Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

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C.K. Calling, Who Will Pick Up?

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At the myriad of notorious comedy clubs scattered across New York City, it is part of the game for big-name comics to drop in unannounced for a set. Before they can grace the stage, however, it is under the discretion of those running the club that night–be it a booker, manager, owner, whoever ranks highest–whether their stage is one that needs any gracing. With Louis C.K. evidently back on the scene, and executing that surprise-visit technique flawlessly, the protocols for this drop-in method become, well, a bit more blurred, and a lot more dependent on who is making the decision.

When looking at C.K.’s talk-of-the-town rebirth at the Comedy Cellar the other week, he was reportedly welcomed back with open arms, as shown by the club owners who were comfortable with having him and the crowd who gave him a standing ovation. The Twitter world’s uproar was largely to the opposite effect. The consensus is that his “time to listen” has not nearly been long enough nor filled with any sort of restitution. The fact of the matter is that just like each audience–from comedy club patrons in the flesh to Tweeters to fans in general–is comprised of differing opinions, so is the workforce of a comedy club. If and when C.K. strolls in to do a set at our club, his request to perform will receive a different answer depending on the night.

So what is the role of a booker or owner in this situation? The stage is a vessel, a platform for art, opinion, thought, trial and error. Is it the club’s duty to bring even a controversial comic on stage for the sake of keeping the flow of said vessel? How does that reflect on the club as a whole, from reputation to revenue?

In a post on her take on the situation, one of our bookers concluded that though she is not a “judge, jury, cop, or ‘comedy’ police” she definitely reserves the right to say ‘no’ if Louie were to walk in and ask to jump on stage. “I wouldn’t make a scene, I wouldn’t call attention to it. I would simply say, ‘I’m afraid it’s not possible,’” she wrote. However, if it were, say, a Tuesday instead of Thursday, with a different set of staff on deck and a different person at the top to say yay or nay, our audience would be hearing some new, hot-off-the-presses C.K. material that night.

There are a couple takes on this that can be outlined immediately to support a yes or no answer to a drop-in by Louis C.K. Both want to ensure that “vessel” concept of the stage. For one, we want to foster a creative, kick-ass space for comics to spit their stuff, perfect it, play with it, and give an audience a night out to remember that they know they can relive any night of the week just by coming in. We want to provide enjoyment, excitement, entertainment. That partially means creating a safe space for that creativity to flow, for that enjoyment to be had unapologetically. One could say C.K. definitely compromised and may continue to compromise the safety of a working environment. Who are we to let him in to jeopardize it again? On the other hand, some say that #MeToo offenders, namely Louis C.K., should be able to “serve their time and move on”. A considerable number of folks are hankering to see Louis back in the comedy game, and who are we to deny audiences that if he is ready to give them a show?

So where does that leave the audience, the unsuspecting patrons of the club on any given evening? Many on Twitter say, if you are a champion of #MeToo-related causes, that it is your obligation to get up and leave if you were to be a member of an audience like the one at the Cellar who received C.K. the other week. I can’t help but wonder, though, if that expectation is a little far-fetched. Imagine, you’re at one of the most acclaimed comedy clubs in the city–maybe the world–and the once-adored now-social-pariah from whom no one has seen or heard in the comedy realm for months appears before your very eyes. Everyone around you gets on their feet. What is he going to say? You’re going to be one of the people who takes in the jokes of his very first comeback set. But, you know he did some really shitty things and put a number of women in what you can only imagine were really shitty situations, sometimes even in the workplace environment. What has he done in his time served to repent for the wrong he’s done to these women? How long has it even been anyway? Oh well, everyone around seems fine with it, and I may miss out on something if I leave.

Anyone getting deja-vu here? Louis put the Cellar audience that night in the same position as those women in the room over the years. The option is there to refuse, to say no, to “just leave”. But there is more to the equation than that. You feel like you ought to stay. Here he is, back from his sentence, whether you find it way too short or too long or just right, wielding that same power. If you were in the audience, what would you do when Louie stepped under the lights?

More importantly to the theme of this particular blog, would you feel like it is the club’s responsibility to not put you in that situation in the first place?

Louis being back on stage and the way he chose to go about it no doubt raises ample amounts of contrasting emotions and opinions. The decision-making is no longer just reserved for ownership. As a patron, as a booker, as an owner, as a general fan with a voice, what are you going to do when Louis C.K. inevitably calls? Trick question: he probably won’t call to let you know he’s on his way. He’ll just drop in.

Article written by Ellen Harrold

Instagram: @ellewoodz

Twitter: @whorsdoeuvres

Comedy & Charity

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Let talk about support, baby! Now that you are full grown we can have a more intimate conversation about it… New York City is a great big place, but like all great places we have our ups and downs, issues, and causes to handle. Thankfully NYC is also a comedy hub filled with amazing comediennes and comedians with all shapes and sizes of heart! Many organizations have put two and two together to create scores of outstanding charities and organizations to help bring comedy to those in need as well as fulfill needs through comedy. To mention just a few…

Comic Relief USA – “We are built on the foundation that the power of entertainment can drive positive change and help people who need it most, in America and around the world.”

Founded in the UK in dedication to Any Kaufman, comedy writer and producer Bob Zmuda worked with HBO Executive Chris Albrecht to found the US version in 1986. Focused on raising funds to help those in need, specifically America’s homeless, Comic Relief USA has historically put on televised fundraising events hosted by comedians Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg. Entertainers performed various segments including stand up comedy, sketch comedy, speeches, live music, and impressions with the goal of entertaining and enlightening. Check out their upcoming events here.

Red Nose Day – “Red Nose Day brings people together to have fun, raise money and change the lives of kids who need our help the most.”   

A fundraising campaign off-shoot of Comic Relief, Inc., Red Nose Day was launched in 2015 to help end child poverty. The symbol of the Red Nose was adopted to remind us of the power of laughter; it is a simple yet powerful, visible and playful, symbol meant to break down barriers. Kicking off on May 24th, 2018 you better run out to purchase a Red Nose at a local Walgreens (Duane Reade for New Yorkers) so you can go “Nose to Nose” to raise awareness and funds to help children in need. Plus, tune into NBC for their special night of programming to celebrate Red Nose Day 2018!

Comedy Cures – “provides joy-filled, therapeutic entertainment to kids and grown-ups living with illness, depression, trauma, and disabilities.”

Founded by Saranne Rothberg in 1999 after being diagnosed with early stage IV Cancer, Comedy Cures grew from Saranne’s first “Chemo Comedy Party.” Truly putting the meaning behind “laughter is the best medicine,” Comedy Cures hosts a multitude of events through a therapeutic comedy program for people living with chronic and or acute illness, depression, trauma and disabilities plus their caregivers and family members. Comedy Cures brings comedians into venues or events to perform stand up comedy or entertain their guests and bring laughter back into their lives. Try them out yourself! Call into their LaughLine (1-800-HA-HA-HA-HA / 1-800-424-2424) to listen to a joke or laughter! If you are a comedian or aspiring to be one call in and press 3 to leave your joke or just leave your laughter for others to enjoy later!

Night of Too Many Stars – “Giving children and adults with autism the chance they deserve to learn, to contribute and to live the fullest lives possible.”

This televised program and event brings together entertainers from across the spectrum to raise funds to give children and adults with autism the chance they deserve to learn, contribute, and live the fullest lives possible. Hosted by HBO and NEXT for Autism (Historically New York Collaborates for Autism) this program has raised more than $30 million since 2006 to fund autism programs focused on creating and supporting exceptional education, clinical, and vocational programs geared towards affecting fundamental shifts in current approaches to autism services.

Donate The Door with Stand Up NY!

Did you know Stand Up NY loves to support all charities and organizations through our new program affectionately called “Donate the Door”? This program allows us to partner up with causes to raise donations for great organizations. We host stand up comedy showcases every night of the week, so what better way to give back than to provide what we do best!? To help forward each organization’s brand and mission we engage across social media platforms advertising the showcase. Stand Up NY loves having this amazing way to bring a lighthearted appeal to donations for amazing charities. The way this works? A majority of total ticket sales from the evening’s show goes to the organization represented that evening.

Check out a few of our upcoming Donate the Door opportunities:

The New York Women’s Foundation creates an equitable and just future for women and families by uniting a cross-cultural alliance that ignites action and invests in bold, community-led solutions across the city.”

“Leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.”

The Lymphoma Research Foundation’s mission is to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by this disease.”

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger.”

Why not enjoy yourself while giving back? Join Stand Up NY for Comedy supporting great causes! Check our website and calendar to plan your next night to donate! All Donations are included in the regular ticket price.  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 6PM with more info on how to sign up here. Join us on Twitter or Instagram!

Comedy Club Intern Insider

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When I first started at Stand Up NY, I wrote a little piece about how I learned how to overcome my initial anxiety, take on projects, and get them done. The cycle of nervousness, hard work, and accomplishment has been a constant in my time here, but there’s been a lot more ups and downs as well. Now that it’s coming to an end, I’d like to add to the list of things I’ve learned at SUNY:

  1.     How to fit an absurd amount of information on a tiny graphic.
  2.     The nuances of
  3.     Crazy people like to call after your boss leaves. Learn their caller IDs so you don’t have to listen to a grown man explain his budding stand up hobby to you for 10 minutes.
  4.     College students really don’t want to pay for anything. At all.
  5.     Podcasts are cooler than I thought.
  6.     Hootsuite is your best friend and your worst enemy.
  7.     You know a comedian has made it when you don’t have to type “comedy” after their name when googling them.

Most of all, I’ve learned how to make myself available and open to new situations, jobs, and experiences. What I ended up experiencing here has been completely different from what I expected going in. I’ve gotten so much better at organizing my time and commitments, managing my schedule, and wrangling comedians over email. I also might have discovered a talent for graphic design with help from Canva (thank you Canva!).

Some days it felt like I was spending my time writing tweets that no one would read, but something would always happen that would make me grateful for this opportunity, whether it be a chance to meet a favorite comic, a new perspective on the industry, inside knowledge of cool shows, or even just seeing that people actually did like my tweets! Overall my time here has been full of laughs, drinks, and endless black and magenta design templates, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Comedy Can Happen Anywhere…

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Comedy is popping up all over! Hotels, bars, schools, podcasts, charities, and obviously the world wide web.  Especially with the rise of social media, comedy can be shared in real time and in person. We have moved past the days of traveling through a comedy circuit/trail/belt to see a handful of great stand up comedians in person… Today, stand up artists have the access to be right in your face, hometown, even your favorite watering hole any given moment of every day or night. You can catch them almost anywhere, sharing their humor and experiences in person. Right here in NYC, some of our Stand Up NY regulars are taking their personal shows “on the road” (really like a couple blocks down or just around the corner into another borough) to bring stand up comedy to a range of new venues and crowds.

Shout outs to a few SUNY regulars who are making this happen, and still have time to drop in on our stage:

  • Alzo Slade is putting on the Grits and Biscuits Block Party a “Dirty South Set” this May 26th at Coney Island Boardwalk – talk about a fun time! (& Alzo is at Stand Up NY Next Saturday at 10:30PM!)  

  • If you haven’t yet, you may want to check out Yannis Pappas Instagram… like, WOW, you could scroll through the humor for a lifetime! In particular, I want to make note of “Bay Ridge Boys 5”, a perfect example of bringing comedy straight into your face/palm, or perhaps it should be the video of Chris Distefano absolutely nailing karaoke. I really can’t decide what’s better, but I am definitely going to be here when he does Stand Up NY Next Saturday at 10:30PM!

With their down time stand up comedians all over this great city and beyond are ramping up their own produced shows to bring stand up comedy to you anywhere and everywhere…. Did I mention that Stand up NY will be joining the ranks with our FIRST EVER POP UP SHOW! Information coming soon so be sure to follow us on social media for the secret details!

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 6PM with more info on how to sign up here. By the way, we have a *New* College Summer Internship Program running June through August. Join us on Twitter or Instagram to DM us for more details!  

A Night Behind The Scenes at Stand Up NY

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Want to know what goes on before, during, and after our shows? Well here’s your inside reporter coming to you from the desk of the Night Host. Yes, I am here to give you the real scoop on how and what all goes down from Opening to Close at our Comedy Club.

First show kicks off in two hours, already one of our attentive bartenders is here checking the liquor levels, beer supply, and mixers… just itching for the first order to come in, because frankly, we are a pretty fun bunch and we always like to get the party started early! Now onto our fabulous servers who are calmly preparing the seating and setting up menus for all you nice folk to order from. Honestly, everything is done in good cheer while we banter, talk life, and prepare for the comedy ahead; and when it comes to our comedy shows we do not joke around! ….OK, we do, but only in the most professional sense. By this point, it’s just a matter of time before all sorts of people begin to trickle in.

Here at Stand Up NY, there is really no “backstage,” but there is a bar (and it’s not especially high, I mean it is a tall bar, but we don’t have any high standards). Pre-show guests arrive to check into their reservations and are directed to cozy up to this bar before we begin seating. There you can expect to find a range of experiences like ordering your first Marxorita (beware they are deliciously potent), watching our producer watch soap opera style wrestling matches or something else just as captivating, and potentially chat with some amazing comedians who decided to show up early just to hang out!

That brings us to showtime! Here’s where it gets fun… our guests are seated, drink and food orders are taken, and we are ready to begin the main event. Our hosting comedian is supplied with the most up to date line-up for the evening shows, we make our airplane style “Cell Phones Off, Seat Belts Fastened, and No Smoking Allowed Indoors” spiel, and as our host(ess) takes the stage the real work begins! They kick off the evening for our guests, while comedians of the night stroll in and plop themselves down at the bar like any regular attendee. They come as early as two hours in advance and as punctual as literally running in the front door, walking through the bar to catch their breath, and smoothly into the showroom onto the stage… we’re not looking at you AJ Foster (who nails it every time regardless)! Most comedians will come in early and have a drink with their friends to discuss upcoming events like festivals, podcasts, and personal achievements. Once their name is called though every comedian gives their very best every night, but that’s not to imply our guests are the only ones laughing and enjoying the evening.

This is when I experienced what I didn’t expect… I loved what I am going to term as “community time.” In the bar area, we are all real people; shooting the shoot, hanging out, and catching the great lines and jokes that our guests are experiencing at the same time. Anyone present gets to find out almost everything about each other. Just last week our bartender was sharing parenthood stories with Erin Maguire, joking about kids famous meals like grilled cheese night; Yamaneika and Monroe Martin were jesting with other; Jonathan Randall literally just came to have a drink and catch up with friends (he wasn’t even on the show that night!), Sherrod Small walked down after taping his Race Wars Podcast to listen into the comedy and share a drink with his podcast guests (including a congressman). Altogether our “backstage” is just a big happy hour mingling session getting to know each other.

Then comes the shows end, and this is where it gets exciting for our guests. As you stream out of the showroom and back into the bar area, I watch as comedians and attendees greet one another, exchange formalities, take pictures together, and sometimes share ideas or jokes. This all seems like celebrity treatment, but something I have noticed is that a comedian isn’t a regular type of celebrity. They touch on and sometimes attack our most personal thoughts and beliefs but in a way that brings a crowd closer together with humor stemming from mutual acceptance. Everyone walks out the same doors as a genuine human; there is no facade making out anyone to be more important, famous, or greater than any other person in the room. By the end of the night, comedians and guests alike are chilling at the bar connecting on a personal level. No where else have I experienced such a close entertainer-attendee-employee relationship and connection platform.

Overall, to me, it is mind blowing and thrilling to work day or night at Stand Up NY. The people you meet, the things you learn, and what everyone contributes to make this place run smoothly year round is astounding! Stop in to make your own memories and a handful of new friends any night of the week (including me)! 

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 6PM with more info on how to sign up here. By the way, we have a *New* College Summer Internship Program running June through August. Join us on Twitter or Instagram to DM us for more details!

The National Comedy Center… everything to expect and more!

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The National Comedy Center has set its opening dates to coincide with the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival on August 1st – 5th, 2018 in Jamestown, NY (Lucy’s hometown)! This will be the first national-scale, non-profit cultural institution and visitor experience dedicated to comedy as an art form. This past week US Senator Charles Schumer made an announcement to push for a congressional designation for the Center, which would officially make it the nation’s cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy and recognizing it as the only institution with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of comedy and its role in culture. Watch this sneak preview of Schumer’s announcement and his tour inside the Center!

The center will feature more than 50 immersive, interactive exhibits telling the story of comedy from its origins through the present. By immersive, we mean personally tailored! Each visitor will receive a RFID chip fitted wristband to allow exhibits to respond to one’s personal comedic sensibilities throughout their visit. Examples of some exhibits, provided by WNY Papers, “George Carlin’s massive personal archives, which provide a glimpse into one of comedy’s most prolific minds; a hologram theater that presents performances of some of comedy’s most notable figures; and experiences that allow visitors to step into the shoes of comedic artists. Additionally, the National Comedy Center will feature rare artifacts from some of comedy’s most notable names and bodies of work.”

The center is expected to host over 100,000 annual visitors and bring in an $23 million annual stabilized economic impact on the region. While also finally achieving Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown becoming a destination for the celebration of the comedic arts.

Stay tuned for our coverage of the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival comedian line up – we will be back to highlight all the NYC regulars and friends participating this year! We hope everyone is able to experience authentic stand up comedy and appreciate its vast history and development in american culture. So join us before the opening for a glimpse into comedy history in the making at one of the oldest comedy clubs in NYC!

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 6PM with more info on how to sign up here.

 

Comedy Festivals of 2018 To Do!

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Just For Laughs Comedy Festival 2018 on July 25th – 28th!

After finishing the extensive search for comedians, with recent auditions taking place at Stand Up NY, the Just For Laughs ComedyPRO Festival will take place July 25th through 28th in Montreal, Canada. It is one of, or, the most important annual global gathering of the biggest names in the comedy world.

Event 2017 Highlights:

  • 2017 included a wide array of big names including Mike Birbiglia, Ali Wong, Trevor Noah, Jim Carrey, Danny McBride, Jermaine Fowler.
  • Plus Stand Up NY Friends & Regulars: Yamaneika Saunders, Dan Soder, Jim Norton,  Ben Kissel, Marina Franklin, Ari Shaffir, and Craig Ferguson!
  • Be sure to submit your application here before May 7th, 2018.  

MoonTower  Comedy Festival taking place in Austin, TX in April!

This annual comedy festival held at Paramount Theatres in Austin, Texas on April 18th – 21st of 2018. It hosts a wide range of comedians, podcasts, and speakers at over 12 different venues. Headliners this year will include Tig Notaro, Mike Birbiglia (who started as a NYC comedian), Tiffany Haddish, and David Cross all performing at the Paramount Theatre during the festival. Additional headliners include Preacher Lawson, Ali Siddiq, Janeane Garofalo, Nikki Glaser, plus Ryan Hamilton and Colin Quinn who have been featured at Stand Up NY recently!  

Oh yea, here are some extra cool details:

  • Three Stand Up NY favorites and regulars will be making appearances on their podcasts in Austin during the festival.
    • Mark Normand and Joe list will be hosting an episode of their podcast “Tuesdays with Stories” (visiting from our very own SUNY Labs)
    • Laurie Kilmartin will be co-hosting her show “The Jackie and Laurie Show” with friend Jackie Kashian
    • Dan Soder will be partnering up with co-host Big Jay Oakerson for an episode of their podcast “The Bonfire”
  • Stand Up NY regulars that will be performing stand up comedy at venues during this festival include: Dan Naturman, Dan Soder, Colin Quinn, Joe List, Judah Friedlander, Laurie Kilmartin, Mark Normand, Ophira Eisenberg, Ryan Hamilton, Tim Dillon, and Yamaneika Saunders! Congrats to all comedians perform

Be sure to catch them all here at Stand Up NY before the big weekend!

Women In Comedy Festival coming up in April in Boston, MA!

Bringing Comediennes directly into the spotlight, this comedy festival features the best female leads from around the country and hosts them for a weekend of riotous events, parties, panels, childrens programming, themed shows, and special comedy showcases.

Details:

  • This year they will feature: Wanda Sykes, Tig Notaro, Laurie Forster, and NYC regular Gina Yashere!
  • New York comedians performing: Caitlin Peluffo & Ashley Gavin (SUNY regulars), Anya Volz, Ashley Hamilton, Cameran Hebb, and Carla Briscoe!

Big Sky Comedy Festival – Coming in October to Billings, MT!

        This is Montana’s biggest comedy festival in the entire history of Montana Comedy! It is a 5 day event with about 10 shows, different venues, and features 28 comedians from all over the US that are selected from out of a pool of over 800 comedians!

Extra Details:

  • Finalists from last year included NY regulars Corey Rodrigues (the 2017 Winner!), Ali Kolbert, and Andy Sandford!
  • They are accepting Submissions for 2018 now! Check out the Big Sky site here

 

And don’t miss out on Stand Up NY’s Comedy Festival coming soon to NYC! More updates to come on our website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook shortly.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 6PM with more info on how to sign up here.

60 Years Ago – The Birth of Stand Up

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The exact year stand-up comedy was born is up for debate. People have been telling jokes for centuries, but when did they start doing it on stage? A strong case can be made for the 1948 premiere of The Ed Sullivan Show. One of America’s first primetime variety shows, The Ed Sullivan Show featured musical acts, vaudeville performers, and stand-up comedians. The show slowly and steadily gained popularity until it became a staple, attracting millions of viewers across the country. With the rise of the show came the increased popularity of the performers, and stand-up became a legitimate and recognized art form. In the 60s, comedy clubs began popping in New York, and eventually other major cities around the country. By the 1980’s, hour-long stand up specials were hugely popular on TV, with huge stars, budgets, and audiences. Even though stand-up as a medium and a business has changed drastically over the past 60 years, the five-minute variety show spot is still a jumping off point for many comedians. Here are some clips of legends when they first introduced stand-up to the country on The Ed Sullivan Show:

 Bob Hope

 Joan Rivers

 Flip Wilson

 George Carlin

 Richard Pryor

 

Come see the modern tight five, and even more at Stand Up NY! With shows every night of the week, you never know who will show up or step on stage! 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.

Jewish Comics of NYC

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As we all know, Jewish standup comedians are hard to come by in New York. Here at Stand Up NY, we pride ourselves in hosting Jewish comedians since we first opened in 1986. As Passover approaches, we decided to celebrate our comedians’ Jewish heritage. Here are some highlights!

Elon Gold

 Elon, a Bronx native, was raised in an entertainment industry family. His parents owned Goldstar Talent Management, and both of his brothers are involved in the music business. Elon got his break on FOX’s Stacked, and went on to appear on In-Laws on NBC, The Tonight Show, Fraiser, Chappelle’s Show, and Bones. He now performs stand up around the city and has a special out on Netflix. Here’s a clip from Chosen and Taken:

 

Susie Essman

Susie Essman was also born in the Bronx, to Russian and Polish parents. Her career took off in 1989 when she appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and she got a half-hour special on Comedy Central three years later. She’s best known as Susie Greene on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has appeared in several films, including Punchline and Bolt. Here she is roasting Donald Trump before his White House stint.

 

Judah Friedlander

 Judah Freidlander was born in Maryland and went to school at NYU, where he first tried standup at the age of 19. While stand up is his “first love,” he also has a prolific acting career, appearing as Frank on 30 Rock, guest starring in shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Flight of the Conchords, and Fresh Off the Boat. He’s also been in numerous feature films, including Wet Hot American Summer, Zoolander, The Wrestler, and Rio. He lives in Queens and enjoys performing stand up and playing ping pong. Here’s a clip of him dissecting his signature look:

 

Rachel Feinstein

Rachel Feinstein moved to New York when she was 17 and hasn’t stopped doing comedy since. She was a finalist on Last Comic Standing, and has appeared on shows like Inside Amy Schumer,Last Week Tonight, Red Oaks, and Crashing. She now has a special called Only Whores Wear Purple on Comedy Central. Here’s a clip of her network TV debut on the James Corden Show:

 

Marion Grodin

Marion Grodin has comedy in her blood. Her father, Charles Grodin, is a prolific actor and comedian. Marion began her career as a screenwriter, writing for It’s a Living and Princesses. She decided to pursue standup comedy and began playing around New York City and touring the country with Lewis Black and Judy Gold. She’s made appeareances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The View, and was a producer on The Charles Grodin Show. Her memoir, Standing Up, was released in 2013. Here she is interviewing New Yorkers about their addictions:

 

Catch these comedians here at Stand Up NY on the regular! With shows every night of the week, you never know who will show up and step on stage! For future shows please purchase tickets here ormake 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.

Happy St. Paddys To Irish American Comedians

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As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, let’s take some time to appreciate the long legacy of Irish-American comedians. Irish immigrants have been settling along the East Coast since 1700s, establishing large communities in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Irish immigrants and their descendants have had a huge impact on US culture, especially comedy. Here are some of our favorite Irish comedians!

Des Bishop

Des, proclaimed “Ireland’s adopted son of comedy,” is an Irish-American comedian who was brought up in New York before moving to Ireland at 14, where he still primarily resides. A highly successful stand up comedian in Ireland, he’s had three acclaimed television series on RTE, Ireland – The Des Bishop Work Experience (2004), Joy in the Hood (2006), and the award winning six episode comedy documentary series In the Name of the Fada (2008). Des now travels the world performing stand up shows such as My Dad Was Nearly James Bond which premiered at the 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and won rave reviews. On top of that he has released four stand-up DVD since 2005, and is currently the organizer and resident MC of the International Comedy Club in Dublin. But wait… there’s more! Des Bishop will be at Stand Up NY this Wednesday, March 14th at 8:00PM for a Live Podcast taping of Lost In America!

Conan O’Brien

The lanky, irreverent late-night host grew up outside of Boston, where he attended Harvard and wrote for the National Lampoon. In the 1990s, he wrote for SNL and The Simpsons. After moving to LA, his friend, actress Lisa Kudrow, encouraged him to perform more. In 1993, he was hired as David Letterman’s replacement on NBC’s Late Night, and the rest is history. Throughout his long career, O’Brien has often celebrated and joked about his Irish-Catholic heritage. In 2012, he really got in touch with his roots at the Irish American Heritage center in Chicago:

 

Aisling Bea 

Aisling Bea is the first female comedian on our list, and the only to actually be born in Ireland. She was raised in County Kildare and graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as well as Trinity College in Dublin. She regularly appears on Irish and British comedy shows such as The Big Fat Quiz of Everything and A League of Their Own, and in 2012 was the second woman ever to win the Gilded Balloon So You Think You’re Funny award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has also won the British Comedy Award for Best Female Television Comic and performs standup all around the UK and the US. Here she is performing at Live at the Apollo:

 

Colin Quinn

Colin Quinn, a Brooklyn native, is a staple of the New York stand up scene. His career began in 1984, and in 1996 he was hired at SNL. Within two years, he was hosting Weekend Update, and had his own Broadway one-man show, Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake. He then hosted his own show, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, on Comedy Central. He’s appeared in various films and television shows, like Grown Ups, Girls, and Trainwreck. He talks about his Irish heritage (among others) in his new Netflix special:

 

John Mulaney

Born in Chicago, John Mulaney moved to New York after college, where he was hired as a writer for SNL in 2008. While he was creating memorable characters like Stefon, he was also performing stand up. He’s recorded three hour-long specials and has appeared on various late-night shows around New York. He and Nick Kroll wrote and starred in their play Oh Hello which ran for six months on Broadway. He recently passed through New York on his Kid Gorgeous tour at Radio City Music Hall. Here’s a clip from his special New In Town where he talks about the emotional complexities of being Irish:

 

Erin Maguire

Erin Maguire, one of Stand Up NY’s very own, is an accomplished stand up comedian who performs all around the city. Since moving to New York from Boston, she’s been in various theater and TV productions, and now tours all around the East Coast! You can get a taste of her work here or stop by and see her at Stand Up NY!

 

Catch the next up and coming Irish-American Comedian right here at Stand Up NY! With shows every night of the week, you never know who will show up and step on stage! 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.