas tour stop at Town Hall on December 13 with Fred Armisen, The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs and geek-rocker Jonathan Coulton. Tickets for that show are still available.
Other previously mentioned holiday shows include Nick Lowe, John Waters, and the stacked WFMU Holiday Cheer Benefit with Conor Oberst, Natalie Merchant, The Felice Brothers, Laura Marling, The Lone Bellow and Jonathan Wilson.
For a little more traditional Holiday fun there's How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Theater at MSG from December 5 through December 28. (tix).
Speaking of Emmet Otter, check out some great bloopers/outtakes from that Christmas special below...
by Klaus Kinski
I heard a funny ebola joke. But you probably won't get it.
While ebola mania has Americans rapt with fear, the reality is that the chances of it becoming a real, widespread epidemic here is basically nil. As far as viruses go, ebola is pretty terrifying and I can see why people would be freaking out and why the news media would use it as fodder to scare the shit out of us. But it's not an airborne virus like the flu; you have to physically come in contact with it. And according to Dr. Jon LaPook over at CBS, "Every single Ebola outbreak in Africa over the past 40 years has been brought under control with standard infectious disease measures -- basically, isolating infected patients and tracking down their contacts." So once a case is identified, measures are taken to ensure it gets isolated. At least, that's what we hope will happen.
The real urgency simply isn't here on American soil; it's in Africa where they do not have the infrastructure to adequately deal with viral epidemics like this. There, it is much harder to contain and much easier to spread. Right now, Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) is on the front lines of dealing with the crisis in Africa. 80% of their funding comes from private donors, and what better way to contribute than with an awesome benefit show with awesome talent at an awesome venue? On Wednesday November 19 Irving Plaza will host and MSF/DWB International Fundraiser to help fight Ebola in West Africa. The event will be hosted by Klaus favorites Greg Barris and Jena Friedman and will feature appearances from Fred Armisen, Jim Gaffigan, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Hannibal Buress, and Ted Leo. Many, many more acts will be added to the bill. Onsale date/time are still TBD as well but should be available via Livenation soon, but mark your calendars and keep your eyes on BV for updates.
Meanwhile, tickets are still available for a show benefiting another good cause. Seth Herzog (Fallon, 'Sweet,' Comedy Central, NatGeo), Christian Finnegan (Comedy Central, VH1, Conan), Damien Lemon (Half Hour, Guy Code), Dan Soder (Conan, Guy Code, O&A) and Michelle Wolf (Late Night w/ Seth Meyers), and The Amigos Band will convene at the Bell House on Thursday (10/23) to raise money for 'Stand Up for Rockaway,' the organization still helping the Rockaways rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Use code "ROCKAWAY" when buying tickets to get $10 off.
You can also catch Greg Barris during CMJ at Union Hall on Friday (10/24) for a special edition of his "Hearts of Darkness" show, featuring Shonali Bhowmik, Corn Mo, Larry Murphy, The Forgiveness, and "surprise guests!" Tickets are on sale and you can use your CMJ badge if you have one.
Eugene Mirman with Robyn Hitchcock and H. Jon Benjamin
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival took over the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn for the past few days to bring audiences an audacious, eclectic, and titillating smorgasbord of comedic events. Of all the events, I chose to attend You Never Know Who Might Drop By at the Bell House on Saturday September 20 at 10:00pm. The only guest to be announced ahead of time was H. Jon Benjamin. The rest of the line up was listed as "Special Guest." Remarkably, even with only one guest announced, the show was very sold out.
The show ended up being hosted by special guest Eugene Mirman. I sort of assumed that would be the case, but you know what happens when you assume right? Ass. U. Me. Anyhow, Euge was the host and he performed his duties with his usual grace and aplomb. His hosting agilities shouldn't be surprising considering he's a non-stop performer and has hosted recurring comedy showcases Invite Them Up, Tearing The Veil of Maya, Pretty Good Friends, and probably more. Saturday evening, he kept his opening set extremely short and tight, but he did have an extremely funny riff about how you can literally write whatever you want about yourself on LinkedIn and there is zero proof required. He read off samples of his own bullshit LinkedIn profile and I gotta tell you it was pretty damn funny.
Eugene's first guest was Wyatt Cenac. Throw a dart at an open page of Time Out New York and chances are you will hit a show listing with his name on it. The dude not only has his own show called Night Train every Monday night at Littlefield, but you can see him practically every night of the week at several other venues throughout the city. The dude's a machine. A relentless performer. It has taken me a while to be drawn into Wyatt's super low energy delivery and stage demeanor, but I gotta say he was killing me on Saturday. He's definitely a super popular comic who is definitely worth checking out.
Glaser as Johnny Ding-Dong
After Wyatt wrapped up his set, the great and Klaus-Approved Gold Pass Favorite Jon Glaser came out (not his first time this year), reprising his role as Brooklyn's #1 Insult Comic Johnny Ding-Dong. I haven't seen this particular character of his in eight freaking years; the last time was during a Comedians of Comedy stop at Irving Plaza (video here). Johnny basically insults audience members over pretty banal and obvious characteristics of theirs; a hat, glasses, how they're sitting...then he sits down and eats a slice of pizza, very slowly. At some point during this, the sound guy 'accidentally' starts playing the theme song to the 1978 drama The Deerhunter, which also happens to be one of the saddest instrumental tunes of all time. Johhny then goes through an emotional breakthrough. Aside of being extremely funny, the whole bit intentionally goes on for waaaaay too long, testing the audience's endurance to the fullest. It is not an easy bit, but it is one of my favorites as it so absolutely alienates the audience to the extreme.
Johnny Ding-Dong left the stage and was followed by a bit with Eugene Mirman and the great Robyn Hitchcock. They started out as a duo, offering up bits of very funny advice for problems submitted by audience members prior to the show. Luckily, before the bit got too long, Eugene left Robyn up there alone with an acoustic. Besides regaling the audience with great stories and personal philosophies, Robyn played three tunes, including a beautiful cover of "The Crystal Ship" by the Doors (on his new album) and a fantastic version of his tune "Dismal City" that was so much better than the full band version... it was nuts. He was a fantastic storyteller and I loved his solo tunes.
After Hitchcock came comedian Joe Wong who I actually never heard of, but man did he slay. I cannot tell you how much I loved this guy. There was a brilliant economy to each of his jokes. They were free of flair and BS; they were delivered as perfect as you could imagine. His insights into the racism inherent in American society, though troubling, were so elegantly lampooned that the entire room was roaring. For me he was the highlight of the evening. I love seeing a comic for the first time and having him/her absolutely destroy. Sadly, his calendar is empty, but if you see the name Joe Wong on any upcoming comedy showcases you should go. Refreshing talent. I would like him to be famous immediately, thanks.
Wong's set was quite brief unfortunately, and he was followed by Eugene Mirman and Ted Allen (Chopped, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) for round two of audience advice. I missed this because I had to pee wicked bad and also needed another beer, but I heard some laughs while I was in the latrine so that was a good sign. Next up was the only billed comic of the night, H. Jon Benjamin. HJB definitely had the longest set of the evening, and it started out with a bit featuring him and Eugene, where Eugene read off all of HJB's requirements from his talent rider. This definitely felt like it went on a bit too long as even Eugene regarded the bit as "The exhausting comedy of Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman." Side note: Mirman and Benjamin have created Flotsam, a "Post-Structural Online Shopping Experience" where you can buy sacks of "hand-chosen items that are hand-hewn by machines in America and are shipped directly to you."
Back to the Bell House, after that HJB was joined by one of my personal favorites Larry Murphy. The premise of their bit was that since we were at The Bell House we were most certainly missing episodes of the Big Bang Theory which seems to be on TV in perpetuity. So they acted out some smarmy Big Bang esque dialogue which, like the rider bit, went on a bit too long as well.
Although Jon Benjamin's set was definitely hilarious and worth seeing, it went on longer than I had the strength to endure. I was at a motorcycle block party earlier in the day and had been drinking since 3 in the afternoon, so by the time headliner Jen Kirkman took the stage, I was hot, sweaty, gassy, uncomfortable, and basically seeing quadruple. I can see why she'd headline; she has a history in comedy that stretches way back to the old days in Boston with Larry Murphy and Eugene Mirman, she has a book out that sold a zillion copies, she's a favorite on Chelsea lately, she was in from LA... she's famous and successful. But combine the fact that I don't really care for her comedy and the fact that my liver was hanging out my asshole and down my pant leg, it was time to go.
The early show at the Bell House was a special EMCF edition of "Pretty Good Friends" with Jessi Klein, Nick Thune and Karen Kilgariff. Pics from EMCF night 1 are here and we'll have more to come. Pics from night 3's early show, plus more from "You Never Know Who Might Drop By," below...
Dave and his new pal, Lucy (via @mrdavehill)
Everyone's favorite comedian / musician / actor / Amazon.com employee / BV contributor Dave Hill is returning to his old stomping grounds on Union Hall on September 3 for a new show. This is not just any show, however - Dave is recording for his new album, to be released on independent stand up label A Special Thing Records. Larry Murphy and Greg Barris will perform as well and tickets are on sale.
In other news, fellow friend-to-BV, Chris Gethard was supposed to perform at Highline Ballroom on July 25 but was rescheduled for October 20. The show is billed as "Chris Gethard and Friends" and while those "friends" haven't been announced yet, tickets are on sale now.
Watch video of Dave performing at Union Hall below...
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...
photos by David Andrako
Bridgett Everett & Nick Kroll / Kurt & Kristen / Stephin Merritt
There was much laughter to be had at the 2013 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival last weekend at The Bell House and Union Hall. We already posted pictures from the first two nights and here's a set from Saturday (9/28) and Sunday (9/29). Saturday at The Bell House brought "Hot Tub with Kurt And Kristen" back to New York (both Braunohler and Schaal live in LA now) with appearances by Nick Turner, Nick Kroll, Leo Allen, and Bridgett Everett (whose new show is debuting at Joe's Pub soon); and over at Union Hall it was "Comics We Hope Don't Move To LA (Though We Understand There Is Much More Work There)."
Then on Sunday, the EMCF celebrated the Season 4 premiere of Bob's Burgers with cast members Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Jon Benjamin, Larry Murphy, Hannibal Buress, and Jon Glaser. Stephin Merrit -- who didn't even appear at The Bell House when Future Bible Heroes (a band he actually is in) played -- also came out with Kenny Mellman to sing one of the show's songs, "Electric Love." Over at Union Hall on Sunday it was "Creaghead & Company EMCF Edition: Thoughtfully Included Since It Was Scheduled Here Anyway."
Pics from nights 1 & 2 are here. More pics from nights 3 & 4 of EMCF 2013 below...
by Klaus Kinski
(photo by David Andrako)
If there's one live comedy show in NYC that always startles me by how fast it sells out, it has to be StarTalk LIVE with Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Eugene Mirman. For those without Google, Neil deGrasse Tyson is a world renowned astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. StarTalk is normally a radio show hosted by Neil and co-hosted by Eugene wherein they discuss science where it intersects with pop culture with incredible clarity, humor and excitement. Each week they are joined by an ever changing line-up of guest comedians, actors, scientists, and whoever else can bring something to the table. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not surprised at all by how fast their live shows sell out (even before special guests are announced). The show kicks supreme ass and you will always leave the experience a much smarter person. Guaranteed. Previous live guests have included Alan Alda, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Sarah Silverman, Wyatt Cenac, Kristen Schaal, John Hodgman, and many many many other people of note.
Like a supernova, StarTalk LIVE! is exploding beyond the confines of their normal go-to venue The Bell House and will be heading to TOWN HALL on Wednesday February 27 for a BIG show with BIG special guests! Tickets are on sale now, and I cannot emphasize how mind-blowing one of the special guests is. I don't want to be all coy and dramatic, but one of the guests is literally one of the most important human beings in the history of mankind. No exaggeration. It's going to be one of the most fulfilling intellectual and comedic experiences of your life. And that's an Iron Clad Klaus Kinski Gold Standard Guarantee.
In other news, awesome storytelling show Funny Story will be gracing the smelly halls of Brooklyn Brewery TONIGHT, February 21. The line-up features DC Benny, taco champion and man-about-town Jonathan Schnapp, The Shed story salon co-curator Jason Fried, and now-grown-up child star MARA WILSON (Matilda!)! Admission is $10 and includes a FREE BEER (thanks Brooklyn Brewery!). Doors at 8PM, show at 8:30PM, 21+.
And don't forget that every Sunday evening Creaghead & Company take over Union Hall for an evening of awesome awesome awesome comedy. This Sunday (2/24) C&C welcome Seaton Smith, Streeter Seidell, Doogie Horner, Matt Graham, and Sean O'Connor. H. Jon Benjamin and Klaus All Time Fave Larry Murphy might even be there, but they're not sure. Doors are at 7:30pm, show's at 8:00pm, cover is $7.
In other comedy news, don't forget that Big Terrific celebrates 5 years of being one of the best free comedy show in NYC. Moving down the street from Cameo Gallery to the Music Hall of Williamsburg, the show will feature the three original hosts Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman and Max Silvestri together again and lovelier than ever. The show is happening on Friday March 15 scads of special guests! Get your goddamned tickets this instant, you.
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.
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...
photos by David Andrako
The 2011 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival concluded on Sunday night (9/18) with two shows at the Bell House. "A Special Food-Themed Comedy Show For You" was hosted by Eugene Mirman and Leo Allen, with Ron Funches, Sarah Vowell, Larry Murphy, Raquel Pelzel and David Rees. "Pretty Good Friends", hosted by Michael Showalter, was with Eugene Mirman, Marc Maron (who plays the same Brooklyn venue again tonight/Monday), Hannibal Buress, Jared Logan and surprise musical guest Andrew Bird.
Andrew played four songs: Goin Home (Charlie Patton), So Much Wine (Handsome Family), Bein' Green (Joe Raposo), and Give It Away (new song).
words & photos by David Andrako
"I will erase all of the fun that you've had tonight. You didn't pay to see me. I should do 40 minutes of broken jokes." Surprise headliner Louis CK
The first night of the 3rd Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival was billed as "An Evening of Comedy from 1986" and featured sets from Emo Phillips, Tony V, Larry Murphy, Ron Lynch and Jon Glaser. As mentioned above, Louis CK was the unannounced headliner and he worked out some new material in a 45 minute plus set. Eugene Mirman acted as emcee, dj and Teddy Ruxpin operator.
During the 10 minute walk from my apartment to The Bell House I surveyed the damage caused by the fast moving storms that tore through Brooklyn and Queens several hours before the show began. Downed trees, crushed cars and closed streets were rampant as residents were returning home to a neighborhood that was affected by one of the most powerful storms in recent history.
Eugene Mirman kicked off the evening with a 3D film that he made, offered the audience duck (which he'd ordered from a local Chinese restaurant) and directed everyone towards the merch tables which featured everything from festival posters to personal items that Eugene brought from his apartment and had priced "a little high, so that no one would buy them." Tony V, a Boston comedian whom Eugene admired as a young comedian, followed with a tight set that set the mood for the evening. Larry Murphy, another Boston comedian best know for his work on Adult Swim's "Delocated" and "Assy Mcgee", performed as "Sandy Gorbin" the world's greatest impressionist.
Ron Lynch, yet another Boston comic and one who was a working comedian in 1986 turned in a varied set that featured jokes from his 1986 set, slight of hand magic and the playing of Louis CK's 1986 audition tape that Louie recorded in an attempt to be booked at Ron's comedy club. Louie interrupted Ron's set and chastised him for playing the tape and retreated backstage. Dr. Attitude aka Jon Glaser (aka the creator of Delocated) appeared on stage in doctor's scrubs with FUCK YOU spelled out in electrical tape and Van Halen's "Panama" as his intro song. Glaser's attitude heavy set ended with him mocking the audience and interrupting Eugene as he introduced Emo Phillips, the much beloved comedian. Emo, making his first appearance at the festival, was a ball of manic energy that worked his way through topics including religion, greeting cards and marriage. His 20-minute set was punctuated by biting social commentary mixed in with clever wordplay and a stage presence that could best be described as elastic.
Louis CK, one of the most respected working stand-ups today, closed the show with a set of new material that was both familiar and fresh. Unafraid to attack the audience Louie pointed out that "You all hate everything real. You're a bunch of meta motherfuckers" as he worked through material as varied as the origins of the Roman calendar and back to school clothes shopping with his daughters.
More pictures from last night, below...
by Klaus Kinski
As I get older, I just I don't have the wherewithal to see as much comedy as I should. It's really depressing. There are so many goddamned GREAT comedy shows happening in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and even Queens that rather than pick one to go to, my brain shuts down and says "Just go home and watch Wheeler Dealers on the ole DVR, KK." It was easier to decide when Rififi was around. So thank Cod there's a yearly comedy festival in Brooklyntown that brings my ever flabbening body out of hibernation and reacquaints me with a sliver of the current roster of the greatest living comedians. That festival is the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, and this year it takes place from September 16th - September 19th and will impregnate The Bell House, The Rock Shop, and Union Hall (or as I like to call them, the most annoying venues to go if you don't have kids or play bocce) with its comedy seedlings.
As with previous years, the 2010 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival brings together a supremely jaw-dropping group of comedians and performers. What can one expect? Oh, I don't know. Maybe (definitely) Emo Philips, Daniel Kitson, Jon Glaser, Max Silvestri, David Cross, Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler, Yo La Tengo, John Wesley Harding, Sarah Vowell, John Mulaney, and so many more I'm liable to puke with glee should I continue. What am I most looking forward to? Thanks for asking! I'd have to say it's a toss up between the bill Yo La Tengo falls on and a rare Tinkle performance (without Todd Barry, sadly)(although, Todd is opening for Superchunk at MHOW on September 19th, so that's something) (sold out though) (probably because Todd is on the bill).
The festival line-up will be tweaked, added onto, emboldened, modified, and made better as we make our way to the opening date, but have a gander at what's already planned below. In the immortal words of the person who put the roster together for me, "This is what's happening; but not everything that's happening". Ticket info to follow, but many shows will be on sale in advance. Also, please see a message from enfant terrible David Cross below...
photos by Tim Griffin
You include actual examples from your own life growing up. How did you decide how much to divulge of your own background? "One of the things I liked about the book is that it's partially truth and partially a lie and it's not revealed except what you could believe reasonably to be true," he said. "I like the format of the book...I think that it's good to have real stories and things, and then also good to make lots of stuff up. It sounds like I will enjoy my book." [the comic's comic]Eugene Mirman celebrated the release of his new book The Will To Whatevs with a sold out show at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Tuesday night (2/10). John Oliver didn't show up, but John Hodgman, Larry Murphy, Kristen Schaal, Paul F. Tompkins, Todd Barry, David Cross, and Guns N Roses cover band Mr. Brownstone did. In addition to their comedy sets, many of the comedians also joined the band on stage. More pictures from the night below...
by Klaus Kinski
I don't get to see nearly as much comedy as I used to, but the scene is as vibrant as ever. If the mood strikes and I find myself wanting to get my yuck-on there is absolutely no shortage of one-off shows and recurring weekly shows. The Tribeca branch of the 92nd St Y has been booking some insane comedy shows recently. I caught Zach Galifianakis there a few weeks ago and was mightily impressed by the performance space and the insane, reasonably priced beer list at the bar. Sound Fix in Williamsburg has free comedy every Wednesday and Thursday. Joe Mande and Noah Garfinkle host Totally J/K every Wednesday at 9:30pm, while Max Silvestri, Gabe Liedman and Jenny Slate host Big Terriffic at 8:00pm on Thursdays. These shows fill the void left by the demise of Rififi and its staples Invite Them Up and The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show by attracting big names like Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, Todd Barry, Eugene Mirman, and zillions more. Speaking of Greg Johnson, he's got a free show every Sunday at Pianos. And speaking of Invite Them Up, former host Bobby Tisdale now has a semi-regular, RSVP only show happening in Greenpoint called Wards of Merkin. It's usually $10 and there's usually free booze and top shelf comedians. And don't forget that the UCB Theater and The Pit have calendars bursting with options as does Comix's underground lair Ochi's. And that's just barely scratching the surface of the goings ons. Below are some shows currently on my radar...
photos by Ryan Muir
Last night's Rock 'n' ROFL party started out right with a hilarious hour of comedy by Reggie Watts, Will Franken, Kumail Nanjiani, Larry Murphy & Sean O' Connor. Go see all these guys when you have the chance. Having them all in a row was just ridiculous. Good work putting that together Klaus. Pictures and tour dates below........
Will Franken is playing Rock 'n' ROFL II
Rock 'n' ROFL is a new monthly comedy and music series at Pianos in NYC brought to you by BrooklynVegan & Klaus Kinski, and which is now also made possible thanks to the help of the awesomeness that is The Sound of Young America - "A Public Radio Show About Things That Are Awesome".
Last month we debuted the series with the very funny comedy lineup of Joe Mande, Dave Hill, Pete Holmes, Kristen Schaal, Leo Allen, and Bobby Tisdale (host). Last month the comedy also went for 90 minutes and you had to stand. This time, based on your feedback, we've reduced the comedy segment to just 60 minutes (which is then followed by 3 hours of music), AND there will be chairs set up during that hour of comedy (which will quickly be removed before the first band hits the stage). This month's show is March 31st (THIS MONDAY!) (at Pianos),
The bands who are playing will be announced shortly. The comedians who are playing Monday night are pictured, described and listed below.....
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.....
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