Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

Whither the Romantic Comedy?

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: July 21, 2014

Entertainment seems to be in a significant shift in terms of content and distribution. Who knew five years ago that some of the best “TV” series wouldn’t be on TV? Fans went apoplectic when a hoax announcing that Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black had been canceled.
And now, with the disappointing box office of Sex Tape, a supposedly racy romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, the plight of the romantic comedy film is being seriously debated. In fact, the film opened up the discussion at the TCA Panel. In fact Mindy Kaling, creator and star of The Mindy Project, and Elizabeth Meriwether of The New Girl posit that TV is where the romantic comedy is thriving. The predictable formula can be enhanced by characters who have 22 episodes a season to work out their issues, frustrations and love life. More diversions are possible because the story doesn’t need to be wrapped up in 100 minutes.
I also think that we’re ready to see Ms. Kaling and Zooey Deschanel, star of The New Girl, in love. After years of watching Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock and Katherine Heigl fall in love over and over again, we’re ready to mix it up. Heck, audience is absolutely gaga over Game of Thrones so yes we’re ready to mix it up a bit. And, let’s face it Ms. Kaling is a very compelling, complex character — one who is easy to root for and be exasperated by at the same time!
And, here’s a great Deadline.com article about the panel.


Take Tomorrow Off — OITNB Season 2 Is Released

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: June 5, 2014

We’ve waited almost a year for a new batch of eps. Finally tomorrow – June 6th – we can return to Litchfield and catch up with the ladies of Orange is the New Black. It’s been an excruciating wait for anyone who is a fan of the wild dramedy from Jenji Kohan.
If you are like me, you’ve devoured articles about the show. Last year, E! ranked the characters from best to worst — is there really a bad (by bad I mean, not compelling) character on the show? Or perhaps you’ve seen this hilarious Arrested Development-style promo for Season 2? Here Poussey, Taystee and Bennett talk about their weird fan encounters since the show began.
Tomorrow’s supposed to be gorgeous in New York City. I don’t care. I’m ready to catch up with Piper and Co. When we left Ms. Chapman she had beaten Pennsatucky into a bloody pulp. What will happen in this next installment of 13 episodes? I’m ready to find out.


Top Lists of Comedy Special

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: May 19, 2014

Tonight, former SNL player and Bridesmaids Maya Rudolph has a comedy special “The Maya Rudolph Show” on NBC. This USA TODAY article and interview gives the skinny on what to expect when you tune into the Peacock tonight at 10pm.
Rudolph’s comedy special got me thinking about others. They are perfect to binge watch during a rainy summer day. Here are best of lists to choose from:
Last fall, Flavorwire compiled The 50 Funniest Stand-Up Specials of All Time. You’ve got Brett Butler, Kathy Griffin, Dennis Miller and more on this list.
Paste Magazine takes a look at the top comedy specials on Netflix Instant. No surprise that Louis C.K. makes the top 10 list twice.
The Village Voice weighed in on the top 10 specials of 2013.
Enjoy. There’s a lot of laughter to be had. And don’t forget to tune into “The Maya Rudolph Show” tonight.

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Land Your Comedy Pilot at NBC

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: May 12, 2014

Entertainment has become more democratic. In some ways at least. As new avenues to creative content are explored–with series on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and other platforms–the traditional network channels are upping their stakes too. Take NBC.
An aspiring writer or team, who has not produced work on TV before, can submit a pitch as part of NBC Playground. And, three winners will be selected from the batch of entries through a multi-tiered process. A comedy’s who’s who–Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Jason Katims and more–serve as an Advisory Board that will choose two pilots to air on NBC. And a public vote will determine one online winner that will have his or her pilot broadcast online.
Time to start writing and making your awe-inspiring video to wow NBC execs and woo the Advisory Board. Good luck!


Vulture Festival Rocks NYC May 10 & 11

Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: May 1, 2014

If you’re a New Yorker, you check New York Magazine’s Vulture site on a daily basis for the latest snark; interviews with culturally relevant performers, writers, directors; TV recaps and pop culture analysis. Next weekend, you can get up close and personal with Vulture. Its hosting the Vulture Festival, an eclectic mix of music, talkbacks, comedy and a book club, next weekend May 10th & 11th.
Some of the events are already sold out. Tickets are gone for the M.I.A. and Solange concert, its Animated Voices event (actors behind top animated series), Chelsea Art Tour with Jerry Saltz and the Comedy Night, which features Mike Birbiglia, W. Kamau Bell, Billy Eichner and Chelsea Peretti, who plays my favorite character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
There’s still room for brunch with musician Rufus Wainwright, a talk between David Milch (creator, Deadwood) and Matthew Stoller Zeitz and the Book Club. Check out all of the offerings and get your tickets now.


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.


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