Written by : Bryan Murray
After attending comedy on a fairly regular basis throughout the few years my wife and I had been living in New York, there was one main thing I noticed. It can get expensive. In most cases, it is treated as a “night out” an occasional event that is looked upon much like a concert or Broadway show. One of these things you plan around, maybe save up a little beforehand. That was something I definitely did not take into account before wanting to take in as much live stand up comedy as possible. It didn’t take long before it was heavily suggested to me by the more responsible half, to find new ways to attend comedy that wouldn’t hurt our accounts. Luckily, New York also has a plethora of shows, especially during the regular week nights, which are far more affordable, sometimes even free. We found ourselves regularly attending show at The Stand Restaurant and Comedy Club in the Gramercy area.
At one of the many shows we had seen there was Aaron Berg, who I have heard on various podcasts in which he plugged a free show at the club called Frantic!. Frantic! is a free show every Monday night at 10pm, the final show at the club that night so it can go for a while. One available Monday we attended the show, and it was absolutely hysterical. Since then, I have returned multiple times to Frantic! and became a fan of Aaron and his other projects as well as the amazing feats that I got to discuss briefly with him about.
Aaron and I stood outside a chilly January 11th night. This, like most Frantic! shows offered both pretty recognizable names and some newer comedians. On this night it was Aaron, Noah Gardenswartz, Aida Rodriguez, Dan Soder, Subhah Agarwal, Dave Smith, Graham Kay, Luis J. Gomez, Janelle James, a drop in by Judah Friedlander, Alex Pavone, and Bill Dawes playing the character of Grigori. When we could, Aaron and I would run outside to talk as he puffed on his cigar checking the times to jet back in to light and host the show.
You’ve had some “questionable professions” prior to stand up. What made you decide to get into stand up?
“I had done a movie in Canada and thought, ‘I’d just be a movie star, this will be easy’ it was ‘Detroit Rock City’ I had a small part. And thought that it would blow me up but didn’t so I went to an Amateur Night at Yuk Yuks in Toronto it went really well.I mean, the comedy was horrible thinking it seemed easy but then just sucked for a while.”
What got you first interested in acting?
“I think I always just wanted to be a movie star and just wanted to be on tv I think. But then, once I discovered stand up the exact opposite thing happened, ‘F*#k TV I wanna be an artist.’”
Some could look now and see there are definite “comedy purists” that do fall very close to the ‘wanna be an artist’mentality. Do you feel you hold true to that or has it changed throughout the years?
“I feel now, I’m just really happy creating constantly. No matter what it is, as long as I’m creating.”
And that definitely shows in what you have been putting out there especially recently. Releasing two books, constant stand up, and being a part of Hulu Original series “24 Hour Rental”.
“I feel like the stuff that I do would be more suited to someone who is really famous like ‘Oh, he wrote another book that silly Ryan Goseling’”