As Joyce readily tells his comedy club audiences, he no longer drinks. But he still can act drunk in the movies!
Stags has its world premiere tonight at the Dance With Films festival in Los Angeles, with an East Coast premiere to come June 24 at the Visionfest festival in New York City. Produced by Ben Barenholz (Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Requiem for a Dream), and directed by Jamie Greenberg, the film revolves around four career bachelors.
Here's the trailer...Roll it!
Larry Getlen has written an insightful article on the brilliant comedy, and the tragic addictions, of the late Greg Giraldo. Getlen interviewed comedian Jesse Joyce -- who toured with Giraldo and wrote for his many popular Roasts -- as well as Jim Norton for the piece. But you won't find it in the New York Post, where Getlen is a regular freelancer. This is for Splitsider.
Here are two quotes from Joyce, one about his comedic ability to use intelligence and wit on any audience:
“He was so confident on stage, such a master of words and so naturally funny, that he could take anything he wanted to talk about and make it funny even if you disagreed with his politics on it. At the end of the bit, it was flawless logic,” says Joyce. “You could disagree with the concept of gay marriage, but he would [talk about this] in Texas, or in the South. We’d work together in Georgia, and he would start the bit with some version of, ‘if you think gay people choose to be gay, you’re an asshole.’ He would confront people aggressively to say, what you believe is wrong. But by the end of the bit, not only would he get an applause break, but everybody would be like, ‘Huh. I see your point.” He could take anything he believed in, and make it funny to people who disagreed with him.”
And here Joyce talks about addiction.
“What’s so insidious about addiction,” says Joyce, “is that it tricks you — and everyone around you — into thinking that this is the way it is for now, but that it’s gonna get better. Because we would have these periods of time where it was all fine and great, and I would get lulled into the idea that maybe this time it’ll stick. For me, I know I always have that option. I can always go out and get drunk tomorrow if I want and see where that takes me, get back on that elevator and ride it down a few more floors, but my life has improved enough for me to know that that was the problem. I don’t think Greg ever gave it enough time. He would get inklings of it. He’d start getting up earlier in the morning and read the paper. He would do proactive, productive things, and be on time for flights and stuff. And he’d go, ‘yeah, this is great.’ But I don’t think he ever gave it enough time to really reap the benefits of sobriety.”
You can read the whole thing on Splitsider.
Moving forward, you can help Giraldo's three sons by laughing it up at "The Big Time Comedy Show," a week from tonight on Feb. 9, 2011 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City -- hosted by Tom Papa with performances by Jerry Seinfeld, Lewis Black, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, Ted Alexandro, Judy Gold, Colin Quinn and Jesse Joyce. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.
The tributes continue to roll out for the late Greg Giraldo.
Thanks to Matt Ruby for pointing me to comedian Jon Fisch's podcast, In the Tank, which recently sat down a number of comedians, associates and fans of Giraldo to talk about him.
Those offering words and praise to Fisch about Giraldo as both a stand-up comedian and as a human being included: Ryan Hamilton, Nick Swardson, William Stephenson, Dave Smith, Big Jay Oakerson, Modi, Dante, Costaki Economopoulos, Lee Camp, Kurt Metzger, Allan Havey, Anthony Jeselnik, Julian McCullough, Wil Sylvince, Steve Fabricant, Alex Edelman, James Smith, Dave Attell, Veronica Mosey, Rick Crom, Jodi Wasserman, Ophira Eisenberg, Joe DeRosa, Tom Shillue, Sherrod Small, Jeffrey Gurian, Jesse Joyce and Ted Alexandro. You can listen to the whole episode of In the Tank devoted to Greg Giraldo.
Speaking of Jesse Joyce, he was the unseen and unheard brains behind many of Giraldo's popular Roast jokes as Giraldo's writing partner for the past few years. Giraldo was supposed to be the Roastmaster last week at Cringe Humor's Roast of Jim Florentine. Instead, the roast raised money for Giraldo's children, played a tribute video of Giraldo in concert, and then asked Jesse Joyce to take the podium. As you may have guessed already (if you're a good guesser), Joyce crushed with a withering set of quips, insults and well-written barbs that you could imagine coming out of Giraldo's mouth. Here is an audio recording of that set. Note: the recording garbles a bit during the middle from audience chatter. Roll it!
And last but not least, Columbia University students are planning an inaugural Greg Giraldo Comedy Fest in March 2011. This message came through this week from Jessica Lovelace-Chandler:
Attn NYC comics/comedy groups: I'm officially taking submissions for Columbia's 1st Annual Greg Giraldo Comedy Fest that I'm producing. I'm particularly seeking current Columbia students or alumni (If anyone in your group is an alum, that counts!) The dates are tentatively Mar 25-26, but may be moved slightly earlier or later. If interested, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Someone decided it was hot enough in here to buy some ice cream treats, stay home, and get giggly with it tonight. OK. Fine. It was so hot in NYC today that my brain obviously isn't working, so maybe the mush of the TV will make everything right in the world again. Either that, or Craig Robinson and a kitty cat will tell me it's time for the first part of the semifinals of season seven of NBC's Last Comic Standing. Finally we're getting somewhere. UPDATED: Now with video clips!
Are you ready for your first semifinalist, Myq Kaplan? I put the comma in the wrong place there, because he is more than ready, he is already done because this was a taped performance. Don't call in with your votes just yet. Kaplan is feeling bookish this evening, telling us about books, movies, and movies about books. Kaplan also is the first, at least if we're presuming they haven't edited the placement here, to have to deal with the hyped-up live audience at the Alex Theater in Glendale, Calif. Judges Andy Kindler, Natasha Leggero and Andy Kindler all have nice things to say about Myq Kaplan. Kindler says Kaplan "absolutely killed" which means he lost the pool? "I can't think of a funnier line in comedy than Brad Pitt is in this book." And we're getting judges notes, as if it really is going to be the American Idol version of LCS. Then again, we did hear judges give notes to comedians during the semis in previous seasons, so maybe it's just time for a commercial break. Any predictions? I have one!
Jamie Lee is up next, and she admits backstage that she is terrified about being seen by millions on the TV. Too late! You're on TV! Lee gets whoops from audience members when she says she's originally from Texas, but wants to joke about her model roommate in NYC. Lee also mentions dating a comedian, and knowing it's bad when even their inside jokes were bombing. (Note: Lee already has told me that her jokes about her comedian ex are not really about her comedian ex, for those of you who were thinking about someone specific just then). Leggero says Lee has "huge potential," while Giraldo says it wasn't her best set. Based on these notes, you could swap them out with Idol, couldn't you? You could. You could.
Mike DeStefano wants to be so good, the audience sets the place on fire. I'm not sure that would actually be a good thing, but it makes for a soundbite. DeStefano jokes about how everyone in his neighborhood was Italian, including the old Chinese guy and the young black kid. Did you know that Italians shrink and get mean when they get old? This audience is so hot, they're hooting and handing out applause breaks for everything. DeStefano keeps saying "thank you, thank you" like a politician trying to get back to his stump speech. Because he wants you to know how he deals with pretty ladies. Kindler finds him "hilarious" and could not criticize any portion of his set. "And you have screamers," Leggero added. She asks about his Jesus tattoo, and DeStefano corrects her: "It's Jim Caviezel."
OK, comedy fans. We're back with the first (of how many? of how many???) episodes from the New York City auditions, and after some more glimpses of Tommy Johnagin and a naked Andy Ofiesh, here's Craig Robinson strolling down the sidewalk of West 23rd Street on his keytar with judges Andy Kindler, Natasha Leggero and Greg Giraldo, plus wannabes in tow. Who here wanna be?
Alycia Cooper from Maryland is our first billed auditioner. She made Giraldo laugh with her jokes about D.C.'s horrible sports teams, but she is adding tags that he and the other judges do not condone. She moves on to the night showcase nevertheless. Our first featured contestant of the evening, however, is Mike DeStefano who shows us his fellas in the Bronx to bust his chops and deliver some classic stereotypical Bronx gruff and stuff. "Hey Mikey, if you win, what's in it for us?" I've told you about DeStefano before. I will be telling you more about him in the future. His jokes about dealing with a potential agent show off his style and personality and the crew loves him as much, perhaps more, than the judges did.
Kevin Bozeman of Chicago said he is pro-life except for two times. Jamie Lissow jokes about not getting the NY Times crossword. New Yorker Claudia Cogan jokes about wanting to be a nasty stripper, while I wonder when she'll reply to my email from months ago. They are all part of a montage of yes votes for the showcases, and there is Elon James White brunching hard but not getting his name on camera. Andy Ofiesh, on the other hand, got almost all of himself on camera since he went onstage without any clothes on. Of course, readers here (or people who have been to a Naked Comedy Showcase show in Boston, NYC or Edinburgh in the past few years) knows Ofiesh is an avowed nudist and comedian. All we see and hear, however, is the judges not being happy seeing all of Ofiesh and he kicks off the night's first montage of horribleness.
Kurt Metzger says he has done comedy for 11 years and wonders about performing for three people, especially when at least one of them works with him regularly at the Comedy Cellar. No need to wonder, since Metzger is moving to the showcase.
And we're back. Robinson walks out to inspect the line of crazies. I also inspected this line outside Gotham Comedy Club the night beforehand. Want to see that?
Tommy Johnagin invites the cameras into his hotel room(?) to watch him write his jokes on toilet paper. Johnagin jokes about how women suck for asking him about keeping track of the one time he had sex. Kindler jokes that he feels threatened by Johnagin's humor.
Todd Catalano brought his mullet across the bridges and tunnels from New Jersey, and guess what, he is Italian. Guess what, Giraldo isn't sure if he was laughing with Catalano's insults about women, and this kicks off a montage of stereotypical Italian New Yorker shtickery.
Jamie Lee from Dallas says she quit her corporate job to pursue stand-up (and it was a job with Comedy Central where she had to deal with people like me!) and if you saw the ads of the past week, you already saw her running with joy after whatever the judges said. Giraldo said she felt "still pretty new" to him, which is absolutely correct, and all three of the judges would like to see her perform in front of an actual audience.
When we return from commercial...