Entries tagged with: Simon Amstell
by Klaus Kinski
Aziz Ansari & Chris Rock @ Whiplash @ UCB last week
UCB Theater Chelsea's Monday night staple comedy jam session Whiplash still happens every Monday night at 11:00pm. Sadly, for old man Kinski, 11pm is just a tooouuucccchhhhh too late to be out and about galavanting with some of comedy's greatest talents these days. Which is sad, because you never know who will show up to perform, and those who do show up will usually blow your mind. For example, the Monday November 19th installment featured Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari, Simon Amstell and Anthony Jeselnik. Holy.
But before the next Whiplash, the UCB Theater in Chelsea will be playing host to an awesome Sandy Benefit show on Sunday November 25th at 9:30pm. The line-up is festooned with so many Klaus favorites. $15 not only gets you piece of mind knowing you are helping out people whose lives were turned upside-down by hurricane Sandy, but you get performances by Arden Myrin, W. Kamau Bell (Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX), Seth Herzog, Dave Hill, Jamie Kilstein, Janine Brito, Kevin Avery, Sara Benincasa, C.F. Lederer, and Chris Gethard (who by the way has a small part in the very last episode of Bored to Death) (I just watched it the other day and was reminded of that important fact). The show will be hosted by Nato Green.
Dave Hill & Tig Notaro
And speaking of Dave Hill and the UCB Theater in Chelsea, prepare yourselves for another fantastic installment of The Dave Hill Explosion which will take place on Thursday November 29th at 9:30pm. Dave's special guest will be Tig Notaro (who recently released a CD via Louis CK) and more. We all know Dave Hill is one of NYC's best comedians, guitar players, and show reviewers, but the Explosion is always a truly epic experience where Dave REALLY shines. The Dave Hill Explosion is a long-running live talk show hosted by Dave Hill. He doesn't do it that often but when he does it's awesome. One of the greatest shows I've ever seen was the Explosion that featured Rufus Wainwright and Dick Cavett. Holy.
Meanwhile you can find Dave Hill TONIGHT (11/24) at UCB East as part of "If You Build It", and check out Dave Hill's latest podcast featuring Chris Elliott. And don't forget that you can catch Chris Elliott at the Bell House on December 7th as part of Ted Leo and Tom Scharpling's epic and now totally sold out Sandy Benefit. You can also see him at the Pit with his daughters Abby and Bridey Elliott on Thursday December 6th at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky.
Hoity-Toity gastro-comedy joint The Stand will be hosting a rather impressive Sandy benefit called MTV Presents Stand up for Sandy on Tuesday November 27th. The line-up features Jim Gaffigan, Wyatt Cenac, Nikki Glaser, Sara Schaefer and Sean Patton. The tickets are a super reasonably priced $20 and are currently on sale. And for those keeping score, Sean Patton and Sarah Schaefer are two of my favorite and definitely underrated comedians in the biz. This might be THE show that gets your man Klaus out of his comfort zone and into The Stand.
Jim Gaffigan also has other bigger area shows coming up.
Wyatt Cenac (who also performs in the sold out Sandy Benefit show at the Bell House this Sunday November 25th) continues his new Monday night residency at Littlefield on Monday November 26th and every Monday. As a matter of fact, Har Mar Superstar is musical guest this Monday November 26th.
And speaking of Littlefield, celebrate Christmas Eve there with Wyatt Cenac because it looks like it will be a special night with guests Janeane Garofalo, Michael Che (who also plays the sold out show at Bell House this Sunday), and more already announced. But before that, on Sunday December 9th Littlefield will be hosting Concert & Comedy For Sandy Animals: Benefit for the Sean Casey Animal Rescue with comedy by Michael Showalter and Jena Friedman, and music by Supercute, Casey Shea and more.
For more upcoming shows check out Eugene Mirman's schedule, Pete Holmes & Doug Benson's tour dates, Nick Kroll's tour dates, Greg Proops, and a big list of upcoming shows at the Bell House (and HERE).
by Klaus Kinski
In today's "Oh yeah, that makes total sense" comedy news, it was just announced that Klaus Kinski All Time Favorite Kurt Braunohler has joined the upcoming Comedy Bang! Bang! tour and will be the master of opening ceremonies in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle and Portland (Oregon)(not Maine). Bad news though; the previously announced NYC August 7th show at the Highline Ballroom has sold out. GOOD NEWS though: a late show has been added! Tickets for that 10pm doors / 10:30pm show are on sale now but they are flying off the shelves. Git em! All dates are listed below.
As I mentioned earlier, Comedy Bang! Bang! is not only a superior podcast, but it's also a show on IFC that you can see Friday's at 10/9C. Mr. Braunohler is the host of comedy game show Bunk which you can see on IFC Friday nights at 10:30/9:30C. From an "industry" standpoint, you can see why the pairing makes sense. But from a Klaus Kinski standpoint, it makes sense because Aukerman and Braunohler are hilarious, and have been since waaaayyyyyyyy before their IFC shows. This is a great opportunity to see one of NYC's best share a bill with some of LA's best, and you can be damn sure there will be HELLA surprises and special guests. That's a promise to you, the BV reader, because that's who I am and that's who I care about. Full dates below.
And don't forget, you can see Kurt Braunohler all the freaking time in NYC, provided he is in town. As mentioned, his phenomenal show Night of the Living takes place every so often at Littlefield in Brooklyn. The next installment of Night of the Living takes place Friday June 29th and features Judah Friedlander, music by Amanda Palmer, and a screening of his show Bunk. Inexplicably, $10 tickets are still available. Kurt also co-hosts the great Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen which takes place Mondays at Littlefield. Hot Tub is SO MUCH fun and offer up an always eclectic roster of awesome guests.
Last month Kurt was a guest at Kevin Allison (of the State)'s show Risk! which goes down at the Pit in NYC. Check out the video below. Risk! happens again tonight (6/28), but this time with guests Mara Wilson, Jamie Lee, Lisa Kirchner, AND Tom Shillue (who tells funny stories) AND Simon Amstell (who we've been stalking since he landed in NYC)!
Also tonight in NYC: Yacht Rock Revue @ Canal Room.
Tons of local Kurt Braunohler dates, the video of him at Risk!, and all Comedy Bang! Bang! dates, below...
Amanda Palmer in Brooklyn in May (more by Bryan Bruchman)
Comic Book Club Live, a free, live podcast recording event has moved from its previous home of Pianos to fellow LES club Fontana's, and TONIGHT (6/26)'s show features Kurt Braunohler and musical guest Amanda Palmer. Show starts at 7PM.
Last night, Kurt Braunohler did his weekly Hot Tub show at Littlefield with Kristin Schaal that also featured UK comedian Simon Amstell who who plays SWEET tonight (6/26) at Ella Lounge in the East Village. The show, hosted by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer Seth Herzog, will also have John F. O'Donnell and Questlove as guests. Show starts at 8:30PM. Simon Amstell's Numb residency begins July 10th.
Friday (6/29) is Kurt Braunohler's live talk show Night of the Living at Littlefield which, as you may remember, has Amanda Palmer as a guest. Tim Heidecker was supposed to be the other guest but he had to drop out so Judah Friedlander will sub in his place. Tickets are still available to this.
It's a busy week for Amanda. Wednesday (6/27) is her sold-out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with her band The Grand Theft Orchestra, and on Thursday she plays the opening of her art show at Momenta Art which is only open to high-level contributors to her Kickstarter campaign. Amanda and her band will be performing a full acoustic set that night, and her bassist Jherek Bischoff will be performing solo as well. Bischoff will open MHOW too, as well as all upcoming tour dates.
Then on Saturday (6/30), Amanda & Her Magical Ukulele will perform an intimate show at the newly-opened top floor of the South Street Seaport Museum. Tickets are $55 and $125 and still on sale, and proceeds benefit the museum. Ticket price includes open Brooklyn Brewery bar.
Anybody going to all five Amanda Palmer events this week?
by Klaus Kinski
I was sitting at work reconciling a bunch of budgets when a small but heavy pile of comedy news fell into my lap. It is now up to me to disseminate this news to your hungry eyes. But before I get down to bidness I have to mention a recent comedic experience that really floated my denim clad boat. I don't normally review comedy shows because comedy is so subjective, but this show was enough to get me out of my apartment during a heatwave so it deserves mention. Klaus favorite Tom Shillue brought his storytelling show Funny Story to the confines of Brooklyn Brewery for the first time last night, June 20th, 2012 and cleaning crews are still at work gathering my busted guts from the walls and ceiling of the place. Funny Story has taken place at a few venues in the city, including UCB East and UCB West but this was the first one at the Brewery. The second you walk in, the first thing you notice is the smell. I don't know if you've ever been in a brewery, but imagine putting burnt pizza crust and Eukanuba dog food in a black plastic garbage bag and leaving it on the hood of a cement truck in the dead of summer and then opening said bag after 8 hours. It is a rank odor that I was afraid would distract me for the entire show; happily for some reason my nose got used to it in about 15 minutes and I was able to enjoy the STELLAR line-up unencumbered of olfactory distractions. Tom kicked things of with a hilarious tale of an early visit to NYC with his 2nd cousin Grover, adventures at famed nightclub Tunnel, getting Andy Warhol's autograph on a soup can in Boston, and eventually losing touch with Grover in the late 90s. Musical genius Walter Schreifels was up next and regaled the venue with various tales of neighborhood life in Williamsburg before offering up a heart-breaking grand finale story about bike theft and redemption. Philip Galinsky was up next, but I sadly missed a good amount of his performance due to a bathroom break and a beer token run; but what I did see and hear was hilarious and his stage presence was absolutely incredible. He runs the Manhattan Monologue Slam with his brother Robert, so keep your eye out for him. The great Bobby Tisdale followed Galinsky and told what, for me, were probably the funniest anecdotes of the evening. Topics included having sex like a cat, having his yam-bag punctured by a cat in search of his girlfriend's 'essence,' and having his own Julie Robert's-pretty-woman-jewel-box-surprise-moment, only it wasn't a jewelry box and the surprise involved an unexpected spray of water. I wish the event was being recorded because everyone on earth MUST hear these tales. MUST. The night was capped off with the incomparable John Mulaney who waxed about he and his family's history and experiences with Bill Clinton. Not sure when the next installment of Funny Story is but I will do everything in my power to spread the word on BV because it's a must-see. And you get a beer with the cost of admission. Boo-ya!
In other comedy news, as expected, Dame Julie Klausner's live podcast taping at the Bell House happening on June 27th with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Jim Gaffigan, and the recently added Martha Plimpton, and more, is now sold out. Do yourself a favor and start mining Craigslist for a ticket now because this could be the show of the century.
Speaking of comedy shows that will sell out, LA based comedian, ex-Mr. Show cast member, and all around great, great man Scott Aukerman is bringing Comedy Bang! Bang! LIVE! to the Highline Ballroom on August 7, 2012. The show will feature James Adomian and Tim Heidecker. Comedy Bang! Bang! is not only a hugely successful and totally rad podcast, but it's also a show on IFC that you can see Friday's at 10/9C. In other Tim Heidecker in NYC news, don't forget you can catch him on Friday June 29th at Littlefield where he will be on Kurt Braunohler's show Night of the Living alongside millionaire armpit hair aficionado Amanda Palmer. And much like Scott Aukerman, Braunohler has a show on IFC Friday nights at 10:30/9:30C called Bunk
And speaking of LA-based comedians coming to NYC, Klaus favorite Doug Benson will be in town on July 2nd, 2012 at the Gramercy Theater where he will deliver us Doug Loves Movies Live Podcast with Doug Benson & Special Guests. I have been to these I Love Movies podcast tapings before and they are absolutely the most fun you can have sitting down.
Why not keep this LA comedy in NYC ball rolling (awful segue, huh?)? I am pleased as punch to say that the Nerdist Podcast Live is COMING TO NYC on October 12th, 2012! Tickets for this show, which happens at the massive Best Buy Theater, went on sale at noon today. The Nerdist Podcast features Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, and Matt Mira. You know Chris from his extensive television work, including hosting "Web Soup" on G4 and "Talking Dead" on AMC, his appearances with Conan O'Brien, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, and many others, his book "The Nerdist Way." Jonah's a rising standup comic in Los Angeles, co-hosts a popular weekly live standup show, and writes for E! Entertainment Television's "The Soup." Matt's a staffer on G4's "Attack of the Show" and host of his own weekly live standup comedy show in L.A. as well. Together, they host the Nerdist Podcast, one of the most popular comedy podcasts in the world and are all featured on the 'Nerdist' specials airing on BBC America. For sheer skills as a comedian though, Jonah Ray wins. I love that dude. More Nerdist dates here.
Ok I am starting to feel homesick. Better talk about NYC for a sec. On Monday June 25th 2012, Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen is bringing the f-ing stank to Littlefield in Brooklyn. The line-up will feature Simon Amstell, who has a Numb residency happening in NYC VERY soon, the great Glenn Wool, Lady Carol, and Josh Gondelman. Tickets are on sale now, but get them now because the gonna be gone very very soon yo.
by Klaus Kinski
Let me get this out of the way for you: "Who?"
OK. Moving on. The one thing my Anglophilia and its relationship to comedy has taught me is that if you find a single British comedic personality you like you will, after a series of youtubes and googles, discover between 5 - 10 related comedic personalities you will just as quickly fall in love with. This is precisely how I came to discover the great Simon Amstell. My discovery and subsequent adoration of Simon Amstell was set into motion years ago with my obsession with the preposterously underrated and underknown-in-the-US British series Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. The show, written, directed, and starring Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade (whose birthday happens to be today, June 12th) only lasted 6 episodes. From Wikipedia:
Darkplace is presented as a lost classic: a television series produced in the 1980s, though never broadcast at the time. The presentation features commentary from many of the "original" cast, where characters such as "Marenghi" (Holness) and "Dean Learner" (Ayoade) reflect on making the show. Darkplace parodies numerous aspects of '80s low-budget television, including fashion, special effects, production gaffs, and music, as well as the widespread practice of including commentary tracks on DVD releases of old films and television shows.To this day, Darkplace is one of my favorite shows of all time. It was this show that introduced me the the comedic greatness that is Matt Berry. With his deadpan facial expressions and deep, throaty, British voice, I could not get enough of this guy. It didn't matter what he said; his delivery was like nothing I'd ever seen or heard. Brilliance. My next logical step brought be face to face with Berry's (also short-lived) show Snuff Box which he co-wrote and co-starred in alongside American comedian Rich Fulcher. Darkplace also lead me to one of my all-time favorite shows The IT Crowd, which brought Berry on in season two, but which had Ayoade as one of the main characters for all four seasons. I also became a huge fan of the Mighty Boosh. Incidentally, both Snuff Box and The IT Crowd are streaming on NetFlix. I will admit that season 1 of The IT Crowd is a bit slow going, but starting with episode 1 of season 2 the show absolutely explodes with hilarity.
OK, at this point you are either asleep or poking your eyeballs out with a pen wondering what the hell this complicated British Comedy family tree has to do with how I came to discover Simon Amstell. Well, I'll tell ya how. On one of my famous long-form YouTube search sessions, I was looking at Mighty Boosh stuff, which led me to look for some Noel Fielding stuff which eventually led me to clips of the TV show Nevermind the Buzzcocks which happened to be hosted by SIMON AMSTELL. Ya see! It was convoluted, but I got us there! [Ed note: 'Buzzcocks' is/was a "game show" with a mix of music, comedian and actorly contestants that was basically an excuse to make fun of pop culutre and celebrities in general. I was a big fan of the Amstell reign too. -Bill] In the clips I was watching, Simon was an extremely sharp, fast, hilarious, and unbearably likable host. His rapport with the panelists was so genuinely funny, clever and very very loose that, in true Klaus fashion, I decided I wanted to know more about this guy. In short, he is a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning English comedian, television presenter, screenwriter and actor, best known for his roles as former co-host of Popworld, former host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks and co-writer and star of the sitcom Grandma's House. He is also a stand-up comedian and has been since he was 17.
Amstell is massive in the UK and Australia. He does these comedy tours at huge venues that sell out faster than a Quicksand reunion at the Mercury Lounge (not happening). In the US, however, he is grossly unknown. Which is a shame as I think his material would totally resonate with people like us here in the US and especially NYC. So on that note I am pleased as punch to announce that Simon Amstell is bringing his new show, Numb, to NYC in July! Opening July 10 for a five week run at Theatre 80 on St. Marks, the show will run Tuesday through Thursday nights at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $20.00; a limited number of $10.00 student rush tickets will be available at the Box Office one hour before show time. It's only a matter of time before Amstell becomes the next Ricky Gervais, Eddie Izzard, or Russell Brand so to have so many opportunities to catch his show at such an intimate space for such a reasonable ticket price is something for you to jump on, if only to one day have the vanity to declare "Yeah I saw Amstell in a wicked small room in NYC back in the day. I am so cool man, I was there on the cutting edge and I saw God, Jack."
Below are a few Amstelt-related clips, including the infamous Amy Winehouse appearance on Buzzcocks.