Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Reviews Are Coming In

The Comedians Of Comedy were part of Coachella this year and it sounds like it was a phenominal. Check out this thread at Aspecialthing as the reviews are slowly coming in; including two from Patton Oswalt himself. I am sure reviews will crop up all over the place in the coming days but, man, I am pretty eager to hear Henry Owings' take on things over at Chunklet.
Asses Later Reported Sore

Dave Chappelle is known for dropping into comedy clubs unannounced to try out new material. However, a recent drop-in turned into a record breaker. He stopped by the Laugh factory in LA (home of the unfortunate Michael Richards incident) on Sunday 4/16/07. He hit the stage at 10:36pm and didn't stop doing material until 4:43am THE NEXT MORNING! That's over 6 hours of stand-up!. More on that HERE.
Show Over After Short Run at The Pit

Alas, it appears that for every great comedy show that pops up in NYC (See below), one must must die. And unfortunately the comedy show we must say good-bye to is Here's The Thing. Here's The Thing took their popular show from Rififi uptown to The Pit just this past February. Past guests have included Human Giant's Aziz Ansari, Jon Benjamin, Andrew WK, Michael Showalter, Christian Finnegan, Kristen Schaal, and tons of other top shelf comedians. What went wrong? I don't know. Whatever the cause, NYC is losing a great weekly comedy showcase
Piano's New Mega-Awesome FREE Comedy Show
UCB Theater, NYC

One new Manhattan comedy showcase I keep forgetting to mention is It Is It, which takes place at Pianos. Billed as a new recurring comedy series hosted by ADAM LOWITT of The Daily Show, this show has so far presented its attendees with some incredible line-ups (see fliers hyperlinked below). And the amazing thing is that the show is absolutely FREE!!. According to Lowitt, the show is set to happen every other Monday, or at least two Monday's a month.

Next Show:
Monday, 4/30/07 - 8:00pm

Greg Johnson
Tom Mccaffery
Morgan Murphy
Ben Karlin
John Oliver
Bill Burr

Check out some fliers from some previous shows

Friday, April 27, 2007

5/2/07, Featuring David Cross, Rob Riggle, Mariel Hemmingway
UCB Theater, NYC

For people like me who think the Tribeca Film Festival is the most overrated ego fuckfest jerk-offathon to hit NYC every year, UCB Theater has an antedote. From the website

Join host Paul Bogdonavich (Seth Morris), noted film director, film historian and dog food entrepreneur as he celebrates the Tribeca Film Fest. Mr. Bogdonavich will welcome luminaries from the world of cinema as well as those who have nothing to do with film festival in any way.

Scheduled to appear:

David Cross of “Mr. Show,” Arrested Development”, and “The Grand” ,official selection of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival

With other surprise guests as well as a visit from Harvey Weinstein and Festival Founder Robert Dinero (aka Curtis Gwinn and John Gemberling)

Hosted by Seth Morris of “Greetings From Earth” official selection of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, Short Film Competition.

David Wain was initially slated to appear, but now he isn't listed on the flier. They have however added Mariel Hemmingway (really!?) and The Daily Show's Rob Riggle. Insane. Oh, and it's $8, not $5 and reservations are sold out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Good Tickets Also Released for His 5/19 Show

Ricky Gervais has added TWO NYC MORE dates. The dates are as follows:

Thu, 05/17/07: Tribeca Performing Arts Center - NYC
(On sale 4/27 at noon EST)

Fri, 05/18/07: Tribeca Performing Arts Center - NYC
(On sale 4/27 at noon EST)

Really good seats for the 5/19 show have just been released as well; most in the center 100's.

Ricky will also be talking to John Hodgeman on Sunday 5/20 at noon at CUNY as part of the New York Times' painfully sold out Sunday With The Times event.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

They Better Take Seperate Flights

David Cross, Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry, Kristen Schaal and others will be doing a very long run of shows at the famous rock venue The 100 Club in quaint old London England. The shows are going to be at 8:30pm June 19 - 23 and June 26-30. That's 10 shows! Details are still in the works (they're not even on the 100 Club calendar), but you bet your ass more info will follow as these dates approach.

In other pilot news...Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Daly, Greg Giraldo, and Lewis Black recently participated in a live taping of a pilot of a new Comedy Central TV show called The Root of All Evil. The basic idea of the show is that each comedian argues what is currently root of all evil in popular culture. It is done in a very courtroom drama sort of style, with Lewis Black serving as judge. TV Squad was there and wrote a phenominal recap.
Signs On To Potentially Disasterous Sitcom

Speaking of comedians I like signing onto upcoming sitcoms (See below), David Cross will co-star in a new CBS pilot called I'm In Hell. The show is about some Wall Street douche (Jason Biggs) who gets in a BlackBerry related car wreck. Hell is overbooked and said douche is sent to hell on earth where he tries to re-work his life and whatnot. David is to play the Devil, named Scott. You can read more here. A script of the pilot was also recently leaked.
Geico Character Based Sitcom a Go

You may know Nick Kroll from his appearances on Best Week Ever (click link, scroll down), the Oh Hello Show, or perhaps as the infamous Fabrice Fabrice. Nick recently signed on to co-star in a still-under-development ABC TV show based on the Geico Cavemen called, appropriately, CAVEMEN. Incidentally, none of the original cavemen from the Geico commercials has been cast in the show. If you want to see MORE of Nick, by all means, check out his highlight reel.
Awesome Show, Great DVDs

Tom Goes To The Mayor, one of my favorite shows ever, is out on DVD. The 3-disc set features the entire series, deluxe packaging, and special features that would make any fan weep with joy. Check out these sites for more Tom-related eye candy. And don't forget to watch the DVD promo

Speaking of Tim & Eric, Awesome Show, Great Job has been picked up for a whopping 30 MORE EPISODES by Adult Swim. YES!
A Sneak Preview I Missed

On Monday April 9th Inside Joke left the cozy confines of the UCB Theatre for a night and hosted an advance screening of the new Rogue Pictures film Hot Fuzz. The screening was followed by a conversation with the writers, director, and co-stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright - the same crew behind Shaun of the Dead and Spaced. Unfortunately, a last minute obligation forced me to miss this, but some folks from Aspecialthing were there
BRAINYAXE - Mind Comedy
A New Awesome NYC Comedy Showcase

There's a new comedy showcase in NYC that looks quite promising indeed. Entitled BRAINYAXE, their premiere gig at the Bowery Poetry club on 4/12/07 featured a masterful line-up consisting of Andy Kaufman Award Winner Reggie Watts, Baron Vaughn, Craig Baldo, Tom McCaffrey, Jess Wood, and Sven Weschler. If this line-up is any indication of show to come, you can count on my ass spending Friday's at the Bowery Poetry Club.
From The Pit, To Comix, To Pianos

Speaking of Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler (see post below)....I love Hot Tub Variety Show because I love Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler. They used to have a residence at The Pit, moved on to Comix, had their residence at Comix cancelled, were without a venue for a while, but have now confirmed that they will be moving into Pianos. They will host their lovely evening of fun every other Monday beginning on May 7th at 8 pm. You can also find Kurt & Kristen in their snug little corner of Superdeluxe! Their theme song is by Reggie Watts and their episodes feature tons of other wonderful comedians.

Party At Rififi Dawg

To celebrate the 5th year anniversary of Invite Them Up, Bobby, Eugene and Holly are having a special show to help raise money to finish renovating Rififi. The show will be followed by an auction of stuff from various comedians, including such treasures as the mustache Jon Benjamin wore in the classic “Forgettabuddies” sketch. The event takes place on Wendesday April 25th at 8:00pm and features performances by Eugene Mirman, Bobby Tisdale, Jon Benjamin, Jon Glaser, Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler, plus special guests. $10 admission to the show. If the main room fills up, there will be a $5 admission for the bar where the show will be simulcast on a screen. After-party and champagne toast to follow the show.

My Two Cents

On April 13th, 2007, Adult Swim took a huge gamble by unleashing into theaters nationwide an 86-minute episode of one of the most popular titles in their schedule; Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters has been met with a fairly mixed reception amongst die-hard fans and the newly initiated alike. Personally, I felt it was really really funny, though inconsistent. The highlight of the film for me is the soundtrack which features the likes of The Hold Steady, Mastodon, 9lb Hammer, MC Chris, Andrew W.K. and scads more.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Featuring Eugene Mirman, John Oliver, John Aboud, Rodney Rothman, David Rakoff, and 'music' INTERNET

On April 11, 2007 I turned 30. In honor of myself I vowed to take time off of work and spend my time in the days leading up to April 11th partying with family and friends on Cape Cod and seeing some noteworthy comedy shows when I got back to NYC. On April 10th I was able to attend McSweeney's Presents: The World Explained, a benefit event for 826LA and 826NYC featuring 'precision comedy and fact-based entertainment', hosted by Eugene Mirman. The event featured monologues and stories told by the likes of the Daily Show's John Oliver, Modern Humorist's John Aboud, former head writer for The Late Show with David Letterman Rodney Rothman, and essayist, journalist, and actor David Rakoff. Musical interludes were provided by unimpressive supergroup Final Fantasy Online aka Internet.

Let me begin by getting Final Fantasy Online aka Internet out of the way. The band features Dan Boeckner & Hadji Bakara of Wolf Parade, Nick Diamonds of Islands, and Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav. They came across as boring, lazy, ironic-in-a-bad-way, blasé, unrehearsed. I am sure everyone there found reasons to dig them, but I despised their presence. I still don't understand the point of having them on the bill. Hipster cred? To sell more tickets? Individually, I dig the bands they're in. But piecing together this ad hoc supergroup seemed a superfluous and completely unnecessary addition to the show. I hate that I hated it, but I also hate when I get the feeling a band doesn't give a shit about their audience. I just felt like they didn't want to be there and didn't give a shit that they were there. Ah, you be the judge. ANYWAYS.......

I really like events at Symphony Space. It's just a great place to see a show. The last time I was there I was having my ear drums mangled by Keiji Haino and The Melvins, so it was a nice change of pace to see funny, intellectual discourse there. The show was sold out, and general admission, but as I was flying solo it was no problem getting a great seat in the 4th row. As with the Melvins show, I noticed David Byrne was in attendance. Sarah Vowell did a brief introduction describing the mission statement of 826 before showing a hilarious faux-documentary about one of the 826 volunteers (played by Sam Rockwell). Following the video, Eugene Mirman came out to get the event officially rolling.

For me, Eugene's intro had two significantly hilarious highlights. The first was his declaration that he spent many years as a child in special education classes and that he lip-synched a Bill Cosby stand-up routine as one of his book reports. The second item of note was his story about being pulled over, fighting a ticket, agreeing to a plea bargain compromise, and his subsequent letter to whatever county the ticket originiated in explaining the sheer insanity of trading the original crime for a completely made-up, lesser one. I have seen this bit before, but, man, it's funny.

* musical interlude *

John Aboud was up next and his performance was brilliant. You see, when he was in high school he was on a 4-person trivia team that competed, on television, with other trivia teams from other high schools. His monologue, aided with video footage from the actual trivia episodes, illustrated how the quest for knowledge might not always be a good thing. He illustrated the contempt, irrational cockiness, and utter dickheadedness one develops when knowledge is used as a competative tool. Very very very funny.

* musical interlude - cover version of Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd *

David Rakoff came to the stage next and, with the help of illustrations by artist Arthur Jones, discussed the 525,600 reasons to hate the play Rent. And he was dead on. Fucking dead on.

* musical interlude - cover version of Dumb Dog from Annie *

John Oliver came up and his appearance had more of a stand-up feel. Having seen him about 3 times in the past month, a lot of his material was nothing new. He did however tell a very funny story about his penis falling out of the slit on the front of his shorts during a 400 yard run when he was a kid. It happened in school, in front of students and parents, and he just let it hang out there. With great detail he described how it went from bouncing side-to-side like a metronome, to actually swinging in a completely circular motion.

* musical interlude - equipment knocked over, podium knocked over *

Former head writer for The Late Show with David Letterman Rodney Rothman was the next and final guest. The Internet left their gear on during the beginning of his set so for the first few minutes my brain was shifting its attention from Rodney to the buzzing of the amps. Rothman told us the story of how, for the Letterman Show, he created a boy band from the ground up; he held open auditions, chose the band members, wrote a song, hired a choreographer, came up with a routine, and had a performance on the Letterman Show as though they were a real, legitimate, new boy band. He discussed how far he took the farce which included an apperance on TRL, a website, and even the devlopement of an actual, loyal following.

* musical interlude - cover version of Hangin Tough by New Kids on the Block *

At this point, Eugene gave the closing remarks and the event ended.

A fella named Shawn Liu Took Some Pics