Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

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Comedians Playing Dramatic Roles

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Popular comedians are often seen in comedic movies and TV shows, but every so often we’ll see one star in a dramatic role. It may seem surprising at first, but it doesn’t take much to realize that many comedians are dealing with the same dramatic themes in their humor as are found in serious movies.

 

Kristen Wiig in Skeleton Twins

Kristen Wiig became popular as a prominent cast member of Saturday Night Live and went on to star in the hit comedy Bridesmaids. She also had smaller supporting roles in movies like Knocked Up, Semi-Pro, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, all comedies. When Wiig did The Skeleton Twins with fellow SNL alum Bill Hader, it was a surprising but well-done turn as they both pulled off dramatic acting like seasoned pros.

 

Steve Carell in Little Miss Sunshine

Since 2006 when Little Miss Sunshine came out, Steve Carell has starred in multiple dramatic movies like Foxcatcher and The Way, Way Back. However, many people remember Carell’s role as the suicidal Uncle Frank to be his first dramatic breakthrough, as up to that point his big credits had been from The Daily Show, The Office, and movies like Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old-Virgin. It shows that as much as Steve Carell can bring the laughs, he can also bring the crushing sadness of a suicidal gay Proustian scholar rejected by love.

 

Mo’Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Before Precious, Mo’Nique was popular mainly for her stand-up and role in TV show “The Parkers.” Her portrayal of the cruel and abusive Mary Lee Johnston, mother of Precious, earned her an Academy Award and credit for being able to imbibe even the most horrible of characters with a level of humanity.

 

Sarah Silverman in I Smile Back

Sarah Silverman is widely known for her stand-up comedy and has had a slew of supporting comedy roles, which is perhaps what makes her role in I Smile Back even more hard-hitting. She plays a suburban wife with a seemingly good life, but is dealing with mental health issues and destructive behavior. Silverman herself has said that the role took a lot for her emotionally, and watching the movie, one can see why.

 

Much of comedy draws from the same material as dramatic stories. If you’d like to see how it works, check out a show at Stand Up NY.

Satirical News on the Web

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Looking for a solid, low-commitment laugh and to avoid the real news at the same time? Satirical websites are great for two things: you don’t have to get through eleven seasons of episodes to feel satisfied, and the funny ones are really funny (if satire’s your thing). To be clear, this is not fake news in the pretending-to-be-actual-journalism-and-tricking-you-with-malicious-intent sense, but rather the it’s-a-joke-and-hopefully-you-recognize-that sense.

 

The Onion

You’ve heard of it. America’s Finest News Source churns out witty and humorous and funny and comedic and even humorous comedy news spoof material. It started out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has bloomed into a beautiful and occasionally controversial news satire media company. It can be both smart and intentionally stupid and is a front-runner in the satirical news game.

 

The Daily Mash

Fancy a crumpet with your satirical bangers and mash? The Daily Mash, which sounds a lot like the Daily Mail, is a satirical news source from across the pond. It’s similar to The Onion, but it also has an advice column titled Agony aunt, and even a dating network titled Daily Mash Dates, although I’m not sure how legitimate that is. Check it out, and maybe make a fun comparison list of which of the two most culturally similar countries in the world, the U.K. and the U.S., is funnier. Fun!

 

Clickhole

There’s nothing like it. Clickhole’s voice is so unique and difficult to nail that it’s funny simply due to it reading like utter nonsense sometimes. The website is a parody of the Internet, especially the click-bait articles that populate the bottom of screens and the inane, often ridiculously subjective viral media that seems to dominate so much of the web. It churns out viral articles that you’ve probably seen on Facebook or somewhere else, but have at the website!

 

McSweeney’s

This one is so niche, it might just be satirizing one specific Brooklyn book store/human charcuterie board, and I am here for it. The aesthetic is its aesthetic, and reading McSweeney’s is like getting lost while walking on a straight cobblestoned path to a millinery where a whimsical little shopkeeper pins on you a button with a fun little phrase, for free. Neato!

 

The Borowitz Report

The Borowitz Report is not a standalone website, but rather a subset of the New Yorker, in which the magazine’s resident satirist Andy Borowitz writes New Yorker-level articles that are specifically “not the news.” It’s not as prolific as the other sites, but each article is packed with some real good funnies. Reading the Borowitz Report is not only entertaining but at the end of each article, you get to do the kind of haughty, all-knowing laugh that until recently was reserved only for first class customers about to send back their crap quality complimentary champagne.

The Only Way to Have an Opinion

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When it comes to people, places, and things, there can only be two extremely opposing views and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. Sometimes, my opinions are so powerful and unsupported by fact that I barely have the mental strength left to summon the words that would describe my indescribable emotions towards these issues, and I am left a screaming, sweaty mess that sputters out vague syllables in an attempt to piece together a sentence.

So to avoid another trip to the hospital being mistakenly treated for stroke, I created a couple fill-in-the-blank phrases to immediately voice each little gemstone that pops into my mind about large groups of people I have generalized using one personal experience, two subjective ideas, three superficial details, and four more things that are definitely not facts. Try them out! All ________ are ________, I hate it when _______ always _______, and every time _______s _______ , I want to ______ my ______.

I have found that these statements work for both sides of The Issues, but only one of those sides (my side) is the correct side. The reason I love having my Fancy Fill-Ins at the ready is that last week I only popped seven blood vessels instead of the usual thirteen. In conclusion, the earth is flat, there are seven tgszdsf for every hfbj, and I have been constipated for 80,000 years.

 

This article is sponsored by Middle Earth, The Eightfold Path, and People of Various Heights.

Drugs & Comedy

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When you think of hard drugs influencing any type of art form, rock ‘n’ roll comes to mind. It is a necessity for stand up comedians to be somewhat coherent (aka sober) during their set, otherwise, a live train wreck may ensue. Of course, many comedians drink a little or even smoke a little before going on stage, but psychedelics, for example, don’t usually mix well with live comedy. To back up this claim, Vice directed a 12-minute episode showing the outcome of taking acid and then going up on stage to tell jokes. The episode takes place in London, and long story short: Josh the comedian does not kill at the open mic that night. He does about thirty seconds of nervous rambling, and can’t seem to make any eye contact with the disapproving crowd. Although he didn’t get the response he was hoping for, Josh explains that he felt “invincible” and “very very happy” for having completed a challenging task while simultaneously tripping on acid.

A lot of comedians, however, talk about their psychedelic trips on stage due to the absurdity and entertaining aspect of the stories. For example, comedian and podcaster Duncan Trussell tells a 15-minute story on Comedy Central about buying a sheet of acid at a Grateful Dead concert when he was seventeen years old. Another comedian, Doug Benson, built a career out of his heavy marijuana consumption, and even stars in the documentary “Super High Me.” Additionally, in the new Showtime series, I’m Dying Up Here, heroin addiction is a common theme throughout the plot, which takes place in the 70’s. Thankfully, this trend has simmered down and hard drugs are not typically associated with stand up comedy today.

If you’re looking to see funny and coherent comedians, stop on by to Stand Up NY for a great show! Please come sober!

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!