Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

     
Auld Lang Syne | New Year’s Eve 2012/2013

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Posted: December 31, 2012
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All eyes will be on New York City, my beloved hometown, as the crystal ball drops in Times Square at the stroke of midnight. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Happy New Year. The cheers will sound around the country, but one person will be sorely missed. “America’s Oldest Teenager” and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Host Dick Clark passed away in April. Adored by millions for decades, Clark’s cheery demeanor was the perfect welcome to greet the hope of a new year.
 
Dick Clark
 
After his stroke in 2004, Clark had a limited role on the special (even missing 2004 into 2005 to recover), but seeing him on TV reminded everyone of the great music he introduced to America through his thirty year gig hosting American Bandstand. The program served as the TV launching pad for many bands that went on to huge fame and fortune. Ever heard of Talking Heads, Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson or Stevie Wonder? They all debuted on the cultural juggernaut. And Madonna‘s post-performance interview on the show is a classic (see below).
 

 
American Bandstand was significant in other ways. According to Clark’s Wikipedia page also bridged the country’s racial divide in the 1960s. The program presented artists of all colors and the audience was not segregated in a time when it was sadly the norm to do so. Breaking down barriers and bringing people together. The arts are great at accomplishing both those things.
 
So a tip of the cap to you Mr. Dick Clark. Tonight is a reminder that you are missed. As well as a call to celebrate the joy you brought to the world on New Year’s Eve and from 1957 to 1987 with your seminal TV show.
 
And, to all my fans, friends and fellow comedians, here’s to a great 2013! Looking forward to sharing my resolutions for the New Year with you later this week. Until then, best wishes for a safe and happy New Years Eve.



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2012 Recap | My Favorite Posts and Events From the Year That Was

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Posted: December 27, 2012
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2012 is drawing to a close. Only five more days to this year. To celebrate The One Man Blog’s first year of existence and my penultimate post for 2012, I highlight my favorite posts from the past 365 days — interviews, taxi cab insights, and places and ways to enjoy the Big Apple. Drum roll, please…
 
2012
 
Here are the top 5 blog posts and events that I’m still thinking about:
#5 What To Do in New York the Day Before the Super Bowl — What a difference 10 months make. My beloved Giants are on the verge of not making the playoffs, but last February the G-Men hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy as World Champions. I fully believe this post helped Big Blue win. Meatballs can be good luck.
 
#4 How to Hail a Cab during the Holidays. This post has some very important information for New Yorkers and visitors alike — how to get a cab during the busiest time of year. Sure there are new apps on the horizon, but until you’ve mastered them, you can watch the video of the Mascot and me. We make a dynamic team on stage and off.
 
#3 The Best Teds. This June post, which coincided with the release of the hit comedy film Ted from Seth MacFarlane, extolled the virtues of the name Ted, and highlighted my top five favorite Teds of all time. Can you guess who ranked number 1? Hint: It’s not me.
 
#2 Interviews with Comedians and Performers I admire. This year I got to ask hard, probing questions to Eric Andre, Jessica Kirson, Matt Graham, Simon Lovell and my longtime friend David Yazbek. If you missed any of these interviews, now’s your chance to see whether the East Coast or West Coast is better for Eric Andre’s hair and what poker movies rank among David Yazbek’s favorite.
 
#1 My Fourth Anniversary Show. What an exhilirating night. What a way to celebrate my fourth anniversary on stage. It was a lot of fun for me and the packed house. Thanks to Milk and Cookies, my favorite local bakery, for the delicious chocolate chip cookies. The fourth anniversary show is a night I will never forget, and it was fun to recap the evening.



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Comedian’s List for Santa Claus | 2013

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Posted: December 24, 2012
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It’s hard to believe it’s December 24th already. The night that Santa comes down chimneys across the world. I hope the jolly old fellow and his trusty reindeer will bring me these top five presents since I did not receive any of them for Hannukah. Hope they are also good to you and yours.
 
#5 A cat. A charmer. If I had a funny feline, I could make videos like the ones I highlighted last Thursday. Or take my new buddy for rides in the taxi cab.
 
cat
 
#4 A pedicab ride. Now that there is some law and order to this industry, I’m willing to take one for a whirl and compare notes — how it’s different than driving folks around the Big Apple in a cab. Obviously you get a great pair of gams, but what do you do about honking the horn?
 
pedicab
 
#3 Organic Avenue gift basket. Doing a weekly comedy show called Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer requires me to have an A list body or as close as I can get to one. No one would mistake me for Hugh Jackman, but thanks to Organic Avenue I stay fit and trim. Organic Avenue — locations across New York — sells raw, organic, vegan food that is healthy and energizes you. I love everything they offer. So anything from there would make a perfect present. Promise I’ve been nice this year Santa.
 
Organic Avenue
 
#2 Film Forum Membership. I’ve raved about this local, independent film house before. I love the arty fare as well as the classic films that they play. And, a $75 membership means I can receive a reduced ticket all year long at Film Forum.
 
#1 AquaRug. With millions of TV commercials espousing its many wonderful benefits, I’m very curious about this bathmat for inside the bathtub — especially since it’s been ubiquitous on yachts for a decade. While I prefer the dry land of Manhattan, what’s good for a yacht is good for my bathtub. If claims are to be believed, AquaRug doesn’t stain and is guaranteed to keep your feet happy for 10 years. All for only $19.99. Merry Christmas to me.
 
AquaRug
 
And you can check out my hit Off Broadway comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, this Saturday night, December 29th, to see if my wishes came true. Hope to see you at 10:00 pm at SoHo Playhouse.



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Cats Are Taking Over the World | Christmas Style

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Posted: December 20, 2012
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Amazon.com recommends 12 comedy books from 2012. There’s the parental lament about a newborn not sleeping, Suri Cruise’s burn book, and two books about cats — How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by The Oatmeal and I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano. Why are Americans so enamored of the four legged creatures? Why do we think every cat this side of Garfield is hilarious? Post a picture of your kid on Facebook, and I promise the photo of your cat will receive more likes and comments. Sorry kids, you’re just not as charming as felines.
 
I could pee on this
 
I decided to delve into this phenomenon a little further. CATS, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, is the second-longest running on Broadway, lasting nearly 20 years on the Great White Way. Socks Clinton-Currie was a first pet, Chelsea Clinton’s cat during her years as first daughter before Socks lived out his life with Betty Curry, President Clinton’s secretary. And, then there are endless sites filled with funny cat photos or videos. We cannot get enough of cats! Here are a couple of them.
 
This video has received over 6 million hits, and I understand why. Learn how to wrap a cat as a Christmas present. Surprisingly this black and white cat is very chill about the whole affair. He might not make a bad present after all.
 

 
Two guys dress up for Christmas and play Christmas laser beam tag with their cats. You have never seen anything like this. I promise. Don’t worry, the cats survive. As they always do.
 

 
Have a happy cat Christmas!



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Saturday Night Live Gets It Right | Honoring the Lives Lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: December 17, 2012
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Comedy can help us get through the worst of times and heal. Friday afternoon’s school shooting in Newtown, CT has left our whole country and the world reeling with the news of such innocent lives lost and the heroism of many teachers. It’s hard to know exactly how to respond to such a tragic event, but kudos to Saturday Night Live for its sensitive and moving tribute to the 27 victims. The New York City Children’s Chorus opened the show with a tender, somber rendition of “Silent Night” (you may see it below) and then returned later in the show to perform with musical guest Paul McCartney. What a perfect way to honor the lost lives and offer a chance for healing.
 

 
Thinking of everyone in Connecticut and wishing for peace.



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Interview: Simon Lovell

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: December 13, 2012
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As I’ve written before, SoHo Playhouse is a happening theatre with a variety of shows for almost anyone. Simon Lovell’s Strange and Unusual Hobbies is the longest running of the bunch, including mine — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. The shows stars Simon Lovell, the well known British comedian, card shark and self professed con man. He’s appeared at the downtown venue since January 2006. You can catch his highly entertaining (and R-rated) show Saturdays at 6:00 pm. If you aren’t one of the thousands who have seen his show, perhaps you’ve read one of his books, such as Simon Says! The Close-Up Magic of Simon Lovell or seen the USA TV show White Collar, on which Lovell has served as a technical consultant and starred on some episodes.
 
Simon gave me the skinny on his show, what the wildest thing that’s happened to him at the SoHo Playhouse and who he would play in “Doctor Who”.
 
Simon Lovell
 
TED GREENBERG: What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen in all your years at SoHo Playhouse?
 
SIMON LOVELL: Gawd, tough question because there have been so many wild things! That’s what makes Off-Broadway so much fun; you never know what is going to happen from week to week.  Over the years the show has run we’ve also had, because of its interactive nature, some hilarious audience ‘joining in’ moments; alcohol may have been involved in many of them! My most recent fond memory was when the girls from the upstairs show, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, leapt onto my stage at the end to give me a big hug as they screamed, “We’ve been converted!” A proud, if somewhat bizarre, moment indeed!
 
TED GREENBERG: Will you ever do “knife-through-the-hand” again?
 
SIMON LOVELL: I assume you are referring to the mad night when I was doing a danger trick of smashing my hand down onto paper cups, one of which had a vicious metal spike in it. On that night I messed up the trick and put the spike through my hand. My cry of, “Is there a doctor in the house?” amazingly was answered and a real doctor looked after me there and then. Even though i’m fully recovered from the incident of doom I doubt I’ll ever try that one again.  There really is a danger element to it and it can bite you badly!
 
TED GREENBERG:  What’s your favorite new effect or joke?
 
SIMON LOVELL: I’m constantly updating stuff but my favorites at the moment at are “How to stop a screaming child on an airplane by using a howling chicken,” and the infamous, “Musical mice!” Effect wise the audiences seem to love the gambling cheating stuff that I do especially when I literally shuffle cards into place for a game of Texas holdem or Blackjack. It’s a nice ‘show-off’ moment for me!
 
TED GREENBERG: What do you miss most about London?
 
SIMON LOVELL: Very little actually. I love living here in NYC and count myself, after 20 odd years, as a New Yorker these days. I guess I kinda miss good beer, pork pies and other stuff a bit but most are available here if you know where to look!
 
TED GREENBERG: What character would you be in Dr. Who and why?
 
SIMON LOVELL: Oh no doubt on this one. From the very first time I saw the original black and white series on television as a child I’ve desperately wanted to the the Doctor! It’s the coolest role ever in my opinion! I love the show so, of course would take any role offered (third dalek on the left would do for me!), but given the choice I’d be that Tardis traveling Doctor in a heartbeat! As a neat addition he gets the best looking women as companions as well!



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Giving Back | Make A Wish Foundation Selected as 2012 Charity Recipient

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Posted: December 10, 2012
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Thank you to everyone who celebrated my birthday with me Saturday night at SoHo Playhouse. I had a blast performing my hit Off Broadway show Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer and even more fun choosing a fan’s favorite charity to receive a $100 donation in her honor.
 
We had many worthy entries. I’m thrilled to know my audience members are devoted to so many wonderful causes. Thanks to DeAnna for entering the Make A Wish Foundation, which was selected to receive $100 in her name. Kudos DeAnna. The check will be mailed this week. Make A Wish Foundation is dedicated to making sick children’s wishes come true.
 
makeawish
 
Other entries for the birthday charity giveaway included a stellar wish of local and national nonprofits. Many of the charities revolved around diseases, finding cures for them or providing services for those with them. I received entries for the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and God’s Love We Deliver.
 
Given the recent needs of New Yorkers due to Hurricane Sandy, the Salvation Army received a number of nominations. Other organizations that help those in need include the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Doctors Without Borders. Other votes were recorded for Making Headway Foundation, which supports people with brain of spinal cord tumors and their families; APEX, the Asian Professional Exchange; the Gabriel Project, which provides pregnancy counseling. Two animal organizations — Best Friends Animal Society Utah and the ASPCA — were entered.
 
Rounding out the organizations were the Cardozo School of Law, The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Inc. the Hunger Project, Rye Youth Council and the Evansville Area Council of PTAS .
 
Thank you to all who entered and a big congrats to DeAnna and the Make A Wish Foundation for winning!



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Top Five Places to Spend a Birthday in New York

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Posted: December 6, 2012
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This weekend, I will celebrate my birthday at my Off Broadway mostly one-man comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. If you’re there on Saturday at 10:00 pm, don’t forget to let me know about your favorite charity. The show is giving up to $500 to one lucky audience member’s favorite nonprofit.
 
Being onstage to ring in my birthday is tops with me, but here are five other New York places that it’s fun to celebrate your birthday.
 
5) Ice Cream HeavenSerendipity 3 is a tried and true standard. Kids love it. And grown-ups turn into kids while there. You can get the greatest, be prepared to die for it frozen hot chocolate. So good. Or an ice cream sundae. Whichever way you go, you will be in sugar coma heaven.
 
ice cream
 
4) A Sports Game – Depending when your birthday lands will determine whether you are in the stands of a baseball or basketball game (or hockey, if they ever come back). And, with the Nets moving to Brooklyn, there are more options this year. Beers, hot dogs and your name on the jumbo tron. What else could a guy want for his birthday?
 
3) Ping Pong — Whether you go to the brightly lit King Pong — near our theatre SoHo Playhouse — or to the swankier SPiN or to our fave neighborhood game bar Fat Cat, you’re sure to have a good time, especially if your friends let you win!
 
Ping Pong
 
2) Chill, Relaxed Bar Jadis is a special, intimate bar on the Lower East Side. Great for date night and birthday parties. Warm, cozy with small bites and powerful drinks. Check it out. You won’t be sorry.
 
jadis nyc
 
1) A Delicious Dinner — Whether you’re a carnivore or vegan, New York has every type of food you could want. And the Big Apple has restaurants like Per Se that will break the bank or food joints with the best Thai food in the world for cheap (Hello, Sripaphai). Check out yelp.com for some guidance on the best restaurant for you. Bon Appetit!



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Interview: Maari Suorsa of Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Categories: Comedians,Latest News
Posted: December 3, 2012
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Maari Suorsa
 
Four times a weekend, SoHo Playhouse is home to the outrageous 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, a hit in both New York and the cast’s native Chicago. Set in the 1950s, five women battle Communism and each other in a quiche bake-off. Filled with innuendo and pizzazz, the show has kept audience laughing for months, and will continue its hot streak through January 2013. I interviewed one of the aforementioned ‘lesbians’ Maari Suorsa about her time in New York, her brother’s favorite moment in the show and her best egg dish ever. Check out what this charmer had to say.
 
TED GREENBERG: What do you ladies do to warm up before a show?
MAARI SUORSA: To warm up before a show I usually have a beer with the ladies in the dressing room accompanied by a lot of yelling, laughing, and singing! We’ve had some rituals but the afore mentioned are what have stuck around!
 
TED: You guys have lived in a bunch of places during your NYC run. What’s been your favorite?
MAARI: My favorite place we stayed was our last location, I think it was in Clinton Hill (Brooklyn). It was probably the homiest of all the places and we did some late night baking one night!
 
TED: What airline do you guys fly from Chicago to NYC?
MAARI: In the beginning we flew Spirit airlines, early early am flights! Now that our schedule changed we’re on Delta and United etc! EVERYTHING feels like first class after flying Spirit!
 
TED: What’s your favorite egg dish?
MAARI: In college I had 18 eggs in my fridge on the verge of going bad so I quickly made custard. It made the kitchen reek and I was nervous about eating it so I got my guy neighbors to eat it. That’s my favorite egg dish I’ve made.
 
TED: What’s your brother’s favorite moment in the show?
MAARI: My brother has only seen the recording of the show so I texted to ask him and he responded with this: “The female empowerment… You see so many girls playing weaker roles early in their careers…and to see little sis along with some other strong ladies taking names on stage is pretty awesome!” Aww man I love him!
 
Check out 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche at the SoHo Playhouse Fridays at 10 pm, Saturdays at 3 pm and 10 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. For tickets, visit the SoHo Playhouse web site.



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