Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

     
Poetry by Cabbies

Categories: Latest News,Taxi Cabs
Posted: May 9, 2013
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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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Cabs of the Future

Categories: Latest News,Off-Broadway Shows,Taxi Cabs
Posted: February 28, 2013
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Times are a-changing. This recent Beta Beat article highlights a modern vending machine currently available in and East Village bar. The ultimate goal is to roll these machines out in New York City taxi cabs, and to offer gum and condoms, among other items.
 
First, credit card machines were installed in the back of cabs, and now condoms may be easily available. This news got me thinking about what else I would like to see in the back of a cab since I drive one for my Off-Broadway comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. Here are my top three choices for the back of a cab:
 
taxi cab back seat
 
3. Coffee – Do you know how many drunk people get in the back of a cab, particularly late at night? Some coffee to sober them up would be a welcome addition to any ride.
 
2. Barf bag – Are you sensing a theme? Yep, a barf bag would help keep the back of the cab clean. If they can be on airplanes, why not cabs?
 
1. Back massager
– Everyone would love this. I think the next cabs need to featured a back massager as its seat. Who wouldn’t want to ride there?
 
What would you like to see in a vending machine in the back of a cab?



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How this Comedian Drives a Cab

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: January 24, 2013
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My weekly Off Broadway comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, has a couple of hallmarks. Most notably, a free cab ride home for one group of lucky audience members. That’s right, I drive them home or to their next stop in five boroughs in a real New York City yellow cab. You may check out some of the rides here. I’m often asked how I am able to do this. There are two answers.
 
New York City Cab
 
#1 Back in the late 80s, I spent some time as a cabbie. I’d always dreamed of driving the iconic yellow taxi in my hometown. When I began performing my show five years ago, I renewed my hack license.
 
#2 Elizabeth Osei of Napasei Taxi Management Corporation. She makes sure I have a cab for my show week in and week out. The show owes her a huge debt. Elizabeth is a lovely woman with a terrific heart and head for business. I’m thrilled to work with her. You can see her and hear her infectious laugh in my anniversary video below. You can also read this profile the New York Times did on Elizabeth and her husband Isaac. They start their days early, and have business — important business to tend to in Ghana as well. And, I cannot thank them enough for their help with my show.
 



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A Taxi Cab Life

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: July 12, 2012
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When you think of New York, a few things come to mind — the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Broadway, Macy’s and yellow taxi cabs. These are all quintessential Big Apple experiences.
 
Thus, my Off-Broadway comedy show Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, which has been described as a must see New York show, appropriately ends with a taxi cab ride. A free taxi cab ride with me at the wheel driving one lucky audience group anywhere in the five boroughs. You may watch one of the cab rides home here. I had my hack license two decades ago, and drove occasionally on weekends. I applied again for it once I started performing my comedy show Saturday nights at SoHo Playhouse.
 
Since I drive every Saturday night, I was intriqued by New York Magazine’s recent profile on cab driver Lucky Abeysekara in an article called Taxinomics. The story follows Lucky through one night behind the wheel. Check it out to get a sense of what life is like for a cabbie.
 
And for random taxi cab trivia, it seems I’m not the only creative type to hold a hack license at some point. A friend just posted a photo of the license Robert De Niro held while driving in one of my favorite New York movies, Taxi Driver. As I previously mentioned, that film inspired me to get behind the wheel of the cab.
 

 
And this Mental Floss article points out that at least six other famous people — actors, comedians, and musicians — were once cabbies. I think number 6 Philip Glass is my favorite because it’s so unexpected. I’m trying to imagine him navigating the streets of New York City while listening to his on music.
 



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5 CREATIVE WAYS TO USE A TAXI

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: January 19, 2012
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As a sometime cab driver and all-the-time Off-Broadway phenom, I kind of know everything about urban transportation. Now that livery cabs can make pickups in Manhattan, yellow taxis will need to be more flexible about services they offer.
 

 
Here are 5 ways to use a yellow cab that may not have occurred to you:
 
#1) MOVING TRUCK. My meter ran for 5 continuous hours moving a family from Harlem to Brooklyn. We did 3 trips in 4 hours. Try to stick to foldable items like rugs, sheets, towels, window treatments,and small children.
 
#2) TOUR BUS. I’ve often been commandeered for the day to point out sites. Best tour ever? A sampling of New York City’s best hot dogs. The winner? Gray’s Papaya.
 
#3) GETAWAY CAR. I’m not saying rob banks, but yellows will park and poise for fast retreats from in-laws or clingy house guests.
 
#4) MOBILE LOVE SHACK. Many summers ago I circled Central Park 5 times to provide my backseat couple a romantic tryst. I got a huge tip. But the better tip came a year later when they hailed me again – this time with the infant they conceived in my cab.
 
#5 PIMPMOBILE. Or like the Mascot, use a cab to woo the opposite sex – whatever that is!
 



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Traffic and Road Tips from a New York City Cabbie-Comedian

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: January 12, 2012
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TAXI TIP THURSDAY:
 
Queensboro Bridge
 
Many years ago I ran out of gas on the Queensboro Bridge. I was stuck mid-bridge over the East River for four hours and was cited by 1010 WINS radio in its traffic report. While I was listening, I looked overhead and saw the news helicopter.
 
Here are some time-tested tips to avoid roadside despair and get you back in the fast lane.
 
#1) Gas up and outside Manhattan if you can (cheaper!). If you need gas in town, my choice is Chelsea Mobil on 14th street and 10th Avenue. It’s a large facility with plenty of pumps.
 
#2) Avoid highways except for really long trips.

In case of problems, streets offer a turnoff at every block. Highways may box you in for miles.
 
NYC Traffic
 
#3) Expensive water crossings are usually worth the price. The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel beats the Brooklyn Bridge almost every time.
 
#4) Avoid narrow streets in favor of wide ones. Driving a couple of blocks out of your way is a price worth paying to sidestep garbage trucks and moving vans.
 
NYC Narrow Street
 
#5) Clean your car at Broadway Hand Car Wash in Washington Heights. It’s one of the few full service Manhattan car washes that vacuum your interior.



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Comedian-Cabbie Ted Greenberg Ranks Top 2011 Cab Rides

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: January 5, 2012
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TAXI THURSDAY: FAVORITE CAB RIDES FROM 2011
 
My mascot and I drove dozens home from the show last year. There were no bad rides. Here were my 5 favorite taxi rides of 2011.
 

1) Latvian New Year.

It was the dawn of 2011. I was young. He was Latvian. But spoke fluent Polish – the language of taxi lust.
 

 
2) Peltzer’s Saturday at the Fat Cat Club
I put the saddle & paddle on the Peltzers – drove’em to my favorite ping-pong club.
 

 
3) Mascot’s Night Out
I escorted winners to Sea in the Meatpacking District then the Mascot “saw” some serious meatpacking action.
 

 
4) I Fought the Law, and the Law Won.
I got stuck with a $115 parking ticket after a certain big head double parked. I’m no scofflaw. I paid the ticket AND comped the officer to the next show.
 

 
5) Merchants Cigar Bar.
I lit up with this smokin’ French hottie!
 



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Cabbie Ted Greenberg Makes His Resolutions for 2012

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 29, 2011
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TAXI TIP THURSDAY: CABBIE RESOLUTIONS

To take a break from my role as Ted Greenberg, Off-Broadway hero, occasionally I take the wheel of a yellow cab.

Ted Greenberg celebrates 2012.

Here are my cabbie resolutions for the 2012 New Year:

GENERAL/OVERALL

Ted Greenberg's general resolutions for 2012

#1 Stay positive in traffic court.

#2 Play more top-10 radio.

#3 Get 3 stars before moving to the next level in Angry Birds.

#4 Zero hit-and-runs (except cyclists – Kidding!).

#5 Ease off Gummy candies.

#6 Avoid paparazzi – i.e, no accidents that make traffic reports (not kidding)

THIS YEAR (at least once!)

#7 While crossing 59th Street Bridge, sing 59th Street Bridge song (aka “Feeling Groovy” by Simon & Garfunkel!) .

#8 See Wicked on Broadway.

#9 Travel to Staten Island (if customer insists).

DAILY

Ted Greenberg's daily resolutions for 2012

#10 Use Shake Weights.

#11 Shave, clip nails, and deodorize only at red lights.

AS IT ARISES

Zuccotti Park in Manhattan

#12 When tourists ask for Trump Park, take them to Zuccotti Park instead.

May your ride in the new year be safe and enjoyable. And make one of your resolutions to see Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, A Mostly One-Man Comedy Show.

Any questions? I love’em.

Any resolutions? Send them along. Favorite resolution wins 2 tickets to the show.

Check back next Thursday for more taxi info and tips.



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Taxi Tip Thursday: Share a New York City Cab This Holiday Season

Categories: Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 22, 2011
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Ted Greenberg taxi driver

 

TAXI TIP THURSDAY: Cab Sharing

 

New York Taxi Cab
 
In my spare time as Ted Greenberg, Off-Broadway comedy delight, I drive a New York City cab. This holiday season when cabs are scarce, try sharing.  It saves money and frustration – and, the extra bodies will absorb shock in case of collision.
 
Here are some tips:
 
FINDING A FELLOW RIDER
 
If no sharing stations are in sight, scout partners on your own.  Look for signs of money; a Marc Jacobs bag, Mark Jacobs himself, or even better, Uma Thurman; avoid police officers and anyone else who might be carrying pepper spray.
 
Marc Jacobs and Uma Thurman
 
 THE APPROACH
 
If you see someone you want to ride with, be direct. Grab them by the shoulders, say, “Clear eyes, full hearts can’t lose” and ”Upper West Side!” If they motion to flee, show them this blog post.

 

 BACK-SEAT RAPPORT
 
Once you hail a cab, don’t tell anyone your social security number, no matter how much you want to or how many guns they are pointing at you. If things get hairy back there, remember under the driver’s seat is usually a baseball bat.
 
Social Security Card
 
AWKWARD SMALL TALK
 
If a person is jabbering about one thing or the other, it’s ok to say, “Driver would you please pull over? “ And push them out of the car.
 
And finally:
 
PRICE NEGOTIATION
 
The best tactic is to get out at your stop, wish them a Merry Christmas, and yell “I’ll get the next one!”



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All Ted Greenberg Wants for Christmas

Categories: Comedy Shows,Taxi Cabs
Posted: December 19, 2011
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On Saturday, December 24th, children around the world will keep their eyes peeled for Santa Claus — aka Pere Noel, Pai Natal, Father Christmas, Kanakaloka or Papå Noel –  and his nine reindeers.
 
And, I will too. I’ve made my list and checked it twice. I’m not sure if I’ve been naughty or nice, but I still visited the big guy to let him know what I hope to find on Christmas morning.
 

 

Ted Greenberg’s Christmas List:

 
(1) Alter-G G-Trainer Anti-Gravity Treadmill — Using NASA technology, the Alter-G is the rocket scientist of training machines. Running on it makes you feel like Superman — lighter than air, actually — since it allows you to adjust your weight.  I hear that the Rudolph, Donner, Comet and the other reindeers train all year on Alter-Gs in the North Pole; it’s the only way they can be in shape to make all the deliveries on Christmas night.
 

 
(2) Taxi Cab Ornament — This adorable New York taxi ornament would look perfect hung around the rearview mirror of the cab I drive every Saturday night after I perform my Off-Broadway comedy show, The Complete Performer. It’s retro and glittery.
 
New York Taxi Ornament
 
(3) Knicks Basketball Tickets — I’ve sorely missed professional basketball since the strike began, but I’m thrilled that my favorite team is back in action just in time for Christmas. Now, if I could just get my hands on some courtside tickets to cheer for Carmelo Anthony.
 
New York Knicks logo
 
(4) Trident Layers Gum — I completely understand why people want to be paid in Trident Layers Gum. It is delicious, complex and perfect for those who cannot decide whether they prefer CoolMint or MelonFresco. Instead, you can enjoy them together.
 

 
(5) Sold Out Show — I’d love to see have a full house for my Christmas Eve show at 10pm at SoHo Playhouse. Let’s be on the lookout for Santa together. Buy tickets here.
 
Santa and Ted Greenberg
 
Let me know what you’ve asked for Christmas. I love to hear what other people want!



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