Author: Sean L. McCarthy

Too many Tuesday night options

Ah, Facebook. So great for allowing my comedy friends to keep me in the loop on upcoming shows and inviting me to them. So awkward when several of these shows get booked at the same time on the same night. How many times can you click on "maybe attending" before you have to buckle down and accept or reject an RSVP? Perhaps that’s a rhetorical question. I just needed to type it, though, because tonight, many of my comedy friends are performing in comedy shows in New York City. One of these days, I’ll figure out the best way to add show listings to this site. This is not that day. This day, I’ll list my friends and their shows so you all can have the option of seeing them, too. Two Girls For Five Bucks, showcase at Ars Nova in Hell’s Kitchen, 8 p.m., $15, two women (one from NYC, the other from Boston) perform their full hourlong comedy burlesque show (hence the higher ticket price). I’ve reviewed them before. Pant-Hoot, stand-up comedy and a short educational film about non-human primates, at Magnetic Field in Brooklyn Heights (in the best neighborhood in Brooklyn, I might add with necessary neighborly bias), 8 p.m., free, hosted by Charles Star, and tonight his monthly show features Moody McCarthy, Adam Wade, DJ Hazard, Gilad Foss and Rachael Parenta. Sweet, weekly stand-up comedy...

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Calgary Herald’s Top 10 Stand-Ups

The Calgary Herald, after interviewing George Carlin, decided to add its own two cents — in Canadian, that’d literally be loony — to the debates over who among us is the funniest of all. Although, actually, I just read it again, and they merely reprinted Comedy Central’s 2004 list with comments. Their list? 10) Eddie Murphy 9) Roseanne Barr 8) Bill Cosby 7) Rodney Dangerfield 6) Steve Martin 5) Chris Rock 4) Woody Allen 3) Lenny Bruce 2) George Carlin 1) Richard Pryor Four years later, I wonder how Comedy Central would play it…the network helped showcase Dave Chappelle to the world, only to send him running, and also has seen the dramatic and controversial successes of Dane Cook, Larry the Cable Guy and Carlos Mencia. Would the network have elevated any of these guys up the list for the sake of the network? As if Mencia’s show isn’t example enough of that, rushing to fill the void left behind by Chappelle. And would the four extra years give Jerry Seinfeld better historical play? What about Steven Wright? It’s certainly a different undertaking than A Special Thing’s semi-annual AST Top 20 rankings, which are very current and completely member-driven through their message board. They had Paul F. Tompkins, Patton Oswalt and Louis CK leading their most recent poll in October. Would your own Top 10 list of stand-ups be...

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WGA Strike Watch: Comedians on Letterman

Short notice tonight, but wanted to let you know of comedians appearing this week on Late Show with David Letterman, the only WGA-approved late-night show of choice. Tonight: Frank Caliendo shows his impersonations and explains his TBS show. Tuesday: Don Rickles plugs the DVD release of his documentary. Friday: Jim Gaffigan will likely mention bacon! Conan and Leno aren’t putting their guest appearances online so as to avoid picket-crossing hassles, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Saw Elon Gold on Leno the other night. Christopher Titus, too. Conan, meanwhile, has really been upfront about mentioning the plight of the striking writers and about killing time. I saw him devote a full 10 minutes to a hilarious pre-taped segment interview with one of his producers. Then again, past episodes of Conan can be viewed on the NBC site online. Which is at the heart of the WGA negotiations. Also will be keeping you updated on goings-on with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, so don’t you...

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Time capsule: HBO’s 15th Annual Young Comedians

Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, HBO produced and broadcast a special devoted to young comedians. Not all of them hold up quite so well. One year introduced Steven Wright, but the rest of the hour makes you wonder what happened to America’s sense of humor. Then there was 1992, and the 15th annual special, taped at the Tempe Improv, hosted by Dana Carvey, introduced Judd Apatow, Bill Bellamy, Nick DiPaolo, Janeane Garofalo, Andy Kindler and Ray Romano. Yeah. Quite a lineup there. I mention it because the special aired over the weekend and shows up on HBO Comedy again tonight, then again on Jan. 24 so you can take a look for yourself. As host, Carvey managed to trot out most of his SNL character voices and impersonations for easy crowd pleasing. Bellamy is wearing a red suit, as if to make viewers think of Eddie Murphy. Apatow, whom you know now as a big-shot comedy producer and writer, wore a buttoned-up shirt without a tie. Romano noted up front that he was 34 at the time and asked if that still counted as young. Watching them all, you can see that Romano, Kindler and Garofalo had found their comedic voices that still make you laugh today. And if you think DiPaolo sounds bitter onstage today, just watch and hear his mood on the night of his...

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Waiting on the F Train (2 a.m.)

Ah, life in the city that never sleeps, which for comedians, means a midnight show at the UCB, followed by a wait for the F train back to Brooklyn. Even then, though, the show doesn’t stop. At least according to Joselyn Hughes, who thinks like I do, that hanging out with comedians always provides insight and amusement. So why not capture some of that on camera? Here we’re waiting with Kumail and Emily at West 4th Street for a transfer. Joselyn explains… Waiting on the F trainUploaded by...

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