It's fairly well accepted that to be a great comedian, you need to get onstage as much as possible. Perform every night, multiple times if you can, to as many kinds of audiences. Learn what works, what's funny, how to adapt to situations. I bring all of this up today because last night's edition of Nightline on ABC opened with a feature on talented people and why they're talented. They talk about singers, musicians and athletes. It's something worth watching for comedians and bloggers alike. Which reminds me. Time to get us all back in the loop with the latest headlines and subplots in the comedy world:
Comedy Central will tape its fourth season of Live at Gotham in August. That's good news, not just for comedy fans who want to see some new stand-up comedians, but also, and perhaps more importantly, for the up-and-coming performers getting their first Comedy Central credits. Would you like to know who these comics are? Would you like to see the tapings live and for free? If you're going to be in New York City during the tapings (Aug. 6-9, 2009), then that's a possibility.
From my friends in comedy blogging at Comedy Central Insider, here are the instructions to get tickets to see Live at Gotham live in person:
PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST LIVE IN THE NYC AREA AND BE 21 YEARS OR OLDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TICKETS. There will be no drink minimum at the club that night (drinks are available for purchase during the show) and as always tickets are complimentary for this event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information in both the subject line and body of your email: 1) GOTHAM, 2) Your full name, 3) Your email address, 4) Your phone number(s), 5) Which show or shows you can attend. If you can attend any of the shows put "ANY SHOW," 6) Note that you can get a maxmium of 2 tickets. Example: GOTHAM/Chris Rockemail@example.com/(212) 555-1212 /ANY SHOW/2 tickets. Also note that you cannot leave your seat during the taping, which should last about two hours. You'll be contacted via email if your request is accepted.
But how do you know which show you'll want to be at. Here's a handy guide. Keep in mind that the names are in alphabetical order per show, and that you may recognize a few names more than others. Comedy Central has a network policy (written or unwritten) that you have to do Live at Gotham (or before that, Premium Blend) before you can do their half-hour Comedy Central Presents and then an hour special, even if you may have the clout and material to do so.
Here are some more clips from the Comedy Central, this time of Mr. Geoff Tate (the comedian, not the other guy), and his recent appearance on the Live at Gotham program...I promise I have something to say soon enough. Until then, enjoy!
Yes, needing to play ketchup, so to speak, so here you go with some clips of Raj Desai on last weekend's Live at Gotham:
Bengt Washburn's set for Live at Gotham seemed odd because it focused so much on his Mormon upbringing, but here, in this outtake, we can see he has other topics to explore:
Here are some clips from Erin Judge on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham.
First an outtake:
And here is some footage that made it on the TV:
Hannibal Buress helped open up for Arj Barker last weekend at Comix, and he had some great jokes about the magic of the Courier font, imagining Jesus on weed, buying white babies, and wondering whether you can have tribulations without trials, or pillaging wihout raping? Of couse, he closed with thoughts about kicking a pigeon, and Barker played into his merch plea with his own merch talk, which ended up helping them both after the show. You can tell because Hannibal is smiling in this picture with me, taken by Mindy Tucker. Either that, or I'm that funny. Could be the latter.
After the jump, two clips from Hannibal's recent turn on Live at Gotham.
Here is another outtake from last week's Live at Gotham, it's Owen Benjamin!
Here is an outtake from last week's Live at Gotham that features Mary Mack. And no, stop thinking she's someone else. She's Mary Mack. That's her real voice. And this is how she reflects on visiting New York City...
Hey comedy fans, before you start weekends, know that Comedy Central has a new Live at Gotham to share with you tonight at 10 p.m. (also 3 a.m.), with host Daniel Tosh, Matt Braunger, Hannibal Buress, Owen Benjamin, Mary Mack, Nigel Lawrence and Adam Devine. The network also replays Tosh's one-hour special beforehand at 9 p.m. This taping was the spring finale, and all of the lighting equipment was so fried that it forced Braunger to have to retell his opening bit several times. Here is a preview clip from him, with more videos to come from everyone after the show airs. Enjoy!
So, while in Montreal, I completely forgot to set my DVR to record last Friday's edition of Live at Gotham. Sorry! So I, like you, must make do with Internet videos. Here are two routines from Chelsea Peretti that she performed as part of the New Faces in Montreal at Just For Laughs. The other stand-ups from this episode (Bob Biggerstaff, Hari Kondabolu, Mike DeStefano, Hugh Moore and Ryan Sickler) get clips, too, after the jump. Enjoy!
When I saw Lucas Molandes last year in Montreal, he struck me as very smart and clever writer and teller of jokes. Seeing him on my TV on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham did not change my opinion of the young man. You wouldn't think of him as a guy who dropped out of school, would you? And yet, here is a clip:
A year ago, Matt McCarthy was debuting industry-wise as a New Face in Montreal. These days, you can catch McCarthy literally tearing into a box of cereal in a nationwide TV commercial for breakfast at McDonald's. As a McCarthy myself, I made sure to corner this comedian downstairs at Gotham Comedy Club this spring in the minutes before he headed upstairs to perform for Comedy Central's Live at Gotham. Here is that little snippet, which also features cameos from cohorts TJ Miller and Vince Averill:
After his set, us McCarthys talked about how in his opening bit, Comedy Central wanted him to change a line from "choke her to death" to "murder her to death," which actually, is much funnier. His set had some solid energy and good stage presence (check out his facial expressions!), which in turn translated into healthy laughs. After the jump, an unaired portion of Matt McCarthy's Gotham set...
Like many stand-up comedians in this day and age, Na'im Lynn is working his way up the industry ladder, appearing as a new face in Aspen at the late, great, U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, then competing in last year's Comedy Central Open Mic Fights, to this weekend's appearance on Live at Gotham. What's next for Lynn? Stay tuned. He'll be taping BET's Comic View on July 13. This clip will get you acquainted with Lynn in the meantime.
The Comedy Central describes Vince Averill as a New York City comedian who has himself been described as smart and relatable. His opening joke on the Live at Gotham follows suit, questioning how you could/would/should react should you meet someone from an online date and learn that date is your mother. I'll let you enjoy the rest of that bit live and in the person. Here is a bit that didn't appear on the TV, but is online and therefore here to share with you...
As I mentioned this spring, part of the secret to Joe List's charm is his onstage nervousness, which goes against the grain of stand-up comedy in that normally, audiences are less likely to laugh when they sense the stand-up is nervous. But then you have a guy like List, who made his TV debut on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham last night. We've got two clips from that taping to share with you, but first, here was my interview with List right after he got offstage that night at Gotham:
You know Variety just named TJ Miller as one of its 10 comics to watch in 2008, and then I referenced a joke Miller has about ketchup bottles? Well, you are in luck, my fine readers, because Miller is featured on tonight's edition of Live at Gotham on Comedy Central. And here is the bit I'm talking about. Do you agree with me or with Miller? I won't be upset if you take his side. After all, "I live in a fanciful world where logic doesn't exist!" Also, this is a great time to remind you that I was at this very TV taping this spring and have exclusive behind-the-scenes video and info from this episode's comedians, including Matt McCarthy, Joe List, Na'im Lynn, Vince Averill and Lucas Molandes. More videos forthcoming later tonight. The show itself airs at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.
Mike Vecchione has taught in the schools and survived to tell about it, in jokes and such. He was on Live at Gotham over the weekend, and something tells me you'll be seeing more of him in other places soon enough...he gets an applause break on his opening routine on being a wrestler! And Jesus jokes! There are a couple of moments in which you see a little bit of influence from hanging around and performing with a comedian whose name rhymes with Tave Adell. I won't tell you which moments those are. Happy hunting!