Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

     
Cabbie Ted Greenberg Makes His Resolutions for 2012

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 29, 2011
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TAXI TIP THURSDAY: CABBIE RESOLUTIONS

To take a break from my role as Ted Greenberg, Off-Broadway hero, occasionally I take the wheel of a yellow cab.

Ted Greenberg celebrates 2012.

Here are my cabbie resolutions for the 2012 New Year:

GENERAL/OVERALL

Ted Greenberg's general resolutions for 2012

#1 Stay positive in traffic court.

#2 Play more top-10 radio.

#3 Get 3 stars before moving to the next level in Angry Birds.

#4 Zero hit-and-runs (except cyclists – Kidding!).

#5 Ease off Gummy candies.

#6 Avoid paparazzi – i.e, no accidents that make traffic reports (not kidding)

THIS YEAR (at least once!)

#7 While crossing 59th Street Bridge, sing 59th Street Bridge song (aka “Feeling Groovy” by Simon & Garfunkel!) .

#8 See Wicked on Broadway.

#9 Travel to Staten Island (if customer insists).

DAILY

Ted Greenberg's daily resolutions for 2012

#10 Use Shake Weights.

#11 Shave, clip nails, and deodorize only at red lights.

AS IT ARISES

Zuccotti Park in Manhattan

#12 When tourists ask for Trump Park, take them to Zuccotti Park instead.

May your ride in the new year be safe and enjoyable. And make one of your resolutions to see Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, A Mostly One-Man Comedy Show.

Any questions? I love’em.

Any resolutions? Send them along. Favorite resolution wins 2 tickets to the show.

Check back next Thursday for more taxi info and tips.



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Ted Greenberg Reflects on His Top 5 New Year’s Eve Experiences

Categories: Latest News
Posted: December 26, 2011
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“What is the meaning of life?” is not the most pressing existential question. Any New Yorker will tell you, it is, instead, “What should I do on New Year’s Eve?” Great plans = a fabulous year ahead. Lousy plans should be avoided at all costs.
 
With less than a week to figure out how I will ring in 2012, I offer a look back at my five top previous New Year’s Eve experiences.
 
Mexico City

 

5. SOUTH OF THE BORDER SURPRISE
Earlier this decade, I celebrated the New Year in the strangest of ways — getting a traffic ticket and nearly spending a night in a Mexico City jail. The upside: the points didn’t count toward my New York license.
 
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24

 

4. RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK
Maybe now is the time to mention my man crush on Kiefer Sutherland. C’mon he’s an Emmy winner. I’m an Emmy winner. Emmy winners gotta stick together. In honor of my bond with the Kief, I rang in 2003 with a 24-hour marathon of his spell-binding TV show’s first season. Watching two-dozen episodes of “24” in one sitting was more adrenaline-pumping than any night at a New York City club.
 
Central Park at Night

 

3. MIDNIGHT RUN
I love to run. I love New York City. The New York Road Runners Midnight Run, a four-mile race in Central Park on New Year’s Eve, is a fabulous way to say goodbye to one year and hello to another. This year’s event, sponsored by Emerald Nuts, features a laser light and fireworks show as well as dancing.
 
Film Forum Marquee

 

2. DOUBLE FEATURE
Sometimes I prefer a laid back New Year’s Eve. On those occasions, I head to one of New York’s treasures — Film Forum — for a double feature. For 40+ years, Film Forum has offered independent fare. For going on four years, I have performed my throughly independent show. Fun fact, for five years (1975-80), Film Forum was located at the Vandam Theater, now known as the SoHo Playhouse where I perform Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer every Saturday night. These days, Film Forum is situated on West Houston Street only a few short blocks from its former home and my current one SoHo Playhouse.
 
Times Square on New Year's Eve

 

1. THE HEART OF IT ALL
Most New Yorkers, quite honestly, avoid Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but I highly recommend everyone spend the holiday — just once! — with the horde of freezing, drunken revelers at the crossroads of the world. Just once. There is nothing like watching the glittering ball drop live. Nothing. Side note: go when the weather is nice; sub-freezing temperatures are hard to shake off hours after you are inside.  And unlike my show, do not expect a cab ride home.
 
What are you doing for New Year’s Eve this year? I’m still figuring out my plans and taking all suggestions. Maybe we can party together?



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Taxi Tip Thursday: Share a New York City Cab This Holiday Season

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 22, 2011
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Ted Greenberg taxi driver

 

TAXI TIP THURSDAY: Cab Sharing

 

New York Taxi Cab
 
In my spare time as Ted Greenberg, Off-Broadway comedy delight, I drive a New York City cab. This holiday season when cabs are scarce, try sharing.  It saves money and frustration — and, the extra bodies will absorb shock in case of collision.
 
Here are some tips:
 
FINDING A FELLOW RIDER
 
If no sharing stations are in sight, scout partners on your own.  Look for signs of money; a Marc Jacobs bag, Mark Jacobs himself, or even better, Uma Thurman; avoid police officers and anyone else who might be carrying pepper spray.
 
Marc Jacobs and Uma Thurman
 
 THE APPROACH
 
If you see someone you want to ride with, be direct. Grab them by the shoulders, say, “Clear eyes, full hearts can’t lose” and “Upper West Side!” If they motion to flee, show them this blog post.

 

 BACK-SEAT RAPPORT
 
Once you hail a cab, don’t tell anyone your social security number, no matter how much you want to or how many guns they are pointing at you. If things get hairy back there, remember under the driver’s seat is usually a baseball bat.
 
Social Security Card
 
AWKWARD SMALL TALK
 
If a person is jabbering about one thing or the other, it’s ok to say, “Driver would you please pull over? “ And push them out of the car.
 
And finally:
 
PRICE NEGOTIATION
 
The best tactic is to get out at your stop, wish them a Merry Christmas, and yell “I’ll get the next one!”



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What 20 Million Bucks Gets You with Mr. Mascot Greenberg!

Categories: Latest News
Posted: December 21, 2011
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The Mets are pimping Mr. Met to the tune of $20 million, as reported by the New York Times.  They’re offering schmooze time and party appearances. Maybe that’s worth 20 rock. But here’s what you’d get for that coin from my mascot, Mascot Greenberg:
 
– Round-the-clock dive cartwheels performed on hot coals.
 
– Chess lessons
 
Mascot Greenberg Chess
 
– And backstage passes to a consistently winning show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer.

 

Ted Greenberg and his mascot, Mascot Greenberg

 

Don’t fret Mr. Met, the money will “stay in the family.”
 
Mr. Met and Mascot Greenberg

 



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All Ted Greenberg Wants for Christmas

Categories: Comedy Shows,Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 19, 2011
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On Saturday, December 24th, children around the world will keep their eyes peeled for Santa Claus — aka Pere Noel, Pai Natal, Father Christmas, Kanakaloka or Papå Noel —  and his nine reindeers.
 
And, I will too. I’ve made my list and checked it twice. I’m not sure if I’ve been naughty or nice, but I still visited the big guy to let him know what I hope to find on Christmas morning.
 

 

Ted Greenberg’s Christmas List:

 
(1) Alter-G G-Trainer Anti-Gravity Treadmill — Using NASA technology, the Alter-G is the rocket scientist of training machines. Running on it makes you feel like Superman — lighter than air, actually — since it allows you to adjust your weight.  I hear that the Rudolph, Donner, Comet and the other reindeers train all year on Alter-Gs in the North Pole; it’s the only way they can be in shape to make all the deliveries on Christmas night.
 

 
(2) Taxi Cab Ornament — This adorable New York taxi ornament would look perfect hung around the rearview mirror of the cab I drive every Saturday night after I perform my Off-Broadway comedy show, The Complete Performer. It’s retro and glittery.
 
New York Taxi Ornament
 
(3) Knicks Basketball Tickets — I’ve sorely missed professional basketball since the strike began, but I’m thrilled that my favorite team is back in action just in time for Christmas. Now, if I could just get my hands on some courtside tickets to cheer for Carmelo Anthony.
 
New York Knicks logo
 
(4) Trident Layers Gum — I completely understand why people want to be paid in Trident Layers Gum. It is delicious, complex and perfect for those who cannot decide whether they prefer CoolMint or MelonFresco. Instead, you can enjoy them together.
 

 
(5) Sold Out Show — I’d love to see have a full house for my Christmas Eve show at 10pm at SoHo Playhouse. Let’s be on the lookout for Santa together. Buy tickets here.
 
Santa and Ted Greenberg
 
Let me know what you’ve asked for Christmas. I love to hear what other people want!



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Taxi Tip Thursday: How To Hail a NYC Cab During the Holidays

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 15, 2011
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TAXI TIP: HOLIDAY HAILING

 
New York City cabs in winter

 
In my spare time as Ted Greenberg, Off-Broadway comedy superstar, I drive a New York City cab.  When holiday cab hailing poses a challenge, follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree or your favorite destination in a New York minute.

 
TAKE IT TO THE TARGET. While hailing with one hand and waving a $100 bill with the other, run into traffic shouting “I’m an enormous tipper.”

 
TEAM WORK. One of your group hails. The other diverts other hailers– i.e, puts on a Santa costume and invites the other hailers to join in Christmas caroling. No friends to help out?  Grab a homeless guy for Santa duty.  Or perhaps, my Mascot (seen in the video below) will be available.

 

 

SURPRISE ATTACK FROM THE SKY. Your partner hails.  You take an aerial position on a second floor balcony or awning. At a red light ambush your prey by jumping from above. While splayed across the windshield, yell “Unlock the doors you elusive bastard” while your partner (aka good cop) daintily enters.  To clear the air, apologize in broken English and point to a Michelin guide book.

 
TAXI SURROGATES! If after 24 hours, cab hailing fails – try these back-up plans:
 
New York City pedicab, hot dog vendor and fire truck
 
—  Collapse on the street and ask onlookers to call 911 for an EMERGENCY MEDICAL VEHICLE.

 
—  If after 1 hour above doesn’t work, light yourself on fire and ask onlookers to call 911 for a FIRE TRUCK.

 
–  PEDICABS (aka Flintstone cabs) are loosely regulated and therefore ideal for large groups (they take up to 99 passengers). Essentially HAIL–able buses. Pedicab drivers welcome an aerobic challenge.

 
– OTHER PEDESTRIANS are piggybackable! Target large parents. That Snuggie is your backseat.

 
—  HOT DOG VENDOR CARTS are a movable feast and tailor made for downhill routes.

 
–  BICYCLE MESSENGERS. Just hop on! Best case, a cab hits the bike and you can take that cab.

 
And remember, however you catch that ride, tell the driver one stop will be Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, a mostly one-man comedy show.

 
Any questions, I love’em.

 
Any cab hailing suggestions? Send them along. Favorite suggestion wins 2 free tickets to the show.

 
Check back next week for another Taxi Tip Thursday.



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How This Cabbie Comic Celebrated His Birthday

Categories: Comedy Shows,Off-Broadway Shows,Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 12, 2011
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Been there. Done that.  By the time you reach a certain distinguished age like me, you’ve celebrated your birthday in every possible way.

 
Scaling the Himalayas. Check. Parasailing in Hawaii. Naturally.  Shooting under 80 at Augusta National. Left handed! Line dancing in Utah. Yep, done that too.
 
12th hole at Augusta National

12th hole at Augusta National

 

This year, I rang in my birthday in the best possible way. On Saturday, December 10th, I took to the stage at the SoHo Playhouse in my beloved hometown, New York City, for the 173rd performance of Ted Greenberg’s The Complete PerformerThe Mascot and I loved every moment entertaining the capacity crowd, which included Kenny Kramer (known for being the inspiration for the Kramer character on Seinfeld).  We were met with lots of laughter and cheers.  But, I swear I wore the largest smile of anyone in the theater.
 
I love performing this show every Saturday night at 10:00 pm and driving one lucky audience group home in a yellow New York City cab.  It beats celebrating with Grace Jones, Charo and Mickey Rooney in Hong Kong.  I can promise you that.
 
Ted Greenberg and Mascot Greenberg in a New York City taxi cab.

Ted Greenberg and Mascot Greenberg in a taxi
 
Thank you to “Joe Namath,” “Paper Clip,” “Jenny” and many others for making this birthday so memorable.  And to Ben, Derek and Jennifer for a being such great passengers in the cab ride home.  It was the perfect way to cap off another great year.
 
Perhaps, you will celebrate your next birthday with me at the show?



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Ted Greenberg’s Top Five Taxi Entertainments

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 6, 2011
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As the writer/performer of the only Off-Broadway comedy show with a free cab ride home, I’m often asked my opinion about the portrayal of taxi drivers and taxis in movies and on television.  As a taxi cab driver, I, of course, have a strong opinion on the matter.

 

Here’s my list for my Top 5 Taxi Entertainments:

 

1) Taxi DriverMartin Scorsese’s 1976 dark film about a former Vietnam vet turned taxi driver (Robert De Niro in a groundbreaking role) inspired me to get my hack license in the 1980s.  From the moment I saw this classic film, I was in awe of how the film captured Gotham’s haunting allure, especially the night scenes.

 Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, Ted Greenberg's Top Five Taxi Entertainments.

2) Women on the Verge of a Nervous BreakdownPedro Almodovar’s zany 1988 film features one of the most outrageous taxis in the history of the world.  With a whimsical cab interior that’s equal parts Liberace and Lady Gaga, I’m not sure why anyone would ever get out of this vehicle. Last year, a musical stage adaptation of the film opened on Broadway. My childhood friend and David Letterman co-writer David Yazbek wrote the show’s music and lyrics and received a Tony Award nomination for Outstanding Score. And, the production’s taxi driver (Danny Burstein) was as hilarious and riveting as Guillermo Montesinos was in the film.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown taxi photo

 

3) Night on Earth – Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has great hair. Great white hair.  The Mascot and I are NOT jealous. Not jealous at all.  Mainly because he also makes really great films.  His 1991 effort Night on Earth follows five cab drivers in five cities – New York, Paris, Helsinki, Los Angeles and Rome.  While I wouldn’t mind having Beatrice Dalle as a passenger (she is fantastic as a blind Parisian), I’m a New Yorker at heart. Just like Jarmusch.
Photo from Night on Earth, 1991 film by Jim Jarmusch

 

4) Taxi – Having been nominated twice for the Andy Kaufman Award, how can I not love the iconic TV show that starred the comic genius alongside Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner, Danny De Vito, Tony Danza and the late Jeff Conway?

Taxi TV show starring Andy Kaufman

 

5) Friends – On the famous comedy TV show, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) was bequeathed a yellow cab by her grandmother.  The cab was featured in the show on occasion, including a visit to Phoebe’s mom in season 3.  Her mom was played by the inimitable Teri Garr, who turned in comic gold performances in Young Frankenstein, Mr. Mom and Tootsie and was a regular guest on the David Letterman show while I was a writer there.  Here’s a video of Garr’s 1987 visit to Letterman:

 

http://youtu.be/0-gCGZJ8V0w

 

What’s your favorite taxi featured in a film, TV show or play?



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