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 March 9 + 10 + 11

Hi All! I’ll be hitting the road this weekend for a much needed getaway in the mountains. Expect some wilderness themed posts next week. In the meantime here are the details on things happening around LA this weekend. I’m SUPER jealous I won’t get to partake in these activities, but hopefully you will enjoy them. Lets get into it!

FRIDAY March 9th:

Stop by Art Night Pasadena from 6-9pm on Friday. Expect art, live music, great people watching, and a long list of food trucks. This FREE event involves institutions all over Pasadena and has a FREE shuttle connecting them all. There is even an art night bicycle tour. Follow them on facebook HERE to learn more about this event and their upcoming events.

If you’re not near Pasadena and closer to the West Side, check out Gallery 1988 for a show that combines 2 of my favorite things: art and comedy. Weird Al is hosting the opening of Is This Thing On? which is sponsored by Funny Or Die. I’ve been to this gallery space before and it isn’t huge, so expect a line, but it’s totally worth it. HERE they are on Facebook. Friend them!

SATURDAY March 10th:

Now once you’ve left Gallery 1988.. maybe linger on Melrose and head to the LACMA where anywhere form 2-6am, Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass will be delivered to the LACMA after it’s road trip around LA. The museum will be closed, but their parking lot will be open and FREE. There will be bathrooms available to vistors waiting to see the rock. There will be a coffee cart and food trucks parked along Wilshire. Check the LACMA’s blog HERE for updates and tweets telling you exactly where the rock is at any moment of the night. It might sound like a waste of time, but if you get a couple friends together and make a night/morning of it, it’ll be a night you never forget.

Once you go home and rest up after a night of rock waiting/watching, hit up Silver Lake Art, Craft and Vintage. It’s the second Saturday of every month, so if you miss this one it will be back. Expect a bunch of food trucks and support local. Why not walk around and explore the neighborhood? Silver Lake is awesome, so buy some unique art and hit up an indie coffee shop. Then find a street that’s new to you and explore.

If you aren’t sick of the LACMA from the night before, come back at 7:30p for their Young Directors Night. This is a chance to watch films from directors around LA, as well as learn from a panel discussion about filmmaking. Tickets for the general public are $30. It’s a bit steep, but if you’re in the production world this event is a great place to meet people and network. Once you’re inside there’s free food, drinks and music. Check out images from past events HERE.

Since it’s the 2nd Saturday of the month, check out the NELA Art Gallery Night in Eagle Rock/ Highland Park. If I weren’t going out of town I would for sure be here. You know what bar/ restaurant is in the neighborhood? The York! Check it out while you pop in and out of art galleries. When I was in the York last week, I swear I saw a flyer advertising The John Corbett Band playing there this weekend. I can’t find ANYTHING online to confirm this, but I know what that flyer said. So go to the York, and if they aren’t there then sit, stay and enjoy the food. If they are there, repeat steps 1 through 3 and add “have an awesome listening experience” as step 4. Plus John Corbett is a hottie, so your eyes will have a great experience too 😉

At 7:30p on Saturday night, Devil’s Night Drive-In is screening Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There are car-hops delivering food, new astroturf, and walk-in’s and bike in’s welcome. DJ Morgan will be dropping beats before the movie. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the gate. Add this EVENT on facebook.

If you don’t like art, good food, live music, classic films, and appreciate roughhousing (which my blog never provides for you), then you need to pay a visit to the LA Derby Dolls. On Saturday night the LA Derby Dolls and playing the Sand Deigo Durby Dolls in a March Radness Exhibition Bout. Get your tickets HERE. It’s quite an experience. PArking is tricky, so expect to neighborhood surf for a spot (and bring your rape whistle). Derby Doll events are always a good time. I had one bad visit where the spinning, loud noises, and packed crowd made me really nauseous, but in general this is a fun event. Now you can’t say I never blog about sports 🙂

SUNDAY March 11th:

This weekend is the Los Angeles Animation Festival. There are events happening all weekend (see the full schedule HERE). On Sunday at 2pm there is a Shrek Gala Event. At 4pm there’s a screening of A Cat In Paris, which was a 2012 Oscar nominee. At 6pm Sean Lennon is presenting Grave of the Fireflies. At 8pm Tom Kenny (aka the voice of Sponge Bob and an awesome comedian) will host The Tune and an Awards Ceremony. Is that not a day full of fun events? This is all happening at the Regent Showcase on La Brea and you can get tickets online in advance.

Golden Road Brewing is hosting a Beer Festival from 2-5p for $20. I took the above image at Tony’s the other night. Get your tickets HERE! They do brewery tours… just say’in.

I’m pretty sure your weekend just went from empty to jammed packed, because that was a lot of good stuff. Also, if you want Comedy Bang Bang tickets for next Tuesday, click HERE at noon, so any minute now!

Comedy Bang Bang Nativity Pageant

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:

Nick Thune

Don’t Stop Or We’ll Die with Scott Aukerman

Paul Scheer and Bret Gelman (as the dudes from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and Jon Daly as Santa

Paul Rust and Martin Starr

Weird Al saving Christmas

Sarah Silverman

Tom Lennon

Adam Scott in his Party Down attire

Nick Kroll and Paul F. Tompkins

Aziz Ansari

Harris Wittels as “The Butler”

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.