Do This Today: The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail

It’s Comedy Wednesday! The Meltdown is tonight with hosts Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani! Tonight’s guests are   Jenny Slate, Tyler Greene, Adam Cayton Holland, Alice Wetterlund, Eugene MirmanTodd Glass and a special guest!      

Event: The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (event link)
Location: Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Clvd, Los Angeles CA 90046
Time: 8:15p doors
Cost: $8 (get tickets here)

Comedy Bang Bang Nativity Pageant 2012

Last week on December 4th it was the 500th live show of Comedy Bang Bang, as well as the last. Of course this was a funeral of sorts for the best comedy show in Los Angeles, but it was also a celebration of the last 500 weeks of shows. Comedy Wednesday here at Life Absorbed is based on this show, and it will be sadly missed. In a few weeks a new stand up comedy show will take its place at UCB, which Im sure will be hilarious and equally as fun, but I’m so sad to see it ending. When tickets went on sale for this event, there was no way I was going to miss it. I even bought the floor tickets to be as close to the comedians as possible. Here’s the tale of this epic comedy adventure.

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The usual venue for this event is the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, but since this was not only the last show but also the special Christmas Nativity Pageant (where proceeds go to the LA Food Bank), it was held at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. They had food trucks out front, free drinks and the place was crawling with comedians. Not just the ones performing, but other local comedians that came to see their friends (and heros) perform. While I was waiting for the show to start (and buying the limited edition event print), I saw Jake Fogelnest running around, Jason Woliner taking his seat, and Myq Kaplan when the show was letting out. I’m sure there were tons more that I didn’t even catch.

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I took this photo in the lobby of the theater, looking through the glass at the press line. After I took this photo I realized Kulap (comedian and wife of Scott Aukerman-pictured above), was taking a photo next to me. She seemed so proud of her husband and it was really sweet to see. She recently was on Parks and Recreation playing Adam Scott’s step mother. Scott is the host of Comedy Bang Bang (the podcast, tv show on IFC, and the live show in Los Angeles ending this night). I consider Scott to be the Ben Franklin of comedy. He’s done SO much for the comedy community starting with this stand up show, then growing the empire into a podcasting station (Earwolf) filled with hilarious comedy shows. He’s taken initiative and created an outlet for comedians to reach listeners all over the world. Comedy Bang Bang is a $5 ticket every week and the podcast is by donation, which makes the comedy affordable and accessible to everyone. As a comedy fan, I’m extremely grateful for all of his hard work as I have certainly reaped the benefits. Now, on to the show!

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Here is Scott Aukerman opening the show. Isn’t he handsome?

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Patton Oswalt was first up. I’ve gotten to meet him at his book signing (which you can buy here) and I’m lucky enough to see him occasionally at work (he’s on The Newsroom this season!).

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Scott came back out to introduce the next guest with the help of Weird Al. Check out his website link for his new music.

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Jimmy Pardo came out next. He’s the host of Never Not Funny, his comedy podcast and if your lucky enough to catch a live Conan taping, you’ll get to see Jimmy prepping the crowd. He’s thinks on his toes and is amazing at crowd work. I’ve seen him perform easily 25 times, and I’ve never seen him have a rough night. 

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Scott came back out and invited Andy Richter to come help him introduce the next comedian.

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Next up, the Nerdist‘s Chris Hardwick. You might know him from when he hosted Singled Out with Jenny McCarthy. Or maybe you know him as half of Hard N’ Phirm? Or maybe from his Web Soup (the Soup but all about web content for G4tv)?

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Scott came back out with Steve Agee carrying the sexy Jon Hamm. This comedic sequence was hilarious and ended with Jon carrying Steve off stage. See more pics below:

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Jenny Slate came out next. You probably know her from SNL or Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (check out the animation on youtube).

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Scott came back out and was joined by The Cake Boss (Paul F. Tompkins), a Comedy Bang Bang podcast favorite.

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Right when Scott came out and started to say “I often get asked why the name changed from Comedy Death Ray to Comedy Bang Bang, and it’s a funny story. It all started when…” and he gets cut off by Matt Besser as The Upstager. He was out in the audience causing a stir and interrupting Scott. Yes, he’s wearing an Osama Bin Laden tee shirt.

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Tim Heidecker (of Tim and Eric) came out next and did his whole set as if it was a stock holder speech and he was just made the chief editor of Rolling Stone Magazine. The photo above was taken when Tim presented Scott with one free online subscription to be donated to the LA Food Bank.

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Zach Galifinakis came out next. I felt like the crowd was most excited to see Zach perform, and although I’ve seen him perform at comedy shows all over LA I haven’t ever seen him do his tradition Purple-Onion one liners, until now. Although he came out telling the crowd not to expect much, he didn’t disappoint. Zach’s a very low-energy guy, but his set was fantastic.

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Kurt Braunohler (host of IFC’s Bunk) and Kristen Schall (30 Rock) came out to perform together next. They have a comedy show together called “Hot Tub“. The started the bit in the photo above, where they introduced their charity for polio where the go to schools performing to raise awareness for the disease. Then the hit the lights and perform a glow in the dark dance that ends when the lights come up and they are in a sexual position. Then they try to slowly sneak off stage (see below).

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David Cross came out next! I must say, he was who I was most excited to see. I’ve never seen him in person and yet I spent my childhood watching Mr. Show, then as an adult seeing Arrested Development and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and I own his comedy cds. He was number 1 on my “to see” list for the last 10 years, so this was big for me. And he was so funny- he lived up to the hype.

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Todd Glass came out next. You can’t not love Todd. He’s awesome and you should check out his podcast, The Todd Glass Show.

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Next up was Neil Hamburger. He dedicated his set to the late Whitney Houston. He performs a lot at the Satellite in Silver Lake, so check back and I’ll keep you posted on when he’s performing next.

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The lovely ladies of Garfunkel and Oates were up next. They sang the Fade Away song, about the crewl way girls break up with guys by just slowly disappearing. Then they sang The College Try, about a college bisexual experience that didn’t go well. The last song they sang was Loophole about anal sex.

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Doug Benson came out next. I see Doug Loves Movies all the time, but it was nice getting to see him do stand up. If you’re in Los Angeles you have to catch Doug Loves Movies or the Benson Interruption at the Silent Movie Theater.

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Up next was Chelsea Peretti. She’s a writer for Parks and Recreation and you may remember her from the Louie pilot where she and Louie CK go on the most painful date ever.

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Nick Kroll is probably most well known from the FX show The League. He does excellent character work on the CBB podcast. My favorite character Nick does is Fabrice Fabrice.

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Next up was “The Queen of Mean” as Scott introduced him. No, not Lisa Lampanelli, but Anthony Jeselnik. His comedy is really mean… but also really funny.

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Paul Scheer did a gift giving bit with help from the audience. He suggested movie screeners as gifts and then said he would give them to audience members at least until…

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Rob Huebel came out from the audience with a gun and saying he was with the FBI’s anti-screener division and what Paul was doing was illegal. This became a heated stand off… even audience members weren’t safe:

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It was later revealed that Paul was from Interpol, and was actually a reverse sting operation. Then it was revealed that they were both just acting out a scene. It was a roller coaster of emotion.

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Brian Posehn came out next and did a set. Brian also got his start on the Mr. Show with Bob and David. Did I mention that Scott was one of their writers? Or that Paul F. Tompkins also starred on the show? If Bob Odenkirk had come out this would have been a full fledged Mr. Show reunion.

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Last up for the night was Thomas Lennon. He donned his PSY suit and got the audience singing “bing-bong” to his Christmas song. This song was pretty dark and he went out into the audience having people sing “bing-bong” into the mic while he sang his lyrics.

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Not long after I took this photo (note Todd Glass standing in the background), Thomas Lennon came up to me and made me sing into the mic. It was awesome/terrifying. I’m terrible at keeping a beat (I’m the type to clap one off from everyone) so this was quite scary. Plus I could hear my out-of-tune voice from the sound system, which meant I must have been blaring. I kept moving my head back away from the mic but he kept shoving it closer and closer to my lips.

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Thomas Lennon finished his song on stage and Scott joined him for the final good bye. As heart breaking as this was, it meant the show had to end.

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Todd Glass jumped on stage after the show ended and continued “bing-bonging” for several mintues as the theater cleared out. Comedians came out from back stage to take pictures of him. I am crazy impressed that Todd was able to “bing-bong” to the beat, in key, for at least 5 solid minutes.

Well that concludes the final Comedy Bang Bang show. To see photos from previous years, check out THIS post and THIS post. To listen to the bag stage fun check out Scott and Kulap’s Comedy Bang Bang podcast.

Comedy Bang Bang (October 9, 2012)

It’s Comedy Wednesday! If you want to go to Comedy Bang Bang, check out THIS website on Friday at noon when tickets go on sale. They sell out almost instantly so get’em if you can, and at $5 a ticket, it’s the best price in town.

Grant Lyon (his website) was this weeks host and I thought he was excellent. Sometimes the hosts seem under prepared or low energy (which could easily be nerves) but he was very prepared and a great start to the night. Check him out and follow him on twitter @grantlyon1.

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Natasha Leggero (her website) came out next looking lovely as usual. She’s such a fancy comedian. She did a mix of old and new (to me) material. She was also in high spirits, which was nice. I love her on Burning Love, and if you haven’t seen it, click that link! Follow her on twitter @natashaleggero.

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Andy Ritchie (his website) was up next and was also a “barrel of laughs”. The energy was really high last night and the crowd was loving the show. And as Andy pointed out, it was abortion night at UCB since most of the comedians talked about it. Follow him on twitter @_AndyRitchie.

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Kumail Nanjiani (his regular show website) was up next. His wife was in the audience, which was fun for me since he’s talked about her before. They look like an adorable, fun couple. Kumail had a cold but was a trooper and did a hilarious set. I would bet that Kumail has never had an “off night”. I’ve seen him perform maybe 30+ times in the last several years and he’s always been hilarious. Follow him on twitter @kumailn.

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Greg Behrendt  (his website) followed up next. He talked a lot about his family (specifically his daughters) and his dog Waffles. I love when comedians tell true family stories because it helps you get to know them, it makes them more human, and true stories are always the funniest. You can’t make this stuff up!

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Jay Chandrasekhar (his imdb) came out next. You probably know him best from acting in and directing Super Troopers and Beerfest. I’ve gotten to work with him before on Friends With Benefits (he directed an episode) and I love that he’s a successful director that still loves doing standup. Follow him on twitter @jaychandrasekha.

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Jenny Slate (her imdb) was last up. You probably know her from SNL (she infamously dropped the f-bomb during her first sketch). She looked adorable last night and revealed she recently got married. She’s so unique and tells incredible childhood stories. She’s very vulgar and not afraid to tell say what she’s thinking. Follow her on twitter @jennyslate25.

Doug Loves Movies/ Comedy Bang Bang: June 19, 2012

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for last nights wrap-up of Doug Loves Movies and Comedy Bang Bang which I saw last night at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.

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This weeks guests are TJ Miller, Pete Holmes, and Jeff Garlin. Jeff Garlin is known on the podcast for being a side-tracker, who talks about everything other than what Doug wants to talk about: movies. Now take him and add in Pete and TJ who are hilarious and full of energy. Basically it was three people talking about anything other than movies and Doug banging a head against the table. It was hilarious (and bizarre) and you’ll have to listen to it on Friday HERE. I’ve never seen a DLM like it.

Just incase you’ve never heard of these guys…
TJ Miller (who I think is so funny and recently saw perform at the Silver Lake Jubilee) has a tiny but very funny role in the new movie Rock of Ages. Here’s a video of him performing just a week ago at Conan’s Chicago event, Just for Laughs:

 

Pete Holmes has a podcast called You Made It Weird. He’s very animated and full of energy. For some reason he reminds me of a young John Ritter. He often performs with TJ Miller or Kumail Nanjiani. I’m a fan of Pete’s and his podcast is worth a listen. Here’s a video of Pete also on Conan:

 

Lastly, Jeff Garlin was on. I feel like I see him all the time so you’ve probably read about him on here before. He’s on Curbed Your Enthusiasm and has performed comedy for 30 years. He was not in a great mood last night, and set a weird vibe for the podcast. Right out of the gate he was kinda rude to Pete Holmes, who did a great job trying to alleviate the tension. I just felt like Jeff had a negative attitude going into the show. He had just gotten a flat tire and probably had a shitty day but it was bringing down the podcast. He lightened up a little throughout the show but toward the end he said he was hungry and just sort of walked out. You’ll have to give the show a listen on Friday. It was definitely one of a kind. Oh, and Samm Levine came out to say hi.

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Next up, Comedy Bang Bang!

Adam Cozen‘s was the host of the nights events. First up was Alex Koll. He did a great set and this was the first I’ve heard of him. I really enjoyed him. Here’s my crappy cell phone picture:

Here’s a video of Alex doing standup, which I found online:

 

Next up, Baron Vaughn. I’m actually going to see him perform this Thursday at the Super Serious Show. This was also my first time seeing him perform and I loved it. He was my favorite of the night and I can’t wait to see him again on Thursday. And of course my cell phone didn’t save the photo I took of him, but I did find this video of him doing Conan (found on youtube):

 

Jenny Slate came out next. She one of my favorite female performers and I saw her perform at Largo this past March. She is newly engaged and talked about that as well as her childhood. She was very funny. This is my crappy cell photo of her from last night:

Here’s a video of her, also on Conan (so many Conan videos today!):

 

Nick Thune, who is also performing at the Super Serious Show on Thursday, came out next. He did his usual guitaring with one-liners, with all new material. He also did a little crowd work, which I’ve never seen him do. Nick Thune is always great. I’ve seen him many times and never a rough set. Here’s my photo of him from last night:

Here’s a video of Nick:

 

Eric Andre came out knocking down everything onstage. He was sick of all his material and trying some new bits.

He was pretty funny and I’ve been meaning to catch him at the Satellite, where he normally does his monthly show. He also has a show for Adult Swim. Here’s an ad for it:

 

Last up was Andy Kindler. He was classic… Andy Kindler. He’s hit or miss to me, and last night I thought he was on his game.

And to mix it up, here’s a clip of Andy on David Letterman:

Largo: March 9, 2012

Did everyone have a fabulous weekend? I had to get outside of LA to enjoy the last remnants of winter, although our cross country skiing weekend turned into a snowless hiking weekend. It was still so much fun to go up into the mountains, breathe fresh air and see stars. It’s hard to believe you’re and hour and a half away from 80 degree heat and you’re looking down on the clouds from so high. More on that coming throughout the week, but I want to catch you up on my Friday night.

I didn’t head into the mountains until early Saturday morning, which means Friday night needed to be mostly about packing and getting to bed early. Oh yeah, and comedy.

I went to Largo (the photo-phobic theatre) to see Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die headline their own show. It’s about time. Although I was disappointed in the low crowd turn out. The theater was probably half-full (not half-empty like some Negative Nancy’s would say). Come on DSOWD fans! It was a great show, and if you missed it, well boy did you miss it.

Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die performed a ton of songs. They even brought out Sarah Silverman who sang a beautiful (serious) song with the band. She has a lovely singing voice and even played gutar to the song “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. She sang this song at her friend Rob Schrab‘s wedding. Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die was the band for Rob’s wedding. I’ve searched on youtube but can’t find a version of her singing it. Here’s a video of the real version. It’s a beautiful song.

Gabe Lieman and Jenny Slate (SNL) had a funny comedy set, which was a little different from the music and was a nice way to breakup the night. Since they don’t allow recording/photos in Largo, I found this video (not taken by me) online of a bit similar to what they did on Friday. It’s a really funny schtick they have. It’s rare to see 2 comedians working together on an act and I enjoyed the combo as they compliment each other well. Check out the video:

Next up was Emerson Alum, Jim Hanft who performed two songs with his real-life girlfriend and singing partner Samantha Yonack. They have such beautiful gentle soulful voices. Here is a video I found online of them singing “Lazy Love”, which is one song they performed on Friday. Buy their music!

Here is another video of them singing I found on youtube:

After this music set, Kyle Dunnigan came out and performed comedy. You probably know him best as serial killer Craig Pullin in Reno 911. I’ve seen him do whole sets in the Craig character and it was great to see him mix in some of himself into this set. I’d never heard his real voice before Friday. He was hilarious and did off-the-cuff musical jokes as he sat at a piano and played really well. It was so great to see the real Kyle.

After Kyle Dunningan, Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die was back on stage for a few more songs. They added in a one song encore, and then Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die night came to a close. It was a fun night, and I even grabbed a drink (alone) at the Roger Bar before the show. Does that make me sad? Or awesome? I’m going to go with awesome. If you’re waiting for a Largo show to start, check out the Roger Room next door.