Interview Comedian Carole Montgomery at Stand UP NY

Carole-Montgomery

This week we talk with native New Yorker Carole Montgomery, who happens to be a very talented standup comedian. She has been performing at NYC Comedy Clubs for the past 40 years and has been featured on over two dozen television appearances, Carole has headlined clubs & colleges ​across the USA and starred in 2 different Las Vegas production shows. In her ten years as a LAS VEGAS STAR, it is estimated that she has been seen by over 5 million audience members. LAS VEGAS SUN calls Carole “one of Vegas’ premier comics, ” SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS says Carole is “one of the pioneering female comics of the modern era” SEATTLE TIMES calls Carole “one of the strongest women working today” read more

Interview: With Stand Up Comedian Theo Von at the Comedy Cellar

theo von netflix
By: Joseph Santiago theo von netflix Theo Von is a stand up comedian based in Los Angeles, California. He has come along way from the small town of Convington. It’s located about one hour north of New Orleans, Louisiana.    Theo has been touring the states for more then ten years. The comic has performed on Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing and recently Netflix. His Netflix special is “No Offense” performed in New Orleans, at Civic Theater. We met up with Stand up comedian Theo Von at the Comedy Cellar his favorite comedy club in New York.

1. What other jobs did you do before starting stand up comedy?

Sold hamsters and sold Italian food indoors. Also so Mexcian food, mostly to local whites.

2. How did you know you wanted to be a comedians?

I didn’t. i think it chooses you.

3. If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?

probably a lawyer or treasure hunter

4. Where are some of your favorite places to perform?

Chicago, Dallas.

5. Who are some of your favorite up-and-comers in the comedy world?

Honestly i don’t watch a ton of comedy. i get jealous. read more

An Interview With Comedian Harrison Greenbaum – The Comedy Cellar

Harrison Greenbaum

Written by Joseph Santiago

Harrison Greenbaum

Harrison Greenbaum performing stand up comedy at “Comedy Cellar” – In Greenwich Photo Credit (Brody Brodo)

We met up with the Harvard Graduate turned professional stand up comedian Harrison Greenbaum neighborhood of Greenwich Village. He was getting ready to perform at the Mecca of comedy The Comedy Cellar.

What other jobs did you do before starting stand up comedy?

I’ve been doing magic since I was a kid, so I was making money as a magician at birthdays and bar mitzvahs since I was around 12.  (Always weird when the bar mitzvah magician is the same age as the kids he’s entertaining!)  In high school, I even spent a summer as a restaurant magician, doing magic every Saturday at a Mexican restaurant in Long Island called Pancho’s (which is still there!). read more

Big Apple Comedy with Big Hearted Rob Little

Rob Little
Interview Conducted and Transcribed by Gary Miller

Comedian Rob Little Gets Naked, Gives Back to Charity, Not Quite in That Order.

Best Comedy Tickets Talks with the jovial comedian about his love for all things funny, performing oddities, travel stories, and giving back to the community.

BCT: Growing up, what kind of comedy were you into? What shows or comedians did you watch? RL: Well I loved all comedy!  Anything I could get my hands on!  But the two comedians that had the biggest influence on me were Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy.  I don’t think I really knew of many more comedians at that time other than George Carlin but he was way over my head.  I had all of Bill Cosby’s and Eddie Murphy’s tapes growing up and would just listen to them over and over again.  Once I discovered Johnny Carson I would do anything I could to stay up late to watch him.  I thought he was amazing and I would pray that he would have a comedian on every night. I also remember watching a show that Rodney Dangerfield hosted where he would introduce new comedians. I saw Bill Kirchenbauer and Jack Coen (Coen went on to be the head writer for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno) they would always crack me up.  I was also introduced to Weird Al Yankovic.  My dad would constantly make up different words to songs and then Weird Al came out and would have whole songs parodied.   When I hit high school I was obsessed with Sam Kinison.  I got to go see Sam Kinison right after high school and I don’t remember laughing that hard in my life.  I actually peed my pants.  I was also obsessed with Chris Farley.  When he joined SNL someone came to school after he was on and said, “OMG, there is a new guy on SNL that is just like you.”  So of course I loved him.  I’ll never forget the day he died, I was getting out of work in Detroit for GM and had to pull over in my car and started crying.  He was a comedic god in my world! BCT: I love that bit in your bio about being fired from IBM, what brought that on where you decided to really pursue comedy? RL: Well I always wanted to be a comedian.  When I was about 5 years old  my family took us on a trip up to Mackinac Island in Michigan and we stayed in a motel that had HBO.  My parents thought my sister and I were asleep and they were watching one of George Carlin’s specials and they were laughing so hard they were crying.  I was actually awake watching with them.  I don’t remember the special at all but I remember how it made them feel and I knew right then and there that was what I wanted to do with my life. I grew up in a very small town though where we only had one stop light and probably around 1500 people.  I never really thought I would ever get to be a comedian, it was just a dream.  So I had a very cool computer teacher that got me excited about computers.  I went to college for that and then my first job out of college was in downtown Detroit.  That was a whole new world for me being from a farm town.  What was awesome though was that my apartment was right next to the biggest comedy club in Michigan, Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle (which is where Tim Allen got his start).  I started going up and watching the open mics and I would ask comedians how they got started.  I finally met a comedian that taught a class (Bill Hildebrandt) and it wasn’t a class on how to be funny but more of how the business works.  It was a two day class and the following week he put me up and it went great! March 8, 1998 was the first time I went on and I celebrate it like it’s my new birthday!  Two years later I had jumped a few jobs and ended up at IBM.  I knew that this job was only going to be a temporary job before I quit and started doing comedy full time.  So when I finally booked myself so far out that I couldn’t be at work anymore I decided to hack into the companies email system and sent out an email to the whole company all over the world. The email told people that they should quit their jobs and follow their dreams.  “I’m quitting to be a stand up comedian and here’s my website.”  I Hit send and immediately got emails back saying, “company email isn’t for personal use”, and I was like, “I don’t care, I quit!”. BCT: What’s your thought process or preparation for a show? RL: I really don’t have one.  I could be chatting with you and they would say, “Rob you’re on”, and I could just walk up and start doing the show.  I might be concentrating more if I’m working on new jokes but even then I usually take a topic and improvise it on stage.  It seems like when I’m forced to come up with things on the fly, I write better that way.  I wish I was as meticulous as someone like Jerry Seinfeld but I know my strength is performing not writing.  That’s why I’m not ashamed or afraid to bounce things off of other guys for ideas.  You really have to be comfortable on stage to try to write this way. I always want to put on a good show so I make sure I have bits before and after that new premise I’m trying so I don’t leave the audience unsatisfied.  I have always been a crowd pleaser but I rarely have comics that say they love me or my style.  I think I come off like I’m just talking to the audience up there.  I never sound like i’m doing bits and I think it is very difficult to come off that way.  I have been told I make it look easy but I really respect people that do that because it’s anything but easy.  To make a joke that you have done hundreds of times sound like it’s the very first time you have ever said it, that takes a tremendous amount of skill that a lot of comics do not have.  Most you can tell they have said that joke a million times because even they are bored with it.  I really respect and envy guys that are great writers so I hope those guys can see the work I put into performing and can respect me in some way.   BCT: Do you have any tips for people just starting to travel in comedy (ie. How to pack efficiently, airport stories, anything you’ve picked up along the way) RL: Wow, I have never got this question and it’s probably the one that would be most helpful to comedians than anything else.  Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that will be different for everyone and you just have to experience it.  I’ve had so many crazy airport stories.  I have been on planes that have had to emergency land, every weather problem possible that could happen, I’ve had to spend the night in several airports, I’ve missed several flights for all kinds of reasons, I’ve had luggage completely damaged and lost. I’ve also had fun travel things happen to me such as meeting celebrities, upgrades, free flights, I’ve met some amazing people and some very cool flight attendants.  I saw a lady have a baby on a flight!  I’ve been on flights where people thought I was the celebrity and treated me as such. As for packing if you are bringing a carry on, be prepared for them to take the bag at the end of the jet bridge because for some reason there isn’t enough room in planes for them anymore.  I would say bring an iPod with music and games on it.  Bring a book or magazine.  I would highly recommend Readers Digest.  Most people think it’s an old person magazine but I love it because the stories are short and there is always something funny and some meaningful stories that can be taken as uplifting.  I would highly recommend getting one of those “positive” books that you can get an airport.  Believe me, you are going to have a lot of time alone where your mind wanders and you can get super depressed because you are missing out on family functions, or holidays, or kids events or that you wished you were farther along in your career.   Reading these books that are positive and motivating will keep you out of the dumps.  At least they do for me. BCT: What are some interesting people you’ve met or things that have happened to you while touring? RL: Wow, this question could produce so many stories that I could probably write a book.  Anything from meeting my favorite comedian, Brian Regan, and acting like a high school girl around him. I had Air Force Amy from the HBO show “Cat House” who worked at the Las Vegas Bunny Ranch in the front row of a show I did in Little Rock where we became “Besties” (her words not mine) after the show for a few months. The story I like to tell the most is the craziest weekend of shows I have ever had.  This is how the weekend played out. Friday I booked a Church show which I had to be squeaky clean and raise money for the church.  Then on Saturday I did a nudist colony which I brought my ex-fiance to and we did the tour of the huge camp/living grounds nude, but when it came time to do the show they told me I couldn’t be nude.  If you are performing and getting paid it doesn’t matter what the performance is, if you are nude it’s considered erotic entertainment and they didn’t have a license for it.  So I walked up on stage nude, asked them if they were ready to start the show, then said hold on, I got dressed and then did the show making fun of everyone.  When I was done I got naked and jumped in the pool.  It was a blast!  Then on Sunday I performed at a swingers club opening for a porn star.  I did like 20 minutes and then she did her own style of a show. Talk about having to be very versatile and being able to play to any kind of audience.  What a wild ride! BCT: How did you come about starting your charity? RL:It started because my birthday is Christmas Eve and my family is very small. We never get together to do Christmas anymore.  It’s usually just my mom and I together during the holidays.  So, I just said instead of moping around and doing nothing, lets make Christmas week a about volunteering.  Let’s help out others.  Sure, it’s a nice thing to do but to be honest it’s more for us as a family.  It makes you feel great to help others.  Sometimes I feel I get more out of it than the people I’m helping do.  So the week came and I set up a different thing to volunteer for every day.  I worked at a food pantry, I volunteered at a thrift store, I donated blood, and I helped at the Red Cross.  It was a lot of fun but then a friend mentioned that I should adopt a family in need over Christmas.  I loved that idea because I have no kids of my own and lets be honest, Christmas is the best when you are making kids happy! I found a family that had five kids and were really struggling to get by.  I asked for donations online and raised around $3000.  I then matched the raised amount and went nuts buying the kids gifts and then paid a ton of the family’s bills and paid about three months ahead on all their bills so they could start to catch up with everything.  I also had tons of donations, one of the donations was from the local community health organization. They built a ramp on the front of their house for their disabled son and also put a lift in their van for them to transport their son.  It was unbelievable what I accomplished so fast and how many people wanted to help.  This family couldn’t have been more appreciative and we laughed and cried happy tears the whole day.  It made me feel amazing and I continued to do it for years to come with each year getting bigger and bigger! I think there are lots of people that want to help with things like this but they don’t know where to go or what to do.  I was no different from these people other than I just got out and started asking questions and organized the effort.  I couldn’t’ be more grateful to everyone that helped me along the way! (FEEL FREE TO CHECK OUT ROB’S CHARITY) BCT:With your charitable interests, what are some special things you’ve seen with using your comedic talent to really give back to people? RL:Well this is probably my favorite.  A few years ago I was on Last Comic Standing.  I didn’t make it far but they called me “America’s Happiest Comic” and I had some great sets on the show.  After it had aired I was asked to be someones “Make-a-Wish”. A girl outside of Cleveland had an inoperable brain tumor.  She wanted to meet me because she had never seen a more positive comic.  I was so honored and excited to meet this girl.  I was interviewed by many TV/Radio/Newspapers about this event and how I felt about it.  I remember one guy asked me, “How do you feel that she picked YOU to be her Make-a-Wish?”  And I said, “I think she wasted her Make-a-Wish!  Brad Pitt could be here right now.  She could have just emailed me and I would have shown up!” It was an amazing visit.  The girl was around the same age as me and pretty much grew up in the same exact environment as myself.  Similar families and similar small town.  We had so much to talk about.  I was only supposed to spend a day there but I ended up spending the whole weekend with her. Unfortunately, her doctor changed her medications and her mother contacted me that she is not the same person anymore.  It changed her personality completely. I lost touch with her but I’ll never forget the time we spent together.  She was an amazingly upbeat person with all that was happening to her.  I felt very honored that she invited me into her life.

BCT: Can you describe the feeling you had in being picked on The Price Is Right? RL:Well it was funny because I had a feeling I was going to be picked.  When you go to the Price is Right they have you wait in a long line to get into the show.  While you are waiting they take in 10 people at a time and do a mini-interview with you.  They go from 1 person to the next asking you where are you from and what do you do.  If you aren’t interesting in that brief moment they move on to the next person.  They stayed with me for a few minutes asking me all kinds of things after I said I was a comedian.  I tried to be really fun during that time.  When they were done talking to me the guy turned around to his assistant and gave her a look.  She wrote something down and then I had a feeling at that moment they were going to pick me. I wasn’t there for that though.  It was my friends dream to go to the Price is Right and I took her fully hoping that she would get picked. It’s funny when they call your name to come on down because you can’t hear the announcer only the people watching on TV can hear him since it’s so loud in there.  So they have 4 or 5 people on stage holding up HUGE CUE cards with your name on it.  I have never gone by “Robert” in my whole life.  It has always been Rob or Robbie, but they use your given name for legal purposes on game shows.  Well when they held up the cards with “Robert Little” on it I turned to my friend and said, “Wow, there is someone else with the same name as me!”  She was like, you idiot it is you, GO!  So I jumped up and ran down.  The funny thing was I just had opened for Drew Carey at the IMPROV in Hollywood not long before that. It was a lot of fun but you seriously can’t hear a thing in that studio and when people are looking back at their friends and trying to move around to find them, they know where they are but the cameras are all in the way so I they have to move to see their friends. Oh! The other question I always get is, “Was the big wheel really heavy,” and yes it was but I spun it pretty good.  I ended up winning a car stereo that I sold on Craigslist. I showed myself winning it on the Price is Right on craigslist and when the guy came to pick it up he said, “Holy cow you are the guy in the video”. I was like, who else did you think was going to be selling this?

Rob can be seen all over New York performing and you can find his merchandise online, including three DVD/CD combo’s with a plethora of DVD extras. Make sure to follow him online @roblittlecomic and check out his website!

Interview with Stand Up Comedian Kevin Gootee

Kevin Gootee

Written by Laura High

Interview with Kevin Gootee, creator of ‘Comics Watching Comics’

The Entertainment Industry is going through an enormous change because of the internet. We are now in the age of creating your own content. Anyone, seriously anyone, can film a movie/web series/sketch/or just a small Vine video and gain a tremendous following. I interviewed one comic, Kevin Gootee, who is going down that path. He just released his first episode of his series called ‘Comics Watching Comics.’ The show has a panel of veteran comics critiquing intermediate comics. Then the panelists vote on the comic who they liked the best to get a featured spot in one of New York’s top comedy clubs. Not to mention, the audience plays along by voting on twitter for their favorite panelist. The winning panelist gets to return to the show the following week read more

Interview with Comedian Neko White

Neko White

Written by : Laura High
March, 4th 2016

Neko White

I’ve been performing with Neko White for four years. He’s the hardest-working comic I know. Not a night goes by where he isn’t working and re-working a joke. When he announced that he had booked his first show at The Apollo Theater, I couldn’t have been happier. Neko White’s credits include: Fox’s Laughs, Elite Daily Gen Why, Award winning documentary “One Mic,” MTV Hip Hop Squares, One Hour Special: Introducing Me. read more

Crazy Funny: The Secret Behind the Best Comedians

By James Lang

Why strive to fit in if your goal is to be funny? A recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggests that the secret to making other people laugh is having an unusual personality. Originally reported on Reuters, the study and the surrounding discussion offers some insights into what makes people so funny.

lewis black

Basically, there’s a sweet spot between howling at the moon and avoiding intimacy that scientists have begun to identify as the best mental state for a career in comedy. To those in the business of making people laugh, it comes as no shock that you need to be a little bit nuts if you want to succeed. read more

Amy Schumer and Joke Theft

amy-schumer

amy-schumer

Recently in the world of comedy we have been hearing a lot about what constitutes joke theft. The most recent culprit is none other than the most popular comedian in the world right now, Amy Schumer. A video came out comparing Schumer’s jokes to the jokes of comedians Wendy Lieberman, Patrice O’Neal, Kathleen Madigan, and Tammy Pescatelli. Pescatelli specifically called stealing from other female comedians. She claimed it is something that should not be done in the in a medium that is impossibly difficult for women to navigate through. read more

American Humor Lagged Behind Europe Before Jumping Ahead and Trailblazing Stand-Up Comedy

By James Lang

If you jumped into a time machine and went back to the America of the 1800’s, you’d find a young country that had just begun to define itself. Throwing off the shackles of a colonial power and trying a completely revolutionary form of government: democracy.

Charles Dickens

The home of comedy was not the United States. In fact, Europeans of the time would comment on the dull, pioneering spirit of the Americans they met. British writer Charles Dickens would comment on his experience with Americans that “…They certainly are not humorous people, and their temperament always impressed me as being of a dull and gloomy character.” read more

20 of the Best Comedy Shows and Specials on Netflix

By James Lang

Comedy has a home on Netflix, so how will you get your binge on? Whether it’s the recent addition of Tom Segura’s second comedy special Mostly Stories, or classics like Louis C.K.’s Chewed Up, you really can’t go wrong.

Wait, I take that back. I’ve seen Airplane II: The Sequel. So much bad that can’t be unwatched!

Let’s take a look at some of the best comedy on Netflix so you can get your laughing binge on!

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy: Delirious

If you’re looking for that raw Eddie Murphy stand-up routine that embodies how he became a comic in a league of his own, this is it. Combine the loud outfit with his uncensored routine and you’ve got an incredible 68 minutes of comedy gold. read more