Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

Starring Emmy Award winning Letterman writer, Ted Greenberg!

Summer in New York

Categories: Latest News,Off-Broadway Shows
Posted: June 6, 2013

Nothing says summer like a stroll through Central Park, the 843 acre mega park in the heart of Manhattan. The park bustles with joggers, cyclists, picnics, rollerskaters, walkers, tourists, New Yorkers and of course, theater. For over 50 years, downtown’s Public Theater comes uptown to present two productions in Shakespeare in the Park. Now, the shows aren’t always by the Bard, though this year they are. And the tickets are free. To obtain them, you must wait in a long line — longer still when megastars like Meryl Streep and Al Pacino grace the stage at the Delacorte Theatre.

This summer’s Shakespeare in the Park is already under way. Comedy of Errors continues through June 30th and stars Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Hamish Linklater and Heidi Schreck. The second show, which runs late July through mid-August, is a musical adaptation of Love’s Labours Lost by the creative team behind the brilliant Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, a Public Theater hit from a couple years ago that eventually moved to Broadway. You can listen to a few of the songs at the Shakespeare in the Park website.
The first week of each run is always the best to try to get tickets, but you can often still get in on a rainy evening when there are a bunch of no-shows. If you’re visiting New York for the first time or a longtime member of the Big Apple, there’s no better way to kick off your summer than going to Shakespeare in the Park.

Tags: ,

The Intersection of Comedy and Magic

Categories: Latest News
Posted: January 7, 2013

On Saturday night, a very lively audience member — Vinnie — shouted that he didn’t expect to see magic at my late night comedy show. Guilty as charged. While my four-year plus Off Broadway production, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer is a mostly one man comedy show, it does mine humor from other genres, like magic. All in the service of a good laugh. Vinnie did not mind one bit. He laughed hardest at…I’m not going to give it away, but that magic bit was his favorite.
This style of comedy — conceptual — has been a hallmark of my career from my days at The Harvard Lampoon or as an Emmy-winning staff writer at David Letterman. And for over four years, I’ve taken the late night stage at SoHo Playhouse to ply my version on New York crowds. I’ve yet to give much time to magic and its influence on my style. But, in light of a recent article on a subset of magic, it’s high time.
The New Yorker published a terrific, must read profile about one of the best kept secrets in magic: pickpocket Apollo Robbins (pictured below). My father, Ace Greenberg, is briefly mentioned in the article; Robbins once stole a watch off my old man. Not an easy thing to do. Don’t worry, Robbins gave the watch back. As with everything he purloins.
Apollo Robbins
Part biography, part pickpocket primer as well as a how to manual, Adam Green’s A Pickpocket’s Tale is a fascinating read, offering insight into the world of pickpocketing and why Robbins gives everything he swipes back. As another pickpocket, Whiz Mob, explains, ““God’s not going to let you cheat and have good luck, too.” Like a magician, I don’t want to give too much about the essay away, but I will say the nine-pager is well worth the read.
And, once you’ve worked your way through it, check out my interview with con artist and performer Simon Lovell.

Tags: , , , ,

2012 Recap | My Favorite Posts and Events From the Year That Was

Categories: Latest News
Posted: December 27, 2012

2012 is drawing to a close. Only five more days to this year. To celebrate The One Man Blog’s first year of existence and my penultimate post for 2012, I highlight my favorite posts from the past 365 days — interviews, taxi cab insights, and places and ways to enjoy the Big Apple. Drum roll, please…
Here are the top 5 blog posts and events that I’m still thinking about:
#5 What To Do in New York the Day Before the Super Bowl — What a difference 10 months make. My beloved Giants are on the verge of not making the playoffs, but last February the G-Men hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy as World Champions. I fully believe this post helped Big Blue win. Meatballs can be good luck.
#4 How to Hail a Cab during the Holidays. This post has some very important information for New Yorkers and visitors alike — how to get a cab during the busiest time of year. Sure there are new apps on the horizon, but until you’ve mastered them, you can watch the video of the Mascot and me. We make a dynamic team on stage and off.
#3 The Best Teds. This June post, which coincided with the release of the hit comedy film Ted from Seth MacFarlane, extolled the virtues of the name Ted, and highlighted my top five favorite Teds of all time. Can you guess who ranked number 1? Hint: It’s not me.
#2 Interviews with Comedians and Performers I admire. This year I got to ask hard, probing questions to Eric Andre, Jessica Kirson, Matt Graham, Simon Lovell and my longtime friend David Yazbek. If you missed any of these interviews, now’s your chance to see whether the East Coast or West Coast is better for Eric Andre’s hair and what poker movies rank among David Yazbek’s favorite.
#1 My Fourth Anniversary Show. What an exhilirating night. What a way to celebrate my fourth anniversary on stage. It was a lot of fun for me and the packed house. Thanks to Milk and Cookies, my favorite local bakery, for the delicious chocolate chip cookies. The fourth anniversary show is a night I will never forget, and it was fun to recap the evening.

Tags: , , , ,

Comedian to Comedian | Interview with Matt Graham

Categories: Comedians,Comedy Shows,Latest News,Off-Broadway Shows
Posted: September 13, 2012

Today, I’m thrilled to continue my interview series with comedians (and in this case Scrabble champion). Matt Graham, who is currently starring in This Too Shall Suck at SoHo Playhouse as part of the Fringe Encore Series spoke to me about his grandmother’s favorite joke of his, whether he prefers Larry Bird or Magic Johnson and what animal he someday wants.
Matt Graham

TED GREENBERG: What are the three books you couldn’t live without?
MATT GRAHAM: Well. Not counting the Bible or this one blue book, which I generally cuddle when I am scared but don’t read anyway, or the Scrabble player’s dictionary. I am gonna say;
(1) The Stranger; most impactful
(2) A Confederacy of Dunces: funniest
(3) and then get cheap and say anything by Vonnegut or William Poundstone (one fiction/one nonfiction).
I am not an avid reader. Did most of it in a binge in my early twenties.
TED GREENBERG: Are you a Bird or a Magic Johnson guy?
MATT GRAHAM: Wow. This is an amazing question, almost as if you know about the evolution of my life. It was always Bird. I grew up in Indiana, lived in Boston and was Celtics before that, and was a player who was used to being the underestimated white dude. However, at some point within the past 5 years, I decided I like Magic better as a player. He was so unselfish, could fill any role, was a star who didn’t really play like a star. On the other hand, Bird was kind of a hotshot, sorta selfish, unduly flashy, etc… I still think he had a couple good years, but he didn’t like it when he wasn’t making the final shot, because then he wouldn’t be taking it, and his ego could not handle that. I still hate the Lakers, and tire of Magic’s overwhelming media presence. So on court it’s Magic by a hair, but off court Bird by a mile.
TED GREENBERG: What was your grandmother’s favorite joke/routine of yours?
MATT GRAHAM: My grandmother only saw me once, early on, and I probably didn’t do well. If I would guess one she would have liked that I did back then – “My little league team was sponsored by a pharmacy. We had to wear childproof caps.”
TED GREENBERG: After you steam/tilt in poker, what do you to get centered?
MATT GRAHAM: I really don’t tilt almost ever, which is funny since the rest of my life often finds me an emotional wreck. I get more concerned about how big wins affect me than big losses. I get centered when running bad by not playing, which is fine. I could take or leave poker, with a small edge toward leave.
TED GREENBERG: Will you have children?
MATT GRAHAM: That would seem a clear no, but the ordering force I perceive in the universe (that I choose to call God) has had me do a lot of things I never thought I would do. If it was the woman of my dreams I would probably be convinced. Still, I love cats and animals so much I have a hard time not seeing that as my nurturing passion. I hope to one day own a capybara (rescued, not one from the wild).
This Too Shall Suck continues through September 24th at SoHo Playhouse. Tickets may be purchased at SoHo Playhouse’s web site.

Tags: , , ,

Top Five Fashion Tips from a Life-Long New York Comedian

Categories: Latest News
Posted: September 6, 2012

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week rolls into New York City September 6 through 13. The New York Times is already on the case, wondering in this article which celebrities will populate the front rows over the next week. Now, if you haven’t scored one of those coveted tickets to Holmes & Yang or Marc Jacobs, don’t fret. I’ve got some great fashion tips for you, Ryan Lochte and Pippa Middleton as well as all of those Olympians who will be seen among the glitterati at Fashion Week. That’s right, as a lifelong New Yorker, comedian and performer of Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, I’ve learned a few fashion tricks of the trade.
Here are my top five tips for looking cool in the Big Apple:
5. Cuffed Pants Are a Big No No.
As summer comes to a close, I want to offer you some very sage advice. I don’t care if you spend your July and August on a yacht or Cape Cod, there is no excuse for cuffed pants. At least not for any guy over eight-years-old. No one has looked good in those pants since the bad boys of the 1950s. And preppy cool cannot save the look in 2012. Take my word for it, and you’ll be a bigger hit with the opposite sex next summer.
Cuffed Pants
#4 Dickies Can Be a Man’s Best Friend. If you’ve seen my weekly comedy show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, you will already appreciate the dickie. But, if you haven’t, let me school you. New York can be a cold town. Temperature wise, that is. And a dickie offers a little neck coverage and warmth without having to pile on a full extra layer. Trust me. Use one and you will love it.
gray dickie
3. Black Shoes Are the Best. I learned a number of things from my dad…card tricks and that black shoes are the only ones to wear. If you want to look stylin’, forgo those tan, gray or taupe shoes. They don’t do your feet any favors. Black is the only color. For shoes. Ask any New Yorker. They know.
Black Shoes
2. ZZ Top Said It. Every girl’s crazy about a sharp dressed man. Sure that was decades ago, and we can argue about their hirsuteness. But, there’s a reason why you’ll see me in a tuxedo at my show. Tuxes never go out of style. So, go ahead and get your tux now, guys. You can thank me later.
Ted Greenberg and Mascot Greenberg
1. Unitards Never Go Out of Style. Preferred by bodybuilders, illusionists and unicyclists, unitards make quite a fashion statement, even in New York City, a city where anything goes. I know Bruno and Borat, Sascha Baron Cohen‘s alter egos, have made the unitard a point of ridicule in recent years. But, don’t believe everything you see. Unitards not only show off a guy’s gams and guns, they differentiate the brave from the cowardly. You’ve got to have the ‘stuff’ to wear one. Check out this photo from the Milan runway last year to see what I mean.
Male unitard

Tags: , , ,

Saluting SoHo Playhouse | Great Downtown Theater and Comedy

Categories: Comedy Shows,Off-Broadway Shows
Posted: July 16, 2012

I am proud to perform at the SoHo Playhouse, the historical downtown theater that was once home to the New York political machine and Film Forum, though not at the same time. Located near fun spots — music venue City Winery, dance club SOBS and ping pong maven King Pong — as well as terrific restaurants — Blue Ribbon, Hundred Acres, Mekong Restaurant and David Burke Kitchen — SoHo Playhouse is a charming venue with a full bar – with no drink minimum — located inside the Huron Club where I perform.
My show Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer takes the stage every Saturday night at 10:00 pm. And, there are four other terrific shows that delight audiences every week at the SoHo Playhouse.
While I’ve enjoyed a four-year (thus far!) run at the SoHo Playhouse, Simon Lovell’s Strange and Unusual Hobbies has rocked the stage for five years. His show, like mine, is difficult to describe without giving away the spoilers. Let’s just say it’s fun, entertaining and different than anything you will see on a New York stage. The Wall Street Journal calls it a “Dazzling 70 Minute Show!” Simon is known for his sleight-of-hand and for being a consultant about con men for the popular TV show “White Collar.” Simon’s show is live at 6:00 pm on Saturday nights, and it’s not for the kids. Strictly 18+ simply because of the graphic language. Many people have made it a SoHo Playhouse Saturday night — seeing Simon’s show, grabbing dinner nearby and then coming to mine at 10:00 pm.
Simon Lovell
On Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 pm, Telly Savalas returns from the grave in the retro lounge act/comedy Who Loves Ya, Baby? Tom DiMenna stars as the late loveable hunk who returns to earth to teach the youth of today how to be a man and how to treat the ladies. It’s an outrageous and funny show for those who remember Telly in all his glory and those who have never heard of the actor.
Tom DiMenna as Telly Savalas
Upstairs, Triassic Parq, the new musical about dinosaurs told from their viewpoints, has been thrilling audiences and critics alike. David Cote of Time Out New York raved, “A very talented and hardworking cast puts across the goofball material with exemplary zeal and precision.” The show is currently scheduled through August 5th. If you’re in the mood for a musical and a comedy, then the one-two punch of Triassic Parq and Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer make great Saturday night partners.
The newest show to grace the stages at the SoHo Playhouse is The Improvised Play. It runs concurrently with my show on Saturday nights at 10:00 pm. Each week a talented group of improv artists take the audience’s suggestions and put on a play in the vein of Tennessee Williams or a Greek tragedy. See my show one week and this one the next!
Don’t forget that Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer is the only comedy in town where a group of lucky audience members win a free cab ride home with the performer — me — at the wheel.
Ted Greenberg at cab

Tags: , , ,

What’s in a Name: Ted

Categories: Latest News
Posted: June 28, 2012

Tomorrow, a new movie opens across the country. A comedy film that bears my name: Ted. The film is the brainchild of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis (who voices the daughter on Family Guy) and the voice of MacFarlane as a trouble-making teddy bear who goes by the name of Ted.
With the release of Ted, I rank my favorite things and people who share my given name. Here are the top five Teds:
5) TED: ideas worth spreading. TED — which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design — launched in 1984 as a platform to engage and enlighten people about the latest thoughts and discussions in the aforementioned fields. These days, thanks to technology, you don’t have to travel to the conferences to enjoy the speeches and talks. Just visit its web site. How fantastic to have my name associated with something so smart.

Ted logo
May he rest in peace. The youngest of the Kennedy brothers to serve in office, Teddy’s career was often challenged by scandal, but he was a terrific statesman. Unlike many politicians today, he made friends across the aisle and brokered deals that would be unheard of in today’s bipartisan circus. Plus, he gave great speeches.
Ted Kennedy
3) TED DANSON. He has entertained America for three decades. From the winning sitcom Cheers where he played a washed up Red Sox pitcher to the bromance I raved about on Bored to Death, Danson has made us laugh hard. He’s also done drama. He was fantastic on Damages, and can currently be seen opposite Elisabeth Shue on CSI. One of my favorite Danson movies is Cousins, a remake of a French film (like his Three Men in a Baby was). In that film which also starred William Petersen, who preceded Danson on CSI, Danson plays a romantically challenged, financially strapped dance instructor named Larry. His very wealthy uncle, though, pays him the ultimate compliment, “Larry is a failure at everything except life.” In my book Danson succeeds wildly.
Ted Danson
2) CAMIKNICKERS AKA TEDDY. Yes, before it was called a Teddy, lingerie had the horrible sounding moniker Camiknickers (a combo of camisole and knickers). Thank goodness my name came to the rescue. Teddy has a way sexier ring to it, don’t you think?
1) TED BAXTER. TED KNIGHT. Two Teds equal perfection. Ted Knight played Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s. Was there anyone better at portraying an egotistical blowhard and still making you love him despite hating him? Knight spun Baxter into comedy gold, literally, winning two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the vain newsman. If you have not seen the show, do yourself a favor and watch an episode or two. In the meantime, here’s a clip from the show.

And, if you’re in the mood for some comedy this Saturday night or any other, you can catch me, Ted Greenberg, on stage at Soho Playhouse in downtown Manhattan every Saturday night at 10:00 pm in Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. Hope to see you soon.

Tags: , , , ,

What I Learned from The Knicks Game

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 19, 2012

My Off-Broadway comedy show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — is billed as a “mostly one-man comedy show.” It’s true on stage, but there are more people involved — stage manager, producer, stage hands, director, technical director — in running the show week in and week out. On Friday March 16, The Complete Performer team went to see the Knicks take on the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden.
Here’s what I learned from the game.
5. Sometimes a costume change makes all the difference in the world. The Knicks City Dancers came out in uniforms straight out of Austin Powers — block blue and white skirts and go-go boots. On a scale of one to ten, the outfit ranks a solid four. The team’s second outfit — bedazzled blue and orange short shorts onesie — was a winner, a perfect 10. I, too, make a costume change in my weekly comedy show. Like the Knicks City Dancers, I’m glad I save my best costume for last too.
New York Knicks City Dancers
4. Seeing a show or game with a group is the way to go. The Knicks victory was never in doubt, but for a stretch of the game the team fell in love with its (unsuccessful) three point shot. When Dan, who works on the show, blurted out, “Great. There’s only one kind of shot. Three pointer,” we all cracked up. Other asides, jokes and snarky comments made by various members of The Complete Performer Team made the game an even better experience. We encourage groups (like the one below) to check out my show too; it’s even more fun.
Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer
3. Carmelo Anthony may not have made the All Star team this season, but he’s top of the list for the All Star compression sock team. Melo sported a compression sock on each of his limbs, and he wasn’t alone. The Knicks could keep a compression sock company in business with its starting five alone.
Carmelo Anthony, compression sock wearer
2. People really like hot dogs and beer while enjoying entertainment even if the Bud Light is $9.50. The world is practically built around it. While we don’t serve hot dogs at Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer (yet!), we’ve got a bar nearby to amp your late night comedy experience. And the beer is cheaper than $9.50.
hot dogs
1. You need a good half-time show. While the Knicks took it to the Pacers, winning by 15 points, the half-time show didn’t live up to the excitement of the game. No wonder droves of people went to the bathroom or to grab a pretzel after the show started. I promise you one thing: come to my show, and our halftime show will thrill you.

Tags: , ,

Five Things to Do in SoHo This Weekend | March 9 – 11, 2012

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 8, 2012

SoHo is one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods, nestled between the West Village and TriBeCa. Filled with former factories that have been turned into fashion stores, restaurants and boutiques, SoHo is a must visit for most tourists and a frequent cultural destination for New Yorkers. It is also home to my Off-Broadway comedy show,Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer.
This upcoming weekend, March 9 through 11, 2012, take full advantage of all SoHo has to offer. Here are five can’t miss things to do:
5) The Three Seagulls, or MASHAMASHAMASHA at HERE. One of downtown’s premiere theater, HERE presents the ultimate Chekhovian mash-up with over 24 actors.
4) Doc Wasabassco’s BURLESQUE at City Winery. Right after my show, Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer, wraps late on Saturday night, head one block west and take in all that is wild and woolly. Get a taste of what New York used to be with this riveting burleque show.
3) Final Weekend to catch Alec Soth’s Broken Manual Exhibition at Sean Kelly. See Broken Manual, the exhibition of Soth’s photographs from 2006 through 2010. Beautiful and haunting, the photographs focus on men who have withdrawn from society. Something we would all like to do from time to time.
Alec Soth Broken Manual
2) Geek Week at Housing Works Bookstore. Geeking out has never been this cool. Add sci fi, fantasy, comics, vintage vinyl, science and math books to your collection, and save 30% through March 12th. And support venerable non-profit Housing Works.
Geek Week
1) Bossa Nova Brunch at S.O.B.’s. The legendary club is home to raucous parties many nights of the week, but on Sunday afternoons, $28.99 gets you a three-course menu and open sangria bar as well as live music by the Nanny Assis Trio. Knock back enough sangria, jump on the dance floor and forget you’ve got to head back to the 9 to 5 on Monday.
S.O.B.s NYCi

Tags: , ,

Comedian-Cabbie: Fat Cat Is One of New York City’s Treasures

Categories: Latest News
Posted: March 5, 2012

One day before Super Tuesday, I’d like to stump for one of the great places in New York City where comics like myself (and civilians) can go to unwind. Fat Cat, which bills itself as the local West Village hangout for live jazz, pool and ping pong, offers something for everyone.
Fat Cat
Here are the five reasons I love Fat Cat, which is located at 75 Christopher Street.
#5 You cannot beat the cheap cover. It’s cheaper than the price of two subway rides.
#4 While most Manhattan rec and roll places give you the VIP treatment, offer memberships and a luxury experience (think Spin, Lucky Strike, Slate), Fat Cat is a low key establishment. Its vibe screams Brooklyn in the best possible way, but we’re lucky it’s in the 212.
#3 It’s perfect for a casual, get-to-know-you-date or a singles night on the town. Listen to jazz, enjoy a drink or show your competitive spirit over air hockey.
#2 You can play Words with Friends in person aka Scrabble or chess or just about any other board game imaginable. Turn the clock back on your childhood and let loose.
#1 Fat Cat is a true West Village joint. Nothing fazes the employees or customers there. You can bring dozen Dunkin Donuts with you or, for a spoof, a dozen harnesses from a nearby Christopher Street sex shop, and no one cares. This is part of the reason I love New York City: anything goes.

Tags: , ,

Older Posts »