Entries tagged with: Sarah Vowell
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.
Wednesday night at The Bell House in Brooklyn, Eugene Mirman and Sarah Vowell hosted a comedy fundraiser for Dave Egger's nonprofit organization 826NYC (head there for more information and to donate). The co-hosts gave advice to audience members, collected donations for the organization, and told stories of police muggings in Mexico. Along with Mirman and Vowell were a handful of great stand-ups. Even though John Oliver cancelled due to a flight delay, Mike Birbiglia, Daniel Kitson, and Reggie Watts still brought down the house.
Reggie played again last night - a sold out show at Mercury Lounge. How was that one?
Don't worry if you missed the shows though - Reggie Watts is playing a ton more this week and next in NYC and beyond. Currently in Chicago, Reggie is back in NYC on July 15 when you can catch him at that night's edition of Wyatt Cenac's weekly show Night Train at Littlefield. On Thursday, July 18, he's playing another weekly show, this time alongside Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer Mike Drucker at UCBeast's Fresh Out!. On July 21 he has a spot on Laughter in the Park's Washington Square show.
Prefer the comfort of your own home? TONIGHT (July 12), Reggie returns to IFC along with Scott Aukerman for the second season of Comedy Bang! Bang!. Guests on this season include Aziz Ansari, Andy Samberg, and many more.
For more comedy shows, browse our NYC comedy listings.
Watch a recent interview with Reggie below....
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.
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.
by Klaus Kinski
Eugene Mirman at The Bell House, Sept. 2011 (more by David Andrako)
I mentioned some upcoming comedy-type events yesterday, but here are a few more shows of note that I forgot to mention. On Wednesday August 1st, 826NYC will play host to an event called 826NYC Presents Dueling Bingo. 826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. At the event, whose goal is to raise money for 826NYC and their various endeavors...
...you will go head to head against other players, including actress Catherine Keener, comedian Eugene Mirman, author Sarah Vowell, writer and producer Eric Gilliland, actor Scott Adsit, actress Kathy Najimy, and actor and musician Dan Finnerty to win fabulous prizes while supporting the free literacy programs of 826NYC.There is a $25 registration fee and you must raise at least $100 to qualify for play. This event floats my boat on three levels. First off, I am a huge proponent of literacy in young adults and children. True imagination and articulate minds are a dying commodity and if we don't perpetuate the cycle of literacy we don't have much of a future people. Second, good line-up! Scott Adsit dude! Eugene Mirman! The voice of Peggy Hill! NO DOUBT this is going to be hella fun. Lastly, I LOVE BINGO! Back when I was a young man living in small town USA I used to sometimes go to my local Elks Lodge on Bingo night and play along with the old timers. They were a quiet lot when the numbers were being called, but between games and during snacktime... man, the stories they'd tell! They even let me take pictures during gameplay one night back in 1998. Instill the desire to learn in the young and respect your elders people!
Not feeling charitable but still want something funny to entertain yourself with on August 1st? Then perhaps you should head over to the Bell House! For on August 1st, the Bell House will play host to TELL YOUR FRIENDS! SUMMER FUN SPLASHTACULAR! The show will be hosted by the great Liam Mceneaney and feature Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac, Todd Barry, and musical guest The Starlight Girls.
Symphony Space, where I suffered permanent hearing damage during a Melvins/Keiji Haino live scoring of Cameron Jamie films, is a wonderful place with fantastically diverse programming. Comedy is a solid part of their repertoire and has been for quite some time. The comedic tradition continues on Tuesday July 24th when they present another in their ongoing and absolutely fucking hilarious series Uptown Showdown, this time featuring Kristen Schall, Kurt Braunohler, Christian Finnegan, Myq Kaplan, Bob Powers, and Matthew Love this time debating the topic of BABIES vs OLD PEOPLE.
Every other month Uptown Showdown brings together two teams of comedians, writers and performers to go head-to-head on a variety of topics, such as which pet is superior cats or dogs and is it better to be comfortable or fashionable? Debaters will argue these lingering questions, drawing from historical fact and personal opinion in equal measure, and with plenty of audience participation. 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. Winner decided by the audience.Tickets to this awesome show are on sale now. But don't dilly-dally. Get one or several ASAP! Symphony Space is such a great place to see a show; comfy seats, perfect sightlines no matter where you are, clean lavs... the works!
Last and least, we're sad to hear that Kristen Schaal is moving to LA (so catch her in NYC while you can!). Six days after the Symphony Space shows she plays what will be her LAST-ever Hot Tub with Kurt at Littlefield. Her and Kurt are also at Williamsburg Park this Thursday. NYC isn't going to be the same.
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
"It looks like America might have fallen in love with a Pakistani!" Eugene Mirman after Kumail Nanjiani's well received set at The Bell House.
The third day of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival (Saturday) saw four shows performed at three different venues around Park Slope and Gowanus along with performances from over 20 comedians, a song by John Wesley Harding and a heavy dose of Bourne Trilogy references.
The early show, "Mike Birbiglia Interviews A Bunch Of Sort Of Authors and Sarah Vowell", was hosted by the aforementioned Birbiglia and saw him interviewing Michael Showalter, Eugene Mirman, Patrick Borelli and Sarah Vowell about their most recent books. Birbiglia based the order of the interviews on his anxiety about the interviews from highest to lowest. Sarah Vowell went first and Eugene Mirman closed. Sarah, the most accomplished author on the panel, admitted being jealous of Chuck Klosterman "because he would get mentioned on The O.C." She also spoke of her next project, a historical book on the American annexation of Hawaii.
Michael Showalter's book "Mr. Funny Pants" will be released early next year and was described as "a book about how to write a book." He and Birbiglia read a chapter from the book that recapped a fictional interview with Charlie Rose. Patrick Borelli gave a surprisingly heartfelt slideshow of headshots from his book, "Holy Headshots." Birgibilia reminded Borelli about their short-lived two man improv team "Michael O' Patrick" from earlier in their careers. Eugene Mirman joined Birbiglia to chat about his book "Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life" that was released in February of 2009. The two also recounted the origin of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival that was hatched during a night of heavy drinking and may or may not have been the result of a dare that Eugene accepted. The early show ended with all of the authors having a Q&A with the audience.
The two middle shows of the evening ran simultaneously at Union Hall and The Rock Shop. Eugene headed over to Union Hall to host "Eugene's World Class Masters of Comedy" which featured sets from Daniel Kitson (who also performed the night before), Ron Lynch, Marc Maron and Todd Barry. Being that I'd seen or would be seeing all of the comedians at Union Hall (except Todd Barry) at other shows during the festival I opted to head over to The Rock Shop for "A Night of Gay or Foreign Comedy." The show was hosted by Gabe Liedman and featured Maeve Higgins (who also performed the night before), Glenn Wool, Brent Sulivan, Kumail Nanjiani and Mehran Khaghani. Standouts of the show were Higgins, Boston based comic Mehran Khagani and Brent Sullivan (I agree with Eugene's description in the Festival guide that one of his jokes is a Top 5 joke of 2010).
The final show of the evening was held back at The Bell House and was billed as (deep breath) "Why Do I Know Everything about Everyone At The French Dinner? An Evening of Espionage Themed Comedy Celebrating Our Love of the Bourne Trilogy and All Things Spy." Eugene opened the show by explaining that his love for the Bourne Trilogy began when he watched the first film and showed a short film that he created in tribute to the trilogy. Kumail Nanjiani, fresh off a quick set at The Rock Shop, was the first comic of the evening and admitted that his set was "based on someone who watched the Bourne Trilogy yesterday". His set, which ended with a story about being subjected to racist taunts in Los Angeles, was rewarded by the loudest applause of the festival (so far).
Jon Glaser returned to the stage, not as Dr. Attitude (his character from Thursday night's show) but as The Man In The Green Mask - a CIA spy sent to educate the audience on what it takes to be a spy. He was unwilling to answer most questions during a brief Q&A but did admit to melting a gun into the shape of a banana. Friend of Eugene, John Wesley Harding (who also plays the fest Sunday night), performed a song written especially for the evening, "A Ballad Of The Bourne Trilogy". Sarah Vowell made several appearances between acts to read Bourne-themed poetry that was penned by Eugene.
Leo Allen and Eric Slovin (Allen and Slovin) performed in complete homemade, glue filled costumes as Spy vs. Spy and spent most of their set lamenting having booked a comedy show on Yom Kippur and talking about their day spent at Temple Beth Chuckles. Marc Maron, after performing at Union Hall, closed the show with a thoroughly researched set that featured his thoughts on spys, espionage, proper mic stands and the existence (or not) of his FBI file.
More pictures from the whole day, below...
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...
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
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...
THE COUNTRY’S MOST CELEBRATED SONGWRITERS, WRITERS, AND COMEDIANS COME TOGETHER FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT OF LITERATURE-MEETS-MUSIC TO RAISE MONEY FOR 826NYC, A CHILDREN’S WRITING CENTER IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK. IN WHICH:The show is is Sunday August 26th @ The Beacon Theatre in NYC, and hopefully Feist (who is playing McCarren Pool three days later) does more than just READ - maybe even sing with her friends in Grizzly Bear. More info @ BookEaters.org.
A.C. NEWMAN (New Pornographers) sings alone. GRIZZLY BEAR is a band. FEIST reads from a book. JIM JAMES (My Morning Jacket) croons. SARAH VOWELL speaks. DEMETRI MARTIN hosts.