Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

     
Comedian-Cabbie: What I’ve Learned from Jeremy Lin

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Posted: February 29, 2012
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I’d like to throw another pun onto the Lin court. “Lindiscretion, ” meaning a failed attempt that almost scores big but as it happens does little harm – a high aiming mistake of small negative consequence.
 
Jeremy Lin Knicks Basketball
 
Lin makes many mistakes which in basketball are known as turnovers (when you flub things up and give up possession of the ball to your opponent). In the Knicks recent upsurge, Lin’s been averaging about 1 turnover for every 6 minutes he’s on the court. That leads the NBA.
 
During that same period of time the Knicks have 9 wins and 3 loses – their winningest percentage in recent memory. When asked about turnovers, head coach Mike D’Antoni responded “yeah we’d like to cut those down.” Not eliminate. Cut down.
 
Mistakes are affordable in basketball because a team gets about 90 possessions a game. So individual mistakes don’t kill you and rarely make the difference between winning and losing.
 
Most of Lin’s mistakes aren’t flat-out drops or flubs but mistakes of overreaching- passes threaded too narrowly or overheated pursuits to the hoop- that almost result in conversions. They are a high order of mistake, an overreaching, that result from aggressive play. He tries to get the most out of each possession.
 
Arguably, without the style of play that leads to Lin’s mistakes, the Knicks would not be winning. Consider that for every one turnover Lin commits, he creates (assists or scores himself) a score 3 times. That favorable ratio of conversions to errors is what counts.
 
And watch Lin after he commits a turnover. You never see Jeremy Lin kick a chair or overturn a water color or beat himself up. You wouldn’t know he’s made a mistake. He returns to the next play with his tail wagging. The joy of play never leaves him.
 
So watching Lin has been a lesson in resilience and cool-keeping, not beating yourself up and not backing down. Mistakes are part of a winning process. And in basketball, like many activities including my own, mistakes don’t shut you down and can propel you forward.
 
I’m a comedian. My act is improvisational and has been described as an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. It’s often sublime, always fun, but never perfect. Mistakes occur but the audience rarely notices and there’s no mistake I can’t recover from. And that’s why I take inspiration from the playing style of Jeremy Lin.



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Comedian-Cabbie Ranks Oscars Fashion

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Posted: February 27, 2012
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Let’s face it. The Oscars water cooler moment isn’t who won last night, but rather who wore what. Fashion reigns supreme. The 84th Annual Academy Awards did not disappoint in that regard. Last night, I was stunned right off the bat with E! host Giuliana Rancic‘s nod to old school Hollywood glamor. She would make a perfect MVP at my Off Broadway comedy show, The Complete Performer, which I end wearing a tux.
 
As a dapper man about town, here’s my rundown of the trends and gowns that left impressions for better or for worse.
 

5. Angelina Jolie
got a lot of mileage out or her right leg with the deep slit in her black gown. I’m not complaining although I loved that screenwriter winners Jim Rash and Nat Faxon mocked the one-legged pose while Alexander Payne gave their acceptance speech. Her leg already has a Twitter account with 10,000 followers.
 
Angelina Jolie
 
4. Last night felt like a return to the 80s with all the gold lamé. Stacey Kiebler and Meryl Streep made me long for the original, one-and-only Alexis Carrington (aka Joan Collins). Sorry ladies, but you need divatude to pull off that weird, shiny fabric.
 
Alexis Carrington, Stacey Kiebler, Meryl Streep
 
3. It’s true. Women dress for other women, not for me. How else can you explain the explosion of sequined gowns on the red carpet? Rose Byrne. Anna Faris. Melissa Leo. Have you ever tried to put your arm around a woman in a sequined gown? Don’t. It’s dangerous.
 
Rose Byrne and Anna Faris, Oscars
 
2. Rooney Mara dropped her edgy black, cut out look for a little demure, 1920s white number. Her sister Kate was pretty in pinkish. Go Giants.
 
Rooney Mara and Kate Mara, Oscar
 
1. Gwyneth Paltrow was simply elegant in her white dress with a cape. Guys love capes. Guys also love Gwyneth Paltrow. Perfect combination.
 
Gwyneth Paltrow, Oscars
 

How about that dunk contest?



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How to Celebrate the Oscars in New York City

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Posted: February 23, 2012
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One of the biggest parties in the world will unfurl on the West Coast this weekend. Hollywood will celebrate its biggest night of the year, the 2012 Academy Awards, on Sunday, February 26, 2012. While a billion people around the world will tune into the show’s broadcast to enjoy and ridicule the fashion choices of the celebrities, New Yorkers can prep for the event in five easy ways.
 
5. The Waverly Inn. Cannot make it to LA and one of the million pre-Oscars Vanity Fair parties, try to get a reservation at the next best thing, editor Graydon Carter’s restaurant The Waverly Inn.
 
Waverly Inn Restaurant
 
4. Go Hollywood. Hollywood Tans that is. Stand out in a sea of pale New Yorkers when you hit your Oscar party with a golden glow. There are two Manhattan locations. We recommend UV-Free Tanning to be on the safe side.
 
Hollywood Tans
 
3. Pamper yourself at Juvenex. The Korean spa offers body scrubs, massages as well as dips in water pools and a jade sauna. Frequented by celebrities (including Puffy and Sofia Coppola), Juvenex will right all of your ills.
 
Juvenex
 

2. Tap Dancing.
In honor of the movie most likely to walk away with the Best Picture prize, The Artist, take a tap dancing or some other class at Broadway Dance Center. Boogie the day away and emulate the black and white film.
 
The Artist
 
1. Katz’s Deli. Known for its World War II slogan: “Send a salami to your boy in the Army,” Katz’s Deli entered mainstream consciousness thanks to Meg Ryan’s pleasurable scene in “When Harry Met Sally.” Director Rob Reiner had the chutzpah to cast his mother as a fellow diner in that famous scene and gave her the memorable line, “I want what she’s having.” Grab a sandwich and see if the sandwiches cast a similar spell over you. Or simply watch the NSFW clip.
 

 
My Saturday night show – Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer – is also the perfect warm-up for Oscar Sunday.
 
Go Linsanity!



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Top Five New York City Places for Singles

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Posted: February 20, 2012
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Last week on Valentine’s Day, couples ruled the universe, and I wrote about the top downtown romantic spots.
 
This week, I shine a spotlight on some great places — in addition to my Off-Broadway comedy show Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — where singles rule.
 

5. Apothéke; Sexy boîte with no sign on the door, market fresh local and organic cocktails charm in this hidden Chinatown charmer. It’s the perfect place to get your single on. The drinks are so good you won’t mind if you don’t meet anyone else.
 
Apotheke
 
4. Bourbon Cafe: This 14th Street Rwandan coffee has a great community table with comfortable Pottery Barn furniture and the opportunity to make new friends or pick up someone new.
 
Bourbon Coffee
 
3. Chelsea Piers Driving Range: You never know what sparks can fly, particularly on the 2nd level, when you’re working on your golf swing.
 
Chelsea Piers Driving Range.
 
2. Antarctica: Name night at this downtown bar offers free drinks for people with a different name each night. Lindsay, Chris and Laura are three of the names featured in February. It’s perfect to bring a group, drink all night and have fun with people who share your name.
 
Antarctica Bar
 
1. Any Sports Bar during Linsanity: Some sports bars report business is up over 40% when Knicks games are on. Why not cheer #17 and the Knicks and meet a sweetie at the same time?
 
Jeremy Lin
 
Go Knicks!



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2012 New York City Alternative Comedy Club Awards

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Posted: February 16, 2012
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AWARDS CEREMONY!
 
Every week at my mostly one-man comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, I hold an awards ceremony for audience members.
 

As a crack comic and alternative lifestyle guru, I know a thing or three about the whimsical world of alternative comedy clubs.
 

So today I honor New York City’s great alt comedy spaces.
 

SWEET & SULTRY AWARD

Goes to the Ella Lounge on avenue A (for absinthe). Current stand-outs who regularly play this cool & beautiful piano bar: Hannibal Buress, Todd Barry and fellow Andy-Kaufman-Award honoree Kristen Schaal. Make sure to go on a Tuesday night to catch Seth Herzog’s comedy showcase.
 
Ella Lounge
 
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH AWARD

Goes to Crash Mansion. You can’t beat this watering hole for a night club feel on the Lower East Side – a jewel box inside a tenement. Plus it’s the best alt dressing room I’ve ever had the pleasure of changing in. Try the martinis.
 
Crash Mansion
 
DIVE AWARD

Goes to Lucky Jacks. A downtown Cheers bar with comedy downstairs. Look out for Jim Gaffigan or Bill Burr who often duck in for a quick set. And there’s free pizza on Wednesday night for the hit show “Ghandi,is that you.”
 
Lucky Jacks
 
Save your Saturday nights for the best NYC stage experience there is – alt or center of the place – Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer.



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Top Five Romantic Places in Downtown Manhattan

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Posted: February 13, 2012
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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and there’s no better place to spend it than downtown Manahattan. I recommend checking out the following bars and restaurants, those that are practically dripping in romance, for the big holiday or any Saturday night before my show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — at the SoHo Playhouse.
 
5. the room. Since opening in 1995, this cozy bar has been a perfect haven for date night. Located on Sullivan Street, the room has a fantastic selection of beers and wine. And it’s intimate for great conversation.
 
The Room
 
4. ‘ino. There’s a reason that the original ‘ino on Bedford Street has spawned three other outposts in the city; the simple Italian wine bar concept is a winner throughout. Enjoy delicious paninis, bruschetta and sumptious wine.
 
'Ino Cafe NYC
 
3. Las Ramblas. You might walk right past Las Ramblas on West Fourth Street, but you shouldn’t. The mouth-watering tapas pairs nicely with the wine and sangria offered by this boite. Charming and vibrant, it is perfect for spending time with someone you love.
 
Las Ramblas
 
2. Kittichai. The gold standard in Thai food, Kittichai transports you to another world with its gorgeous space and wonderful eats. It’s the perfect restaurant to impress your date.
 
Kittichai
 
1. La Sirene. What is it about French restaurants that make them so romantic? La Sirene, located near the Holland Tunnel, offers delicious fare and is BYOB (with no corkage fee). Take your date there now.
 
La Sirene
 
Happy Valentine’s Day!



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Comedian-Cabbie Ranks Top Five Comedy Bromances

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: February 9, 2012
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Comedy bromances have ruled the stage and screen since before the term ‘bromance’ existed. Where would pin-thin Laurel be without portly Hardy? Can you imagine pioneering TV show Laugh-In without Rowan AND Martin? Or a world without Cheech and Chong or even Bert and Ernie? Or my favorite improvisors TJ & Dave? I can’t. Just like it’s hard to fathom performing my show Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer week in and week out without my silent, dance-loving sidekick, Mascot Greenberg.
 
Ted Greenberg and Mascot Greenberg
 
In honor of Valentine’s Day and Mascot Greenberg, I rank the top five comedy bromances of all time.
 
5) Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zack Galifianakis on the recently canceled Brooklyn-set show Bored to Death. This three-way bromance among writer Jonathan Ames (Schwartzman), high class editor George Christopher (Ted Danson) and comic book author Ray Hueston (Galifianakis) is at first glance one of the oddest ‘couplings’ in TV history, but it works because of their magnetic chemistry and crazy hijinks. From the sixth episode of season one – ‘The Beautiful Blackmailer’ – Schwartzman, Danson and Galifianakis hit their comedic stride and never looked back. There’s nothing like using a hobby horse as a deadly weapon.
 

Bored to Death

 
4) Harold and Kumar aka John Cho and Kal Penn. With three films under their belts, Harold and Kumar are still getting into trouble and finding it hard to shake Neil Patrick Harris. It’s difficult to turn a trip to White Castle into comic gold, but Harold and Kumar did just that in the first installment ‘Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.’ They upped the ante on the stoner comedy, and the world is better for it.
 
Harold and Kumar
 
3) Penn and Teller. They are a walking pair of contradictions. Talkative Penn, at over 6’6″, towers over mute Teller, who stands at 5’9″. I’ve got a soft spot for the duo because of their love of magic and like Teller, the Mascot is a brilliant silent sidekick.
 
Penn and Teller
 
2) Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. Richard Pryor was a comic genius, and in wild-haired Gene Wilder, he had the perfect comic foil. In ‘Silver Streak’ and ‘Stir Crazy,’ Pryor and Wilder played off of each other brilliantly. The ‘we bad’ scene from ‘Stir Crazy’ holds up more than 30 years later. Here’s a NSFW short clip. Prison has never been this much fun.
 

 
1) Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Rudd, who has starred Off-Broadway in Neil LaBute’s acerbic plays Bash and The Shape of Things, plays more jovial characters on screen. He and Segel have each had golden moments with Seth Rogen. Rudd and Rogen were slacker cool in ’40 Year Old Virgin’ while Segel and Rogen shined in the show that kickstarted their careers, ‘Freaks and Geeks.’ As wonderful and hilarious as those moments are, nothing beats Rudd and Segel in ‘I Love You, Man,’ the ultimate bromance movie. Before his marriage, Peter Klaven (Rudd) goes on a series of man-dates in search of a best friend and best man. His instant chemistry with Sydney Fife (Segel) threatens his impending nuptials, and puts in sharp relief how important friendships are. Rudd and Segel make me want to get married again just to have a best man.
 
Jason Segel and Paul rudd
 
What’s your favorite comedy bromance?
 
How ’bout them Giants?



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2012 New York Improvisation Comedy Awards

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: February 6, 2012
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AWARDS CEREMONY!!!!
 
Every week at my mostly one-man comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, I hold an awards ceremony for audience members.
 
As a crack improviser and firecracker at large, I know a thing or two about on-the-spot making stuff up.
 
So today I honor New York City’s great improv performance clubs. Like my show, all the award winners are a helluva good time and forgo the 2-drink minimum of conventional comedy clubs.
 
AVIS AWARD
 
Goes to The PIT. No club tries harder to please audiences and improv students. And a sexier club bar does not exist. Original NYC home of my favorite improvisers, TJ & Dave. If you get the chance, take founder/comedy legend, Ali Farahnakian’s level 6 class.
 
the PIT
 
SALSA AWARD
Goes to The Creek in the Cave. The homemade salsa sampler is worth the trip to Long Island City, Afterwards savor a midnight show.
 
The Creek & The Cave Logo
 
BRUSH WITH FAME AWARD
Goes to UCB. On any given night you might see alums Tina Fey or Amy Poehler on the boards.
 
UCB logo
 
SPIRIT AWARD

Goes to the Magnet Theater. Great Mojo and the best improv summer camp in the biz.
 
Magnet Theater

 
Go Giants! I am thrilled that Princess the camel was right about the New York Football Giants winning the Super Bowl. Great prediction Princess!



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What To Do in New York City The Day Before the Super Bowl

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Posted: February 2, 2012
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Athletes are notoriously superstitious and often follow the same pre-game ritual to ensure victory. With the biggest game — the Super Bowl — on the line for the New York Football Giants, I recommend the G-Men’s fans to follow this routine to guarantee a victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 5th in Indianapolis.
 

The winning game plan for Saturday, February 4th is as follows:

1) In the morning, visit the Bowling Green Station in downtown Manhattan as it’s on the ticker tape parade route if Big Blue wins the Lombardi Trophy. Say a prayer that Eli Manning will lead the Giants to victory the following day.
 
Giants Ticker Tape Parade
 
2) Speaking of Eli, it’s reported his favorite food is meat balls. Stop by The Meatball Shop — outposts on Greenwich Avenue and Stanton Street in Manhattan and on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn — and gobble up a slider, smash or hero. Do it for the team.
 
The Meatball Shop sliders
 
3) In the afternoon, make a pilgrimage to the site of the former Polo Grounds — 155th Street and Manhattan Avenue. The New York Giants won three NFL Championships during its 30-year stay at the Polo Grounds. Light a candle, acknowledge the team’s history and prepare for another Super Bowl win.
 
4) Have dinner at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Bar. You will be surrounded by fellow sports fans, and let’s face it, Mantle was an iconic player for arguably the best franchise in sports history — the New York Yankees. That team has won 27 championships.
 
Mickey Mantle's in New York City
 
5) Finish the night off with a visit to my show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. You’ll get a good dose of comedy and the chance to blow off steam before the big day. And, my Mascot and I have worn Giants t-shirts throughout the playoffs during the show. We believe we’ve done our part to help Big Blue win thus far.
 
Ted Greenberg and Mascot Greenberg



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