Month: November 2007

Beginning at the beginning

Lots of great exclusive information to share with you from The Comedy Festival over the weekend in Las Vegas, but before I get to that, I thought it might be helpful to bring you back up to speed on some of the many encounters I’ve had with comedians over the years. In other words, I’m going through my files and notes and building up the archives for you...

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Tim and Eric take on Vegas

Tim and Eric Nite Live hit the road last night with a special show in Las Vegas as part of The Comedy Festival at Caesars Palace. I ran into Eric and friends (including Neil Hamburger) later at the festival lounge and they remained very playful. Enjoy. Actually, wait. Enjoy is the wrong word. As Tim himself accurately predicted, I can review their show in one word:...

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Frank Caliendo: Ready for his close-up?

Frank Caliendo seemed and sounded rather composed for a guy about to perform his first major TV stand-up special and launch his own series on TBS. Frank TV debuts Nov. 20. And Caliendo had the same reaction to his incessant TBS promo ads that you likely had. "To all of you who watch baseball, ‘I’m sorry,’" he said. Those were his first words to me backstage, and they’re how he opens his stand-up special "All Over the Place" that airs tonight on TBS. To those who don’t know Caliendo, the ads may not have given you an accurate portrayal of what he’s like onstage or what you should expect out of his sketch show. "No, not at all," he agreed. "But it wasn’t supposed to. It was supposed to get you curious as to what this show was going to be." That’s what his stand-up special aims to do. "It’s an introduction to me," Caliendo said. "I did a Comedy Central Presents, which was about 30 percent of what I wanted to do." The other 70 percent showcases his wide and dizzying array of voices, some of which football fans already know from seeing Caliendo on FOX’s NFL pre-game show (Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson appear in a taped bit for his special) or at one of his club shows over the years. The title refers to...

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ASSSSCAT, at Irving Plaza

Sometimes you really should see the Upright Citizens Brigade in the UCB Theatre. Particularly if you’re talking about ASSSSCAT, the improv show that features UCB founders Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh and all-star guests. This past Sunday night, the show moved to Irving Plaza’s Fillmore to close out the New York Comedy Festival. Twas quite crowded. How was the view?Does this answer your question? The cast did invite a couple of short ladies up front to get a better view, while the rest standing-room-only crowd could get a different look via a few flat-screen TVs along the back and side of the room. Oh, and yes, it was that dark, too, and the cast spent several minutes trying to overcome that while having fun jumping in and out of dark "dead zones" onstage. "Could we get a little more light, because we are not a rock band," Poehler said. As they do, they asked audience members to contribute stories which could serve as launching points for a series of improvised scenes. After a half-hour or so of lackluster stories and scenes, they took a half-hour intermission. Worked well for liquor sales, worked even better on the UCB improvisers, who came back for a second half of inspired hilarity. It helped to start with a story of a kid who lost her prosthetic leg and ski...

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