Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

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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.

Dark Humor

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Dark humor is when you tell jokes with the lights off. Just kidding. Dark humor comes in many different forms; dark topics can range from dead babies to mental illness…but mostly dead babies. A lot of people may find dark material offensive and controversial, however, it’s important to note that the comedian probably has experience with what they’re talking about. Let’s just hope it’s about dead babies, though. Dark humor is not using disrespectful slurs, but rather making light of sensitive topics, like depression and sometimes suicide. And sometimes dead babies.

In Neal Brennan’s newest Netflix special, “3 Mics,” he talks about his personal struggle with depression in one-third of his material. Although he also tells one liners and funny stories, his dark material hits home for a lot of people, and his vulnerability creates a special bond with the audience. Brennan’s eclectic stand-up sets him apart from other comics is that he delves into such honest and personal topics instead of merely scraping the surface. Dark humor is a popular tactic that comedians utilize to connect with the public, and potentially establish a fan base from these dark commonalities.    

Although dark humor can tap into a genuine space that may be difficult for the comedian to channel, this type of humor can also be built on pure silliness. Anthony Jeselnik, for example,  uses dark subject matters as a means to tap into the absurd realm of comedy. Jeselnik has created a wacky facade based off of his blend of arrogance with highly insulting and offensive comments; unfortunately, this character makes him the perfect candidate susceptible to negative feedback. Luckily, his perfectly crafted dead baby jokes make up for that. Jeselnik uses his twitter as a public vessel for his dark sarcasm and pretentious nature. I’m sure this is solely a strategic character and doesn’t actually reflect his true self. But you never know with comedians.
Whether you’re into dark or light humor–Stand Up NY’s got it! Make a reservation today and find out what you like.

Alternative Comedy

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Alternative comedy is essentially the hipster genre of comedy (in a good way). Basically, if alt comedy was a person, they’d wear skinny jeans and glasses without lenses (in a good way). Alternative comedians are not considered mainstream and stray away from the standard template of writing and performing jokes. Some well-known alt comics include Sarah Silverman, Bo Burnham, Marc Maron, Demetri Martin, Kate Berlant, Patton Oswalt and Janeane Garofalo. These comedians don’t typically perform in the big clubs, and rather work on their craft in smaller, more intimate rooms. These quirky comedians sometimes get hate for their vision, but they seem to be doing just fine in the comedy community.

One example of an alt comic is Demetri Martin. Martin is arguably one of the most famous comedians in the alt scene. His witty one-liners and coy delivery diverge from the typical stand-up routine. Instead of seeing him at clubs like The Comedy Cellar or The Hollywood Improv, you’d probably see him at UCB or even maybe the basement of a karaoke bar. Although these places may be lesser known, it doesn’t make him any less of a comedic genius. In fact, he’s got a couple specials out, and a movie!

Another example of a comedian/musician who veers from traditional stand up is Bo Burnham. Burnham puts a theatrical twist on alternative comedy; with his clever songs and absurd act-outs, Burnham’s creativity transforms into a contagious energy that impresses the audience. What’s even more remarkable is that he started his career on Youtube as a mere 16-year-old! Many of his punchlines comment on social issues and can be perceived as controversial at times. Despite his digression from standard jokes, his songs, poems, and performance, in general, give him a unique perspective on otherwise mundane subjects.
You can see all sorts of comedic genres at Stand Up NY–make a reservation today!

The Statues On The Upper West Side Are Giving Me Nightmares

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I am a total advocate for artistic expression, but these statues frankly scare the bejesus out of me. Whose idea was it to have 1,200-pound giant infants on most populous intersections of the Upper West Side? That is the last thing I want to see when I take my sweaty climb from the bowels of the subway is a round metal humanoid staring at me. I’d now like to show you a few pictures of the statues so you understand my fear.

    
This one hits close to home with me. I see this guy every time I come to work here at Stand Up NY. First of all, the “Sitter with Head in Hands” looks depressed. And that means, at any moment, he can snap. Do you understand the chaos that would ensue if he converted his depression is to anger? That’s the normal progression for any sad person, so this one is clearly a ticking time bomb.


There is something ominous about the whole “two together” positioning. What is crucial to understand about this picture is that we now know that these metal humanoids can produce offspring. Not only are the adults fully able and gigantic, but their children are about twice the height and 5 times the girth of an average human. This gives them twice the man power in an Armageddon style fight for humanity. Do you now see why this keeps me up at night?

This one is just plain startling. Are they trying to seduce me??? If so, it’s not working. I WILL NOT BE AROUSED. Anyways, if this is a tactic that they are trying to employ to catch us off guard, then we must be vigilant. And don’t you dare think about fornicating with them. The last thing we need is a metal-human hybrid species walking amongst us.


WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE??? They have animals too?? I thought we had enough on our plate as it is, but you’re telling me that they have an entire cavalry of dinosaurs? That’s it. I’m throwing in the towel. We don’t have a chance.

So, you probably see my concern now.  Some of you may think these figures are round and cute but don’t be fooled. They destroy the human race in my nightmares on most nights.

9 Things You Should Do Before Leaving Your Home in the Morning

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It’s 7 A.M.: birds are chirping, the sun is at its gentlest, and you are hungover from last night slowly acclimating to the waking state brought on by your alarm. You lie in bed, dreading your commute. This morning will require an extended yoga session and soothing ocean sounds- shit! It’s already 7:40! Here are 9 things you need to do RIGHT NOW if you want to survive the rest of your day.

  1. Get out of bed

What are you doing? Get out!

  1. Grab some coffee

It’s too late to make liquid coffee! Just shove a fistful of coffee grounds into your mouth and get moving!

  1. Assess whether you are clothed

You are not clothed.

  1. Put clothing on yourself

I’m sorry, do you exist in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada? You donot? Then just stick your arms                          through some armholes and GET OUTTA THERE!

  1. Collect your belongings

Phone! Keys! Car keys! Jacket! It’s 110°, you don’t need a jacket! Toss that thing out of the window, there’s no            time to think!!!!!!

  1. Get in your vehicle

Okay, you’re in the car about to leave. You can calm down now.

  1. Make sure you have everything

Phone ✓ wallet ✓ keys ✓ and we’re good to g- WHERE ARE YOUR PANTS.

  1. Go back and put on some pants

Self-explanatory, I do not understand why you are like this. What happened to you?

  1. Get in your vehicle and drive away

Forgot something? It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. Just- as long as you can’t get arrested for public                        indecency, you should be good to go.

An hour later, you make it to your job as a traffic-stop mechanic an hour late. It’s a mess. Multiple car accidents occur, and you are sued millions of dollars for every single one. You need a drink. You go to Stand Up NY and laugh away the pain and the crushing debt; at least that’s how it should be. Your life may be ruined, but for the first time in a long time, you feel sane again. Come to Stand Up NY and feel sane again.

Blanking

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“Uh, and then- uh, the driver says-“ Shit. What did the driver say?

You can’t remember. And with each second that you stand on the stage with the mic in hand, visibly racking your brain for the next line in the bit you didn’t need to write down and bring with you because it actually happened and you practiced it over and over, you become more aware of the audience watching you.

A bead of sweat forms at your temple and catches the glint of the spotlight, limiting your vision to a couple other comics near the front. You were nervous but excited when earlier you had walked into this open mic, your first one. The room was filled with 10 to 15 other comedians chatting or writing things down. You were optimistic. The first comic got a lot of laughs; the second comic didn’t get any. Then the host called your name. You got up, breathing deeply in an attempt to calm yourself. It didn’t work.

You walked onto the stage, pulled the mic out of the stand and swept the room with your eyes, and ended your first joke to tepid laughter from a corner of the room- not the reaction you wanted. This is fine, you thought, rejection is good. Everything’s fine. Then you started the bit about the driver. You made it all the way to the part about getting in the Uber with your dog, and then-

What did the driver say? It’s supposed to be funny. At least think I think it is. They’re supposed to laugh! Am I even funny? Why am I doing this to myself? What’s the point? What’s the punch line??

      You still can’t remember. It was something to do with his- what was it?

His jacket pocket! What a relief. You remember the line and you finish the joke, to a couple chuckles. Whatever- you did it. And you think, that wasn’t so bad.          

It never is. Open mics are for trying new things and learning, so do the open mic at Stand Up NY if you’ve got something to say.

The Oldest Jokes in the Book

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In the quest for the oldest, the search for the first, and the exploration for the original funny oration, there have been recordings of jokes since as far back as 3,000 years ago from civilizations like Babylon and ancient Greece. These millennium-spanning knee-slappers have stood the test of time, perhaps not always in their humor but at least in our records. Even with the confusion that results from translating ancient languages into modern English, you’ll find that sources of comedic material haven’t really changed since the Sumerians. Expect the expected.

The world’s oldest joke is attributed to this Sumerian proverb from 1900 B.C.: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.”

Yes, the first joke was a fart joke.

The Babylonians had a tablet that supposedly conveyed wise sayings, but at least some of them read like jokes- check them out here. Good luck deciphering some of them.

This study by the University of Wolverhampton compiles some of humanity’s historical forays into joke writing, from 10th century Britain to ancient Egypt.

The longest surviving collection of jokes is an ancient Greek text titled Philogelos, which translates to The Laughter Lover. It’s got some real winners, like this one: “An intellectual came to check in on a friend who was seriously ill. When the man’s wife said that he had ‘departed,’ the intellectual replied: ‘when he arrives back, will you tell him that I stopped by?” Get it? Because intellectuals don’t have common sense. It’s a thinker.

Here’s an article with a whole bunch of translations from the collection to tickle your fancy.

If you want to try your first stab at the ol’ chuckle-makers, go to an open-mic at Stand Up NY, or come see a show by many of the popular and up-and-coming comedians at one of Stand Up NY’s shows.