The best of Sandpaper Suit 2009

Top posts from '09:
Capture Your Flag interview about my standup
Making 'em think vs. making 'em laugh
Matt Ruby comedy videos
A shopping list of recommended gear for comedians
Video: Gay or straight?
The 10 greatest standup bits of the past 20 years
Why Doug Stanhope drinks on stage
The side of the majority isn't funny
More answers to Stupid Ass Questions
"Think Tank" web comedy series (collection)
Bill Hicks’s Principles of Comedy
An education on getting college gigs, college agents, and NACA
The Comix staff offers tips and pet peeves for comedians
Marc Maron explains why he likes Andrew Dice Clay
Video: "I Need Laughs: One week in the trenches of the New York underground comedy scene"
Alt shows give comics an excuse to be lazy
Video: Looking through an audience member's purse
Tom Scharpling and Paul F. Tompkins mocking Gathering Of The Juggalos
How to get a crowd to come out to your comedy show
Is crowd work a crutch?
Patton Oswalt's advice on how not to be a miserable comedian
Behind the scenes as Louis CK films a new TV pilot
The live performer’s divided brain
The evolution from clever to truth teller
Gotta input to output
Adjusting your material based on the type of crowd you're performing for
Romantic comedies are to women what porn is to men
If show producers told the truth, it'd sound like this...
My dad hates everything
The invented foil in "Everything's amazing, nobody's happy"
The fascination with hecklers
Gaffigan's path to success and doing topic-driven material
"Do you have any advice for beginner comedians?"
Video: Behind the scenes at SXSW Comedy 2009
Gervais and David talk about the truth and being unique
Jon Stewart should stop using comedy as a shield
Bold choices
The difference between a me-too show and a remarkable one
When your mom's a bigger rebel than you'll ever be
My least favorite thing to hear: "I've been watching a lot of TV lately and..."
There is no hack subject, only hack approaches
Highlights from the great commentary on Louis CK's "Chewed Up" DVD
Comedy Feng Shui: 10 things that ruin comedy shows
Louis CK at Comix = most impressive standup show I've ever seen
Trying to write extended bits instead of quickies
Harvard Business School, Sandpaper Suit, and Chris Rock's small experiments
Is it better to start off as a comic in NYC or somewhere else?

Want more? The "best of" category has a few more top posts from the past year. And you can also check out the best of Sandpaper Suit for 2008 and the best of 2007.

More new stuff coming in the new year. Thanks for reading.


I complain about people who complain about stuff that we all already realize sucks

This slideshow from Newsweek features "a look at the world’s least funny comedians." Even includes Pauly Shore, Carrot Top, and Yakov Smirnoff. Thanks for the highly relevant newsflash, Newsweek! Ya really took those high-flyers down a peg.

At this point, I'd like to place an embargo on anyone who complains about something that we all already realize sucks. Wait, Nickelback isn't a good band? Ed Hardy t-shirts aren't cool? Sarah Palin isn't smart? Michael Bay makes bad movies!? The Grammys don't go to the most deserving artist!??? You might as well tell me that drowning is unpleasant and 2 + 2 = 4.

Let's put an end to the whole bitching about Dane Cook thing too. At this point, it's just a cliché that tells me a lot more about how you want to seem cool than about your taste in comedy.


Don't quit your day job

Here's a revealing interview with Maria Bamford [thx AC]. In it, she breaks down why comedy ain't a very good get rich quick scheme. Seems to be pretty old (from seven years ago?), but it's still really interesting to see her break down the numbers.

So I started doing stand-up for reals (though not for pay) when I was 21. I didn't get paid until I was 23 and I didn't make a real living from stand-up until I was 29 (and that was still supplemented a bit by secretarial work and at 32, I'm still signed with my temp agencies in case of a slow month which hasn't happened in a while).

I can tell you what I make, but it is different for everyone and I don't know — FROM DAY TO DAY, MONTH TO MONTH what I will make. I didn't know about 3 of these gigs until last week in November.There is no shame in having a "day job" or secondary passion to support you while you pursue an artistic career. There is nothing creatively stimulating about living in a cockaroach-infested apartment and busking for change (I've done that), not knowing where you'll get money for food, living on credit cards and not having health insurance. I did the above in the beginning and ended up in a lot of trouble! Now, I do not use credit cards and live below my means- there is no 401 K PLAN for comedians.

That said — Example income for starting "headliner" — middles and emcees make considerably less — Comedy Club gig — Thermopolis, Wyoming (5-45minute shows) $1200 gross (minus airfare $200 and then minus %20 of net in commissions $190 and minus federal tax 30% of ? of net after airfare and commissions: TOTAL NET: $680. And for comics, it usually takes a few years (at least for me, 10 years) to headline. They don't pay for hotel or air for emcees and middles — lots of driving and crashing with friends. Clubs pay you in cash or without taking out taxes — some comics get in trouble when they don't pay quarterly taxes to IRS (Read:me).

Sample Television taping- The Late Night 2AM Interview show- audition for 2 years: $1100 gross (minus tax of 350, minus commissions of 330: TOTAL NET: $420)

So, you're on the Tonight Show and do your first headling gig and you have $1100 for the most exciting month of your life. I earn about as much as a well-paid legal-secretary after expenses- about 50K. And I'm very lucky. To live in LA — on your own — it costs about $2000 a month — so I still temped up until up until a year ago. And, from what I hear- there are no guarantees. Just like McDonald's still has advertising, comics can't really coast on a Tonight Show appearance from 5 years ago. As in any business, it is constantly building and creating new contacts and maintaining old ones.

Net income on Comedy Central Special is $5,240.($15,000 gross, minus 40% tax — $6,000 (higher tax bracket) and 25% ($3,750) commssions) after 9 years of stand-up. And the deal is a "buy-out" meaning you don't receive residuals and they can play it as much as they want for as long as they want. Which is great for exposure and is wonderful, and it's definitely continues to pay in terms of getting better rates for comedy club bookings. Currently, there is no union for Comedians — club pay depends from person to person. Emcees in a club make $150 to $300 a week, middle acts: $150-700 a week and headliners $800 to $2500 unless you're a celebrity or they do door deals where you get a percentage of the door if you're a big draw — Carlos Mencia, Brian Regan are a few comics who aren't necessarily househould names, but "draw", are famous among comedy aficionados.

No wonder so many standups turn to acting, hosting, TV commercials, writing, etc. As for Bamford, at least she's now collecting a nice paycheck from those Target ads.


Subscribe options

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How do you deal with being stuck in the trenches?

Reader question:

How do you die with frustration of being stuck in the trenches with all the other comics .
The frustration of feeling things are not happening as quickly as they should .
The frustration of crap gigs .
The frustration of other comics doing better then you

I'm not expecting chicken soup for the comedian soul .....but sometimes it's just soooo frustrating

How do I DIE with it? Slowly I guess. Like we're all doing.

Guessing you mean deal. Well...

I think you have to love the process. You have to get joy from doing shitty shows and mics. View 'em as a challenge instead of a chore. Part of that is really loving comedy. And I mean really loving it, warts and all.

Yes, you may be stuck in the trenches with other comics. But maybe that's the fun part. Getting to hang out with people who are sharp, quick, and fun.

That said, I do hate the handshakes-for-every-comic-in-the-room bullshit at shows. For me, part of staying sane is not trying to be friends with everybody all the time. Some people think I'm a dick because of that. But I'd just rather not be fake.

"Things not happening as quickly as they should." How quickly should they happen? If you're great, people will notice. If that's not happening, then get better.

And actually, the longer you wait before you get "seen," the more prepared you'll be when it happens. You'll have really honed your act and you'll be tight if/when industry does check you out. The waiting may be painful, but it's also helpful.

Also, recognize that success comes with a downside too. Once you're doing paid spots, it's a lot more pressure. You have to deliver at a certain level. When you're doing crap gigs, you can fuck around. You can play. You can experiment. You can try new things. I'm sure a lot of established guys look back fondly at the days when they could get away with whatever.

As for other comics doing better than you: If they deserve it, then great. If not, oh well. You can't control that stuff. I try to not get down about things that I can't control. I'm all zen and shit like that.

Also, you should get drunk. That makes everything more tolerable.


Last Hot Soup of the year on Saturday


Woooeee! This is our big holiday show!! Saturday, not Friday, for this week only. And then we're off until Jan 8.

Happy Kwanzaa everybody! Free eggnog and after party!!

I love this line up. These are the jews we got this week:

Sean O'Connor
Brooke Van Poppelen
Nick Sun
Costaki Economopoulos
Nicky T!!!

Sat 12/19
Showtime at 8pm
349 E 14th St between 1st and 2nd Ave.
Produced by Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope


Capture Your Flag interview (part 2 of 2)

Part 1/details. In this part, we discuss the influence my parents had on me, the importance of being an editor, finding your voice, warriorness, comedy milestones, working on new material, my standup evolution, and more.


The straight man

Conan O'Brien once told Tom Scharpling being the straight man is the hardest thing in comedy.

How does Scharpling (host of The Best Show on WFMU) keep his poise during his bits with Jon Wurster? He pinches his leg.

"Once in a while, the silliness of the whole thing hits us during a bit and we lose it," Mr. Scharpling wrote in an e-mail message after the show. "Sometimes Jon has to cover for me by talking while I'm gathering my bearings, and sometimes I have to do the same for him.

"One time that stands out is Jon deliberately thinking the band Husker Du was called Husker Dude. Hearing that line come out of Jon's mouth just killed the both of us. I had to hold it down, playing the outraged straight man while Jon kept laughing silently. Which makes me want to laugh. I usually end up pinching my leg to stay on track."

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner recently talked with the AV Club about the straight-guy/funny-guy dynamic.

AVC: The straight-guy/funny-guy dynamic has been around for ages. How did the two of you fall into that format?

MB: I think the real engine behind it is Carl, not me. I’m just collecting the fares. But he’s the guy that creates the subjects, the questions, and creates a kind of buoyant, effervescent, terribly naïve character. He keeps saying, “Sir, I find that hard to believe, that you’re 2,000.” [Laughs.] He actually says that. So I didn’t even start it. I wanted nothing to do with it. I was eating a piece of sponge cake and drinking Manischewitz wine in a corner somewhere at a party, and suddenly Carl comes over with a tape recorder and says, “I understand, sir, you were at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.” And I was off. I was off doing what I had to do.

CR: It’s really a writing job—the straight guy comes up with the premises. In all good writing teams, there’s always someone who has a strength in one area, and my strength is that I always come up with ideas. I write books that way—I put a first line down and say, “Where does this go?” About a week or two ago, somebody came and told me about an article that said the guy considered the straight man in old vaudeville days owned the act. Weber and Fields, one of the biggest acts in vaudeville, it was Weber who owned the act and hired Fields. And he used many different Fields. There wasn’t one Fields. And Abbott and Costello, Abbott got the lion’s share of the money. He was the head guy. He found Costello, and it turned out that that was an accepted thing, the straight man was the guy, the producer, the writer, and the other guy was the guy who made the money for him. But I never thought of it in those terms. I am also the voice of the audience. I’m going to ask questions that if I were in the audience, I would love to know what this man thought about this, this, and this.

AVC: What about the straight-guy/funny-guy dynamic has caused it to last so long?

MB: Well, the straight guy is never given enough credit. For me, the heroes are the straight guys. The funnier one in Laurel and Hardy is Oliver Hardy. And Laurel gets all the credit for being the comic, and Hardy was the straight man. Abbott is a relentless maniac driving everybody in the world crazy, especially Lou Costello. And Lou gets all the credit, and Abbott gets no credit for framing it, for the architecture, for the support, for the drive. He does everything except the punchline; he’s amazing.

AVC: Regular audience members don’t seem to be very interested in comic setups.

MB: Yes it’s true. It’s so true. And I think the straight guy is critical. Dean Martin never got any credit. All the credit went to Jerry Lewis. And it was Dean’s reactions and his ease and his grace and his sheer talent that made that team work… Jack Benny was really the straight man of The Jack Benny Show, and that’s what made it so marvelous and wonderful. [In one joke], he’s in his vault—you hear him step by step, you hear the vault creaking, you hear the vault open, you hear some tinkling of coins, of gold or something. Then you hear a voice say, “Okay, your money or your life.” And you wait—this is radio—you wait a full minute, interminable space in radio. And the guy says, “Well?” And Jack says “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!” The same thing with Johnny Carson, who just listened to comics. I loved doing his show, because you really made him laugh. He wasn’t kidding.

My take: The toughest part about being the straight man is being unselfish. The laugh goes to someone else. You create the environment for laughs but someone else gets to deliver the actual punchline. In that sense, it's almost like being the producer of a show but within the actual act.


Capture Your Flag interview about my standup

Here's Part One of an interview about my standup I did with Erik Michielsen of Capture Your Flag, "a resource to help individuals find fulfillment in their career and personal journeys." We talked about my transition from music to comedy, how I got started, the importance of being in flow, and more.

In Part Two, we discuss the influence my parents had on me, the importance of being an editor, finding your voice, warriorness, comedy milestones, working on new material, my standup evolution, and more.

Since we discuss my being a musician a bit in Part One, here's the 411 on that: I spent years as the frontman in a rock band called Plastics Hi-Fi. That was back in my Chicago days. After we split, I recorded a solo album and then moved on to Ruby Lament, a more electronic sounding project. Ya can click on any of those links to hear tracks if you're interested.


What I've been up to at Twitter: Lost vs. The Wire, face tattoos, etc.

Following me on Twitter? If not, you're missing out on quips like these:

Saw a guy with FULL face tattoo. Musta seen Tyson's face tattoo and
thought, "Nah, too subtle."

Can't believe I heard a commercial that starts out this way: "From the
director of Wild Hogs..." Maybe it's an ad for the apocalypse!

Brooklyn Academy of Music emailer subject: "Swedish Circus, Afro-pop
ballet, New French Films, & more." What, no Sri Lankan Burlesque!?

Waiter just got very aggro with water choice. "Would you prefer
sparkling water or will you be drinking from the gutter this evening?"

Sangria = "I'll take the cheapest wine you have filled with fruit that
you were about to throw away. And leave it an open bowl!"

Lost fans aren't as annoying as The Wire fans. Lost fans only know
what's in a hatch. Wire fans know "what's wrong with society."

Sometimes when I'm in Williamsburg I can't tell if people are having
fun or making fun of having fun.

More at twitter.com/mattruby.


We're All Friends Here podcast now available in iTunes

The first We're All Friends Here podcast on Breakthru Radio has been available online for a bit. And now it's also available in iTunes too. Subscribe via iTunes or RSS feed. (Note: It will show up in your iTunes under the title "Breakthru Radio.")

***How to subscribe to the show FREE on iTunes!***

1. Open iTunes
2. In the top menu, click "Advanced"
3. Select "Subscribe to Podcast"
4. Copy and paste this address into the pop-up window: http://feeds.feedburner.com/wafh
5. In your "Podcasts" page, to the left side of the podcast title (the title is "Breakthru Radio Podcast"), click the little arrow to expand the contents. (Make sure you're viewing the page in "List Form." Click "View" at the top and select "as List")
6. Then click the little "Get All" button on the right of the title to download every episode of We're All Friends Here. Enjoy!

(Thanks to Citizen Radio for the iTunes instructions.)

Episode #2 coming in a couple of weeks.

We're All Friends Here returns on Saturday with List, Turner, and Constantine

We're All Friends Here returns on Saturday (12/12) with:

Joe List (Comedy Central)
Nick Turner (Too Cool for School)
Neil Constantine (NYC)

This will get messy.

The comedy chat show with boundary issues
Hosted by Matt Ruby and Mark Normand
Saturday, Dec 12
Doors at 7:45pm, showtime at 8pm
The Creek
10-93 Jackson Ave at 49th Ave
Long Island City, NY
Just one subway stop from Brooklyn and Manhattan


Mayer, Kumail, and getting out of your comedy comfort zone

I wasn't there but here's what seems to have happened: John Mayer has a rough (comedy) set at Sweet (he likes to dabble in standup). Kumail goes up after and comments on it. Mayer jumps onstage to riff with him. But thinks he needs to insult Kumail. Calls him "Kabul" and compares him to "one of those ambiguous CNN anchors" because of the way he looks and his "British" accent. Awkward times for all involved. Sources for that rundown: The Comic's Comic talks to Mayer and commenters weigh in, AST thread on the incident, Eugene makes fun of Mayer for "accidental racist" tendencies.

Mostly, who cares? Just another lookyloo incident that only matters because someone tabloid famous is involved.

I do think there's a lesson here about getting outside of your comfort zone though. A lot of comics hit the same couple of rooms over and over and this sort of incident shows why that can be a bad idea.

Mayer almost always goes up at The Cellar where he's pals with the other comics and in with the owners and seems to be able to do whatever he wants because of who he is. (It's also a very cliquey, testosteroney, bust each other's balls kinda environment there.) Once he brought his act to an alt show, it seems like it hit him what a different ballgame it was. All of a sudden, he was out of his element and had to scramble. And the result sounds like it wasn't pretty.

That's the problem with getting stuck in any single comedy ghetto. Instead, I'd advise doing whatever room you can. Alt shows for Brooklyn hipsters, club shows for tourists, urban rooms, Harlem coffee shops, hostels filled with backpackers, Park Slope restaurants, "art star" freak mics, Jersey City dive bars, corporate gigs, suburban hotels, whatever. Lots of jokes will work at one of those places. But a joke that works at ALL of them? You know that's funny.

Will it get awkward sometimes? Yes. But that's the way learning often feels. Uncomfortable.

I hate to go to the CK well yet again, but he put it well:

Go onstage in adverse conditions, that's how you get good. Do you really think that becoming a great comedian means finding audiences that are already ready to laugh at what you have to say?

Being comfortable or getting better: Sometimes you have to pick one.


What makes CK so good?

One thing: It's about the ideas, not the words. Sharilyn Johnson explains:

The cool thing about watching a guy like Louis do shows a week apart is that you can note the differences in wording and inflection in jokes. It struck me last night that he isn’t married to any particular precise wording in a lot of cases. Example: in Toronto, he said milk cartons had been 'invented by some Dutch faggot in 1740'. Last night, he said 'that some Dutch fucking loser invented in 1783'. It doesn’t have to be 1783. It doesn’t have to be 1740. It doesn’t have to be 'loser' or be 'faggot'. And if he wanted, it probably doesn’t even have to be 'Dutch'. So many comics make definitive choices down to that level of detail, and program their autopilot to whichever seems funniest. But Louis doesn’t memorize down to that level of detail, and it’s primarily the ideas themselves that do the heavy lifting. When you think about it, doesn’t that sound like… I dunno… the correct way to do this? No wonder other comedians love him so much.

Not sticking to the same exact wording also keeps you present. You're not coasting when you do that. You're in "front of mind" mode. And that's more engaging to an audience.

Then there's the honesty. Danny Mendlow explains why that's the thing that makes CK "the best working comedian in the world":

So what is it that makes Louis so great? To me, it’s all about his honesty. I believe that comedy is nothing more than the uncensored truth. The reality we all live, but are afraid to talk about, the thoughts we all have, but are afraid to admit. What separates Louis from the rest is that he is so painfully relatable. No matter what the subject matter is, you can’t ever get mad at him because he’s so real and genuine about it. He knows he’s not supposed to say what he’s saying, but he doesn’t care.

It's not just that he doesn't care. He gets off on walking that line. And those provocative topics and setups get people paying attention. Tell an audience that your young daughter is an asshole, and they're really gonna want to hear what comes next. When an audience is locked in like that, it's a lot easier to get laughs.

Plus, he's pretty damn fearless. He's got a willingness to say shit that no one else will say. Maybe my fave example of that is this clip from the Opie and Anthony show when CK responds to Patrice O'Neal's explanation of where the word "kike" comes from:


TV news is too democratic (and toothy)

TV news is too democratic these days. All these poll questions all the time. "Last night, four police officers were shot on Staten Island. Do YOU think this happened? 54% of you said no. 30% of you said Lindsay Lohan!"

CNN will even just read Twitter posts on the news now. Because where else would I go to get random opinions from the internet??? If random, anonymous opinions are news, I guess this will be coming soon to CNN: "Obama's Health Care Plan: Let's see what the bathroom graffiti at McElroy's Pub has to say about it."

Sometimes they'll have something that's not even news, it's just a cool visual. Like a car chase or a building demolition or panda bears. You can't just call something news because it's fun to look at. "Coming up at 11, the final screen of Donkey Kong. You haven't seen that before, right??? And then: Cats on skateboards, do they cause cancer? It's our next poll question."

Anyway, we all know what really matters when it comes to news: Teeth. Lots of teeth.



Free entrance to Just For Laughs audition show (Sunday) + Hot Soup returns (Friday)

This Sunday, December 6, I've got a show at Broadway Comedy Club that's an audition set for the 2010 Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. If ya wanna come lend some support (and see a bunch of comics bringing their A game), it'd be great to have ya there. Mention my name at the door and the club will waive the cover. The club is at 318 W. 53rd St. b/w 8th & 9th Aves. Showtime 9pm.

And Hot Soup is back on Friday night (12/4) at O'Hanlon's (hey, O'Hanlon's has two apostrophes in one word...impressive!). Check out this lineup:

Myq Kaplan (Comedy Central)
Dan Allen (Comedy Central)
Maeve Higgins (Star of Irish tv show Fancy Vittles)
Gabe Liedman (Big Terrific)
Joe Zimmerman (special guest from North Carolina)

Every Friday
Showtime at 8pm
349 E 14th St between 1st and 2nd Ave.
Produced by Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope

Other upcoming shows I'm doing:
12/5 7:30pm Lil' Seany Boy Show @ Comix
12/5 9pm Village Lantern
12/6 9pm Just For Laughs Comedy Festival Audition @ Broadway Comedy Club
12/7 8pm Back Door Comedy @ Bar Nine
12/8 9pm Hellz Yeah @ Union Pool
12/11 8pm Cool secret show in Greenpoint (email me for details)
12/12 8pm We're All Friends Here @ The Creek

This calendar has all my upcoming gigs.


America's drug and alcohol epidemic meets it's match...

Spotted in bar bathroom:


Yup. If there's anyone who hates drugs and alcohol, it's the entertainment industry! Next up: "Anorexia's arch-nemesis: The Fashion Industry!!"

(Nice touch with the raised devil horns too.)


Making 'em think vs. making 'em laugh

"Daily Show" Segment Producer Patrick King in this article about the show's staff:

"The fact is, we are a comedy show, and if it's not funny we're not doing it, no matter how big of an issue it is," King said. "We care really passionately about the things we do, but first and foremost we have to make people laugh."

I agree. First thing ya gotta do is get laughs. Then you can worry about making your point. In fact, that might be a wise career path too. Worry about being funny first and then worry about getting across some sort of "message."

Reminds me of a recent email exchange I had with Myq Kaplan about making 'em think vs. making 'em laugh...

Myq wrote:

you see this carlin daughter interview in punchline?

"In the book, he talks about realizing that laughter wasn’t necessary to know he was being successful at his job. He says, ‘I got that as long as the audience is willing to sit there and nod their heads and I knew that the wheels were turning in their heads, that I was doing my job.’ So, there’s a man who is acknowledging that he is making people think, and he’s okay with it."

I wrote:

didn't see that. interesting.

i'm kinda fascinated by if there's a point when this "make 'em think over make 'em laugh" approach becomes ok. after x number of years, or a certain amount of success, or having been on TV, or once people are knowingly coming to see you vs. just a random crowd, or if you get 1hr instead of 8 mins.

i just can't shake the feeling that someone who does this [i.e. a laughter is not necessary approach] at my level and for the crowds i'm performing in front of is just being selfish. not to mention, that path will never get you on TV or enable you to reach a level of "fame" that you can do this for a career. in short: i wonder if you need to make people laugh first and THEN you earn the right to make 'em think. at least if you want to do it under the umbrella of "comedy."

MYQ wrote:

i think your assessment is pretty much dead on

i mean, if you can be as compelling and interesting as carlin was in an 8-minute set when you're starting, power to you, go for it

(because isn't ALL of beginning standup selfish to a certain degree? most people are bad, and if you weigh only the momentary benefits to yourself versus the horrors you're pushing upon crowds, strict utilitarianism might suggest that everyone stop and never start comedy)

also, when people went to see carlin in his later years, they weren't going to see "a comedy show"
they were going to see carlin

that's probably a considerable, noteworthy difference
(because even if some newby CAN be as compelling/interesting as carlin, that might not entertain or please an audience that's just coming to see "comedy")

i definitely think being funny first and interesting later makes sense, but i don't know if it HAS to be that way
it's probably just harder if you're more interesting than funny first
i'm trying to think of people like stanhope (who i believe always had the capacity to be funny initially), or other interesting people and how they started, and the one that jumps out as someone who might have bucked this route is maron...
i don't believe he was ever just a punchline-providing audience-pleaser, was he?
either way, i think you CAN do whatever you want from the get-go, but if you DON'T go the funny, audience-pleasing (at least learning that you CAN do it) route, it might be a harder road to hoe (is that an expression?)

I wrote:

agreed. and i also think there's something good about mastering the conventional way of doing something before you start breaking the rules. like miles davis playing standards before getting all freaky avant-gardey. do that (prove you CAN follow the rules) and the choices you make to NOT follow the rules become even more powerful.

MYQ wrote:

agreed agreed.

but then there are the few cases where people do seem to come up with something genius right out of the gate
i hear douglas adams created the hitchhiker's guide in his early twenties
not that it's particularly Unconventional
(and after reading "outliers" and hearing about the standard 10,000 hours of work that most geniuses seem to have put in before they were at the top of their game, like the beatles, etc... have you read it?... it also talks about how, sure, mozart did create his first symphony or whatever when he was 3 or 4, but after putting in 10,000 hours of work after that, the stuff he was writing at 10 or 11 made that original stuff look like crap... i'm paraphrasing... anyway, point is it seems like most people in any art, craft, skill, trade, most of anyone who is great at something does put in the work, and i presume the work most often comes in the form of the conventional at first, learning before becoming awesome)
that said, mozart DID write shit when he was 3 or 4, and regardless of how great it was, he was doing it
who knows

Related: Malcolm Gladwell on what makes a great performer: 10,000 hours


Brill "In the Tank"

In the Tank with Jon Fisch = cool podcast that offers interesting interviews with comedians like Pat Dixon, Ted Alexandro, Hannibal Buress, etc. Fisch, Dan Allen, and Dan Shaki cohost it.

Recently they posted an interesting talk with Letterman booker Eddie Brill: part 1 and part 2. Both parts worth listening to (1 has more stuff on the history of the NYC comedy scene and 2 has more about being the Letterman booker).

A taste: He said comics should avoid being too finger-pointy with a crowd. "It's never 'you suck.' It's 'we suck.'" Brill says he didn't book Bill Burr for years 'cuz he was still in the "you suck" phase of his career.

Another Brill tip: Slow down and enjoy the moment. The audience will sense that and respond to you better.


Matt Ruby comedy videos

Here's me performing standup in Chicago:

Another standup clip from Comix in NYC:

This is the most popular video of mine on YouTube. In it, I deal with a heckler not amused by my bit on the gay pride parade.

"White Collar Comedy with Mortimer the Steel Baron" won Best Web Short of the Year at ComedySmack.

"Think Tank" is a web comedy series starring Mark Normand and myself. List of previous episodes.

"I Need Laughs: One week in the trenches of the New York underground comedy scene" is a behind the scenes documentary of a single week in Feb '09 prowling around the alternative/underground comedy scene in NYC (7 parts, 30 minutes total).

Some of my other funny clips:

More of my videos at YouTube.

No Hot Soup on Friday

Thanks to everyone who came out to Hot Soup last Friday. It was an AMAZING show. We're off this week for holiday but will return on Dec. 4. We're sticking with O'Hanlons too. Feels like a better fit for the show.


Breakthru Radio debuts We're All Friends Here show!

The first edition of We're All Friends Here on BreakThru Radio, an online radio station, is now available. In it, we get juicy with Roger Hailes, Giulia Rozzi, Leo Allen, and Jesse Geller. Good things about the move to BreakThru Radio: The show has an expanded format, the sound quality is better, and the racist hat now gets its own alert noise (ping!). So go on over to the BreakThru site to give it a listen.

(Big thanks to Marcus Parks for helping make it all happen. He's also the host of the cool Portrait of a Comedian show on BTR that ya may enjoy.)

The BTR folks are also working on getting a listen via iTunes/podcast link up and running so I'll let ya know when that's good to go. Previous episodes of the podcast available here.

Last Saturday's edition of the show was really super too. We even had one interview that was haunted by a stray cat and mysterious falling objects. Look for that to hit the interwaves next month. And come on out to the next live edition of the show: Sat, Dec. 12 at The Creek. That's a pretty slow weekend for parties and what not so you're probably free.


A shopping list of recommended gear for comedians

Note: None of this stuff will actually make you funny.

field notes
I use these Field Notes notebooks because I dig the thin size, perfect for a pants/jacket pocket.

And then there's the classic Moleskine notebook, famous for its use by Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and thousands of shitty open mic'ers.


Best book I've read on the art of standup. Written by someone who was really in the game which helps. Has great interviews with Carlin, DeGeneres, Maher, Lewis, Rock, etc.

Martin looks at the evolution of his act, from childhood magic gigs to blowout arena success.

Not about standup exactly but it definitely relates. Hart, a playwright, wrote this book all about how tough the road was to his first hit play, a comedy called "Once in a Lifetime." Really shows how much dedication and persistence is required to craft something great that gets laughs every step of the way. I read it based on this recommendation from designer Michael Bierut who called it "the best, funniest, and most inspiring description of the creative process ever put down on paper." Also, the NY Times called it "the best book on 'show business' as practiced in this century in our time."

Both of these are excellent reads for writers of any kind. I can sum up the biggest lesson you'll get from both: Get rid of words. Eliminate anything that's not essential.


Fascinating look at Seinfeld putting together a new routine with cameos from his standup buds. The only shitty part is suffering through all the Orny crap. Fwiw, "I Need Laughs" is my (very) low budget version about what it's like doing standup in NYC.

Played a huge role in pushing alt comedy into the mainstream. Galifianakis' "physical comedy" bit still cracks me up.

Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run
Another non-standup recommendation is this story behind the creation of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's "Born to Run" album. Also shows the dedication to craft that goes into making a great piece of art. Even if you're not a Bruce fan, it'll suck ya in.


The whole series is worth listening to but this is the best one. Amazon sums it up well: "Seinfeld describes his own evolution as a comic, the role of quasi-musical elements such as pacing and rhythm in a performance, and many points of technique that comic wannabes will find of interest." The Carlin and Woody ones are good too.

Audio recorders

Relatively small/cheap. Sound quality ain't that great though.

More expensive but gives ya great sound quality. It's what we used to record the We're All Friends Here podcasts.

The iPhone has a built-in voice recorder app that I see people use too. Not sure how good the sound quality is on it though. Biggest pro of using it: You're already carrying it all the time.

Video cameras

Will give ya video good enough for YouTube or reviewing. Warning: For a "real" tape, I think you want something that's better quality (the sound quality can be iffy).

For better quality stuff, this is one of many options. cNet's Camcorder buying guide offers guidance from real experts.


Video: Gay or straight?

Went to a bar with another comic. A group of girls assumed we were gay lovers. Here's what happened. (Also gives ya an idea of how I'll take a story from a mic and turn it into a real bit at a show.)


Hot Soup Friday night (11/20) at new venue

We're moving the show a block away to O'Hanlon's for the foreseeable future. I could tell you why. But it involves lots of tears, bloodshed, and a synopsis of the last episode of Cougar Town, so let's just skip all that. Anyway, we did the show there last week and it was groovy so we'll keep it going...

This Friday we welcome:
Kumail Nanjiani (Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel)
Jordan Carlos (Comedy Central)
Hari Kondabolu (Jimmy Kimmel)
Nikki Glaser (Tonight Show)
Dan Goodman (getdangoodman.com)

Every Friday
Showtime at 8pm
349 E 14th St between 1st and 2nd Ave.
Produced by Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope

Saturday (11/21): We're All Friends Here returns!

Our guests on Saturday: Erik Bergstrom, Robert Dean, and Blaine Perry. They all seem normal. They're not. Come see why.

The comedy chat show with boundary issues
Hosted by Matt Ruby and Mark Normand
Saturday, Nov 21
8pm @ The Creek
10-93 Jackson Ave at 49th Ave
Long Island City, NY
Just one subway stop from Brooklyn and Manhattan

The podcast is coming back soon too — launching on Breakthru Radio. Stay tuned for details.


Running on empty

What was going through my head recently while sitting at the back of a show:

Argh, stop running the light already. Especially since you're eating it. Nothing worse than a guy who is just sucking balls and then decides he's gonna do an extra 10 minutes. And since he's lost them already, he decides he might as well get filthy and offensive. Lots of faggot this and cocksucker that.

I'm up next which makes it that much more agonizing. The host is lighting him. Then I start lighting him. It feels as if the universe is lighting him. Finally, he wraps up. He leaves the stage and then people start walking.

OK, hopefully the host will bring me up quick at least. No such luck. He gets up and does five minutes that also doesn't work. (After each comic he's doing five minutes that don't work, but he doesn't seem to care.) By this point, over half the room has walked. Finally he brings me up. And I go up to a few dazed people who look as if they just watched their mother get punched in the face. What I want to say: "Hey, who's ready to laugh? OK, who's ready to not commit suicide?" I tried to power through, but it was a tough go.

It's one thing to keep doing time if you're killing. But when you're sucking the life out of the room, it's just lame and selfish.


The 10 greatest standup bits of the past 20 years

Below are the 10 best standup bits from the past few decades as determined by me. The rules: Has to be after 1990. Only one per comedian allowed. Went for longer bits over one-liners/quick-hit stuff (that's why no Hedberg).

1. Chris Rock: Black People vs. Niggaz

2. Louis CK: Why?

3. Bernie Mac: You don't understand

4. Paul F. Tompkins: Peanut Brittle (starts at 42:19 in at clip below)

5. Dave Chappelle: Women vs. men

6. Jim Gaffigan: Hot Pockets

7. George Carlin: God

8. Patton Oswalt: KFC bowl

9. Andy Daly: Knock It Off

10. Doug Stanhope: Fuck the Jews

And an honorable mention to Stephen Colbert's 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner speech where he mocked Bush while standing just a few feet away from him. Can't really single out one part as great, but it's def one of the ballsiest comedy sets ever.


Watching Kumail and Patton rip it up on TV

Neat moment after our Hot Soup show on Friday: 15 comics and friends gathering around the bar's TV in the back to watch Sean Patton's "Live at Gotham" set. He did great and everyone loved it. (Btw, Sean did an amazing 30 min set at The Creek recently that really blew me away. He just keeps getting better and better.)

And then a bit later everyone regrouped to watch Kumail Nanjiani's Letterman debut. Man, the Letterman crowd loved him. One of those "tough to get the jokes out through all these applause breaks" kinda sets. And he was even wearing a nifty suit. (Oddly, they played him off to "Born in the USA." What are you getting at, Paul?!) See the recent Times article on Kumail too? Everyone is climbing aboard the bandwagon.

From a personal perspective, I remember seeing these guys honing some of these same bits at NYC open mics less than a year ago. Pretty neat to see the rise from basement to network. I think all the other comics watching at that bar on Friday night felt the same way. For a normally pretty jealous/jaded bunch, there were a lot of good vibes in the room. We all know those guys are both great and deserve what they're getting. So congrats fellas.


Jokes that work in one place but fail in another

Topical jokes have a short shelf-life. Ya can squeeze a few months out of 'em but then ya gotta throw 'em out. That's a big part of why I avoid them. I'd rather spend my time crafting something evergreen. If I'm gonna come up with a great bit, I want to be able to get as much life as possible out of it.

There's another kind of limiting joke: one that's funny only to a specific area. I remember seeing a comic in Chicago one time who was really killing. Great set. But I started to notice something. Every single one of his jokes was Chicago-specific. About riding the el train, going to Wrigley, etc. Funny to the people in that room but what happens if/when this guy ever goes on the road or tries for a TV spot? He had crafted a great set that was worth nothing outside of his hometown.

Ya see it in NYC all the time too. What the hell are those conductors ever saying on the subway? People from Jersey are stupid! And you won't believe how tiny my apartment is... Those topics can get laughs here. But the relatability of 'em is gone when ya go somewhere else.

Helen Hong interviewed by The Comedians:

“When I first started playing outside New York,” says Hong, “I was so surprised when I found how many of my jokes didn’t work there. Even when I went to LA, a place and go at least a couple of times a year and try to get some spots; there are some jokes that are very New York-centric that only work in New York, which is my fault for writing them. Even outside of LA, there are jokes that are too socially edgy that they don’t get it. They don’t get apartment living. If you have too many jokes about going out with your black friend, gay friend, and drag-queen friend, they’re going to be, like, what? So it’s great to have that mix.

That socially edgy thing is something I just heard from someone else too. Apparently, edgy jokes (like something with racial overtones, but not actually racist) will get big laughs in NYC but fall flat on the west coast where people seem to be more sensitive. Curse you, people who are sensitive!

So time and geography are two joke ghettos. I guess the other one would be topic-based. Being overly niche-y. Like I have a new bit I'm doing about Tom Waits. Fun in an alt room where there are hipsters or musicians. Tougher in a room in midtown filled with people who are, um, not in a Tom Waits demographic.

Some may argue you should stick to whatever material you want to do regardless. Eh, I'd rather take it on a show by show basis and deliver the jokes that will work best in that room for that crowd. I see part of the job as being able to read the room and know if one joke's gonna work better than another.


Upcoming shows: Hot Soup, Bethesda, Philly, etc.

This Friday, Hot Soup welcomes:
Jon Fisch (Last Comic Standing/Comedy Central)
Rory Scovel (Comedy Central)
Sheng Wang
Sean Donnelly
...and more.

Every Friday
Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8
Professor Thom's (upstairs room)
219 2nd Ave between 13th and 14th St.
Produced by Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope
Drink specials ($3 beers/$4 mixed drinks)

We're All Friends Here returns Nov 21 (a week from Saturday) at The Creek. Also, our first episode of the show on Breakthru Radio is coming soon. Stay tuned for details.

Other places I'll be telling jokes soon:

11/12 8:30pm Always Be Funny @ River Bar (NYC)
11/14 8:00pm Laugh Riot at the Hyatt @ Bethesda Hyatt (Bethesda, MD)
11/16 8:30pm Chip Chantry's One-Man Show @ Khyber (Philadelphia, PA)
11/17 9:00pm Baby Hole @ The Lamp Post (Jersey City)
11/21 8:00pm We're All Friends Here @ The Creek (LIC)

See, comedy takes you to glamourous places!


Photo: A little light reading


Y'know, just a little light reading. Re: the sleeping...Maybe they're just tired of talking to each other.

Nomination form for the 2009 ECNY Awards

Update: Carol Hartsell says, "You only need 1 nomination to be considered for an ECNY & you CAN submit yourself. Numbers don't matter until voting in Feb." Oh, ok then. I guess you can disregard this.

Nomination form for the 2009 ECNY Awards. Ya could nominate me as "Emerging Comic of New York." Wouldn't that be fun? (If you do: Thanks!)

And/or other possibilities: Sandpaper Suit as "Best Website" and @mattruby for "Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Tweeting." Nominations open until December 19, 2009. Run wild, you crazy things.


Why Doug Stanhope drinks on stage

Doug Stanhope at Comix last week.

Last week = First time I'd ever seen Stanhope live. Loved it. Early show (he hit the stage before 8pm) but he still managed to get hammered before the end of it...and even wound up having the guy who kept buying him drinks kicked out for constantly yelling stuff out.

Maybe not as many punchlines per minutes as some other top guys, but I feel like he's doing more of a Hicks/Carlin/offensive/"important ideas" thing than almost anyone else right now. And lots of ruthless honesty. The kind of stuff you're still thinking about days later. Plus, the total lack of pandering is great. He fully expects to walk people during his set (no big surprise from a guy who titles CD tracks "Fuck Your God" and "The Upside Of Sexual Abuse.")

Things got interesting after the show too. Then, he was interviewed for some TV pilot where a psychiatrist analyzes comedians. The whole thing was pretty half-assed but it was fun to hear this guy going after Stanhope's lifestyle choices. Q's: Wouldn't you rather be happy? Aren't you worried about dying? Don't you want to improve your mental health? A's: Happy people are brainwashed. We're all gonna die. Clarity is more important than positivity. In front of a crowd of Stanhope fans, this stuff all killed. The psychiatrist didn't have a chance.

A lot of the psych talk focused on Stanhope's drinking and drugging. He admitted he hasn't spent an entire night sober in over 20 years. But he also seemed fine with that. He thinks he has clarity and he doesn't care about living forever so what the fuck? He doesn't want to be happy or "improve his mental health."

It reminded me of something philosopher John Stuart Mill once wrote:

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.

Too bad we never got to hear Mill do standup, eh? Alright, comparing a justifying-his-alcoholism-Stanhope to Mill is a reach. But after listening to Stanhope get analyzed, he really seems like a guy who's operating from a similar core philosophy. And that made it interesting to watch him vs. this shrink who seemed to represent society's view that you're supposed to be happy or something's wrong with you. The problem with that: Sometimes the people with the most wisdom seem the least happy. Does that really mean they need "fixing" though? Anyway...

From a comedian standpoint, the most interesting part of the interview was when Stanhope talked about why he always drinks while performing. Does he need booze to make him funny? I'll paraphrase his answer: No. He doesn't need booze to make him funny. He needs booze to make him a better ACTOR. See, a lot of standup is acting like you just thought of something. And he hates doing that. The only time he enjoys a joke is the moment he thinks of it. When it comes to him. Then he has to go out and say it 300 nights in a row and that makes him miserable 'cuz he feels like he's losing a little part of his soul every time he does it. So he drinks to get over that.


Highlights from the first Hot Soup

Here's a quick peek at our new show Hot Soup:

Tonight's show features Jared Logan (Comedy Central), Luke Cunningham, Dan St Germain, Phil Hanley, and more!

Join the Hot Soup Facebook Group

Every Friday
Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8
Professor Thom's (upstairs room)
219 2nd Ave between 13th and 14th St. (map)
With Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope


Myq killed it at his Presents taping last night


That's Myq Kaplan taping his Comedy Central Presents special last night. He crushed it. Ya know you're doing well when your applause breaks keep messing with your rhythm. Myq even started doing a jig at one point to pass the time while the crowd clapped. I think his special will turn out great...no sweetening necessary.

The Sklar Brothers were the second act on the show. Also had a great set. Different vibe. Myq's more of a classic joketeller while the Sklars almost have a vaudevillian feel with the quick back and forth banter and the way they heighten each premise. Their closing bit on Andrew Dice Clay was wonderfully cruel.

I'd never been to a Presents taping before. Quick impressions: It's a hell of a production. Big trucks outside. Fancy stage lights. Crane cameras swooping all around. I can see how if you're booking the comics for it a big priority might be "I want someone who won't fuck this up."

There was only minimal warmup before the first comic. A host did some quick crowdwork and then brought up people in pairs to do a dance off with each other. Sucked balls for those six people but pretty effective at warming up the room I must admit.

The host strongly encouraged lots of energy and applause. And it worked. The crowd was def on the side of the comics. Not like a club where ya gotta work for 'em. After the first set, they switched out the front rows with the middle rows so the faces on camera look different for the two different specials.

And that's about it. They'll be taping more up until Monday. Free tix still available I think.


What makes the Sports Guy so good

Good to see Bill Simmons, ESPN's Sports Guy, getting so much press lately for his new basketball book. He's long been one of my favorite writers on the web. I hardly even give a shit about sports yet I still read his column each week. I love the way he takes creative approaches to his columns (e.g. the winners and losers of the NBA's 2009 free-agent buying spree using 50 quotes and exchanges from "Almost Famous"). And he's a master at working in pop culture references and personal stories in a genuinely funny, personal way. Read the guy long enough and ya feel like you actually know him.

It's a good example of coming up with a unique voice too. Before Simmons, a sports column written from the perspective of a fan was a real anomaly. Then, everyone writing about sports was always trying to be an insider. Simmons deliberately stayed away from the locker room and palling around with players and that's a big reason why his take is so fresh.

Plus, I love that he talks about race in a frank, honest way. Like talking about the complications of the NBA being a league of mostly black players marketing itself to a mostly white audience and a mostly white media. Where else do you hear this discussed in the sports media? Most announcers and journalists pretend to be color blind but then ya listen close and wind up noticing how frequently they talk about guys who "hustle" (i.e. white), guys who are "natural athletes" (i.e. black), etc. Anyway...

A good Simmons starting point: the Sports Guy Glossary which highlights his best stuff. Sample: How to Spot the Guys Who Wield Just A Bit Too Much Power:

The bouncer at any snooty bar ... the deli counter guy who only gives samples to people he deems worthy ... ice skating judges (especially the French ones) ... softball umpires ... the guy at Best Buy who checks receipts before you can leave the store ... sixth-grade gym teachers ... bank tellers ... bartenders in crowded pickup joints ... condo association presidents ... sports radio hosts who hang up on callers when they don't agree ... everyone who works at a video store ... stewardesses on long airplane flights ... movie theater ushers ... the maitre'd at any restaurant in Vegas or Manhattan ... and the hotel worker in charge of the volleyball games at any resort.

Also, his B.S. Report podcast has recently been featuring interesting interviews with funny people (Patton Oswalt, Jeff Ross, Matt Stone, Neal Brennan, etc.) It's worth checking the archives even if ya don't care about the sports stuff.


When should a comic start to promote himself?

A reader question:

I've done 41 mics so far. I'm over the initial hump but that's just the first foothill at the base of the mountain. Topic idea: when should a comic start to promote himself? Do you often see guys promoting themselves too soon? Or posting clips online they shouldn't be posting? Do some comics not promote enough?

My .02: Get a solid tape and put a clip up online. Use that to get shows. Keep hitting mics too. Whenever you get stage time, destroy. Hope people notice. It will take a while though.

Once you get a funnier clip down the road, use that one instead (and delete the old one if it's something you no longer want others to see). Have a website that people who like you can check out, just a simple one is fine. Start an email list and/or a Facebook page so you can keep in touch with people who like you. Also good: Start a show and promote that. In fact, that may be the best way to get attention at an early stage. Have a kick-ass show and fill the seats. This is a good way to get other comics to know about ya too.

If someone comes up to you after a show and says they dug your set, ask them for their email or give 'em a biz card with your contact info so it's not a one-time only thing. I wouldn't worry too much about promo photos or anything else that's gonna cost ya a lot of money. Not worth it at this stage.

Also, recognize that people will judge you by your first impression. If you're not bringing A game yet, you might want to hold off on approaching industry or producers of top shows. They may write you off and then not be tuned in if/when ya do get better. Right now you're like a band with its first demo tape. Get better before you turn on the "full court press" of promotion.


Tonight's Hot Soup: Popp, Bargatze, McCaffrey, and Drucker

Tonight's show features Jesse Popp, Nate Bargatze, Tom McCaffrey, and Mike Drucker.

Every Friday
Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8
Happy hour drink prices
Professor Thom's (upstairs room)
219 2nd Ave between 13th and 14th St. (map)
With Matt Ruby, Mark Normand, Andy Haynes, and David Cope
Join the Hot Soup Facebook Group


The side of the majority isn't funny

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."
-Mark Twain

I think it's true for standup too. Are you arguing something that everyone in the room already agrees with? Then who cares? And how funny is it if everyone already feels the same way?

I'd much rather hear you defend something horrible. Or something that everyone is on the other side of. At least then you'll be interesting. And that tension is a lot more likely to result in something funny.

I love during this set when CK says, "What other terrible things to defend?" (about 7:40 in). It comes in between him defending terrorists and explaining when it's ok to rape someone. Yeah, sounds terrible on paper. But that's why it's funny.

Along the same lines, Chris Rock says offending people is part of being an artist:

"Somebody should always be offended," Rock says. "Somebody in your life should always be like, 'Why did you have to do that?' Always. That's just being a real artist. That's the difference between Scorsese and Disney."

Maybe I like that idea so much because of how little I respect people who get offended. What is that even about? If someone says something that's wrong, then they're wrong. That means they're stupid and why would you get worked up about that? Just pity their foolishness.

And if they say something that's true, then, well, it's true. You may not like it but it's the truth so what can you do about it? If you get offended by the truth, life must be a real pain in the ass. Either way, being offended seems silly.


Schtick or Treat is this Wednesday (10/28)

Two days away from the big show where 30+ NYC comedians come together to perform as their favorite comedy legends. Full details, lineup, ticket info for the show here. If you can't make it out, Bowery Poetry Club will be streaming a live broadcast of the event online. You can watch it here.

Also: Thanks to everyone who came out to Hot Soup on Friday. Show was a big success (standing room only) and all the comics had great sets. I think we got a good thing cooking. Next one will be this Friday (10/30) at Professor Thom's. Same time: 7:30pm doors, 8pm show. Full Hot Soup details/address here. Come on out.


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