Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

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Comedy & The Digital World

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It’s no surprise that we are digitally connected to every facet of life; whether you’re a student, an employee, a friend, or an entertainer–the digital age is influencing us all. The digital space is a dominant platform in the entertainment industry, especially for comedic endeavors, due to the accessibility of the online world. Nowadays, it is essential to use streaming websites in order to maximize viewing count and popularize content.   

Sketches, short films, and even stand-up are utilizing streaming websites like Netflix, Vimeo, Hulu and Youtube to their advantage. Youtube, for instance, has blown up in the past five years, and many young vloggers are basking in fame and glory due to the major influence of a mere computer screen. Youtuber personalities specializing in comedy include Shane Dawson, NigaHiga, Rhett & Link, Miranda Sings, and a plethora of other internet sensations. These personalities started with just a camcorder and wifi, and have now established their brand to the point of owning millions from ad revenue dependent on the engagement of their fan base. These YouTubers were lucky though…they started early; the competition is as rigorous as ever, and now Youtube is polluted with starving artists looking to make a living without putting in a lot of effort or having a lot of talent. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find a surfeit of low-quality Youtube videos consisting of youngins sitting behind a screen, talking aimlessly about their day, hoping that it drags into the public sphere and goes viral. Unfortunately, the chances of this happening are zero to none; however, when it does happen, there is major controversy surrounding this competitive career pursuit. Apps like Vine, Snapchat, and Instagram mass-produce teenage internet celebrities who drop out of school to pursue a career in Instagram modeling or 6-second video making. The problem is that the attention span of the youth of this generation is so short that these so-called “celebrities” get forgotten in months’ time.

This is why live comedy is of paramount importance in preserving the honesty and vulnerability that goes along with being a performer. Make a reservation and come on down to Stand Up NY to witness firsthand the magic of live performance. You won’t regret it.    

         

Musical Comedy

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If you’ve heard of Weird Al or The Lonely Island or Jack Black, then you’ve heard of musical comedy. The blending of music and comedy is not a new art form; in fact, it’s been around since the late 1800’s! Musical comedy has since evolved into a medium to showcase talent as well as an outlet for social commentary. Although some musical comedians are based off of pure silliness, like SNL’s The Lonely Island, comics like Bo Burnham or Reggie Watts use a concoction of wittiness and unique sounds to make clever statements on societal issues. For example, Burnham has a song titled “From God’s Perspectives” which, although is a way to emphasize Bo’s ironic pretentiousness, has a pretty symbolic meaning if you listen carefully. One line reads:

“Atheists, and Catholics, Jews and Hindus argue day and night over what they think is true

but no one entertains the thought that maybe God does not believe in you”

Wow, I just got the shivers! This line is controversial, edgy, deep, and really makes you think. As you can see, that is quite the contrast to say, Tenacious D’s “Low Hangin’ Fruit” or The Lonely Island’s “D–k In A Box.” But that is the beauty of musical comedy; one can either learn from it or just simply have a laugh from it. On the other hand, Weird Al popularized the concept of parodying a hit song. This is where the lyrics of a popular song are changed into themed, satirical lyrics that usually mock the original singer in some way. Weird Al is most known for his Michael Jackson parody, “Eat It” along with his Chamillionaire parody, “White & Nerdy.”

Whether you like musical comedy or not, come on down to Stand Up NY and enjoy some traditional stand-up comedy! Check out our line-ups here.  

Between Two Ferns: Fantastically Terrible Interviews

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When one thinks of Zach Galifianakis, the word dysfunctional comes to mind. He is a comedian, an actor, and a genius at playing idiot savants. As the host of celebrity talk show Between Two Ferns on Funny or Die, he asks all of the wrong questions in the clumsiest ways possible to a slew of high-profile guests. Being a comedy show, this is expected on Between Two Ferns and the show has attracted many celebrities, including president Obama and Brad Pitt. While it can be argued that Between Two Ferns is not a legitimate talk show, show producer Scott Aukerman says it is “95% improvised,” which is actually probably not that hard for Galifianakis to do.

 

Here are some of our favorite interviews.

 

Zach interviews Brad, feat. surprise guest – Even with the knowledge that Brad Pitt knows what he’s getting into, the cringe is strong with this one. Maybe he’s an amazing actor, maybe he’s actually completely put off by his interviewer. Anyways, episode rating: 10/10. Side note: RIP Brangelina.

 

  1. Galifianakis interviews M. Cera – In 2008, this episode premiered the show and was released featuring a highly uncomfortable Michael Cera. Warning: you will also be highly uncomfortable. Episode rating: 5 Stars.

 

Zachy G. interviews Charlizey T. – Initially, I had no idea whether Charlize Theron was trolling or flirting in this one but then it became clear she was definitely trolling. Episode rating: gold trophy #1.

 

Aside from these highlights, guests on Between Two Ferns have included Barack Obama, Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Bruce Willis, Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber, a bunch of Oscar nominees in 2013, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and multiple surprise guest appearances. The incompetence of Galifianakis as the host of Between Two Ferns is so well done that you will be hooked after watching one short clip. And after you binge watch every episode, get some fresh air with live comedy at Stand Up NY.

The Jew(ish) Show 08/07/2017

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Last night’s Jew(ish) Show was an absolute hit! What do you get when you mix a sold out audience with all-star comedians? One Mazel Tov of a good time! Whether it was Elon Gold talking about being with “his people” or Chloe Hilliard reflecting on what it was like to grow up in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood, the laughs never stopped! We were greeted with all kinds of guests from all over the world–Israel, New Jersey, North Carolina, California, Sweden and more. We were excited to have our friends from the New York Blueprint and the Carlebach Shul come for this fantastic show. Be on the lookout for the next Jew(ish) Show–you won’t want to miss it!

Week of July 31st Recap

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This week at Stand Up NY, we had a bunch of awesome comics stop by. There were many regulars, including Mike Yard, Ashley Morris, Chloe Hilliard, Marina Franklin, and Pat Brown. We also had a bunch of other comics stop by, including Michael Kosta from the Daily Show and Josh Rabinowitz, a writer for The Carmichael Show.

Our audiences come from all over the world. Whether you are from the five boroughs, from out of state, or out of the country, there is something for everyone at Stand Up NY. Tickets and lineups are on our website. Or, you can just pop in any night! Remember, Upper West Side residents don’t pay a cover; just let the manager know!

Stand Up NY Summer 2017 Interns

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Welcome to Stand Up NY! We are glad to have you here. In this quick video we, the interns, will introduce ourselves and show you the beautiful club.

The club has such a rich history. The stage of Stand Up NY has graced the presence of big names in the industry such as Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Judah Friedlander, etc..

We highly encourage that you come check out a show. Hope you enjoy the video!

Emoji Administration

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Looking for the perfect emoji is like backpacking through Europe in search of a newfound self–it’s more about the journey than it is the destination. I’ve spent probably a total of about twelve minutes arduously scrolling through each emoji category, struggling to find the perfect match to my current emotion. As I ponder the question of which emoji truly conveys my essence, I can’t help but wonder: are we controlling the emojis, or are they controlling us?

We live in a digital age, where the emoticon has evolved to its purest form. The emoji has swept the nation–every billboard, every commercial, every screen has displayed the cartoon expressions. After seeing the myriad of ads for The Emoji Movie for months now, I can’t help but wonder (again): is this solely a means to distract us from the government’s enigmatic actions? Is this so-called “dream cast” just a ploy to sever the public’s intellect from political activity? Just think about it…after the most recent iPhone update, over one-hundred emojis have been added to the archive. Now there are even more hand gestures, and even more fast food items; I’ve spent a good chunk of my life identifying these new emojis, and I’m sure I’m not the only one!  There are so many unanswered questions, yet the only thing I’m worried about is which emoji I should send to my best friend Shiela next. Would she rather I send the praise hands or the salsa dancer?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the government is onto something and we should always be aware of our surroundings. Maybe before sending out the heart eyes, look over your shoulder; before sending out the spooky ghost, go in a secluded area; before sending out the moon-side-eyeing, make sure it’s light outside. Maybe if we all send the microphone emoji at the same time, then we will be heard.  

Non-Comedians Doing Stand Up

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It’s not uncommon for celebrities to dabble in fields other than what they’re known for. Many of us still remember the 1991 cinematic masterpiece “Cool As Ice,” rapper Vanilla Ice’s first and last attempt at movie stardom. And who could forget Shaquille O’Neal’s brief foray into the world of hip-hop, with his debut album “Shaq Diesel”? Some celebrities have had more success in branching out, like Jennifer Lopez who has maintained a steady flow of top 40 hits and successful movies, and Donald Glover, with triple-careers in acting, stand-up comedy, and as rapper Childish Gambino. Regardless of their success, people in the public eye have occasionally switched it up, and the results have generally been either cringe-worthy or admirable depending on who was doing what.

Whether you want to applaud them or cringe at them, here’s a bunch of people (who aren’t known primarily for doing stand-up) doing stand-up comedy.

In 2014, professional basketball player Blake Griffin did an open mic at The Laugh Factory in L.A., reciting basketball-themed poetry from a notebook to an entertained audience. Watching the set, it’s easy to think his material is not on par with professional comedians because, well, he’s a basketball player. But with that in mind, he seems to be having fun and seeing Blake Griffin at an open mic would certainly be entertaining to a live audience. He also did a set at a club in Montreal- no poetry this time.

Kellyanne Conway did a set for charity in Washington D.C. I repeat, in 1998 Kellyanne Conway did stand up, and there is video footage of it. There’s not much else I can say about this, except that she sings in it too. I commend you if you can make it all the way to “The Pundit Blues.”

John Mayer, of highly acclaimed musical fame and “10 Douchiest Celebrities” list of the 2000s, also did a set at the Laugh Factory. It’s a more serious attempt than Blake Griffin’s poetry, but whether that makes it better or worse depends on what the viewer is expecting. Summary of the video: it’s John Mayer, and it’s about Dateline’s “To Catch A Predator.”

Unfortunately for celebrities, the criticism is much harsher due to the audience assuming they would have the same expertise with their new hobbies as they do with their day jobs. On the other hand, they are able to bank on their notoriety and entertain people purely based on their publicity. In the end, it may not matter so much what jokes the celebrity is telling, but whether his or her public persona closer to that of Kellyanne Conway or Blake Griffin.

What Inspires Comedians?

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It’s a tough thing, trying to think of something that is truly worth sharing. Comedians, in standup or otherwise, have to come up with words and actions that when combined result in laughter on a regular basis. The process that goes into this involves a lot of thinking, but even before that, the comedian has to find something worth thinking about. Of course, this depends on what the individual finds interesting and is as variable as the many different comedians out there.

The legendary comedian George Carlin who was famous for his incisive breakdowns of social and political happenings attested to “leaving the media on all day” as a way to let his mind subconsciously take in new material. Whether it was by leaving on the radio and TV or skimming through the newspaper, he maintained a passive yet constant focus on cultural trends that no doubt aided in his poignant observational comedy. Carlin’s method works for comedians trying to make a statement on the world around them.

On the other end of the spectrum is Eric Andre of The Eric Andre Show, which follows the late night interview show format if it was run by an insane person on a variety of psychedelic drugs. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, he talks about a big inspiration for the show coming from this obscure video of a live public access show where a man is running on a treadmill, blending drinks, painting, and taking calls from viewers all at the same time. If you’ve seen the Eric Andre Show the correlation will be clear. Seeking out the absurd and obscure, understanding the personalities behind inexplicable behavior- these are inspirations for comics trying to not make any sense.

Many comics use personal experiences in their TV shows or stand-up routines. This is highly evident in comedian Marc Maron’s show “Maron,” his podcast “WTF with Marc Maron,” and his stand-up material. In his stand-up and podcast, Maron has talked openly about having been addicted to various drugs, and drug addiction is a major theme in the now-sober comedian’s TV show about his life. Personal experiences are a part of most, if not all comedians’ routines, however, Maron’s material is especially fixated on his personal mishaps, to the point that he appears to be playing himself as a character. Based on his act, it seems that taking inspiration from personal qualities and experiences requires objectivity about one’s own personality, and that can be tough.

While some comedians draw inspiration from specific areas, others draw from multiple dimensions and combine them to create unique routines. This makes sense- we all experience widespread social issues, absurd occurrences, and personal problems, and make sense of them with our individual minds. The important part is paying attention to these things.