Tell Your Friends! may be just a weekly show that attracts popular comedians and musicians in the basement of a bar in New York City's Lower East Side, but as a film, it's more of a living document about the city's independent (you say alternative, I say indie: Alternative! Indie! Alternative! Indie!) comedy scene as a whole.
Liam McEneaney, who puts on TYF! each Tuesday beneath Lolita, got comedian Victor Varnado to direct a concert and documentary footage that makes up Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film -- with performances by Reggie Watts, Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal, Christian Finnegan, Leo Allen, Rob Paravonian, Liam McEneaney, music by A Brief View of the Hudson, and interviews with Janeane Garofalo, Jim Gaffigan, Colin Quinn, Marc Maron, Paul F. Tompkins, Eddie Brill, Wyatt Cenac, Hannibal Buress and Kumail Nanjiani. Here's the first trailer.
Would you like to see the movie? Would you like to see it before everyone else? There's a sneak preview screening on Feb. 15, 2011, and there is a pair of seats waiting for you and your friend. For this ticket giveaway, email TYFScreening@gmail.com, and put "The Comic's Comic" in the subject heading. Good luck!
When I first heard that Liam McEneaney planned to make a concert film of "Tell Your Friends," I wondered how you could get a production crew and an audience together in the basement of Lolita to even do such a thing. Of course, my imagination is not always our reality, and in reality, McEneaney is making a movie that's about much more than just his long-running Monday night show in the Lower East Side. As he told me the other night, he aims to show how the basement-style alt-comedians of New York City and elsewhere have risen up to become mainstream stars that people across the country know and love. As he is telling his friends: "This movie will be based on a true story - that of a plucky little show that started in a bar basement and, like the Tree That Grows In Brooklyn, sprouted through the concrete cracks of the NYC alt.comedy scene, into a mighty oak that's seen some of the country's best comedians, writers, and musicians perform with us."
And Tell Your Friends! A Comedy Concert Film, to be directed by Victor Varnado (who just made and sold his own stand-up documentary, The Awkward Comedy Show), will take place June 22 at in the more spacious venue of The Bell House in Brooklyn.
McEneaney said he is filming interviews with Jim Gaffigan, Janeane Garofalo and other national headliners who, when they're not on the road, continue to work out new material in basements and alternative venues. He said he'd like his film to be the Woodstock or The Last Waltz of documentaries about the indie comedy scene.
The June 22 shows (6:30 and 9 p.m.) will include performances by Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler, Reggie Watts, Christian Finnegan, Rob Paravonian, Leo Allen and music from TYF regulars A Brief View of the Hudson.
Would you like to be in the audience for the filming? McEneaney may have a pair of tickets to the 6:30 p.m. show for you! To be eligible, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, comedy fans. Did you know that Liam McEneaney is back from his big European expedition and has resumed his great free Monday night showcase, Tell Your Friends? You're acting like you've forgotten. This most recent Monday, 12 of us made it down to the basement of Lolita bar in the Lower East Side, where we got to witness John Oliver's extended role-playing session with himself as his father, Carla Rhodes and her Vaudevillian ventriloquism, Dave Hill unleash a new multi-pronged comedy attack, and Tony Camin manage to keep that intimate vibe laughing like 12 dozen audience members had filled that basement.
As much fun as it was seeing John Oliver enjoy rousing success two weeks ago in his first Comedy Central taping, it was even more thrilling to watch him figuratively throw out his joke book and start over again. Which is part of the allure of this weekly basement showcase. So, go on. Tell your friends about Tell Your Friends. It's back.