Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

Women Are Taking Over Comedy

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows
Posted: May 30, 2013

There have always been funny ladies. Carol Burnett. Gilda Radner. And the list goes on and on. The last decade, though, has enjoyed a renaissance of women comedians. Amy Poehler. Wanda Sykes. Kristen Wiig. Tina Fey. And who’s hotter than Melissa McCarthy right now? Maybe Lena Dunham. And now Amy Schumer.
Amy Schumer
Halfway through Comedy Central’s first season of Inside Amy Schumer, the show has already been renewed for a second season of 10 episodes, slated to air in 2014. Not bad.
Entertainment Weekly raved about the show, giving it an A. And started the review with “Amy Schumer is just as profane as any man, woman, or drunk robot on Comedy Central.” And then wrote, “There’s something communal about Schumer’s approach to comedy. It’s not just about punchlines. It’s about conversations. And she makes the women around her seem funnier, just by letting them in on the joke.”
Clearly Comedy Central and its fans like being in on the joke. And they will be, at least for one more season. Congrats Amy.

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Tourig Around New York City

Categories: Latest News
Posted: May 27, 2013

As someone who drives a cab at the end o his comedy show – Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer – I’m fascinated by travel around the Big Apple. How we get around our fair city is often an entertaining journey. You’ll hear straphangers complain about the weekend changes the MTA makes to subway travel; in fact, this holiday weekend, the popular L line is not running from Manhattan to Brooklyn. There are shuttle buses and alternative routes for a densely populated area.
Citi Bike
This weekend New York City added another means of travel to the cabs, pedicabs, subway, livery cabs and walking. The Citi Bike program, modeled on programs across the world, provides very heavy bikes — approximately 45 pounds each — at various stations throughout Manhattan. You have multiple options to use the program. For $95 (plus tax), you can get an annual membership to Citi Bike, and therefore ride for an uninterrupted 45 minutes at any time in the city. You can also purchase a day pass ($9.95) or a week pass ($20), and ride for 30 minutes uninterrupted throughout the city. While it doesn’t allow for leisurely rides through Central Pake, the Citi Bike program can help you get from point A to point B. And burn some calories while doing it.
Some New York residents are up in arms over the program, simply because they think the bike stations are eye sores and could hinder rescue workers getting to businesses on the other side of the stations. All I can say is that something about the program is confusing. I witnessed more people trying to figure out how to get a bike and failing miserably without seeing one person riding one throughout the city this weekend. Clearly the learning curve is high on this new project.

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Giving Back To Oklahoma

Categories: Latest News
Posted: May 23, 2013

Everyone in the nation was moved by the devastation caused by the tornado in Oklahoma. The pictures and video of homes turned to rubble, upended cars and unrecognizable neighborhoods as well as news of the tragic deaths left all of us shaken and wishing to contribute to Oklahoma’s recovery.

The great thing about an Off-Broadway comedy show like mine — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — is that you have a team around you. A group of talented people who help the show run smoothly week in and week out. And sometimes these very wonderful people use their skills to help others too. My show’s longtime producer, Matt Wayne, founded Operation Toto Relief to help animals in disaster areas, and as soon as the tornado struck, he began planning the relief effort for Oklahoma.
All of us can contribute in some way — whether it’s to the Red Cross or local charities — or like Matt helping pets and their friends in this deep time of need. Operation Toto Relief will send down trucks of animal supplies very soon. You can learn more and even donate. To learn more about the efforts, visit this Facebook page.
And, thanks Matt for your hard work on my show and your dedication to helping others too.

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Sayonara Hader & Armisen

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows
Posted: May 20, 2013

On Saturday night, the famed Saturday Night Live bid farewell two of its longtime players — Bill Hader and Fred Armisen. There have been many love letters in the press to the two. I’m particularly fond of this Time piece. And this look back at their careers.
Bill Hader and Fred Armisen
Both men have felt career bumps outside of SNL. Remember Hader in the film comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Or his guest starring turn on The Mindy Project this season? According to IMDB.com, Hader has a slew of films — both voice over and live action work — on tap. His transition from the boob tube to the big screen seems complete. He’ll be able to hawk his pliable comedic skills in his new ventures, and he will be missed on SNL. Good bye Stefon.
Armisen, on the other hand, has won me over in Portlandia. The critically acclaimed comedy has spawned imitators all over the country. And, he’s also lined up voice over work in Smurfs 2 as well as a role in the Jason Sudeikis-Olivia Wilde romantic comedy Relanxious. I will miss his imitations of political leaders.
Thanks for the laughs and best wishes on your next adventures.

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The Expected Choice for Late Night

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: May 16, 2013

Seth Meyers is taking over for Jimmy Fallon. No surprise there. Saturday Night Live continues to be the pipeline for NBC’s “Late Night” talkshow. It’s been rumored for months that Meyers would follow in Fallon’s footsteps. Meyers is an amiable choice to host the show. Like Fallon, he’s been a Weekend Update host on SNL, and handled the latest news with aplomb. I’m sure he’ll do nicely in the show when he takes over next year. But, don’t we want something different? A new breed of host?
Seth Meyers
When Conan O’Brien surprisingly won the show’s hosting gig twenty years ago, it was a shock. Although he had a great pedigree and tremendous writing credits, few people knew who the ginger was. Despite a shaky start, he grew into a very accomplished, funny host. A nice shake-up to the Johnny Carsons and Jay Lenos of the world. Isn’t late television ready for more diversity — another woman to join Chelsea Lately in the post-news slot? What about a Kristen Wiig? Or a Tina Fey? Sure, their movie careers may keep them from committing to a nightly talk show, but they are worth a consideration. Or what about Chris Rock or D.L. Hughley? Or Aasif Mandvi? There are many other comedians who could fill Fallon’s shoes.
But alas, that won’t happen. Now the only question that remains is: who is going to be the new band on the show?

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NBA Adds the Drama

Categories: Latest News
Posted: May 13, 2013

Obviously, I’m partial to comedy with my long-running Off-Broadway comedy show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — in its fifth season. And, I check out other comics routines regularly. But, some times you just need a big juicy drama. Whether it’s Breaking Bad on TV or a play like August: Osage County, it’s good to spend time with some of the darker, serious elements of the world. And, there is no drama better than the NBA playoffs this season. Am I right? Tied series, overtime games.

Series are going down to the wire; the Nets didn’t win Game 7 of the first round, but the team’s comeback during the series was heroic even if the team’s coach — P.J. Carlesimo — was canned once the Nets were bounced. My beloved Knicks have taken a game off of the much superior Pacers in the second round. I’d be happy if they could tie the series tomorrow night like the Spurs and Warriors have. Let’s go Melo.
And the media darling Memphis Grizzlies have taken it to last year’s finalist — Oklahoma City — and lead the series 2-1 with a home game tonight. That bodes well for the Grizz since they haven’t dropped a home game in the playoffs this season. And, the team is so in demand its Saturday game knocked the University of Memphis graduation ceremony to Mother’s Day. The FedEx Forum couldn’t hold both the ceremony and the game. The Grizz even won that.
I want to see if the Bulls can take it to the Heat. I know what I’ll watch tonight.


Poetry by Cabbies

Categories: Latest News,Taxi Cabs
Posted: May 9, 2013

My favorite article this week was in the New York Times. It featured long-time cabbies who are now poets or at least expressing themselves through poetry. As someone who drives winning audience members home from my comedy show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — every Saturday night, I love the idea of mixing cab driving with the arts — two quintessential New York activities.

Three cabbies with over 20 years experiences (and hailed “bards of gridlock”) unleashed their brand of poetry at the prestigious PEN World Voices Festival. Their work revealed their deep thoughts about the first fare of the day, Occupy Wall Street and Hurricane Sandy. In fact, my favorite line is ‘“Who knew it would take a hurricane,” Mr. Garrett recited, “for this persnickety old man to be thrilled for a fare to Brooklyn?”’As any seasoned New Yorker knows, cabbies detest leaving the island of Manhattan. It’s just a cold hard fact.
Now that I’ve read this wonderful work, watch out. Perhaps I’ll include an upcoming poem or ode in my show.

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Old Hats Offers Something New

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: May 6, 2013

Last night, Old Hats won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Alternative Theatre Experience. The show — a marvel of physical comedy — stars legendary performers Bill Irwin and David Shiner alongside Nellie McKay. Irwin and Shiner play with scale, size and humor. I’ve seen the show more than once, and I am enthralled with the delightful comic situations they create throughout the show, which is essentially a lesson in movement and storytelling. Think the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello and anyone else who has been able to make you laugh through wild situations.

And, you’re in luck. The show has been extended many times, and continues for the next month at Signature Theatre in New York. You can get your tickets through June 9th. The Lortels aren’t the only ones singing the show’s praises. It’s a New York Times Critic’s Pick, and the New York Post raved that it is “one of the funniest shows of the past few years.”
A lot of stars graced the Lucille Lortel Awards stage last night — Jake Gyllenhaal, Aasif Mandvi, Maura Tierney, Ben Foster, Richard Kind — yet no one will forget the short performance by Old Hats. It was the breakout star of the show.
Prepare to laugh and to be transported to another time.

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Soho Playhouse Does It Again

Categories: Latest News
Posted: May 2, 2013

I’ve written about the shows that have called Soho Playhouse home over the last few years. From Baby Wants Candy to This Too Shall Suck to Baba Brinkman’s work, the playhouse has presented a slew of award-winning, critically acclaimed productions. Add another one to its cap. The Drawer Boy from Oberon Theatre Company is on the main stage through June 16th, and it is a very moving, quiet drama. Completely opposite of my show, but a really good play nonetheless.
The two lead performances are quite something. Stunning, fully lived and worth the price of admission. The play by Michael Healey, directed by Alex Dinelaris, sneaks up on you, and by intermission has you on the edge of your seat.Here’s what the press notes say about the play: “This award winning play looks in on the lives of two farmers in 1972 rural Ontario. World War II veterans and lifelong friends, the farmers share a quiet and uneventful life based on stories and routine. Their lives are disrupted when a young, energetic actor from the big city shows up on their doorstep wanting to live and work with them as research for a play about farming. As the actor immerses himself, the farmers’ darkest secrets become part of the actor’s play and the lines between theatre and life, and memory and reality, become blurred. Heartbreak and levity mix in this extraordinary play about storytelling and how it transforms our lives.”
The Drawer Boy
Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times raved about The Drawer Boy, hailing it “a beautifully written piece, humorous and heart wrenching”. You may get your tickets now.

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