Since it’s Comedy Wednesday, I’d be a terrible friend and comedy connoisseur if I didn’t mention that my friends Alison and Mark were mentioned in the newest podcast by my two favorite Jewish mothers, Ronna and Beverly. Check out their podcast HERE to learn more about them and PLEASE listen to the episode “Hometown Hero” to hear the awesome shout out to these awesome people (@ the 59 min mark). Remember Ronna and Beverly from THIS post? Remember Mark and Alison from THIS post?
On Tuesday, in place of Comedy Bang Bang, Ronna and Beverly did their monthly performance at UCB. You can see above, the stage was set with a special Hanukkah graphic and pig pinata. This show happens monthly, but this was extra special because it was holiday themed. Every show has different guests, and I’ve gone to probably 15 and they’ve all been hilarious.
If you are new to Ronna and Beverly, you should know that these woman are playing their Jewish mothers and do the whole show as these characters.
This night they lit the menorah.
Paul F. Tompkins was guest number one. They let him take a swing at the pinata. I love the photo above, not just for Paul’s awesome expression, but also for the “Happy Hanukkah” written on the pig.
You can see when they interview guests, it’s only the guests the get the chairs and Ronna and Beverly stand behind them asking questions as if it’s an interrogation. This setup means that when the guests are asked questions, they are forced to turn and face each host, forcing them to look back and forth the entire show.
Paul clearly knew what he was getting into and took it all really well.
Beverly brought out a surprise guest! Her daughter (not the skinny one in Arizona
auditing taking classes at their University, but the heavier twin living in Israel).
Next came out Paget Brewster who got sucked into the interrogation. They kept all the guests on stage for each interview, which was just for this holiday event. I must say, it was really fun having Paul F. Tompkins on stage for the whole show. His reaction to Ronna and Beverly was so funny.
The last guest was Angela Kinsey from The Office.
After the interview time ended, they did a Hanukkah swap (aka, secret santa). Beverly coordinated the secret santa and there was a “mix-up” and somehow all the guests brought gifts for Beverly and Ronna got nothing.
Beverly pulled Paul F. Tompkins name for the gift trade. She got him a journal she had left over from a Beverly and Ronna event. Such a fun night, and it was only $5. Check out their podcast HERE to learn more about them, and check the UCB schedule in January for their next show.
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.
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.
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!
Here is Scott Aukerman opening the show. Isn’t he handsome?
Scott came back out to introduce the next guest with the help of Weird Al. Check out his website link for his new music.
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.
Scott came back out and invited Andy Richter to come help him introduce the next comedian.
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)?
Scott came back out and was joined by The Cake Boss (Paul F. Tompkins), a Comedy Bang Bang podcast favorite.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once again, it’s fail-city over here. The weekend guide is by far the most time consuming to work on, and often I dont find out about the best events until the day of, so I can’t write them in advance. With my now crazy work schedule, it’s just going to have to be what it is. Apologies, as you are first in my heart. Let’s start on Saturday:
Tonight I’ve got 3 (although there certainly are 100’s more) Halloween events to check out. Chinatown is having a Zombie Art Walk from 6-10pm. One Eyed Gypsy is having a costume party. And the Hollywood Forever cemetery is hosting a Dia De Los Muertos celebration. It’ll be legit.
If youre not in the spirit and sick of halloween stuff, head over to UCB for the Who Charted (podcast) live taping of their 100th episode with special guests Paul F. Tompkins, Steve Agee, and Jason Woliner. It says tickets are sold out, but UCB is great about letting people in off their waiting list, so come down before the show and get your name on the list!
If you’re into animation, check out The Platform International Animation Festival at Redcat. Or why not see Bad Apples at the Atwater Village Theater? Or hop on the orange line and head to Pierce College where they are having a Halloween Harvest Festival?
Tonight at 8pm Eban Schletter (composer/songwriter) will be putting on a show called Eban Schletter’s Fantastical Musicorium at the Trepany House. He’s an excellent musician who worked on Mr. Show, SpongeBob SquarePants, Drawn Together and The Pod F. Tompkast. Tonight’s show is extra special, where Paul F. Tompkins, Garfunkel & Oates, and Mike Phirman join Eban and his band for a fun night filled with laughter and music. Tickets are $10 and you can get them HERE. For less than the cost of a movie, you get a night full of live entertainment from great performers.
Event: Eban Schletter’s FANTASTICAL MUSICORIUM
Location: Trepany House, 4773 Hollywood Blvd, LA CA 90027
Cost: $10 (get tickets HERE)
FIY: This show will be back on Sept 4th with different guests.
Now I know it’s comedy Wednesday, and I’m supposed to be posting about all the comedy shows I’ve seen this past week but unfortunately I haven’t had the time to go. Not even Melgard Monday (I know, I’m disappointed in myself too!!) Work has been chaotic this past week so I couldn’t commit to any comedy shows. But I promise I’ll have plenty to talk about next week (HINT HINT– Are you going?)
For this Comedy Wednesday I thought I’d share a video of two of my favorites, Paul F. Tompkins and Zach Galifanakis. I’m also including a trailer for Zach’s new movie- which I’m VERY excited for.
Before I begin the Weekend Guide, I want to share about a series of images posted on yahoo this morning showing the abandonded North Brother Island in NYC. Click HERE to see a slide show of crazy images like this one below.
I also must confess that work went late last night and I didn’t get to attend trampoline dodgeball. But have no fear, this event happens weekly and I plan on attending it next week. So more to come on that later. Alrighty, it’s time to jump into the Weekend Guide!
Any Star Wars fans out there? Tonight in honor of the 3D release of Star Wars: Episode I, there is a pop-up art gallery at Brisk Bodega Cantina. I keep finding mixed info on the date and time of this event which means it’s probably unavailable at this point. Im including it because it sounds cool and Ill keep it on my radar for when it comes to town next time. It’s a Star Wars themed music and art event that sounds awesome.
Tonight at UCB, Paul F Tompkins is doing his Dead Authors Reading at UCB LA (to benefit 826LA). H G Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) and J.R.R Tolkien (Matt Walsh) will be on stage chatting and answering your questions. Make your reservations HERE. It starts at 6:30p and tickets are $5.
Also tonight at 7:30p at the LACMA, Gary Oldman is leading a conversation followed by a viewing of The Contender. It’s being held in the Bing Theater and tickets are $10 (HERE).
SATURDAY Feb 4:
Speaking of the LACMA, di you check out the Metropolis II exhibit last weekend? Well, it’s still there and judging by the images, it’s worth a visit. The LACMA is also housing a complete replication of the Eames Kit House, which was designed and lived in by the Eames family and still exists in the Pacific Palisades. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Eames home a year ago and this mini version looks awesome.
Photo taken from
Visit the LACMA this weekend to see it, or take a drive to see the real deal.
SUNDAY Feb 5:
Sunday is the Super Bowl, as Im sure you all already know. That is the perfect time for non-sports people to get their shopping done (my tradition) or to go to Disneyland (no lines!). This year I am going to a S.B. gathering (for the company, not really for the game). There are some fun bars offering specials to celebrate the event.
Lola’s (the most girlie martini bar alive) is offering a deal (according to Thrillist) for $15 it’s all you can drink Fat Tires. So if you like martini’s and your boy likes beer, head to Lola’s to catch the game.
My favorite bar Tony’s Darts Away will have a special menu packed with yummy vegan and non vegan options. Township Kitchen Americana & Saloon is having $3 hot wings (if that’s your style).
HERE is a link to a site with a full listing of bars and their Super Bowl deals.
Happy weekend, everyone!
The Comedy Bang Bang Christmas Show 2011, was amazing per usual. It was in a larger venue this year, the Ricardo Montalban Theater in Hollywood. Thankfully the theater was pretty intimate dispite being 20 time the size of UCB. I purchased a $30 General admission ticket, and got a pretty good seat with my group of 5 friends along the left side of the theater. Scott Aukerman hosted the show, of course, and began by encouraging people to move around during the show and take advantage of the giveaways in the lobby and the food trucks outside. This part was a great improvement from UCB, because at UCB there was never a food option and only 2 bathrooms. Inevdiably, patrons would need to sneak out at the start of a comedians set and be called out for “leaving”. Thankfully, at this large venue with people going in and out you felt less self conscious about that.
I need to apologize to you and to myself, because my camera is in the shop and I was forced to take cell phone pictures of the event. Lately my cell phone has been acting funny, and nearly half the photos I took (aka, the in-focus pics) didn’t save to the camera for some reason. So you are about to see the best of the worst. Good luck.
Here is Scott Aukerman introducing the show. How hot did he look last night!? He was so handsome in his suit and his hair so perfectly quaffed. Serious stud-muffin… that Kulap is one lucky lady. For those of you who don’t know who he is, Scott started out writing for The Mr. Show and is who I would call, the George Washington of Comedy. He’s not old, and this is purely meant as a compliment. Scott has done so much for the comedy community. He and BJ Porter started Comedy Death Ray, which is now Comedy Bang Bang back in 2002 and it’s been such a great way to expose great stand up comedians to and audience that can’t afford to go to large expensive venues every week. Scott and Jeff Ulrich started Earwolf, which is a comedy podcasting channel. Through this channel many indie comedians can post podcasts every week from LA, that people all over the world can listen to. Throughout his career he’s been trying to make indie comedians more accessible to the public and he’s taken a leadership role in trying to organize the comedy community. The most impressive part is that he’s done a lot of these things without a lot of recognition, he does it because he cares about indie comedy. Thank you Scott Aukerman.
Scott Aukerman and Paul F. Tompkins (as Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber) sang their own version of Father Christmas Is Coming To Town. Sir Webber is a frequent visitor on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast.
Nick Kroll started off the night as the first stand up comic to take the mic. You might know him from The League or as one of his many characters (my favorite is Fabrice, Fabrice).
Jen Kirkman was up next.
Scott lowered the mic for the next comedian, Jimmy Pardo. Jimmy killed it as usual. Jimmy has the podcast “Never Not Funny” which sponsored the event. He works on the Conan O’brian Show as the crowd emcee. On tv shows made in front of a live audience (specifically where they record the laugh track) they need a live emcee to keep the crowd pumped up and energized between takes. This is the PERFECT job for Jimmy Pardo because he is great with an audience. He doesn’t even need to prepare bits because all he has to do is talk with an audience member and it’s always hilarious.
Adam Scott (Party Down, Parks and Recreation, Step Brothers) came on stage where he pretended to be a presenter at the SAG Awards. Scott and Adam are good friends and podcast together often, so I’m not surprised he attended. Considering Adam Scott is not a stand-up, this was the perfect skit for him to be apart of on stage.
Marc Maron came up next, where he did what he does best and “got real”. Marc is great storyteller and has a way about talking to the audience as if you’re a small group of friends at a party. He even took out an email and read it, very much like he does on his podcast, WTF with Marc Maron.
Bob Odenkirk was a great follow up to Marc Maron, because they couldn’t be further apart on the comedy scale. Bob was very funny with light puns and more “jokie” jokes. Much lighter than Marc’s story telling. Both so funny and yet so different. By the way, Bob is from the Mr. Show with Bob (Odenkirk) and David (Cross).
Next up, Kumail Nanjiani.
Scott broke up the stand-up comedy routine by having his friend Weird Al perform. Weird Al literally made love to the audience and it was fantastic.
Sarah Silverman did her set next.
After Sarah, Todd Glass took the stage which was followed by…
JON HAMM! YUM!
Andy Daly came out as one of his characters who is a children’s theater director (think creepy old guy with authority around kids).
Brian Posehn came out next. He’s the first of three members of the Comedians of Comedy that came out that night. I apologize for this terrible photo.
Andy Kinder was up next.
Anthony Jeselnik was the only comedian of the night I’d never seen perform live before, and he was really funny too.
Neil Hamburger even came out for the night.
TIG! She’s always great. I’m going to see her on Friday night at Largo as part of Sarah Silverman’s Show.
Patton Oswalt! He’s one of my favorite comedians. He was clearly exhausted but did a solid set.
David Kochner (The Office, Anchorman) came out as a character making topical jokes.
Garfunkle and Oates sand their gocart song and then rapped about handjobs. They do regular performances at UCB, where they perform a bunch of songs and it’s an awesome show to see. They are a little timid on stage when they speak and it’s fun to see them be so lively when they sing.
Next up, Matt Braunger.
Maria Bamford hit the stage after Matt, and it’s unfortunately at this point that I had to leave (12:15?). I get up so early for work and when I left the theater I still had to walk back to my car. My goal was to stay and see Maria (because she’s awesome) and the last 4 performers I’d seen perform a bunch of times at UCB.
So alas, my CBB Christmas event is over until 2012. Thankfully I have Largo on friday (Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die is performing! Paul Rust, Harris Wittels, Michael Cassady). 3 giant comedy events in one week, isn’t life great?
Today (exactly 20 min ago) 2011 Comedy Bang Bang Nativity Show tickets went on sale (get them HERE). I have gone 2 other years when it was held at the UCB Theatre in LA. The money goes to the LA Food Bank and they often do an Ebay auction to raise funds. This year they moved out of the UCB Theater to a much larger venue in Hollywood, so tickets are much easier to get and a lot more money can be raised in ticket sales to go toward the LA Food Bank. GO TO THIS EVENT! $30 is NOTHING to see this many comedians in one place. At UCB it was awesome being in a theater packed with comedians. Really something special. Im interested to see how this works in a larger theater. Below are photos from previous years:
These were maybe half of the amount of comedians that performed at the 2010 Comedy Death Ray Christmas Show. I had to end these pics on my comedian crush, Harris Wittels. Swoon.
Happy December! One more month until 2012, are you as excited as I am? Since I missed last weeks Weekend Guide, due to Thanksgiving and all, I figure I should post the weekend guide a day early to give you extra time to plan.
FRIDAY December 2, 2011
There are three fun events happening this Friday, all around the same time so choose wisely. One of my favorite holiday events is Toluca Lake’s Open House (from 6-9p), where local restaurants and vendors plant themselves on the sidewalk along Riverside and hand out free samples and hot cider. They have a bus that goes up and down Riverside with carolers singing classic tunes. It’s a festive celebration that really pulls out the community (and also adorable doggies in costumes). HERE is the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce website that talks about more community events. HERE is the Open House info.
Another holiday fair happening on the same night, from 7-9p, is the Sunset Junction Holiday Party and Scavenger Hunt. Get ready for live music, drinks, and local shops. It’s another great way to get to know your neighbors, get off your butt and experience something different. This neighborhood has some great restaurants, so I say check out the party, shop local for unique Christmas gifts and then hit up a new restaurant. For more info and a map showing local venues check out more info HERE.
If you’re sick of holiday crap, and want to have a laugh, check out the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Friday Night at 6:30 to see Nick Kroll (The League, Fabrice Fabrice) as Jorge Luis Borges and of course Paul F Tompkins as HG Wells in Dead Authors Reading. The money goes to support 826LA, get your tickets before they sell out HERE.
SATURDAY December 3, 2011
Unique LA is holding their holiday event on Saturday and Sunday from 11a- 6p (both days) and tickets ahead of time are $10. 10% of ticket sales go towards 826LA. With the price of admitance, you get a cotton tote bag, entry for both days, free drinks, workshops and crafts, free portraits at the Oh Snap Photo Booth, acess to Amoebas Pop-Up Shop downtown, and 2 different cafe areas. This event is similar to the Etsy craft fair, with designers creating original goods that will make you look extremely artsy and sophisticated when you give out our gifts at Christmas time. So get your ticket (online is cheaper), help a local charity (826LA) and buy one of a kind Christmas gifts (boost the economy). Win. Win. Win. The event is located at The California Market Center (110 East Ninth Street, LA, CA 90079).
ColLAboration is celebrating the holidays with their Winter Wonderland event at Golden Road Brewing in Atwater, from 12p-5p on Saturday. ColLAboration is a group that holds craft beer events at different locations throughtout the year around LA. For those of you who’ve never been (that’s including myself), you pay $15 for a beer glass that essentially buys you a membership to future events. You keep the glass and reuse it at all the ColLAboration events. Once you have your glass you need to buy beer tokens which allow you to taste different beers when you are at the event. I hope to be here this Saturday, so Ill report back about it. I have been to Golden Road Brewery before (see that post HERE), but I’ve been meaning to explore other craft breweries that team up with ColLaboration.