Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

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Top Four Irish People in Comedy

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Posted: March 15, 2012

I am a diehard Giants-supporting, Yankees-loving, Knicks-cheering, cab-driving New Yorker, yet when I saw The Toxic Avenger at New World Stages a couple years ago, I wanted, for a New York minute, to be from Jersey. The boisterous musical had me hook, line and stinker. Ok, that’s a terrible pun, but you catch my drift.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve thought about the four funny people who make me green with envy that I’m not a little bit Irish.
Here are my top four Irish (Irish-American) People in Comedy:
1. Colin Quinn is a fantastic comic. Also a native New Yorker, Quinn cut his teeth doing stand-up in the 1980s. Since then, he’s hosted a show on MTV (Remote Control), performed on Saturday Night Live for five seasons and starred in The Long Story Short on Broadway.

2. Kathleen Madigan is a pro’s pro. She’s hilarious, honest and insightful at the same time. No wonder she’s appeared on The Last Comic Standing, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

3. Speaking of Conan O’Brien. Like me,he got his start with The Harvard Lampoon and has won a Primetime Emmy for Writing. Conan has taken performance art — or hosting a talk show — to new comic levels at all three of his late night gigs: Late Night, The Tonight Show and Conan. In this 1998 segment, O’Brien tries to do the impossible: become a teen idol.

4. Louis C.K. is one of the hottest comics around. Granted Spanish was his first language, but I’ll let his half Irish-American side count today. He’s also won a Primetime Emmy for writing The Chris Rock Show. Now, he’s got his own hit series Louie, and a legion of fans that know I’m right about his unrelenting comic streak. Here, in this NSFW clip, he laments turning 40.

In celebration of comedy and St. Patrick’s Day, I will perform my mostly one-man comedy show, The Complete Performer, Saturday night at 10:00 pm in downtown Manhattan.

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