One thing they do that few others do is perform together, yet separately, onstage. If you've caught it live, it's something to behold. The duo put on show called The Jory Hour at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood. If you haven't seen it before, then now you can, thanks to Team Coco, who booked Dore and Scovel on Conan last night.
I advise watching it at least three or four times: Once to soak it all in, one time each focusing just on Dore or Scovel, and then once more to marvel at it again.
If you're a stand-up comedian and want to appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, then it certainly helps to be a little bit different and be showcasing your differences as a popular fixture in New York City's indie comedy scene.
At least that's the current booking trend in 30 Rock's Studio 6B, and Rory Scovel is no exception to that rule. You've read about Scovel on this site before. Scovel is the kind of comedian who is not afraid to play with and flip an audience's expectations of him, sometimes doing full sets in a character without ever acknowledging he is in character. His performance from last night on Late Night is a bit more traditional, if anything Scovel does is traditional stand-up.
What do you do when you have racked up TV credits, performed at the prestigious comedy festivals and contests around North America, and still haven't broken through to the next level of your career as a stand-up comedian?
If you're Nate Bargatze, Jarrod Harris, Sean Patton and Rory Scovel, you rent a van, get a filmmaker, book a tour and make a documentary about their run through the South and up the East Coast. They're calling it "3 Weeks in September," and themselves The Southern Comedy Quartet.
Here's a video promo Scovel shot with Bargatze in the latter's hometown of Nashville, Tenn., where they met up over Labor Day weekend to kick off the tour. Roll the clip!
The folks at Comix aren't paying me for this (note to self: get comedy clubs to pay me for this), but they've been churning out the customized video promos in the last half of this year to sell you, me and anyone else on the Internet about their live comedy shows in NYC's Meatpacking District. Just check out ComixNY's YouTube channel and see for yourself. Or look at this short video that Rory Scovel and Sean Patton came up with, directed by the club's Carol Hartsell, for their upcoming show in early January. Roll it!
When I watch it, I like to imagine what Mo'Nique must be thinking in the background. Now that's precious.
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.
Today I introduce you to Rory Scovel, who I first read about when he entered Seattle's comedy competition in 2006 and made it to the finals with his unique set choices. This summer, he appeared at Montreal's Just For Laughs as a New Face, and this fall, he is a finalist in New York's Funniest Stand-Up contest (finals to be held Nov. 3 as part of the New York Comedy Festival). Photo of Scovel by Mindy Tucker.
Name: Rory Scovel
Arrival date: March 1, 2007
Arrived from: Washington, D.C.
When and where did you start performing comedy? March of 2004 in Washington, D.C.
What was your best credit before moving here? Live at Gotham on Comedy Central taped right when I moved up.
Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? I moved to NYC because I grew up on the East Coast. I lived in Greenville, SC, then Spartanburg, SC, then Washington, D.C. It only made sense to keep moving north to NYC. I've always wanted to live here and be a part of the entertainment universe that NYC is. I love everything about this place in and out of performance. NYC has so much character and I felt I would miss ever being here if I went to L.A. first. I think NYC is also a great place to really sharpen your skills as a stand-up comedian and meet lots of comics that are really doing great things with their careers.
How long did it take to get your first paid gig in NYC after moving here? Two months. I emceed a night at the HA Club, then didn't.
Advancing from last night's first semifinal of the 2009 New York's Funniest Stand-Up contest, please congratulate (in alphabetical order): Myq Kaplan, Gerald Kelly, Joe List, Matt McCarthy and Rory Scovel. They move on to the contest finals on Nov. 3 at Carolines, part of the New York Comedy Festival.
Eliminated in the semis: Josh Accardo, Vince August, Gina Brillon, Joey Gay, Jason Good, Eric Reynolds, Erik Rivera, Yamaneika Saunders, Dan Soder, Josh Spier and Reese Waters.
The Bentzen Ball opened its inaugural comedy festival in our nation's capital last night, and The Comic's Comic was there for what seemed like a flash (because I was only there for about as many hours as I actually spent on the bus back and forth between NYC and DC from yesterday afternoon to this morning). But there I was in the shadows alongside Kyle Kinane, enjoying Rory Scovel's "country bumpkin" act during the Patton Oswalt and Friends show that served as the ball's opening gala at DC's Lincoln Theatre. Did I say country bumpkin? Yes, I did.
I'm fairly sure few people in the audience knew what kind of a show they were getting from Scovel, who joked about needing to smoke pot to enjoy this summer's rash of 3D animated movies, about fulfilling the WWJD motto, and at one point, telling the audience: "This is like Christmas, but I'm eating it!" Oswalt may have been the big draw for opening night -- and certainly did his part closing with a 50-minute set that touched upon routines from his latest CD/DVD, as well as a few memories about his start in stand-up in D.C. clubs, plus a rant about the Christmas song, "Christmas Shoes." He also encouraged the crowd to check out many of the not-so "famous" comedians performing at this weekend's fest. Not that they had to go very far, for they got treated to sets from Kinane (he received prolonged spontaneous applause after his performance, which closed with an adventure in a Chicago public bathroom -- so no need for him to be consoled by one of the festival's organizers, Andy Wood, afterward (as pictured!)), Ian Edwards (who provoked them into rethinking their attitudes on race and sex, and even made them gasp during his closer), and sets by the more famous acts of Todd Barry and Mary Lynn Rasjkub, and host/curator Tig Notaro. For a full set of photos from last night, check out Dakota Fine's full collection courtesy of fest organizer Brightest Young Things.
I also checked out the late show at the Bohemian Caverns, which has a basement set up to look like a cave. Nice touch? Maybe, but the stage lighting was a bit off, and the upstairs had turned into a dance club, factors that made it tough for many of the performers Thursday night -- although Seth Herzog and Morgan Murphy both seemed to get the crowd's attention in a good way. The local comedians, meanwhile, were showcasing over at HR 57, and there was an open mic advertised at Ben's Chili Bowl, which I don't remember seeing when Barry, Herzog, Reggie Watts and I went over there to sample the local institution's Chili Half-Smoke (online, the menu says it's named after Bill Cosby!).
Oh, did I mention that the Question Mark Suit Guy (informercial guy Matthew Lesko) was there, opening the festivities with a horrible comedy sketch that he and DC Councilman Jim Graham planned out? You can see that and more in this short highlight reel I put together from my brief sojourn to DC:
Are these the names you were looking for? The 2009 Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival presents the "New Faces" for the industry to discover, fawn over and scrutinize. It looks to be a very strong class, just from the faces and names I already have come to discover, fawn over and scrutinize right here on The Comic's Comic.
So here they are! The New Faces perform in two groups tonight, Wednesday and Thursday -- this year at the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire (much closer to the rest of the action than the far-out Kola Note). Send your wishes of well to the following comedians...photos and links after the jump!