Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

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Month: February 2018

African American Stand Up – The Founders

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Simultaneous with the 1930s and 1940s stand up comedy evolution in the “Borscht Belt”, African American comedians emerged on the “Chitlin Circuit.” This was a string of clubs and venues in the east, south, and midwest that began with some of the great founders of comedy such as Moms Mabley, Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory and Richard Pryor. Below is a short snapshot about what each one contributed to stand up comedy, although no amount of words can completely detail how much they gave to paving the way for all.

Moms Mabley, a trailblazing African American comedienne known for her warm yet raunchy stand-up routines. Born in North Carolina in the 1890’s she became a star of many films and was the first female headliner at the Apollo Theater in the 1930’s. She also recorded several hit comedy albums beginning her recording career with her debut album The Funniest Woman Alive. More than 20 years after Moms passing, fellow comedian Whoopi Goldberg honored Mabley with her directorial debut documentary Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin’ to Tell You. She was known offstage as a chic and glamorous (and lesbian) woman, while her stand up routines were “riotous affairs augmented by the aesthetic she presented as being an older, housedress-clad figure who provided sly commentary on racial bigotry to African-American audiences” says


Redd Foxx teamed up with a friend in 1941 to tour the vaudeville or chitlin circuit with their comedy routine, this led to Pryor’s future success as a stand-up comedian. Becoming known for his “willingness to tackle controversial topics such as race and sex” claims  By the end of his career he sold over 20 million copies of his comedy albums, was a star on the NBC sitcom Sanford and Son, and then began ABC’s Redd Foxx Comedy Hour. Foxx helped pave the way for future comedians looking to produce boundary pushing stand up comedy. 

Dick Gregory, a stand up comic and political activist. Gregory “used his comedy to convey his political ideals to white and black audiences alike. Gregory is credited with helping change the way European-Americans viewed African-Americans. He proved we weren’t less intelligent than any white person,” says He even made history by, after making it clear he wanted to be invited onto the show, being the first African American guest to appear on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show and sit on the couch to chat with the host, also becoming a recurring guest on the show over time. When he passed away this previous year, fans, celebrities, and comedians all took to social media to remember his great achievements for comedy and justice. See our post from last September in honor of his life and commitments.

Richard Pryor crossed over from the previous age of the chitlin circuit to start the new age of modern comedy. Pryor began working as a stand up comic in the Midwest portion of the old belt in the early 1960’s before moving to New York City in 1963 to make his television debut on the show On Broadway Tonight. As puts it, the young Richard Pryor “shamelessly adopted the style and rhythms (and, at times, material) of his new comedy idol, Bill Cosby.” Eventually achieving his early dream of landing a spot on the Ed Sullivan Show. By the late 1960’s he released his own self-titled comedy album, then made his way to the screen as a comedy writer in the early 1970s eventually earning his first Emmy Award for the comedy special Lily. He also wrote for shows such as the Flip Wilson Show and Sanford and Son, which starred Redd Foxx. He is credited by many comedians as having created the beginning of modern comedy with his motion picture release of Richard Pryor: Live In Concert. As Chris Rock told EW: “Every comedian will tell you that it is, by far, the greatest piece of stand-up ever done.”

We thank and appreciate all the African American comedians that have gone unmentioned over the years but who nonetheless greatly contributed to creating the future of stand up comedy and opening it to all. From these greats to today’s: Kevin Hart, Mo’Nique, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Wanda Sykes, Godfrey, Kenan Thompson, Martin Lawrence, Yamaneika… continue this list at home, it will and should go on forever!

Come see the next line-up of sensational, boundary breaking, and future seeking comedians every night of the week here at Stand Up NY. You really never know who is going to pop in for a special appearance! For future shows please purchase tickets here or make a reservation today. If you want your own opportunity to make your way into the stand up comedy world, join us for our Open Mics every weekday, Monday – Friday at 5PM. Think you’ve already got a great set going? Then check out our Bring It show every Saturday at 5PM with more info on how to sign up here.

Will You Be My Comedian?

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Valentines Day doesn’t have to be so tragic. Many comedians have made excellent work of turning this lovey-dovey disaster day into rewarding laughter. Yannis Pappas, Mike Cannon, Yamaneika, and Jared Freid are here to help with love, sex, and relationship advice including some hilarious input just for you! Catch a handful of them tonight during our back to back, double dose of Valentine’s Day Comedy at 8PM & 10PM this evening!

Welcome to the big V-Day! Recently Mark Normand went all out and answered questions around romance and comedy. Does he put his personal relationships into his set, yes. Do his significant others hate it, mostly. That’s not all he gives away, he discusses the crowds on Valentines Day too. So take a look to get his inside scoop on performing, relating, and dating this V-day. Also check out his Comedy Central set below regarding his past relationship and gay bars, it may explain a lot about your last breakup and how to get over it… or come to our bar tonight for a pick me up before you meet your next date at our Valentine’s Day shows.

Mike Cannon’s contribution to your days and nights of love is his stand up set on the “safe” side of sex… or lack thereof. So come get your facts straightened out before the night begins by taking a look below. Then be sure to come bring this up in person TONIGHT during our 8PM Valentines Day show!

On the topic of Valentines Day, Yannis Pappas discusses how different relationships end. In case you need this type of advice for an underwhelming day watch his Comedy Central set below and then come meet him in person TONIGHT at our 10PM Valentines Day show!

Yamaneika dishes out the good and bad about sexual relations on multiple occasions… ok, more like most nights a week. Comedy Central and truTV have captured some of the best from this blatantly upfront and honest dialogue. Such as her “team” of sexual partners and the different thoughts on sex between men and women to the trials of getting prepped for more desirable sexual encounters…

So Yamaneika, you think prepping is hard? Check out Jared Freid as he records the trials men must endure when trying to be considerate for their current or future “Mx. Right”.

After that encounter, Jared Freid teamed up with Stand Up NY to solve the mysteries of the “most confusing dude day” in the year by interviewing passerby’s in Times Square and grabbing their romantic input. Take a moment to watch and maybe steal some ideas! 

No one knows where or how the night will end, but you should start it with us at Stand Up NY! Celebrate and show your love by joining us tonight for an evening of laughter and drinks with friends and comedians. Be sure to get your tickets soon for Tonight’s 8PM show and 10PM show this Valentine’s Day! 

For future shows please purchase tickets here or make a reservation today. If you want your own opportunity to make your way into the stand up comedy world join us for our Open Mics every weekday, Monday – Friday at 5PM. Think you’ve already got a great set going? Then check out our Bring It show every Saturday at 5PM with more info on how to sign up here.

Catch Them Live This Week!  

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Please try to contain your excitement, we know you want to see them all in person, but we’d like to give a shoutout to a handful of this upcoming week’s crew of magnificent comedians. Here’s a rundown of the amazing humans gracing our stage that do so much more to contribute to life on a regular basis. A comedian is never just a comedian. We are honored to have so many authors, actors, artists, podcasters, parents, gurus, and much more honor our stage daily. Here are just a few highlights regarding this coming weeks comedians who contribute to our lives in more ways than one, and still have time to dignify our stage on a regular basis:

  1. Aaron Berg isn’t just a comedian, he’s also a husband and father, and now he’s sharing his story about being a dad in comedy. Check out the full Interrobang article here.
  2. Anthony DeVito is hilarious, that’s why Comedy Central recently released his Stand-Up Presents special, in which he discusses his time performing on a cruise ship with Shaggy.
  3. Gary Vider isn’t just a comedian here in New York City, he’s one of America’s best! He is an America’s Got Talent Finalist, and he made his late night debut with Stephen Colbert recently. Take a look here.
  4. Jared Freid’s a great guy, but he’s also podcaster, writer, and life advice giver… yeah, that’s right, he’s known for giving great advice in a multitude of fields. So catch his podcast “The JTrain” here, and support him on his Patreon account here.
  5. Joe List is another phenomenal podcaster hosting “Tuesdays with Stories” weekly. If you haven’t heard of it, you really should have; and if you haven’t listened to it, you need to right now… here.
  6. Kerry Coddett, you can’t get enough of her! She’s an outstanding comedy writer,, youtuber, and a member of HBO’s Crashing. Oh, she is also the founder of Operation Mobilize which is just… wow! Be sure to check out this recent viral video she created here.
  7. Laurie Kilmartin is another amazing woman. She has just finished publishing a book called Dead People Suck this week! She was also recently interviewed by Pat Morrison for the LA Times, here’s the audio and text.  
  8. Marina Franklin a comic to know and a host you need to listen to. She is great on her podcast FriendsLikeUs, give it a listen here and be amazed.
  9. Matthew Broussard is a comedian with things to say. That is why he’s been featured in a Comedy Central Half Hour, and was recently interviewed and written up by Dan Bolles regarding Valentines Day and the mathematics of jokes. Now is the time to check it out here.
  10. Mike Yard, he’s a great comedian and an amazing host with his own podcast Yard Talk with Mike Yard. Listen now to know.

Ok, so we can’t spoil all the surprises. We know every comedian contributes more than we can cover here so know this, any night you come to Stand Up NY you are going to come face to face with some of the greatest humans in comedy. You have a chance to see them perform live and maybe even hang out with them at the bar before or after the show! Bring friends or family and get ready to laugh with these outstanding comedians.

Purchase tickets here or make a reservation today. If you want your own opportunity to make your way into the stand up comedy world join us for our Open Mics every weekday, Monday – Friday at 5PM. Think you’ve already got a great set going? Then check out our Bring It show every Saturday at 5PM with more info on how to sign up here.