Timing really can be everything. With this year's crop of New Faces at Montreal's Just For Laughs, that was most certainly the case on Wednesday night (aka the second of three nights for the two groups of hopeful stand-ups, but really the first (and maybe only) night to impress the agents, managers and comedy bookers arriving from New York City, Los Angeles and points beyond the Canadian border). It's more than just the timing of your jokes that matter. What time is your show: 7 p.m. or 9:15 p.m? Did your show start on time? Did you time it right to hit the right shuttle, and not get lost and find yourselves looking at the city's skyline from across the bridge? Where are you in the lineup? How far along in your career are you when you're faced with being a New Face?
And if you've been riding along with me for this lifetime comedy joyride for more than a New York minute, then you know some of these faces are not exactly new to you or me. So let us take all of this into account when processing what went down Wednesday night for our two groups of New Faces in Montreal's Cabaret Juste Pour Rire. (Pictured at right: Nick Vatterott) They'll all have one more chance tonight at New Faces (some will also be featured in other themed showcases around the festival).
Here is the list everyone in comedy has been waiting for the past year to see, your New Faces at the 2010 Just For Laughs Montreal comedy festival, performing for live audiences and the industry of show business tonight, Wednesday and Thursday...
I know it looks like I've given away everything right there in the headline, but Joe Mande and Totally J/K are at it again. Earlier, they had fun with video by coming up with "The Andy Rooney Game," in which they edited down Andy Rooney's 60 Minute monologues to only the first and last sentences. Really summed that old guy up. Now they've picked out a collection of monologue-closing jokes from George Lopez on his late-night TBS show, Lopez Tonight. Do you see a pattern here? Roll the clip and judge for yourselves.
What do they say about New York City: There are eight million stories, and sometimes it seems as though eight million of the people telling them think they're comedians? No, that's not it. It is a fact, though, that America's biggest city is also its biggest comedy mecca. Hollywood may be Hollywood, but New York City is where comedians are born funny, become funny or arrive to thrust their funny upon us. I think we should meet some of these people. This is a new recurring feature, a mini-profile of newcomers, up-and-comers and overcomers of New York's vibrant comedy scene. It's called Meet Me In New York.
People in the New York comedy scene already know that Joe Mande is an emerging comic -- heck, he won an award with that very title two years ago at the ECNY Awards. Today, Mande has emerged into a bright, young stand-up worth watching in the years to come. How bright? Bright enough to know how to make Andy Rooney watchable (this past weekend's edition of The Andy Rooney Game is up), bright enough to sell a book idea based on pictures of idiot hipsters (Look at This F*cking Hipster is available for pre-order, and due out in March 2010), bright enough to be on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, and bright enough for me to know he should get more ink in this space. So let's get to it! With comedy partner Noah Garfinkle, Mande hosts the popular Totally J/K show; and solo, he has put up a one-man show based on his time working for Maury Povich. Find out more, right here, right now.
Name: Joe Mande
Arrival date: Summer 2005
Arrived from: Boston (via St. Paul, Minnesota)
When and where did you start performing comedy? I guess I started as a teenager in Minnesota. I used to do an open mic at a comedy club in the Mall of America called "Knuckleheadz." I was also in a high school improv troupe called "Clownaz." A lot of my early comedy ventures ended with a "z." But I think I started for real during my junior year at Emerson College.
What was your best credit before moving here? I was in a big article in the Boston Globe entitled "Will the Next Jay Leno Please Do Stand Up?" which, as a headline, I found to be a little back-handed. So there was that...and one time Gary Gulman told me I was funny after a show.
Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? I think I was destined to be a New York Jew. Even as a kid, I saw myself growing up to be either the starting point guard for the Knicks or the anchor of Weekend Update. I suppose I'm still waiting for one of those things to happen. I've never seriously considered living in LA. I've resented that city ever since I was rejected from the USC screenwriting program in 2001.
How long did it take to get your first paid gig in NYC after moving here? I don't remember. I mainly do "alternative" rooms, so I usually get paid in drink tickets.
Joe Mande already has proven himself to be someone to watch on the New York City comedy circuit -- earning himself "emerging comic" honors in 2008 at the ECNYs -- and now one of his new blogs has earned him a book deal!
His blog is a photo-based Tumblr called, LATFH (or "Look at this f***ing hipster"), with photos of said hipsters followed by Mande's snarky captions. He started it a couple of months ago, and he's already sold the book rights. Here's the Publishers Weekly blurb. Yep. That's it. Bet you're kicking yourself for not thinking of it first! The book will come out in spring 2010, or as Mande wrote to Gawker yesterday: "Unless people suddenly stop doing cocaine during the day, in which case it may take a bit longer." Mande had previously given an "anonymous" interview about the blog to fellow NYC comedian Max Silvestri when Silvestri was guest-blogging on Gawker in May.
Mande and comedy partner Noah Garfinkel also continue to co-host the popular "Totally J/K" showcase (currently monthly at the UCB, including tonight). They're also co-hosting this Thursday's "Comedy Below Canal" showcase at the 92YTribeca.
He couldn't say much more about the book, so I asked him how his hipster idea succeeded so much more quickly than his "Andy Rooney Game." We chatted briefly about this on Facebook. If you'd like to see that, it's after the jump...
Thanks to CC Insider for posting this earlier today, but why no IDs to share the love with all of the comedians pictured here with fake funny names? I can safely identify six of the stand-up comedians done up in cartoons for the upcoming new issue of MAD magazine. How many can you name? If you need some hints, look at the tags on this post.
Here's a trend I've noticed this summer in online comedy videos: Comedians inserting themselves into TV and movies. It's retro and new, all in one. Take the sketch group Summer of Tears, for instance, who imagine how characters really might react if one of their fellow high-school students was a werewolf, from the Michael J. Fox film, Teen Wolf. It's NSFW:
Joe Mande and Noah Garfinkel, meanwhile, have been making the rounds on TV talk shows. From Charlie Rose, to The McLaughlin Group. They were on The View last week. What's that? You don't remember seeing them? You must have missed this, then: