Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

Must Read: Insights into Comedy

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: March 27, 2014

Jason Zinoman writes about comedy for The New York Times. He’s had a recent run of excellent articles in The Grey Lady about the ins and outs of the business and what makes certain comics tick.
Earlier this month, he profiled Sean Patton and Ted Alexandro and what makes their live sets work so well. His assessment of why some comedians work well on TV and why others don’t is brilliant:
“As happens with many comics, some of his peculiar gifts don’t translate to the rigid constraints of late-night television talk shows. Mr. Patton is a kinetic, physical comedian who favors large, dramatic gestures. Standing still and staring into a camera puts him in a straitjacket.
He also specializes in coherent personal stories that dart across time and involve several characters, an approach that is riskier than a collection of disconnected jokes, since if one doesn’t work, the next offers the possibility of a fresh start.”
Check out his profile of comic Billy Eichner searching for comedy on the streets of New York.
And his assessment of the brilliant T.J. and Dave is a must read as well.

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Kudos to Jimmy Fallon

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: March 17, 2014

Five years ago, NBC tried handing over its prized late night franchise, The Tonight Show, to Conan O’Brien. Within six months, the network had wrestled the show from O’Brien and back into the hands of long-time host Jay Leno. That debacle spawned a great documentary — Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop — as well as Conan’s new show on TBS (and a lot of acrimony).
Half a decade later, there has been another host shake-up at The Tonight Show with different results. Jimmy Fallon took over hosting duties a month ago. While his inaugural show fell a bit flat, every episode since has gained momentum– both in ratings and online clips. And his sweet, I’m game for anything demeanor seems to work in his favor for this show, which now tapes in New York after a 40 year stint in Los Angeles. Essentially Fallon has honored the tradition of the show while bringing a modern appeal to it — asking celebrities to do wild bits (photobombing with Jon Hamm) and utilizing YouTube to post clips. Leno was not particularly internet-friendly.
What does having The Tonight Show in New York signal for comedians and other talent? Hopefully more New York-based comics will be featured on a regular basis.
Kudos to Jimmy Fallon for making it work. And work well.

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Amy Schumer — Must See Show This Week

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: January 20, 2014

There is one comedy show you must check out this week: Amy Schumer at Best Buy Theater. On Friday, January 24th the fiery comic will rock the microphone in New York City as part of her Inside Amy Schumer’s Back Door Tour.
Amy’s Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer is must-see TV for the comedy-inclined. Her edgy take on the world is often surprising and laugh-out-loud-funny. She’s the golden girl of the comedy world. Besides her own show, she just appeared on the opening episode of the third season of HBO’s Girls. She left an impression so strong at the top of the show that I’ve forgotten what the rest of the episode was about. Seriously. She’s magnetic, caustic, and simply amazing.
She’s also not for the faint of heart. Just the way a comedian should be.


Bard Up; Improv for Theater Fans

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: January 9, 2014

Like your improv with a dose of the Bard? You are in lucky. Improvised Shakespeare returns to New York for a four-night engagement at Theater 80 in the East Village. The esteemed company has wowed audiences around the world–from Seattle to Italy–with its signature comedy. And, most Friday nights, you can catch them doing their schtick iO Theater in Chicago.
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In fact, the company has garnered numerous awards, including the New York Nightlife Award for Best Comedic Performance by a Group and the Chicago Improv Foundation’s Ensemble of the Year. The Chicago Reader and the Chicago Examiner named the company Chicago’s best improv group.
How it works: an audience member suggests a title, and the actors, on the spot, creates a play in Elizabethan style. Star-crossed lovers. Cross dressing. Mad rulers. Adultery. Murder. These are all tropes that the company borrows from when performing its new play on stage. It’s a fast and furious experience, and one, that if you know even the littlest about Shakespeare, is enjoyable.
The Improvised Shakespeare Company is at Theatre 80 January 9 – 12.

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Going to The Bell House

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows
Posted: December 2, 2013

Looking for plans for tomorrow night, December 3rd? Look no further than the taping of NPR’s Ask Me Another, hosted by comedian extraordinaire Ophira Eisenberg. The live taping features trivia, music and much, much more. Plus this particular night it’s A Holiday Extravaganza with John Hodgman, Lizz Winstead, and AJ Jacobs. How could you go wrong with that pairing.
Here’s a tidbit about the show from its website:

For an hour, listeners can play along as(Ophira) Eisenberg puts questions to a rotating band of puzzle gurus, audience members and special mystery guests, who then takes a turn in the contestant’s chair facing trivia games written especially for him or her. What you’ll hear resembles the casual intimacy of game night at a friend’s house: one where scores are forgotten in favor of hilarious gaffes.
Ask Me Another is recorded live at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.
Ask Me Another is a co-production of NPR and WNYC.

If you don’t get into tomorrow night’s festivities, there will be another event next month. But, for goodness sake, check this amazing event out.


Perfect Pair: Susie Essman & Mario Cantone

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows
Posted: November 14, 2013

Next week, Stage 72 is hosting an evening with Susie Essman and Mario Cantone. It will be an over-the-top laugh riot. Most people know Essman from her foul-mouthed turn on Curb Your Enthusiasm; in fact, people often come up to her and ask her to swear at them the way she does on the show. Cantone, despite an illustrious theater career, is best known to audiences as Charlotte’s best friend on Sex and the City.
Essman is a quite funny comic and actress. I remember seeing her in the Vagina Monologues in 2000. She starred for a couple of weeks opposite Robin Givens and Donna Hanover. Susie had the audience in the palm of her hand from the minute the curtain went up. She was hilarious and heartbreaking.
Likewise, Cantone has wowed Broadway audiences and is a hit with the popular series Celebrity Autobiography where celebrities read from other celebrities’ autobiographies. The narcissism and navel gazing provide big laughs.
November 20th, check out Susie Essman and Mario Cantone together.

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Shout at the Screen on Halloween

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: October 31, 2013

You know I’m a fan of interactive comedy that gets the crowd involved in the action. What’s more New York than letting your feelings be known in a crowd of people?
For those of you looking for a comedy alternative on Halloween, I’ve got a recommendation for you. A way to avoid putting on a costume or dealing with candy obsessed kids (and let’s face it adults too). Head to Brooklyn for Shouting at the Screen.
In a grand tradition, you’ll have the opportunity to scream at a movie — a blaxploitation movie — to your heart’s desire. Wyatt Cenac (“The Daily Show”) and Donwill host this yuk-fest. And the event is only $10 and includes an after party with a DJ. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night.
For more information and tickets visit IndieScreen.

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Thank You for Five Fantastic Years

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: October 21, 2013

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze aren’t the only ones to have the time of their lives. On Saturday, October 19th, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer celebrated its 5th Anniversary show. What a night. It’s one I will never forget. A great, sold out audience. Laughs from start to finish. And a champagne toast.
Thank you to Milk and Cookies Bakery for these gorgeous and delicious cookies to commemorate the occasion. They were a huge hit.
And, I want to give a shout out to everyone who has helped make this show possible. Special Thanks to: Elena Araoz, Jed Alpert, Balde, JoAnna Beckson, Lou Borenstein, Katrina Borgstrom,Rome Brown, Michael Codispoti, Michael Cupolo, Darren Lee Cole, Farrah Crane, Ien DeNio, eeboo, Kyle Fincham, Alison Forns, Sax Freymann, Glenn Gabe, Jon E. Gicewicz, Jim Glaub, Bob Golden, Alan Greenberg, Kathy Greenberg, Doug Hirsch, Stephanie Holmes, Aliya Itzkowitz, Jon Johnson, Lynne Koeppel, Master Lee, Simon Lovell, Michael McQuary, Francesca Meccariello, Diego Medina, Mike Motz, Bestar Mujaj, Faith Mulvihill, Napesi Taxi, Bob Ost, Stephen Rosenfield, Rick Rubens, Gary Rudoren, Alan Ruskis, Chris Ruskis, Dan Salvatore, Michael Santiago, Simple Studios, Splendid Clothing, Michael Sweeney, Jessica Disbrow Talley, Emma Thorne, Matt Wayne, The New Excitement, David Yazbek & Lanie Zipoy.
Looking forward to another great 5 years.


A Look Back: Five Years of Memories

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: October 17, 2013

It takes a team to put Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer on each week. Today we ask five members of the TGTCP team about their favorite memories about the show, heading into its 6th Season at Soho Playhouse.
Kate (Stage Manager)
My favorite thing about the show is how fluid it is. The show continues to evolve and change. And while it remains the same no two shows are exactly the same.
Bestar (Technical Director)
My fondest experience with the show is when I invited a few friends to come and see the show. They had a blast! We were all talking about it for quite some time. They asked me to reveal Ted’s secrets, but I promised to never give them up. It was a great experience being able to laugh with friends about the show. They told family back home about the show and everyone wants to go when they come here on vacation.
Lou (Technical Assistant)
My favorite thing about the show has always been simply that Ted has a mascot of himself. Who has a mascot of themself?! Whether dancing up a storm, levitating himself, or getting into the taxi driven by Ted, the mascot is the perfect addition to blow any one-man-only show out of the water. One-man, one-beast shows are way better, and I’ve never seen it anywhere else.
Lanie (Producer)
I love this show. It brings together fathers and sons with shared comic sensibility, groups of women celebrating birthdays or bachelorette parties, native New Yorkers and, like last week, a group of nine who were in town for a friend’s wedding. Everyone has a great time because Ted is hilarious, outrageous and the perfect funny-man to spend Saturday night with.
Mascot Greenberg (Mascot)
The first time I fell in love was during The Complete Performer.
Being a mascot, love is hard to find. Do you know we are the only type of person to not have their own dating website?
It was a Saturday night. Ted was doing his thing. I was doing mine and then it happened. A woman ran on stage during the show and hugged Ted! This was very similar to a streaker during a sporting event, except she was wearing clothes. Bummer, I know. She then exclaimed how much she loved Ted and the show. After realizing she had no plans to leave the stage or letting the show continue I did what any good wingman would do. I attempted to escort this enthusiastic fan back to her seat.
What came next from her was a result of pure affection mixed with a few martinis. The lady clamped onto my giant mascot dome like an octopus and told me how fantastic I was. All I ever do is dish out affection and now I was receiving it! She then sat down and enjoyed the rest of the show. I never saw her again after that night.
I never felt love before that shining moment in time, but for that brief instant, I was adored.
Love my friends, smells like vodka and screams in your ears to make sure you truly know how great you are.
The 5th Anniversary show is set for this Saturday, October 19th. Join us. Tickets are available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/9818876.

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Looking for Sketch? Check Out The PIT this weekend

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: October 3, 2013

Today, The PIT opens its New York City Sketch Festival, which runs through Sunday, October 6th. Sketch troupes from around the country take both the Mainstage and Underground at the Flatiron hot spot. With more than 40 shows to catch, the $50 Festival Pass seems like a steal.
There’s something for everyone. Like music and songs with your sketch? Check out Pop Roulette. Prefer game-based comedy? Then Hammerkatz NYU is for you. If you like your comedy with a seal of critical approval? See Boat, the comedy trio the Chicago Tribune raved about: “Confident demeanor, distinctive faces, great rhythm and timing…Theirs is the type of comedy that cracks me up: 60 percent crass, 40 percent inventive.”
For full details, check out The PIT’s website.

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View the trailer for Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer now.