Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

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72 Million Smackeroos

Categories: Latest News
Posted: August 7, 2014
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The biggest news in comedy this week is that the internationally popular show The Big Bang Theory will return for three more seasons, and signed its three leads — Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki — to the tune of $1 million per episode. That means $24 million per season times three which equals $72 million smackeroos. Plus, according to some reports, they get some back end money, pushing the contract to close to $100 million. Not bad for a show about geeks and nerds and the beautiful and nerdy women who love them.
 
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Since Revenge of the Nerds thirty years ago, geeks and geek culture has exploded. Comic books have been elevated to high art, and the biggest films are about superheroes. And, now the biggest comedy on the planet revolves around two physicists. In other words, brains are sexy. And funny. And rich.



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The Latest in Comedy News

Categories: Latest News
Posted: August 4, 2014
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With all the troubling news in the world, we need some levity. A chance to laugh. Blow off steam. Forget about the world’s troubles and our own. Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes.
 
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Here are the articles I’m reading about comedy. Al Lubel has a comedy show opening in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and he recounts how nervous he was the first time he appeared on the David Letterman show in this piece for the Guardian. It makes perfect sense to be worried about your big national TV debut. And, he turned that fear into a comedy bit. The best solution — cannibalize your life for your comedy.
 
NY1 profiled HA! The Musical yesterday. The great American artform — the musical — now tackles the ins and outs of stand up comedy and even features real stand up comedians. I’m interested to see how this turns out.
 
And in Bollywood comedy news Kapil Sharma is looking to make more films and turn his Comedy Nights with Kapil, his extremely popular TV show, into a weekly series. This is big news for millions of his fans.
 
Happy Reading!



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Saying Goodbye to a Legend, My Father

Categories: Latest News
Posted: July 31, 2014
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At last Saturday night’s show, my dad was on my mind more than usual. He had passed away the day before at the age of 86. How could I not think about him since much of my show is deeply influenced by his larger-than-life presence and love of magic? As a little boy, my dad, Alan “Ace” Greenberg, taught my sister and me card tricks. I won’t give away the secrets, but it was a formative time, learning his love of the sleight-of-hand. And, this appreciation has made its way into my comedy show; finding humor in magic tricks. In fact, in the 4th Anniversary video of my show, he performs a magic trick :45 seconds in (video below).
 

 
On Tuesday, at his funeral at Temple Emanu-El, members of the Society of American Magicians (an organization to which my dad belonged) snapped his wand in two, a tradition that happens whenever a magician dies. The wand’s magic passes with its owner. Sure, it’s got shades of Harry Potter, but it is a lovely ceremonial touch.
 
Rabbi Sobel,in his moving eulogy, compared my dad to Ernest Hemingway. The New York Times reported the opening of his speech.
 

“What Ernest Hemingway was to the world of 20th century literature, Alan Greenberg was to the world of 20th century finance,” Ronald B. Sobel, the senior rabbi emeritus, told the assembly. “Both were intrigued by bulls — Hemingway by the bulls of Spain and Alan by the bulls of Wall Street.”

 
My dad would have enjoyed that comparison to a literary titan. Ernest Hemingway! As I mentioned in my remembrances I didn’t have an idea of what my father did for a living or the enormous heights he had climbed. I just knew that he always had time for me, whether watching me run a meaningless track meet in the Bronx or perform a late night comedy set as a teenager or even watching Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer.
 
I will miss you Ace.



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TripAdvisor Seal of Approval

Categories: Latest News
Posted: July 28, 2014
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Recently when I went on vacation with my girlfriend, we used TripAdvisor to plan nearly all of our trip. The reviews on the site led us down an adventurous and rewarding path to bed and breakfasts we loved, restaurants we were thankful to eat at, and places to steer clear of. We wondered how we traveled without the peer review website before?
 
You can sort through vitriolic and homer reviews pretty easily, and see if people comment on the same thing. What has been a common denominator in their experience at a hotel, restaurant or event? Discerning this is half the fun of being part of TripAdvisor and site like it, such as Yelp.
 
So, I’m grateful for Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer’s stellar reviews on TripAdvisor. Recently the company sent me a badge to put on my site to show how its members have enjoyed my show. The badge is below.
 



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Weird Al Yankovic Has No. 1 Album

Categories: Latest News
Posted: July 24, 2014
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Something happened this week that has never happened before. Weird Al Yankovic, the comedian who parodies popular music, charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Music Charts. His album – Mandatory Fun – debuted in the top slot on the strength of his send ups of Pharrell, Iggy Azalea and other artists who currently rule the airwaves. You can read about his succes at BuzzFeed, or Forbes, or the Los Angeles Times.
 
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The man who gave us Eat It — his take on Michael Jackson’s very popular Beat It — was a huge hit three decades ago, but even it couldn’t get Yankovic’s album to the top of the charts. His plan — releasing eight videos over the course of eight days (July 14 – 21) — clearly paid off. And he accomplished it by getting partners, such as Funny or Die, to foot the bill for the videos. Brilliant move. It’s not just his insightful lyrics that show how smart he is.
 
For at least this week, a comedy album is tops in America. That’s a great thing.



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Whither the Romantic Comedy?

Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: July 21, 2014
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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.
 
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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.



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Celebrating What’s Great About New York

Categories: Latest News
Posted: July 14, 2014
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There are a million — really 8 million — reasons to live in New York City. The siren’s call brings thousands of artists, entrepreneurs and other fine, engaged citizens to the Big Apple. Last week, we experienced the beautiful, wild phenomenon — Manhattanhenge, which is explained in this great Economist article. And, the Brooklyn Nets came to the wise decision to can its mascot Knight. See there are smart people here. Make a mistake, like creating a befuddling mascot, and it’s corrected two years later.
 
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New York is known for its visual artists and galleries, whether on the Upper East Side or in Chelsea. There is a new one, though, to check out painting in real time. And, it’s drawing serious crowds because it’s located in the Broadway district. Tourists and New Yorkers alike can take in a show and see another show — this one free — at the iconic Brill Building.
 
Two artists — Andy Hammerstein and Tom Christopher — have taken over the street level studio and paint in real time with an audience simply separated by a glass window. Here’s a great New York Daily News article on The Brill Project. You can check out this unique project through this week.



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Holy Emmy Nominations

Categories: Latest News
Posted: July 10, 2014
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Today’s one of the biggest days in television! That’s right the Emmy nominations were announced at the crack of dawn. The comedy shows that will vy for the top prize are perennial winner Modern Family, Veep, The Big Bang Theory, Louie, Orange Is the New Black (though some question whether it’s a true comedy) and even more surprising HBO’s Silicon Valley. Will this be the year that Modern Family is dethroned? If so, my bet is on either Louie or Orange Is the New Black.
 
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The Outstanding Comedy Actress includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has taken the trophy home the past two years. She will duke it out with Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly), Lena Dunham (Girls), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) and Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black). This is a strong category, but it is hard to imagine anyone else unseating Louis-Dreyfus.
 
The Outstanding Comedy Actor has one surprise — at least according to all of the experts — Ricky Gervais for Netflix’s Derek. The other contenders are three-time winner Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Louis C.K. (Louie), previous winner Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) and William H. Macy (Shameless). It would be nice to spread the love to the great work Don Cheadle or Louis C.K. is doing these days.
 
Looking at the Supporting Actor and Actress categories, it’s great to see Andre Braugher nominated for his role on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. After years in drama, he has soared on this breakout show. His joined by Adam Driver (Girls), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), and Tony Hale (Veep). For the actress category, Kate Mulgrew of Orange Is the New Black leads the pack, which includes Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and the surprise nomination of Allison Janney for Mom.
 
Looking forward to the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.
 
P.S. I’m mad that The Good Wife did not get a nod for Best Drama or Writing. But kudos to Josh Charles for his Best Supporting Actor turn on the show.



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When Did a Sense of Humor Stop Being Sexy?

Categories: Latest News
Posted: July 7, 2014
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I read with interest People Magazine’s Hottest Bachelors issue. Yes, I really did. The glossy mag named hunk Joe Manganiello (pictured above) — he of the chiseled abs and perfect physique — as the absolute, on fire hottest bachelor in Hollywood. I get it. No one would want to meet this 6’5″ Pittsburgh native in an alley, yet women go gaga for him. Those arms. Those everything.
 
If you scroll through the list, it’s a mixed bag of actors — Jared Leto, Liam Hemsworth, Steven R. McQueen, Ian Somerhalder, singers — Usher, Sam Smith, Ricky Martin, and Prince Harry. Seeing this list, I wondered where are the comedians? When you ask women want they want in a guy, they always say someone funny, right? Isn’t that the top characteristic? Or perhaps women or People mag is lying to us. Right? You cannot have it both ways.
 
Or maybe there is another answer — all the comedians are loved up right now. Because women really do appreciate a sense of humor, perhaps there aren’t any comedian bachelors. If you catch a set or two at a comedy club, you know this isn’t exactly the truth, but for now, that’s what I’ve got.
 
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And, you know People is kicking itself (pun intended) for releasing this list a couple days before Tim Howard (pictured above) became a national hero, soccer star and the hottest man in America. There’s a new article about his prowess both on and off the field posted daily, like this one.



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Happy Birthday America

Categories: Latest News
Posted: July 3, 2014
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Bald Eagles. Barbeques. Fireworks. Baseball Games. Here’s to another year of the United States. Happy Birthday Uncle Sam — your 238th. You look pretty good for your age. How perfect that our national holiday falls on Friday. That way we have two days off *after* we celebrate with cold brews, burgers and back yard parties.
 
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However you celebrate, I hope it’s with a dash of comedy. And that you are able to spend time with your favorite people.
 
Happy Fourth of July from everyone at Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer.



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