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

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

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

a cop storms Rififi (Heather Fink)
Invite Them Up

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

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

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

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

Zach GBob and David aren't the only people with mega-exciting TV related news. Some of my absolute favorite comedians have either had pilots picked up or have stuff in development with Comedy Central. Zach Galifianakis and AD Miles are working on a show called Speed Freaks which is about two small town losers who are on the run from a redneck mafia hit-man after blowing up a local meth lab. Paul F. Tompkins will be playing a character/host named Julius Darkshaft in a show called The Scariest Show on Television which sounds like a Tales From The Darkside type of show. The show is produced by Jim Biederman, Brett Gelman and Jon Daly (Brett and Jon are phenominal people. You may know them as Cracked Out). Nick Swardson has an animated series in the works called Gay Robot. Not only is Nick the voice of Gay Robot, be he also co-writes the thing. Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter are working on something called Michael and Michael have issues. According to Comedy Central, "this show features segments addressing issues each of the stars has with themselves, each other and the world at large". For much more information, check out the AST thread.

Mike BirbigliaAh crap, I almost forgot one. Mike Birbiglia! Birbigs has grown on me so much in the past few years. He's one of the funniest, nicest people out there and I'm always psyched when things really go his way. CBS has greenlit a pilot called Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal. The pilot, based on Mike's Blog, will star Mike as a stand-up comedian who lives with his girlfriend in Brooklyn and struggles in his efforts to be a grown up, have a relationship, and do the right things (more here). Sounds sort of cheesy, but I love Mike, his blog, and I've seen the Secret Public Journal live and thought it was phenomenal. I can't wait.

Todd Barry - From Heaven

Back in August of 2007 Todd Barry recorded a live CD in Cambridge Massachusetts. Entitled "From Heaven", the live CD was released on March 4th and I cannot recommend it enough. New Yorkers are lucky in that we can usually catch a live Todd Barry set somewhere in the 5 burroughs at least once a week (unless he's on tour). But for those without that luxury, this CD really is the next best thing. From start to finish, the disc contains Todd's strongest material and even though I've seen him a zillion times and plan on seeing him a zillion more, the disc has a re-listen value comparable to the David Cross album "Shut Up You Fucking Baby".

Gallagher @ The Blender Theater (The Apiary)

One of the most perversely anticipated comedy shows in recent memory was Gallagher's Blender Theater gig on 3/14/08. An icon of coked-out bizarrao 80s comedy, Gallagher is famous for his skin tight polyester outfits, flat cap, long hair, moustache, and reckless destruction of perfectly good foodstuffs. I chose not to see this show because I find nothing more sad and awkward than watching someone try to weasle their way back into relevance. Luckily some of my comedy colleagues went and their reviews make for some really fascinating reading. But before you read the reviews, read this absolutely unbelievable and enlightening two part interview first. Now read these

Honestly, the interviews and the reviews should be published together as a short book.

Comedian Doug Benson (Best Week Ever, Comedy Central Presents, lots more stuff) did a documentary called Super High Me where he avoided pot for 30 days and then spent 30 days completely stoned. In the movie, Doug explores the current situation with medical marijuana in California and the United States, specifically focusing on the conflict between federal and state law and the explosive growth in medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles over the past two years. There's some science type stuff in there too! Anyhow, Doug is offering anyone with a DVD player, a projector, and a dark room, the opportunity to have free screening parties on 4/20/08. All you need to do is pay to have the DVD sent to you. There are already two screenings scheduled in Brooklyn! For more info visit the Roll Your Own Super High Me Screening Site

Gelmania has officially taken over for Invite Them Up Wednesday nights at Rififi. Hosted by Brett Gelman, the show features a mixture of stand-up, sketch, and vast amounts of insanity. I missed the premier, but Brett told me that he's going to make it into a crazy event each week so the audience is always guaranteed to see something completely different than the week before. The 3/19 line-up featured a new Human Giant video and performances by Bishop and Douch, Pete Holmes, John Mulaney, Adira Amram, Joe Mande, and Rob Latham.

New Thunderpoint Videos!



3/28 - 3/29 - 8:30pm & 10:45pm - Comix - Brian Posehn!!!: One of my favorite comedians on the planet is NYC for 4 headlining gigs. I cannot wait for this.

3/28/08 - 8:00pm - UCB Theater - Kumail Nanjiani: Unpronounceable: In this one man show, Kumail discusses his youth in Pakistan and Iowa. I saw Kumail recently for the first time and was blown away by his stand-up. I cannot wait to see this autobiographical show.

3/31/08 - 7:30pm doors - Pianos - Brooklynvegan and Klaus Kinski Present Rock n' ROFL: An evening of music and comedy. Starts at 8 sharp. Comedy will be hosted by the great Sean O Connor and feature Kumail Nanjiani, Larry Murphy and MORE! Holy Moly Moly!

4/3/08 - 8:00pm - UCB Theater - Inside Joke Featuring CHEVY CHASE: Carl Arnheiter interviews Chevy Chase in front of a live audience at UCB Theater. Yes, Chevy Chase.

And don't forget that Rififi is open and better than ever. When in doubt, consult their website. There's also always great shit going down at The Pit. I don't get there enough.

the final Invite Them Up (Marianne Ways)
Invite Them Up

Gallagher - 2008 Tour Dates
Sat 03/29/08 Lac Du Flambeau, WI Lake Of The Torches Resort Casino
Wed 04/02/08 Madison, WI Orpheum Theatre
Fri 04/04/08 Melbourne, FL King Center For Performing Arts
Sat 04/05/08 Melbourne, FL King Center For Performing Arts
Thu 04/24/08 Chattanooga, TN Comedy Catch
Fri 04/25/08 Chattanooga, TN Comedy Catch
Sat 04/26/08 Knoxville, TN World Grotto
Mon 05/05/08 Elmsford, NY Westchester Broadway Theatre
Thu 05/08/08 Clinton Township, MI The Box Sports Bar
Fri 05/09/08 Clinton Township, MI The Box Sports Bar
Wed 05/14/08 Turtle Lake, WI St. Croix Casino & Hotel
Thu 05/15/08 Myrtle Beach, SC Comedy Cabana
Fri 05/16/08 Myrtle Beach, SC Comedy Cabana
Sat 05/17/08 Myrtle Beach, SC Comedy Cabana
Fri 05/30/08 Cleveland, OH Saddle Ridge
Sat 05/31/08 Tiffin, OH Ritz Theatre
Fri 06/20/08 Santa Barbara, CA Lobero Theatre
Sat 06/21/08 Sacramento, CA Crest Theatre
Sat 07/12/08 Manasquan, NJ Algonquin Arts Theatre
Thu 07/24/08 Raleigh, NC Goodnights
Fri 07/25/08 Raleigh, NC Goodnights
Sat 07/26/08 Raleigh, NC Goodnights
Fri 09/05/08 Fort Myers, FL Barbara B. Mann Perf. Arts Hall
Sat 09/06/08 Niceville, FL Arts Center
Thu 10/02/08 Marco Island, FL Off The Hook Comedy Club
Fri 10/03/08 Marco Island, FL Off The Hook Comedy Club
Sat 10/04/08 Marco Island, FL Off The Hook Comedy Club
Sun 10/05/08 Marco Island, FL Off The Hook Comedy Club
Fri 10/17/08 Cheboygan, MI Opera House
Fri 10/31/08 Anderson, IN State Theatre
Sat 11/01/08 Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theatre
Fri 11/21/08 West Palm Beach, FL Raymond Kravis Ctr. For Perf. Arts
Sat 11/22/08 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
Fri 05/08/09 Clinton Township, MI TBA
Sat 05/09/09 Clinton Township, MI TBA

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