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.

Weekend Guide October 28 + 29

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?

Do This Today: The Meltdown (comedy!)

The Meltdown is tonight with guest host Matt Braunger! Tonight Myq Kaplan (hilarious!), Ryan Singer, Mark Normand, Adam Cayton-Holland, Giulia Rozzi, and Jackie Kashian are joining them.  At $8, that’s an awesome deal.

Event: The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail
Location: Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Clvd, Los Angeles CA 90046
Time: 8:15p doors
Cost: $8

Comedy Bang Bang (September 11, 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.

Dave Stone (his website) was this weeks host. He was very funny and probably my favorite CBB host since Steve Agee. It was self deprecating comedy, which I normally don’t enjoy (I feel weird laughing at someone who’s calling himself fat) but he was so clever about it that I really appreciated the jokes. Check him out and follow him on twitter @davestonecomedy.

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Brendon Walsh (his website) was up next. It was so great seeing him, considering I read about him all the time but have never seen him in person. He read some letters he wrote to various companies about their products (for example Garden Burgers and Magic Scotch Tape). Genius. Especially funny where the responses to his letters from the companies themselves. Follow him on twitter @brandonwalsh.

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Nikki Glaser (her website) was the only female of the night and she rocked it. She broke all the rules by talking about periods and losing her virginity and other female-centered topics, and she was raunchy and hilarious. These are all typically taboo topics for female comedians but she rocked it. She wasn’t timid about it and was unapologetically gross about it. I loved it. Follow her on twitter @NikkiGlaser .

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Jim Hamilton (his website) was up next. I saw him not too long ago, so a lot of this was a repeat for me, but since Jim does a lot of one-liners they are easy to listen to again. Follow him on twitter @jim_hamilton .

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Hugh Moore (his website) followed up next. Having Jim go right before Hugh probably wasn’t the best idea, because Jim’s comedy is so fast (one-liners aren’t very long) and Hughs jokes involved longer set-ups which felt long compared to Jim. He had some great gems in there. Good stuff! Follow him on twitter @hugh_moore.

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Jay Larson (his website) came out next. I love Jay Larson. I saw him at CBB a few weeks ago and thought he was so funny and last night he did it again. He kept talking like he thought the crowd wasn’t into him, but I was dying laughing so hard. I could listen to him talk all day, and the Boston accent rocks. Follow him on twitter @jaylarson.

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Rory Scovel (his website) was the headliner of the night. He killed it. He started by doing his bits while dancing to the music on stage and then got political. It was all so funny. Rory makes it look so effortless. Follow him on twitter @roryscovel.

Do This Today: The Meltdown (comedy!)

 

Ive talked about Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani on here before (as they are hilarious comedians). Tonight they host their weekly show at Meltdown Comics. Their guests are Katie Crown, Rove McManus, Robert Buscemi, Neal Brennan, Team Submarine, Jim Hamilton, Noah Garfinkel, and Steve Agee. That’s a big group of funny guests. At $8, that’s an awesome deal.

Event: The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail
Location: Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Clvd, Los Angeles CA 90046
Time: 8:15p doors
Cost: $8

The Weekend Guide August 10 + 11 + 12

Deep apologies for the Saturday Weekend Guide post, but now I’m officially unemployed again which means more time for you! I hope you all did something fabulous on Friday night. Well, let’s get to it!

SATURDAY August 11th:

Lets start Saturday off right, with a trip to the Hollywood Farmers Market. At 11am Hester Indie Design will be setup at Space15Twenty (connected to the market) so you can get your fresh produce and awesome summer threads all in one place. Check out their Hester Goes Hollywood event page for details.

Today Bitchcraft Trading Post Summer Bazaar is happening from 12p to 5 tonight. It’s on Glendale Blvd in Atwater. You should check it out and maybe stop into Canele for an awesome brunch.

Long after all the craft fairs, why not check out some comedy? At 10p HelloGiggles Presents: Depressionista is a live comedy show playing at UCB, hosted by Melissa Stephens featuring Steve Agee (awesome!), Leslye Arfin, Joselyn Hughes, Angela Trimbur, Corey Padell, and Drew Tarver.

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SUNDAY August 12th:

This next activity is something you can do any day of the week, but I’ve heard about it before and think it’s worth sharing. It’s Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater and they have a Sunday 2:30p show for $15. It’s exactly like it sounds, and how many people can saw they’ve been to a real marionette theater?

From 7p- 10, every other Sunday, Tony’s Darts Away is having Beers & Beats night. Come enjoy a cheap night of craft beers, vegan (and non vegan) hot dogs, and some vinyl tunes. This place rocks (and they have board games!) so come snag a seat.

The Mint LA is hosting Anna David’s True Tales of Lust and Love (aka live comedy!) at 7pm on Sunday. Come end the week with some laughs. Did I mention Maria Bamford will be there?  Tickets are only $8 (you can get them HERE).

Comedy Bang Bang (July 24, 2012)

In continuation of Comedy Wednesday, after I went to Doug Loves Movies at UCB, that meant I got a great seat at Comedy Bang Bang. I’ve been really lucky getting tickets. If you want to go, check out THIS website on Friday at noon when tickets go on sale. They sell out almost instantly so get’em if you can.

We had the great honor of being audience members on a night when the host wasn’t your average host. Instead of a comedy newcomer, we had comedy legend Steve Agee! How cool is that?! You probably know Steve Agee from The Sarah Silverman Program or as a comedy writer writing for Jimmy Kimmel Live! Even if you’ve never heard of him, he’s awesome and you should look him up. I haven’t seen him perform stand up in probably over a year, so this was a treat.

My cell phone camera actually sorta worked that night. Score! Here’s a clip of Steve acting on The Sarah Silverman Program.

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The next comedian you might know from the podcasting realm since he’s on Professor Blastoff with Tig Notaro and Kyle Dunnigan. Did you guess him? It’s David Huntsberger. I must say he was very adorable. It was my first time seeing him in person, so as a comedy enthusiast I was very excited. 

Here’s a video of David doing a bit similar to what he did at CBB on Tuesday about your brain and dreams. Very funny, and worth a listen.


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This was an AWESOME night of comedy because next up was the lovely Mary Lynn Rajskub. The last time I saw her perform she was just about 9 months pregnant. I will never forget the bits she did that night, as they really stick with me. When she came out on stage on Tuesday, I was trying to figure out how long it’s been since I’ve seen her. My guess was 1 maybe 2 years? In her act she said her son is 4! 4 years since I’ve last seen her?! Insanity. She was fantastic and I hope she does more shows around LA.

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Up next? Morgan Murphy! She’s written a ton of shows you probably watch (2 Broke Girls, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! to name a few). She was excellent. My favorite bit she did involved pulling an audience member on stage.

His name is Damian and he’s 12. Why is he at a comedy club at 10:30p on a Tuesday? I have no clue. But the Dad got quite a ribbing from the comedians. He was sitting in the front row so it was hard to miss and all the comedians made not of it. Morgan Murphy set-up the bit to be like a “celebrity interview”, having Damian read from the cards. Basically he just repeatedly asks her out and says how great she is. It was an awesome bit that really worked because Damian was 12. It’s hard to imagine how she would have don’t that without him there. I loved it! And Damian was really sweet and a team player. He didn’t cower away in fear or become aggressive when the comedians talked to him. I find many adults don’t even act that level headed in a comedy club. 

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Next up was Kumail Nanjiani, who is awesome. He was also the guest on Doug Loves Movies so we just got to see him before the show started. Click HERE to hear about that and to learn more about Kumail.

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Last night was also my first time getting to see Jim Hamilton perform. He has a “kooky” way about him. He has a one-eye-bigger-than-the-other look on his face when he does his act, which is mainly one-liners. He has a comedy album coming out on July 31, called Poems About The Ocean. His Album release party is tomorrow at R Bar in Koreatown. Should be a fun time!


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     Matt Braunger was the closer for the night. I have to say, he was looking very trim. I’ve actually run into him around LA and he looked so trim and put-together at CBB. I’m mighty impressed. He’s definitely becoming more “tv friendly”, which hopefully means we will get to see more of him on tv! He currently has a reoccurring role on Up All Night. Just to show you just how good he looks, for his video I’m going to include one from four years ago. Damn, right?! I’m so impressed.