Category Archives: Comedy

Jam of the Day – Feeling Swell In These Arms

The audience at The Swell Season‘s first of two concerts at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles last night was lucky enough to catch a surprise special guest performance. How I Met Your Mother‘s own Jason Segel joined Once‘s Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová on stage and sang an original song/personal ad with a refrain calling out the digits of his phone number and referencing the cameo made by a certain body part of his in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Apparently, Segel became friends with Hansard and Irglová after he and friend Paul Rudd sent them wine in a restaurant one night and hilarity, I’m sure, ensued.

The new album by The Swell Season, Strict Joy, is excellent. Like their previous efforts, their songs are dreamy, wistful, melancholy, and hopeful all at once. The Swell Season’s Glen Hansard, originally from the Irish band, The Frames, and Marketa Irglova, a classically trained Czech pianist and vocalist, are accompanied by many musicians on their tour including violinists, cellists, guitarists, keyboardists, drummers, and a brass section. My favorite new song on Strict Joy is “Maybe I Was Born To Hold You In These Arms.” This live version is another Tiny Desk performance from NPR and, in lieu of their usual accompaniment, they ask those in the room to mimic the sounds of the instruments.

The Swell Season – Maybe I Was Born To Hold You In These Arms:

-Melissa

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Jam of the Day – Old Man Gives Finger to Fans, Gets Fined $250,000, Still Funny

Yesterday, while the Tennessee Titans trounced the Buffalo Bills in Nashville, Titans owner Bud Adams – who is looking pretty good for 86 years old – was seen vigorously giving a huge middle finger to all of the Bills fans in the audience:

And in fact, he was not only “seen making the gesture while in his luxury suite,” but again while down on the field. This has led to the NFL slapping Adams with a $250,000 fine; he issued an apology a few hours after the game. But I mean, come on! It’s this mad old dude flipping birds in a suit. That’s hilarious. This guy is a hero, like how T.I. means hero in his song “Hero” when he says, “I’m the man, it’s apparent even when I’m running errands.”

T.I. ft. Akon – Hero:

-Drew

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Jam of the Day – Tutti Fruitti Vendor Wars

This morning, the Times wrote about the escalating fruit vendor wars in midtown Manhattan – specifically on the stretch between 9th Avenue/42nd Street and 10th Avenue/43rd Street. Apparently some MAJOR turf struggles are afoot. As I am pretty close to ground zero today, I walked outside to see if I could catch any crossfire in action. Unfortunately, when I went out around noon it was business as usual and the vendors all looked busy.

One of the feuding vendors in question is Bulent Unal, 45, who was the first to set up on 9th Avenue and has enjoyed a bustling business of Times Square office workers and tourists for some time now. A competing vendor, Eyup Durmus, set up shop not far down the road on 43rd between 9th and 10th. In retaliation, Unal has opened another fruit stand, operated by his brother-in-law, right next to the one run by Durmas. A third vendor, Mahbubul Islam, operating on the opposite side of the same block is also in the mix, complaining that his sales are down by nearly half and as he told the Times, “These guys are both trouble.”

For these guys, the “rules” are hard to enforce; it’s more of an unspoken understanding that you don’t encroach on someone else’s spot. Many blocks are not open to vendors and those that are only have to follow regulations about the size of their table, not being too close to building entrances or fire hydrants, and not blocking traffic. An organizer for the Street Vendor Project, Ali Issa, explains that although there are no laws against stealing someone else’s location, “it’s a self-regulation mechanism that has been in place decades and decades.” Although the battle continues, with Mr. Durmus threatening to strike back by opening yet another stand, let’s hope they resolve their disputes and no one gets struck with a stray mango in the process.

This news reminded me of one of the most ridiculous videos I have come across in some time put out by the Swedish musician, Günther. Günther is the stage name of Mats Söderlund, and I was amazed to find out that you can buy his album “Pleasureman” on Amazon. It’s too absurd to explain this video in detail, you have to watch it yourself to really understand. If you haven’t seen Brüno yet – this video might get you in the mood. Let’s all just hope that these vendors come together and find some “Tutti Fruitti Summer Love” soon.

Günther – Tutti Fruitti Summer Love:

(For those of you with strict work places, beware that there are about 2 seconds of boobs and 1 second of man-tool that might be NSFW.)

A big shout out to econoblodger Adam Shapiro for showing us this video masterpiece – Bananas, Melonas, Yeah…

-Melissa

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ev2bk Comedy – Gabe Liedman at UCB

NO ANSWERS logo Monday night was the opening performance of BK comedian, Gabe Leidman’s brand-new solo show, “No Answers,” at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater. For only five dollars, we got a star-studded show. Gabe wrote and starred in the show, which featured special appearances by L.L. Cool J, Madonna, The Jonas Brothers, Levi Johnston, Courtney Cox-Arquette, Lady Gaga, T.I., Jaime Lee Curtis, and Jorge Garcia from Lost. Gabe’s stage presence was one of immediate comfort with the crowd and he had them laughing right away, setting some ground rules regarding underpants. The premise of the “No Answers” show is a fun, snarky look at some of the aforementioned celebs, with Gabe asking them questions that they could not answer (as their “appearance” was only in a projected image on screen).

Gabe’s easy-breezy rapport with the audience isn’t always easy to come by (as the earlier group The Calgary Whalers may have noticed), but Gabe is not exactly a stranger to the NYC comedy scene. Gabe started at Columbia performing with various improv groups, was in shows on campus like The Varsity Show, and was an integral member of the video comedy/live performance art pranksters aptly named Prangstgrup. More recently, prior to this solo show, he has been performing with comedienne Jenny Slate and refers to their partnership as a “writing team, performing duo, and platonic life-partners.” They have been and continue to host a show every Wednesday night in Williamsburg with comedian Max Silvestri called Big Terrific, which I hear is always very entertaining and free.

The Upright Citizen’s Brigade has shows seven nights a week and also runs one of the largest and most respected improv schools in the country.

Upright Citizen’s Brigade New York
307 West 26th Street
If you have never been to see a show at UCB before, you should definitely check it out. It’s cheap (sometimes free!) and usually a pretty good time. To make a reservation, just visit their website:
newyork.ucbtheatre.com

-ev2bk

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