Tuesday, May 22, 2007

blogging about comedy.

a lot of comedians mention blogs during their set 'nowadays', especially if something silly or unusual happens; apparently people see shows and then tell the internet about them. that is pretty cool, because my friends are definitely tired of being told about the comedy shows i go to, and maybe the internet cares a little bit more. so here are some (brief (ya right) highlights of) kickass shows i saw recently:

robin ince: british comedian, effing brilliant. i saw him do a quick set last week to close out bobby tisdale and eugene mirman's excellent 'invite them up'. he was great, he has a very endearing stage presence; nerdy, moral, earnest and just a little bit mean. his hour long show was equally solid, he won the audience over very quickly with his silly asides and very sharp intellectualist 'philosophy'. i definitely left out of chelsea chanting "AH I WANT TO BE THAT GOOD!" however, i am an admitted sucker for british comedy, but all the british stand up i have seen in new york has been phenomenal; josie long and jon oliver are the other stand outs. josie has some of the most creative and hilarious bits i have ever seen, and she is adorable and sweet. so yeah, you can friend robin ince and josie long on myspace and check out their stuff. i don't believe jon oliver is on there (he wasn't the first time i looked ~6 months ago, maybe he is now), but you can see him almost every night on the daily show. sexy.

harold night: UCB mutha effers. i am at that theatre... a lot lately. tuesday used to be my free night during the week, but now i go and watch long-form improv for ~3 hours because i am a nerd. a lot of the 'younger' teams are coming into their own lately, i have been seeing some amazing harolds lately. two weeks ago, bastian and creep both had phenomenal shows, and last week T.R.U.C.K.S. brought the damn house down. i haven't been able to get the image of nate smith as a retarded sperm cell out of my head all week, i keep thinking of it while i am on the train and lol-ing to myself. 1985 and fwand are always amazing, they fight off for my favorite team most weeks. no 1985 last week, but they are on the line-up for tonight. improv is a very satisfying art form for the audience; the patterns that emerge feel 'right' to the brain, and it is almost always crazy and hilarious. something sexually inappropriate will take place at least once, and at least two members of fwand will almost break their faces, you will love it. best part is, it's 5 dollars whenever you arrive. if you get there at 8 (recommended, otherwise you will wait outside for 30 minutes), you get 5 harolds for the price of one! UCB doesn't really need my help in promoting, but it's what i have been doing lately. my friend seth herzog has a show on tuesdays at the slipper room which is fantastic, as well. check that out if you are in the mood for stand-up, also 5 dollars.

under st. mark's: oooh this one is pretty elite and *seeecret*. so there is a theatre space (read: basement with risers and a small stage, done in black) under the st. mark's theatre, located in all places, on st. marks (btwn 2nd and 1st avenues). on some friday nights (i think alternating ones, i don't know) independent improv team Rogue Elephant hosts some kick ass improv-ing. you will probably recognize the members of rogue elephant from a variety of other harold teams; silvija from the step-fathers, jim santangelli from 1985, gavin from 1985, nate smith from T.R.U.C.K.S., susannah from beverly hills, eddie from beverly hills, and tim curcio from beverly hills. the last time i went the AC was either broken, or its existence was a figment of my imagination, because it was pretty much exactly a billion degrees in there. but the space is really cool and fun, and the show was really great as well. apparently tantrum and fwand host improv at the space on the other friday nights, but i haven't been down to see that show... YET. great show, one of the most fun ones i have ever seen, for serious. however, i would delete the troupe of drunken 18 year olds from the experience, who were for some reason at an underground improv show, when they should have been home practicing for their mtv reality series debut, or whatever it is that priveledged 18 year olds in manhattan spend their time and youth pursuing.

quick bathroom review:

rififi's(/cinema classic): i saw robin ince at rififi's initially; there are three bathrooms at rififi's. the one in the front bar area is sometimes the only one available, and pretty small and cramped. there is actually more room than there used to be though, and a small, cloudy mirror above the sink. however it is usually clean and there is always soap and toilet paper, so it's fine with me, even if you have bend awkwardly to get your pants down. the two bathrooms in the back are much bigger and nicer, and i will use them for preference, although not during a show (usually) because the comedians will usually make fun of you. even the nice ones. and there have been horrifying bug-sightings in the back so i always keep a strong vigil when i am momentarily de-pantsed. sometimes the back bathrooms are not stocked with soap/tp though, so you end up waiting in line for 8 minutes and then realizing you have to go try and get the sole bartender's attention, no fun. but the bathrooms are all private, which is nice.

UCB: always packed. almost always, at least. there are two tiny stalls and a small sink area and there are quite often 8 people trying to wait in the bathroom instead of lining up outside. it sucks. the interns keep it well stocked with soap/tp and it is a fine bathroom, but definitely not a favorite. the toilet seat in the second stall slips every time you move and you feel like you are falling into the bowl. i do hate that.

under st. marks: the bathroom is back stage and you have to walk along the front of the stage to get back there. the door is sliding and it's pretty small, but comfortable and well stocked nonetheless. just weird to have to go backstage. it reminds me of every cabin bathroom i have ever been in, only much dirtier and weird water on the floor. my butt only touches the toilet paper i put on the seat though, i don't care about the rest. NUTS TO YOU, OCD!

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