280. Tracy Morgan and Hannibal Buress Walk Into A Bar…

(credit: Joyce Culver)

(credit: Joyce Culver)

Okay, not really. But they totally could have. But sometimes Tracy Morgan stops by the 92nd Street Y to talk to comedian Hannibal Buress about his life and the world of standup. This just so happened to occur last Wednesday night. Check out my latest article for CBS to find out how these two hilarious guys cracked each other up.

*Note to self: Remember to ask Brian Fellows how he’s doing.

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258. NYC SketchFest

SketchFest

Last Saturday, I took part in the NYC Sketch Festival. For 4 hours, I sat in a room at the Peoples Improv Theater (PIT) with 10 writers. During that short time, we came up with ideas, wrote them out, and had actors read our rough drafts out loud. Unfortunately, I hated my script (the premise was that a psychic goes into see a psychic). After much deliberation, I came to the conclusion that I would jump ship and completely start over. Professional, right? Well, here’s what ended up on stage:

 

*Note to self: Write an apology to all corn companies out there. #takingfoodporntoawholenewlevel

254. Extreme Like Button

UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) is the mecca of all improv comedy theaters. Having taken both improv and writing classes there, I can honestly say that this video perfectly captures what a little gem this place truly is. You can feel the history when you walk inside as well as the excitement that brews from the audience. All I can say is that if you’re in New York City and you love comedy, UCB is a must see. There are shows every night (for cheap) but Sunday night is when the real magic happens. You never know who is going to show up to ASSSSSSCAT. As Amy Poehler jokes, “You get what you pay for. And it’s a free show.” Sometimes the entire cast from SNL will stop by (since many of them got their start at UCB) or someone super famous and hilarious like Robin Williams will make a guest appearance. But watching the players from various sketch groups perform on stage is just as rewarding. You’ll find yourself howling with the rest of the audience, with a semi-cold can of PBR (just $2!) in one hand. Just be ready to wait in line. If you know me at all, you’re aware that I’ll sit in the snow for hours eating slices of pizza just to get a seat.

I have to say that performing on that famous stage during my first level improv graduation show was one of the highlights of me living in New York City. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous. Thank you Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh for opening up such a creative outlet for all to enjoy.

*Note to self: SIGN UP FOR IMPROV AS SOON AS MY ANKLE HEALS. It’s been way too long – so long ago, in fact, that I forgot I had full on bangs the last time I performed there. 

**2nd Note to self: DON’T GET BANGS AGAIN.

My friend Jess and I after our Improv 101 Graduation Show

My friend Jess and I after our Improv 101 Graduation Show

246. O’Brien On Fire

IMG_1383

Last month I hit up Union Pool in Brooklyn to watch a bunch of comedians (including the hilarious Mike O’Brien) perform in The Moon, a monthly variety show where everyone from banjo players to comic book lovers hit the stage. Before I knew it I found myself buying Mr. O’Brien his next cocktail (hence photo above) and chatting with him about living la vida loca. Although there was no mention of Ricky Martin, we did chat about what he was contributing to the evening: a short story about a renegade cop named Buck McCoy. The good thing about the Union Pool venue is it’s tiny – small enough to really enjoy an intimate show. Mike certainly brought his deadpan storytelling skills to the stage (as well as a plethora of late night snacks).

Yep, that's a deli sandwich.

Yep, that’s a deli sandwich.

I also had the chance to hear the Union Street Preservation Society perform. This folksy, bluegrass, banjo-playing band was so entertaining. Sara Bouchard’s voice reminded me of a young Natalie Merchant with a bit more playfulness behind it while Alex Borsody’s Dobro playing skills had me thinking, “what the hell type of instrument is he playing up there?” With a fiddler and an upright bassist added to the mix, this Brooklyn-based group had the audience cheering from the very first note. Make sure to check them out next time they play in NYC.

Union Street Preservation Society

Union Street Preservation Society

Side note: I did end up on stage as part of one of the show’s fun intermission games. I was told to act out the sentence “Oh my stars and garters!” I didn’t win but I did walk away with four shiny comic books by Jeff Smith (yes, totally random):

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Tickets for The Moon are only $5 and it’s well worth the trek out to Brooklyn to see some of today’s funniest (and randomly talented) people perform at such a small venue.

*Note to self: Next time I buy a drink for a comedy hero of mine, make sure to send my #/info on a napkin (this drastically reduces the chances of me awkwardly waving my arms at him like a mad woman).

227. American Ham…And Other Revelations

Offerman

Watch out Megan Mullally. I saw your husband, Nick Offerman, without his shirt on this weekend. But don’t worry, so did hundreds of other people. They were mostly young guys wearing plaid but that’s neither here nor there. The Parks and Recreation star hit up The Town Hall this past Saturday for his American Ham tour. Over the course of the two-hour show I learned the following about the man who plays beef’s best friend, Ron Swanson:

  • He giggles a lot
  • He thinks Rob Lowe’s face is “like magic”
  • He loves woodworking and meat as much as his character on NBC
  • He’s a romantic (e.g. he’s always made homemade cards for the women in his life)
  • He lives by 10 essential rules – one of them is to “Go outside. And remain.”
  • He’s extremely vulgar (and horny)
  • He agrees that he looks like “a Galifianakis

I’d have to concur:

I don’t know if I can look at Ron the same way after witnessing this one-man show but I am grateful to see a comedian and actor gain so much success at a later age. Granted, he’s only 42, but that’s like 100 in Hollywood years.

*Note to self: Another one of Offerman’s rules to live by is to “Get a hobby. Master something.” Does eating count? If so, I’d be like the CEO of eating. But Nick would be the CMO. As in the “Chief Meat Officer.” Obvi.

175. Matt Piedmont: Viewing Life Through A Comic Lens

(credit: imdb.com)

Last fall, I had the chance to interview Matt Piedmont, a comedy writer that I’ve looked up to for years. From SNL to Casa de mi Padre, this guy has done it all. Find out why he loves Gap khakis, how he broke into Hollywood, and why he feels like Liberace…sometimes.

Matt Piedmont: Viewing Life Through A Comic Lens.

140. Florida. It’s Not Just A Place To Retire.

67 year-old Gid Pool is proving that retirement can be funny.  Not in the “let’s go buy a Jitterbug phone and go tan ourselves until we look like Magda from Something About Mary” kind of way, but in a “I took a comedy class at age 61 and realized this is what I want to do with my life” kind of way.  I came across this inspiring segment on the Today Show this morning.  My favorite part is when they show Gid mowing his lawn, going over jokes.  He says, “or maybe he’s just S-T-U-P-I-D.”  I don’t know what this joke is about but I like it already!  Who knew the AARP website was so fun!?  You can find discounts and reconnect with Jane Pauley?  I’m signing up today.  OK, maybe not.  But still, you can watch the whole segment here.

103. Two Hilarious Dudes in Bright Colors

Mike O'Brien (in a nice Irish green) and John Mulaney (in a nice coral/salmon color)

Little did I know that while strolling through NYC on a late summer night back in 2009 with my roommate (Jamie Lee) and her friend that her friend was the John Mulaney.  I knew he worked at SNL but I had no idea the extent of his funniness.  After seeing one of his stand-up shows I left crying (and almost peeing my pants, but that’s a whole other story).  He’s the guy behind Bill Hader’s hilarious character, Stefon, and has just secured a deal with Comedy Central for his own stand-up special.

As for Mike O’Brien, he’s the hilarious SNL writer and guy behind 7 Minutes in Heaven (see post #87), the web series based out of a closet at Rock Center.  He’s brought on everyone from Amy Poehler to Patricia Clarkson and yep, you guess it, he’s sucked face with most of them.

Learn more about this hilarious duo and find out why PAPERMAG just named them two of the most Beautiful People 2012.