OK, whoever thought of this real life Post No Bills Meme street art installation is a genius. I spotted this on a construction site wall (inside a temporary sidewalk detour) located on Second Avenue near 20th Street, on the west side the block, and had to take quick picture so I could commemorate all of these Bills! From upper left and clockwise they are:
Former President Bill Clinton
Microsoft Founder Bill Gates
Actor /Comedian Bill Murray
Unidentified Bill (He May Be a Sports Guy) — Update: This man has now been identified by Mark Morton as Bill Belichick, Coach for the New England Patriots!
Geoffrey and I had no idea what to expect, exactly, when we were invited to attend Feeling Franklin, a comedy showcase at The Producers Club in Hell’s Kitchen, starring LA-based character comedian, Franklin Marshall The Third. Geoffrey was familiar with Marshall already from social media and a guerrilla marketing campaign in which he has blanketed the streets of both LA and NYC with stickers and stencils bearing the likeness of his face, as seen above. The show seemed like it would be a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday evening in NYC, where anything can happen!
When we arrived at the designated address for The Producers Club, a sign on the door assured us that we were in the right place. We felt like we were in for a magical evening!
We were then escorted to wait in the bar, where we lounged on a very comfy leather sofa and enjoyed some art, such as this fine painting of an Octopus.
Really nice, right? Soon, it was time for the show!
As you can see, Franklin Marshall’s stand up persona, which is that of a shy-yet-horny nerd boy, relies heavily on his physical resemblance to Pee Wee Herman-meets-Ed Grimley, with a little of South Park’s Mr. Garrison thrown in. You will know what I mean by that last reference if you see him live, but I do not want offer any spoilers right now, because the thrill of discovery is a huge part of the fun!
Franklin refers often to his well-worn notebook, as he bases his jokes and humorous stories on observational, everyday sorts of experiences and things, often contemplating how much he wants to score with hot chicks, but how the desired ‘scoring’ somehow eludes him. Everyone can relate, and in this way he builds a sense of intimacy with the audience. Here are a couple of my favorite jokes from the set that I can still remember, because this was a couple of weeks ago now:
Franklin asked the audience if we wanted to hear a racist joke. Not wanting to appear uncool and overly PC, we play along and say yes. And the joke is . . .“Donald Trump.” That’s the entire joke, and it’s brilliant in its utter simplicity and resonant truth! Because Donald Trump is a racist asshole! I hate him soooo much.
Franklin also had a fun joke about a brand of Darth Vader condoms whose slogan is “I am Not Your Father.” Hilarious!
After the one-hour set, Franklin served the crowd a tray of very delicious cupcakes, which are my favorite thing ever.
It’s nice that Franklin takes the time to meet his fans after the show and pose for selfies. Here he is with Geoffrey, who Franklin recognized immediately from the FaceBook. Special! The most hilarious thing though is that if you just look at Franklin, it’s not hard to imagine that if he stood up straight, put on some clothes that fit and shampooed the product out of his hair, he probably cleans up pretty good! For more information about Franklin Marshall the III, who has opened for comedy greats like Rob Schneider, Dave Chapelle, and Nikki Glasser, you can visit Franklin Marshall the Third Dot Com!
British Comedian/Actor, Marathon Runner and Action Transvestite Eddie Izzard was born on this day, February 7th, in 1962. That makes him exactly one day younger than Axl Rose! Just take a look at the two of them and see who is better preserved at this still relatively young age! I just saw Eddie perform here in NYC on Monday of this week while car shopping and he was completely hilarious! Happy Birthday, Eddie!
I love comedian Craig Ferguson as the host of CBS’s The Late Late Show, but can rarely stay up late enough to watch it, so I was excited to have the chance to see Craig do Stand up at NYC’s best performance venue, Radio City Music Hall. Ferguson is so off the wall and charming, so I suspected he would put on a pretty good show, and I was not disappointed.
Ferguson is Ushered onto the Stage by a group of Rockette-Like Dancers
What stood out most for me was that Craig’s jokes are some of the most original bits I’ve heard in a stand up routine. I hadn’t heard any of them before, either on his talk show or via YouTube clips, so everything was totally fresh and hilarious.
While a bit in which Craig debated the correct pronunciation of the word “Clitoris” went on kind of longer than it needed to, he did manage to incorporate a distinctive and highly memorable hand gesture culled from that routine (you’ll recognize it if you see his act) into bits about Warren Beatty and possibly others as well. Hysterical! My friend, Jamie and I continued to make that gesture to each other while we hung out after the show! We were laughing so hard for well over an hour, and you know how you can hardly ever recall specific bits from a show like this after you leave the theater, because it moves so fast, but many jokes — such as his bit about Actors going to Rehab and a Drew Carey Joke that took him the entire length of the set to finish telling — stood out. Craig is awesome and I would see him again.
We also enjoyed the opening act, Josh Robert Thompson, who you will recognize as the voice of Craig’sLate Late Show gay robot skeleton Side Kick, Geoff Peterson. Thompson does spot on Morgan Freeman impersonation and his ability to actually transform his face into that of a young Robert Deniro for his “Happy Birthday to Me” bit was just amazing.
I was at sea on Thursday (July 19th, 2012) when comedian and writer Tom Davis passed away from cancer, so I am just getting around to posting about this now. Davis was one of the first writers for Saturday Night Live and half of the comedic duo Franken and Davis, with partner Al Franken (now a Democratic Senator from Minnesota). Along with Franken, Davis was responsible for creating enduring SNL characters such as alien family The Coneheads and Irwin Mainway, whose toy company marketed the Halloween costume “Invisible Pedestrian” (an all black suit of clothes) under the disclaimer “Not for Blind Kids.” Davis also wrote the hilarious skit where Julia Child (Dan Aykroyd, in a spot on performance) accidentally cuts herself and bleeds to death on Live TV after discovering that the phone installed on the set kitchen is just a prop. Tom Davis was 59 years old.
On This Date, March 5th in 1982: Actor / Comedian John Belushi died of an accidental drug overdose in the Chateau Marmont Hotel in West Hollywood, California. He was 33 years old. He’s been gone so long now that it’s easy to forget just how gifted and funny John Belushi was, and many people reading this may be too young to remember much at all about John. But you can remember some of his achievements, and read about projects he never lived to see completed, at This Link. RIP, John.
2010 has been a great year for seeing some of my favorite stand up comedians: Ricky Gervais, Demitri Martin, and just last night I was lucky to catch Daniel Tosh – certainly one of the most wildly popular comedians on the circuit right now – at the first of two shows he played at New York City’s Beacon Theater. I’ve been an avid fan of Tosh’s Comedy Central show, Tosh.0, since I discovered it accidentally about a year ago. As soon as I heard tickets were going on sale for his Tosh 2010 tour, I made sure I grabbed a pair.
For fans of Tosh.0, Daniel’s stand up is slightly different, in that there are no screens, no videos and no props onstage with him at all. It’s all 100% pure Tosh, just riffing seamlessly and brilliantly spot-on about everything and everyone – from the citizens of New Orleans, to Brett Favre to rap artists, whom he sarcastically thanks for “keeping women in their place” – in his signature un-PC style. He is not afraid to say offensive things about every group of people – from religious zealots to political conservatives and liberals as well, not to mention poor and fat people. I love how he simplifies how ridiculous we all are with our “I’m a victim” mentality. No quarter is given, and that’s why Tosh just slays every time. But if you are humorless, overly PC, or offended by anything at all you should probably stay home.
It was a sold-out crowd for the Beacon’s 7:30 show (Tosh performed again at 10 PM) and obviously everyone in attendance was a huge fan of the Comedy Central show. One of my favorite bits was Daniel’s recollection of having been delayed on a flight that sat on the tarmac for three hours while the airline waited for another flight to arrive, so that they could get more seat belt extenders, which are needed when heavy passengers cannot fit within the confines of a standard safety belt. “Not only were they out of seat belt extenders on the plane, they were out of seat belt extenders in the entire airport,” he exclaimed hilariously. This, of course led to his riffs on fat Americans, which are always hilarious, because they are so true. I also enjoyed his bit about what Johnny Depp, at age 48, goes through in his nightly routine to get ready to leave the house, as he decides he needs to accessorize with eight bracelets instead of just seven (this is probably a lot funnier in person than it sounds written down).
One of the more complicated bits Tosh did tied together a horrifying incident at an Atlanta amusement park, where a young man was accidentally decapitated, and how annoying it is when you have a cast on your leg and all anybody wants to ask you is “how did you break your leg?” I didn’t really see where he was going with this one but, trust me, he pulled it off beautifully. The amusement park decapitation/broken leg bit was a perfect example of how you’ll think Tosh is going in one direction with the joke, and then he zigs and zags so much that he gets four or five different punch lines in before he then manages to bring it all back to where he started. I don’t know anyone else who is really able to do that live. It’s also worth noting that one hundred percent of his material was completely new to me, so even if you watch Tosh.0 faithfully, you will probably be surprised by most of what goes down in the live show.
While Daniel’s set was only slightly over one hour long, (not including two warm up acts, one very funny and the other not so much) every second was absolutely, ridiculously funny. I would definitely see him again on any future tour and recommend you check out the Tosh Tour 2010 when it comes to your city. Daniel Tosh!
Somehow, I had the TV tuned to NBC at 10:00 PM last night when the new Jay Leno show debuted. It was about as funny and cutting edge as something my late grandmother would have enjoyed. In too many ways it reminded me of the now infamous, ill-fated Chevy ChaseShow, which ran for only five weeks back in 1993, because it just sucked wildly. I don’t know if Jay is going to really need to rely on ratings to stay on the air, or if it’s just a given that he might draw a large enough viewership from folks my parents’ age to keep advertisers happy. But I do know that I am pretty sure I heard him use the word “Poon” when he was telling his ‘off-color’ jokes near the end of the hour. And that was kind of funny.