Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

     
Right on Time

Categories: Latest News
Posted: April 29, 2013
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In the springtime and summer, doors for my weekly comedy show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — open at 9:45 pm. And once whisked inside, you’ll be given first class treatment, the opportunity to get your drink on and the chance to enjoy my hour-long show. And possibly win a free cab ride home or to your next location.
 
If you’re looking for something to do before 9:45, you can visit King Pong like Mascot and I did last Saturday night (picture enclosed). Be prepared most of the customers look like they are out of central casting for a Wes Anderson flick, but that’s part of the charm. The lighting is bright and the players have their eye on the ball. The competition is fierce. Even if you don’t pick up a paddle or two, it’s a fun place to watch others battle it out for ping pong supremacy.
 
Ted and Mascot play ping pong
 
Or you can grab a drink down the block at the Barrel Room at City Winery. The intimate restaurant and bar serves wine on tap as well as harder alcohol. And it’s a cozy, romantic spot for a little pre-show enjoyment. Or try our favorite Westville, which I recently profiled, for dinner. It’s a neighborhood gem and only two blocks from Soho Playhouse.
 
And we look forward to seeing you at 9:45 pm.



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Time to Get ‘Deceptive’

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Posted: April 25, 2013
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You have a few more chances in New York City to catch Deceptive Practice, the documentary about Ricky Jay, the brilliant magician, historian, author and sometimes actors (you’ve probably seen him in the films of Paul Thomas Anderson or David Mamet). This new documentary plays at my neighborhood favorite Film Forum through April 30th with a talkback with the filmmakers scheduled for the Saturday, April 27th at 8:10 pm showing.
 
Deceptive Practice
 
According to press notes, Deceptive Practice “traces Jay’s achievements and influences, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to such now-forgotten legends as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Featuring rare footage from his 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show) and told in Jay’s inimitable voice, this is a remarkable journey inside the secretive world of magic and the small circle of eccentrics who are its perpetual devotees.” If you are a fan of magic or aficionado of performance, you will not want to miss this film.
 
Here’s a teaser for what to expect at the theater. Ricky Jay performs some of his card tricks. Enjoy!
 



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Twitter Is the New Comedy Frontier

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: April 22, 2013
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Twitter has become an integral, daily part of life over the last few years. That 140-character social media instrument offers news, inspires arguments and allows comedy to shine. It’s also a great way to connect with fans. I, as @TCPOffBway, have a great time exchanging ideas, funny photos and info about my show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Perfomer — with the world.
 

 
This past week, major news channels referenced the Boston Police Department’s Twitter account throughout the stand off with the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. The latest news was first shared with a Tweet, then a press conference.
 
But, not everything is a serious matter on Twitter. On April Fools’ Day, Lindsay Lohan announced she was pregnant. Not true. I recently wrote about a Michael Ian Black-Marc Maron interview that occurred after they had a verbal battle via Twitter. Over the weekend, the New York Times wrotee a great profile about Comedy Central’s upcoming online comedy festival — one that features six-second video tweets at a time by legendary comics like Carl Reiner and emerging talent — Amy Schumer — alike.
 
It’s interesting to think how technology changes the way comics work. In this case, the time limit, which is de rigeur at comedy clubs. The five-minute set, the ten-minute set, etc. But, comedy in six second chunks. That’s news. I cannot wait to ‘tune’ in and watch what can be done in this way.



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Thinking of Boston

Categories: Latest News
Posted: April 18, 2013
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This week started on a horrifying note. I am still in shock that two bombs killed three people and injured dozens at the Boston Marathon finish line. What a sad and terrifying event. Of course, there were heroic stories coming out of the tragedy — runners who ran to hospitals to donate blood, people who ran toward the explosion to help others instead of heading the other way. Amazing. Inspiring.
 
As someone who has completed marathons, I know what a joyous accomplishment finishing it can be. Those last few steps as you cross the finish line bring a tidal wave of emotion. Usually positive emotion. Monday it was not the same. And the Boston Marathon will never be the same again. But, like most of the country, we can continue to stand in solidarity with Beantown and support them.
 
New York hearts Boston
 
My Yankees — whose ugly rivalry with Boston’s Red Sox is well noted — are doing something pretty special. They are playing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” during their home games as a tribute to the Red Sox, who play the song during their home games. As we know, some things transcend sports. We found that out on 9/11, and we know that now. It’s a funny thing that a Neil Diamond song brings us together. And, if you know my show Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, you know I have a fondness for the tune too. This week I dedicate it to Boston, the marathoners and anyone affected by the tragedy.
 



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R.I.P. Jonathan Winters

Categories: Comedians,Latest News
Posted: April 15, 2013
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The comedy world lost a legend last week: Jonathan Winters. As this terrific NPR story points out, Winters was hailed a “genius” by Robin Williams (who called Winters his “Comic Buddha”), Steve Martin and many others who were influenced by his amazing work.
 
Jonathan Winters
 
Winters illustrious career spanned comedy albums (11 were nominated for Grammys) to his Emmy Award-winning performance in Davis Rules to voicing Papa Smurf in the cartoon hit TV show and film. What Winters will be most remembered for his uncanny mimicry, quick wit and beyond-this-world improvisation skills. For decades, he entertained millions and inspired future comics with his facile impersonations of both famous and regular folks and appearances on late night talk shows. Here’s a lovely example of one of those — his 1986 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. Watch how much Winters cracks Letterman up.
 

 
I am also wowed by this clip from The Dean Martin Show. I love the commentary about how Winters and Don Rickles were the only two performers on that show that were never given scripted material. They brought the magic — the spontaneity, the hilarity — on their own. Watching this clip you can see why Winters didn’t need anyone to write for him. From his words to his gesture, eye movements, he delivers comic gold, and he’s a great foil for Dean Martin.
 

 
Thank you Mr. Winters for your brilliance and your ability to make us all laugh. You will be missed, but we are forever grateful that we were able to enjoy your work.



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My Favorite Interview This Week

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: April 11, 2013
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Marc Maron is one of the most influential names in comedy. His WTF Podcast is nothing short of amazing. Take a listen and you’ll know what I mean. In less than a month, he has a new show — Maron — premiering on IFC. The trailer is already up.
 
Marc Maron
 
As excited as I am to check out his show, which follows in a long line of comedian-created show (Think Louis C.K.), I absolutely loved that biting interview Michael Ian Black conducted with Maron for Gothamist. You can read or listen to the interview here. Since Ian Black and Maron had just taken to Twitter to continue their tense exchanges, the interview has an authentic feel that most in a TV press junket lack.
 
The interview is so deliciously uneasy, I hope there is a round two or that Michael Ian Black appears on an episode of Maron, which is based on Marc Maron’s life and podcast. That would be genius. IFC, please take note.



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Is Melissa McCarthy The Funniest Woman in America?

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: April 8, 2013
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Melissa McCarthy rules the big screen and the boob tube. This past weekend, she hosted Saturday Night Live for the second time, and the rave reviews are rolling in. Gothamist hailed the episode the “best” of the season so far. The Los Angeles Times raves that her performance is a “slam dunk” while Entertainment Weekly raved that Melissa “brought the heat”.
 
Melissa Mccarthy
 
With her bright smile and game attitude, McCarthy made sketches about an abusive coach and dancing ham must watch TV. In fact, she’s memorable in anything she does. Audiences aren’t the only ones championing her talent. She’s received an Emmy for her work on the CBS comedy “Mike and Molly” and and Oscar nomination for her wildly funny turn in the film Bridesmaids.
 
Not bad for someone who played the charming, yet often overlooked Sookie St. James on “Gilmore Girls” for eight seasons and got her start on her cousin Jenny McCarthy’s show in the late ’90s.
 
Melissa, whom I called one of the funniest mothers, is currently one of the hottest names in a comedy. She joins a long lineage of funny women — Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig. Melissa matches these hilarious women in her ability to make fun of herself, yet she also possesses a genuine likeability — a warmth that very few actors or actresses have. She is relatable, yet still funny. Now is the time to ask, “Is Melissa McCarthy the funniest woman in America?
 
Perhaps the answer will come this summer when Melissa re-teams with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig for The Heat, a buddy comedy also starring Sandra Bullock. The film comes out at the height of summer blockbuster season, opening on June 28th. Here’s the NSFW international trailer:
 



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It’s Official! The Tonight Show Comes Home

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: April 4, 2013
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A couple weeks ago, I made a list of the top five guests I’d love to see on The Tonight Show if it moved back to New York City. Yesterday, the official news broke, confirming the rumors. After 40 years in Los Angeles, The Tonight Show will return to 30 Rock, and Jimmy Fallon, former Saturday Night Live star and current host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, will serve as host, replacing Jay Leno.
 
I guess good guys do finish first after all. The very likeable Fallon will takeover the top-rated late night talk show and ostensibly compete for guests with its rival, Late Show with David Letterman, which films only a few blocks away from 30 Rock.
 
The big question is who will be the final guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Who will help him say good-bye to the show he’s hosted the past five years and hello to his biggest job ever? Here are my top three candidates.
 
#3 Joan Rivers — She was at one time a stand in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. She’s also been a New York stalwart — performing at big and small clubs alike for decades, er, generations. She would make a great transition guest for the show.
 
Joan Rivers
 

#2 Seth Myers
— The comedian is rumored to be next in line for Jimmy’s job. The finale would be a great way to pass the baton between the SNLers.
 
Seth Myers
 
#1 Brigitte Nielsen & Flavor Flav — They are due for a reunion, right?
 
Brigitte Nielsen & Flavor Flav



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Is Opening Day an April Fools Joke in New York City?

Categories: Latest News
Posted: April 1, 2013
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Nearly thirty years ago, one of the biggest hoaxes in sports history involved the Mets and a to-good-to-be-true pitching prospect, Sidd Finch. Essentially the creation of the late great writer George Plimpton, Finch was equal parts early Barry Zito and Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh. He could toss the heat with a fastball clocking in at 168 mph. In 1985 (before the advent of the internet and smartphones), Sports Illustrated ran Plimpton’s article about the improbable pitcher, and Mets fans were gaga for the kid with the live arm. And scouts were shaking in their boots, though Finch only wore one on the mound while pitching.
 
Citi Field
 
Clearly the Mets had a sense of humor back then. They were in on the April Fools joke. But, as Opening Day is just a few hours away for the Amazins’, the team brass must feel that starting the 2013 season on April Fools Day is an omen. They start the year without their best pitcher, the only one to throw a no-hitter in team history, Johan Santana. He’s headed back under the knife on Tuesday, April 2nd. It looks like a sense of humor will serve the Mets well again this year. They haven’t sniffed the playoffs in years, and quite possibly won’t get any closer this season. On the bright side, a year after the Finch story ran, the Mets were World Champions with luck on their side. Maybe 2014 will be a better year for the denizens of Citi Field.
 
The Yankees also open their season at home this afternoon. Scan the line-up and you may be a bit confused. No Derek Jeter. No Alex Rodriguez. Thank goodness CC Sabathia will be on the mound; he ensures that the Yanks have at least a shot at Opening Day victory. But with the team captain (Jeter) on the Disabled List and many new faces, I’ve got to wonder how this season will shape up for the most storied team in baseball history.
 
yankees stadium
 
The Sidd Finch story was one of SI’s most popular, generating over 2,000 letters. Finch supposedly spent some time at Harvard before hightailing it to Tibet. A yoga devotee, he took his first name from “Siddhartha.” Right now, the Mets and Yankees could use a Sidd Finch or at least some of the philosophy he reportedly studied.



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