Freestyle Love Supremewas awesome last night, as usual. The now rich and famous but still eternally lovely and loved Lin-Manuel Mirandawas on the bill. This time, however, his “In the Heights” director, Thomas Kail, was in the audience. It became quite surreal when Miranda used his Tony Award winning role as inspiration for his freestyle rap of the audience-suggested word “smoothie”. I wish I could tell you all the salacious details but you should have bought tickets since the money went to their pet charity the VideoVoice Project. You can redeem yourself this January 5th, when they return to Comix and the first Monday of every month thereafter. That’s a recurring calendar entry you can guarantee is worth the effort.
Couple that with the ever crush-worthy Chris “Shockwave” Sullivan (The Electric Company!!!), Anthony “Two Touch” Veneziale (the ridiculously generous, effervescent and gracious founder of VideoVoice Project), and Utkarsh “UTK” Amudkar (eminent rapper/ actor whose birthday was also yesterday), and you have yourself a magically delicious night.
They really make me want to eat my face just to get the extra taste of smiles and happiness that I devour after looking at a room full of their audience members.
Katrina Bowden from “30 Rock” is our special guest tonight at Comix for Freestyle Love Supreme’s special charity shows to raise money for the Video Voice Project. I’ll be at both shows so say hello if you come by.
I’m filming a fun promo piece with Michelle Buteau where she’ll taste test three different key lime martinis made by our Comix bartenders and choose her favorite. The winner will be added to the specialy cocktail menu, too. I think it’s a fun way to promote comedians, the Comix staff and, of course, sell some booze. We’ll see how it turns out.
Meanwhile, the other thing I wrote, directed and starred in, aka The Fart Commercial, begins airing in NYC today. Fun! I can’t wait to see it at the gym while I’m on the treadmill. That’s the only time I see our commercials, without fail. I guess because it’s the only time where I’m on one channel for an hour with no remote control to click fast forward.
It feels like not much is going due to the holidays on but where the hell did the time go?
We’re working on updating Christian’s bio, resume and what not in preparation for the big PR for his DVD. After his photo shoot, we’ve narrowed down his promo shots to 50. The cover of the DVD is already designed and the second cut of his hour special was delivered yesterday. So, all is chugging along on that end.Brian Posehn and David Alan Grier are in town back-to-back weekends so I’m busy with their PR schedules, designing the Comix holiday card, updating the mailing lists and planning the annual holiday party. With all that and Thanksgiving in Boston, there wasn’t much time to focus on writing even though it’s all I want to be doing. While in Boston, we stayed at the Parker House across from the Granary Cemetery. The Parker House has a rich history which includes notables such as Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X, JFK and the like. The Granary boasts the remains of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Sam Adams and Mother Goose. Quite the spot to spend some time meandering around on Black Friday.Christian’s family all live relatively close to one another so they all drive to eat turkey, call it a day and pfffttt, that’s it. Couldn’t we just do that some other Thursday when no one else is traveling and, therefore, traffic and prices are normal? Holidays…I don’t get ’em. That said, we of the kids’ table, had a great time doing a TDay pub crawl through Boston with Christian’s cousin, his fiance, his other cousin and his sis-in-law. The six of us created a new tradition from here on out, and I look forward to the next time we see them. You know, just for fun and because we actually like each other and not because the calendar dictates it.
I’m going to dub one random day a Festivus-type holidy and shake things up. We can pretend it’s a tradition in my family and Christian really needs his family’s support to make me feel welcome. It will involve chanting, candles, robes…oh, wait, that’s just church. Hmm…guess nothing’s weirder that what’s already out there.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
I finally saw the first rough cut of Christian‘s one hour DVD special we produced in front of two live audiences in Philly. Christian spent most of Sunday taking painstakingly detailed notes on specific cutaways, line reads, edits, sound edits, etc. After the initial negative feelings and comments that are natural for anyone putting together a special like this who isn’t wholly delusional, he’s pretty pleased with it. And he should be. It looks fantastic and is pretty awesome for a rough cut.Once Warner Bros. gives us a budget for the DVD extras, we’ll be busy filming those. The scripts are written, we have two different film crews lined up and people in mind to cast. (Sorry to you hopefuls but the role of our Chihuahua will go to our Chihuahua, Paquita Borgito Borgato Chorizo Jimenez.) If we use a location rather than a studio, then I’m sure Comix or Ochi’s Lounge will work out for what Christian has in mind. So, now it’s just a matter of how much can we spend to produce them. The Comedy Central air date is not contingent on the extras being completed so the other question is: When will it air? I don’t know yet but we’re aiming for Spring 2009. No matter what the date, you can rest assure that I will be the first to shout from the rooftops.Proud wife and pleased publicist.
My first week as Director of Publicity at Comix, I came up with an ad campaign idea tied around the phrase, “Life’s tough. Laugh more.” I dubbed it as our official tagline after seeing it in an email from our videographer thinking he sure did sum it up quite nicely. Now, two years later, the campaign has finally started coming to life. First up, a commercial to air on Time Warner (or RCN / Verizon Fios) beginning in the next week or two. Coming soon, more commercials and a site where you can submit your own funny examples of just how tough life can be. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy our first attempt at the theme with a piece I wrote loosely based on Christian’s real life experience and starring me and Sean Crespo:
Christian must be in the Dec/Jan 2009 issue of Cosmo Girl. You know how I know? He got a piece of hate mail complaining about a derogatory Jonas Brothers remark he made.
I regularly submit jokes from comedians to an editor at Reader’s Digest. When a quote is used, the comedian gets paid $100. Not bad! In the December 2008 issue, they used a dating anecdote by Katina Corrao so they sent me a copy for her press kit.
On the same page is a funny deaf joke I’d heard before but had forgotten about. It made me recall a few other deaf jokes that My Jailed Deaf Dad has told me over the years. I’m going to send some in on his behalf and hope they use them. How cool would that be to see his name in print? Plus, he could really use the money since I just sent him $60 and renewed his USA Today subscription for a year for $175. I told Dad that’s the last I can spend on him this year until after we buy a place. Since winter is on its way and his Texas jail cell isn’t heated, he needs new thermal underwear. He could stretch that $60 OR maybe he can earn some money off the stories he loves to tell and buy some longjohns with his very own cash.
I never even had an allowance growing up, and now I’m trying to teach my dad how to budget his.
Yesterday Jackie Hoffman (Xanadu), Julie Halston (The Class), David Rakoff (This American Life), Peter Frechette (Tony Nominee), Maria Thayer (Strangers with Candy) spent the entire day at Comix rehearsing for tonight’s performance of “Posteriors” @ Comix. It’s a fully staged reading of a movie classic (in this case Woody Allen’s “Interiors”) and from what I saw, it’s going to be a hoot.
Because they were rehearsing, I had to tiptoe around the showroom with the producers of a Discovery Channel show. They’re scouting Comix and its staff as a potential episode for one of those makeover type TV shows. This one is about being green. I really don’t think our chances of getting picked are high because Comix is fairly new. That means all our machines are efficient, plus we use local vendors for our produce, we recycle our oil, we’re very conscious about our electricity consumption, etc. But, we would make for *FUN* episode, that’s for sure. We’ll see.
While I was giving them a tour and the rehearsal was going on, MTV came by to go over some tech stuff for the show “Man & Wife” which is not only becoming a huge hit, it was all filmed at Comix. Sweet!
What a day! As for today, I’m gtting dressed early for a photo shoot with a New York Post photographer. Look for the story about married couples managing their joint finances in tomorrow’s paper. Tonight is “Posteriors” and a comedy show my pal / former producing partner Molly is putting up at Bowery Poetry Club with the most insanely great lineup. With all these things, I’m still trying to figure out when to carve out time for writing. I might have to take up a few offers from friends to use their country homes for a week. Until then, my Saturdays and Sundays are spent in silent isolation on my couch writing non-stop for hours. That’s not very glamorous! But as friends have told me, I gotta “keep my eye on the prize!”
Something’s gotta give!
Red carpet pics from last night’s Comedy Central Indecision 2008 party. Damn, I wish I had known. Yikes. We were silly to make up for the lack of proper grooming.
Featuring Andres du Bouchet, Adira Amram & H. Alan Scott. Hosted by Christian Finnegan & Sean Crespo. Written and directed by Kambri Crews. Filmed and edited by Carol Hartsell.
But not sleepy enough! Being it’s 2:30 AM and I’m in the midst of gobs of good stuf. Working to get West Coast press on East Coast time is exhausting. But…a radio tour for the Stand Uppity tour is in place plus a buttload of print and stuff.
Meanwhile, check out Christian getting in a “Kung Fu Fighting” joke and “Bad Ass with the DoJo” quote (???) on the news tonight.
Christian also suffers from the Ron Howard Effect.
Tune in to Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight on MSNBC to see Christian in the last segment talking politics and other awkward subjects.
Hey friendlies! I’ll be traveling to Atlanta with my husband Christian Finnegan when he headlines the Punchline May 1st thru 4th. If you’re around, come on out to a show and hang out afterwards with us. Show details are here: http://www.punchline.com.
See you soon!
Last night marked the 15th time I’ve gone on stage in NYC as myself. Sure, I’ve been on stage hundreds –maybe even thousands– of times as an actor back when I used to do that sort of thing, but that’s different. It’s an entirely other beast presenting something you’ve personally created to an audience with no 4th wall to protect you. Each time gets easier and I am, I think (hope), better and more confident.
Beginning next Friday at “The Family Hour with Auntie Sara” I’m going to try telling a longer story divvied up into “episodes”. I hope this will help me craft more details and jokes into my stories that I always feel like I have to rush through because we only get 6 or 7 minutes on stage. The next story I will begin with next week should wrap up in three weeks total giving me a good 21 minutes worth of new material. I might even video tape them for my Love, Daddy blog and add captioning for my hearing impaired readers. It would be time consuming so it’s a lofty goal. Don’t hold your breath.
Meanwhile, tonight at Ochi’s Lounge begins a new open mike show called “Ochi’s Motel” run by John Morrison, creator of “Morrison’s Motel.” It will be every Saturday from 6:00 – 8:00 and you can throw your hat in the random ring by emailing John at ochismotel[at]gmail.com. Drink at Work follows with their hit variety show and ends the night by challenging audience members to Guitar Hero. I love the little performance space I’ve created. John loaned us some fancy lights, we’ve expanded the cheap menu and the comedians and audiences can’t say enough about how warm and fun the room is. I think you should come check it out soon, don’t you?
How about on Monday the 3rd when I perform on “Slumber Party”?
>I’m sick this week so didn’t tell any new stories on the “Family Hour with Auntie Sara” show. So, here’s a little re-cap and something I will tell on next week’s show instead.
Over the past few Fridays, I’ve told stories about:
• my pot smoking parents, weed growing brother and Charlie Brown, my marijuana plant eating horse;
• my Dad’s dating advice to me when I was fifteen (“Don’t Fu*k”);
• taking my husband to prison in Huntsville, Texas to meet my Dad who is serving 20 years for almost decapitating his girlfriend; and
• Dad ratting me out to the warden after he got busted with the gum I smuggled in for him.
Read the rest over at Love, Daddy.
ASL in the Raw got a nice plug in this week’s Time Out NY with someone signing “vagina” in a full spread. Nice! Even better, they ran a step by step “yo mama” joke with Doug (one of the two deaf comedians) doing the signs and a quiz that you can take online. Check it out here.
Anyway, see this “deaf” comedy jam live at Comix on November 21st or 23rd at 8:00 PM. Tickets are selling fast so buy yours today.
The NY Post might run something, too. If so, I’ll be sure to post it.
So Ochi’s Lounge fu*king rules. I’m going to live there. After a week of actually doing just that I can safely say the space is a gem. The sound is pristine, the tech smooth, the space intimate and lovely. Some good comedy happened in the last seven days in front of really great audiences. I hope you’ll come out to see for yourself. Jon Fisch, Jay Larson, Christian Finnegan, Leo Allen, Andy Blitz and other great comedians dropped by on and off stage and you should, too.
Friday at 7:00 is Family Hour with Auntie Sara. I, as I walked to the stage for what I intended to be a quirky two minute bit, spontaneously decided to tell a story. It was amazing at first then my consciousness took over and I realized I was on stage telling a story. Oh boy, did I start getting nervous. It all ended up okay and it was a good feeling to know that I have gained *some* confidence over the last year of reading, writing and increasing my “platform” for the book I’m working on. Considering how many hours I was putting in (18 – 20 hours a day…no joke, sadly) I was happier still that I had my wits about me though I looked a bit on the tired / haggard side as evidenced in the photo at right taken by Maryanne Ventrice in which I’m signing murder . (Me needs a hair cut!)
Saturday night after a GREAT “Drink at Work” show at Ochi’s, we played Guitar Hero. I love that game so much so I’ve been playing it off and on all day today taking the needed breaks because I make my hands hurt by pressing the buttons and strumming too hard. Join us next Saturday to rock out with us.
It’s free, dude.
Sean McCarthy of The Daily News wrote a nice little piece about the new performance space I created called Ochi’s Lounge: http://www.nydailynews.com/
And here’s my blurb about Ochi’s taken from The Latest Ballyhoo:
OCHI’S LOUNGE GRAND OPENING WEEK!
Ochi’s Lounge is the next level of Comix. Say goodbye to smelly co-ed bathrooms, bad service and run-down, musty venues that are the standard alternative comedy experience. Everything you love about independent shows produced by some of the MVPs of the comedy scene is now in a comfortable lounge with a dedicated staff serving delicious food and beverages that won’t break your bank account. With a liquor license, clean spacious bathrooms and no rodents dropping by for unexpected guest spots, Ochi’s Lounge is sure to change the way you think about underground comedy.
Located downstairs at Comix at 353 W. 14th Street, Ochi’s Lounge opens for pre-show happy hour at 5:30 PM every Monday through Saturday. There is no cover charge and a one item minimum purchase for every performance.
EVERY WEEK AT OCHI’S LOUNGE:
MON @ 8:00 – THE LIAR SHOW or THE BILLY CLUB
TUE @ 8:00 – CHICKS & GIGGLES
WED @ 8:00 – MAX
THU @ 8:00 PM – SMILETIME WITH SEAN & SHAWN
FRI @ 7:00 PM – FAMILY HOUR WITH AUNTIE SARA
FRI @ 8:30 PM – THE BACK ROOM
SAT @ 8:30 PM – THE DRINK AT WORK SHOW
Downstairs at Comix
353 W. 14th Street
comixny.com | 212.915.0438
Saturday night I saw a childhood friend who was in New York on vacation. Our grandfathers and our parents grew up together at the deaf school in Oklahoma, and my brother & I grew up with him and his sister. The eight of us, at one time, were inseparable even moving into the woods of Montgomery together and eventually buying matching trailers. We talked and talked and danced and laughed till 4:00 in the morning. The next day I woke up and my hands were stiff and sore from all the signing!!!
I was excited to tell him about “ASL in the Raw,” the show by and for the Deaf produced by and starring Doug Ridloff and Jason Norman (pictured below) which I am promoting this November at Comix. Maybe he’ll come back to NYC for that one. For you New Yorkers or those in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, pencil it in your calendar. Or, better yet, buy your advance tickets at ComixNY.com.
Aren’t they cute?
Some day I’ll tell the story about the intimate McCauley Culkin gathering in Montreal where a very drunk writer for a very popular TV show was aggressively lunging after my butt. But today, I’ll just tell you some news I’ve kept from you: I officially have a literary agent.
I’m super excited! But now I must write day and night.
So I’m with my husband Christian here in Columbus, Ohio where he’s headlining the Funny Bone. Great club, sold out shows and gorgeous weather so we’re having a nice time. We were told Carl0s Men*ia is performing free show(s) at OSU so we’re pleased that the crowds are still packed with Christian’s target demo.
In the middle of Christian’s third and last set at last night’s late show, I see the manager beckon the emcee, Ryan. Ryan comes over and tells me Carl0s showed up and wants to do some time. I immediately get flush with anger. Not because of a guest set but because, well, you know…it’s Carl0s Menci*.
I wished there was some bat symbol I could have flashed to alert Christian to the danger. Carl0s and I found ourselves in awkward silence at the door leading to the stage; because, rather than smile and say hello, I shot him my most evil “Fu*k you with a splintery rolling pin” look and waited for Christian to exit. Christian came through the door and Carl0s hastily shook his hand and said, “They asked me to do some time.”
Really? They “asked” you and your 12 person entourage (no joke) to drive 30 minutes from OSU campus to do time at 1:00 in the morning? Really?
The manager seemed shocked and distressed that he was there. The kitchen and bar had officially closed. Hardly the right move if they had asked him to drop in. Just be honest and say, “Hey, thanks man…I just wanted some extra stage time.” But as a known joke stealer, honesty isn’t one of his strong suits.
But he did have some A-list new material to work out: His midget friend stripping for a bachelorette, for instance, plus *three* musical cues to time out.
We would have just left for the night but I had friends in the audience so we were forced to wait for Carl0s’ set to be over. As I fumed, some chick from his entourage came over and said to Christian, “You kind of look like the guy from Best Week Ever.”
Christian was, of course, gracious and deferential as he always is. I, however, almost stabbed her in the throat with my fork. She saw my resurrected splintery rolling pin look and asked if everything was okay.
“No. No it’s not,” I said. “He ‘looks’ like the guy on the poster in front of the club…you know, promoting the show that just got hijacked.”
She just slinked away. I hoped she would relay the info to Carl0s but I never saw them talk. Carl0s never talked to Christian afterwards either. I know that if it were most anyone else, it would have been a nice cap to the end of the night. But Carl0s Menc*a? Buzz kill.
Three music cues and a midget = definition of “hack”.
To promote The Marijuana-Logues at Comix, I came up with the idea to give out free bags of “weed” in Union Square. We assembled our packets with a mixture of oregano, tarragon & corriander seeds, slapped on some stickers with a discount code and passed out over 1,000 baggies. It was fun. Now here’s my sales pitch:
Save $5 on Tickets to The Marijuana-Logues!
The Marijuana-Logues is a “hit” unlike anything you have ever seen. Catch the buzz as the three origianal writers and performers, Arj Barker, Doug Benson and Tony Camin, riff on the rites and rituals of pot and regale the crowd with the highs and lows of marijuana.
Prices and show times are as follows:
Jan 19 @ 8:00 or 10:30 – $25.00*
Jan 20 @ 8:00 or 10:30 – $25.00*
*Save $5.00 off these prices with the promo code “MJLWEB”. Buy tickets online or call 212.524.2500.
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” — Oscar Wilde
DVDs of the pilots The Class, The Winner, and Andy Barker, PI were in our mailbox this afternoon. Of the three, the first is the only one with any IMDB message board chatter. Since I don’t actually read message boards (they either anger me or addict me — both scenarios constitute a supreme waste of my time), who knows what the chatter is actually about. Wilde’s quote generally holds true, I think, but sometimes in television all the advance buzz can kill a good thing. So maybe slipping quietly under the radar (Oh hello, According to Jim) while better shows get canceled (Arrested Development anyone?) ain’t such a worse thing in life. Anyway, I will chat about them (or not) after I watch them tonight.
We also received a new digital camera today (Fun mailbox trek — take that rain!) and I promptly began futzing with the settings. Check out this very first photo I snapped (click for larger view). No joke! I couldn’t get that again if I tried. She’s giving a big wink and a smile to the giver of such an awesome gift who also happens to hang out with Paquita regularly so it’s like she knew.
Finally, I am planning on inviting some creative types and/or those in the media, PR, comedy or distribution to join me for drinks to discuss Christian’s CD and brainstorm marketing and PR ideas. In exchange for the time and effort, the drinks will be my treat. I’ll give everyone a free copy of the CD, of course, and will try to come up with some other freebies as a thank you. If you’d like to participate, please email me . I’m looking at a Tuesday or Wednesday in the next week or two or three and will keep attendance to 10 or fewer. If you can’t make it, still feel free to contact me with any ideas or, hell, any other time you’d like to meet. I think we’ll have fun and hopefully help Christian’s CD sales.
Come on, people! Free drinks! A free CD you can give to a step-something-or-other at Christmas! Me! What more could you ask for?
So we got married, blah, blah, blah. That doesn’t take any talent or special skill, so on to other topics of interest.
We missed seeing my pal Mandy of the NY Post at our nuptials; but I suppose if you’re going to miss a wedding, getting bitten by Andy Dick while covering the roast for William Shatner then having it covered in Page Six makes for an excellent excuse!
We also missed our friend Adam Felber because he was out in LA for his new book Schrodinger’s Ball which also happened to get a great review in the NY Times. In a bummer turn of scheduling, he’ll be in New York this weekend while we’re out in LA and Utah. This means we’ll miss the private shindig hosted by his friend, NPR co-worker and co-blogger Mo Rocca at Mo’s pad celebrating our mutual friend’s milestone.
Faithful readers will recall that Mo popped in for Edith Layton’s book launch party. Why? She’s Adam’s mom, that’s why! She also happens to be an amazing woman and multi-award winning romance novelist with her own book coming out soon. That family is sincerely talented and awesome and funny with her daughter Susie Felber adding to the talent pool as an accomplished comedian and writer and gorgeous mommy-to-be. She also happened to capture the (thus far) only photo of me smiling too wide whilst descending the stairs at my wedding party thingy.
There’s plenty more of our friends who we need to congratulate — more books, CDs, marriages and what not — but right now I’m just bubbling with joy for Adam and for Mandy probably not being “too AIDS-y“.
I can’t stop laughing slash sweating slash snorting slash blushing when I look at this hilarious slash sexy slash embarrassing photo of me & Erik Estrada as my fiance’, comedian Christian Finnegan, sulks nearby:
Video taken at the 2006 TV Land Awards right before we hit the red carpet:
Here are a few photos from the TV Land affiliate’s cocktail party at Shutters in Santa Monica that took place the night before the awards ceremony. It was a small little gathering with Christian performing and Marion Ross, Tom Wopat, Christopher Knight, Adam West & Erik Estrada as the other celebrity guests. There’s a cute one of Marion Ross & Christian embracing. She’s so cute. Gotta get my disposable camera developed for the pic of me & Erik. I hope it turns out!
During the aforementioned cocktail party, Larry, the president of TV Land, told us a funny anecdote about musical guest Diana Ross. While setting up the stage in preparation for her performance, she told a production crew member she wanted a speaker moved.
“Yes, Ms. Ross. I’ll try to do that for you.”
“Now you know I don’t like the word ‘try’.”
How awesome is she?!
Flew home with Adam West & Mary Tyler Moore.
If you had told the 13-year-old, tin trailer living, outhouse using, raggedy clothes wearing version of me that her life would come to this, she would have wanted to believe it with every fiber of her being but couldn’t possibly have imagined it coming true. I swear I wished on many a bright star, birthday cake candle and 11:11 clock read-out that I would have a life & career that allowed me to have a night like I had tonight. And the awards haven’t even happened yet!
Tom Wopat told Christian, “Your fiance is beautiful.” And he was totally serious. And he was talking about ME! Later, I “made out” with Erik Estrada (picture forthcoming) with Christian’s blessing. Erik is by far the most gregarious, charismatic person I have ever met solidifying my impeccalbe taste in men even when I was pre-pubescent.
Marion Ross is the most awesome, touchy feely lady ever.
Adam West is witty and vibrant and clever and handsome. He also lives in Idaho which made Christian bite his tongue to abstain from making a bat cave joke.
Chris(topher) Knight was without Adrianne which made me sad because I think she’s adorable, but he was enthusiastic and gracious all the same.
I fear for this site’s future because I can’t really honestly talk about half the crazy, surreal, jaw dropping moments and, well, what’s the point of writing about them if I can’t really write about them?
Tomorrow is going to feel like the ULTIMATE Battle of the Network Stars!
I’ll be taping behind the scenes and “reporting” from Dublin. I had great fun brainstorming ideas for my shoot yesterday with my dear friend Scott and am now so damned excited to get there. The worst case scenario is that I’ll have lots of fun footage for our memories, my Ballyhoo Newsletter, Christian’s newsletter and my “reel”. The best case scenario is that I develop a really great “movie” that can be sold or used elsewhere in some capacity. We shall see.
Either way, look for Christian on Comedy Central the night of St. Patrick’s Day for the end product of our trip.
More than a wee bit psyched.
Is Trish Ahrensfield of the Albuquerque Police Department (seen here escorting the “Runaway Bride”) moonlighting as Clementine Johnson on Reno 911? You be the judge:
6:27 PM — I left my office at just in time to get caught in a thunderous, torrential rain. Most (smart) people were standing under shelters or in buildings. Not me. I was walking to the subway on to an open bar party at The Cellar hosted by the Onion. Neither rain nor snow not heat or gloom of night stays this consumer from the swift completion of swilling my appointed free Bass.
6:32 PM — Once safely tucked away in the 49th Street station, I sat down on a bench and wrung my pants. Twisted them till lots of water poured out. So much so that a man actually stopped, pointed and laughed incredulously.
8:56 PM – The keg was tapped. I headed to the Boston Comedy Club for a fundraiser being held on behalf of Kevin Knox. Here’s what I said about it on Christian’s calendar:
Boston comic Kevin Knox has recently been fighting lymph node cancer and is seeking treatment not covered by his insurance. Come out and help Kevin pay his medicals bills with laughter…it is the best medicine, after all. [Sorry.]
9:11 PM – I arrived at the club. Four people were there. Two from Germany, two from France. They didn’t know Kevin. They did know English. For some reason, the show was not canceled. The host began his set talking to the four people. An annoyed Dustin Chafin, comic & manager of the club, breezed through and said loudly:
You’re really helping out your friend!
Ouch. I napped on a bench till Christian finished his set.
9:35 PM – My pants were officially dried.
9:46 PM – Extra large fries purchased at McDonald’s.
9:52 PM – Christian and I cabbed it to 40/40 Club for a private birthday party in the Jay-Z Lounge (read the linked review). Don’t go there. EVER. Unless, of course, you like the possiblity of getting raped in the co-ed bathroom or having blaring hip hop play as you snort coke off a table before sipping a $17 drink. I wish I were joking.
10:30 PM – Finally received the first drink of the evening. Christian had a Jack & Coke (which was not Jack & Coke, but he drank it anyway) and I had Pinot Grigio. Tally: $31.
11:37 PM – We finish our drinks and walk out annoyed that we wasted one hour and thirty-seven minutes of our lives in that ridiculous place. On our way out, the door swings open to a different private room just in time for us to see a woman snorting a line of coke.
11:55 PM – Our cab ride home is complete. Tally: $15. Not enough for a drink at 40/40.
What’s in a Name?
Remember the One 2 One Living magazine article I mentioned in the Ballyhoo Promotions Newsletter? Well some of you may have noticed that they refer to Christian as “Chris” in the graphics. No where, ever, do I or he refer to Christian as “Chris.” Who does that? Especially in the entertainment biz. After all, there is a Chris Finnegan on IMDB. They actually had his name as “Chris” all throughout originally until I sent them an email correcting their mistake. The editor wrote me back:
Are you fucking kidding me?
When someone you report to (boss, client, person of some authority, whatever) asks you a question. Then later they ask someone else the same question. Are they checking your honesty? Doubting your knowledge? Mistrusting your judgment? Just a big jackhole moron?
If ever a picture were to beg for a caption contest, this photo of Coach Pat Summit is the one:
Come on, send in those entries. Winner gets a prize!
TUESDAY, MARCH 1ST – Sob Stories – We are Family!
Does your Dad have more ex-wives than he has ties? Are you secretly in love with your step-sister? Convinced you were switched at birth? This month, comics tell tales of families more screwed up than yours.
Join host Christian Finnegan (Best Week Ever) and featured guests Peter Hyman (author The Reluctant Metrosexual), Chris Regan (3x Emmy winning writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), Eric Slovin (writer for Saturday Night Live) and Rachel Feinstein (Comedy Central’s Premium Blend).
356 Bowery (btwn Great Jones & E. 4th St)
$5.00 – NO drink minimum!
There was another strong showing at Sob Stories last night. Don’t miss next month’s show called “Family Jewels” when comics relate tales of their horrible gene pools. Hmm…maybe I should book myself on the show.
A Swedish woman says she opened a bottle of ketchup to find a human penis inside.
“It’s disgusting. We would like to know how this thing ended up in a ketchup bottle,” said Viktoria Ed. – Bill Hoffman, Wire Services via the NY Post.
Sob Stories revels in the muck of love: broken hearts, creepy one-night stands, hookups and breakups. These comics have been around the block, and are here to kiss and tell!
Join host Christian Finnegan and featured guests Jonathan Ames (author, Wake Up, Sir!), Andy Selsberg (The Onion), Rena Zager (NBC’s Late Friday) & Jackie Clarke (UCB All-Star).
SOB STORIES: NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE!
356 Bowery (btwn Great Jones & E. 4th St)
$5.00 – NO drink minimum!
The Clip Joint with Colin Quinn
Prefer to spend your money for a good cause? Then tomorrow night’s comedy might be your thang.
Colin Quinn headlines this comedy/variety show at The Improv. Comics Matt O’Brien and Rory Albanese host Colin, Seth Morris (Marijuanalogues, UCB) and other acts in a show that takes you back to the days when people got dressed up to go see comedy.*
All proceeds go to the Scott Carter Foundation.
318 W. 53rd Street
$15 (Includes a free issue of Jest Magazine!)
Visit www.ballyhoopromotions.net/Newsletter.html for these & other events along with news updates on all Ballyhoo clients.
I just bought this for our living room and should have it on Friday. Our internet will be connected tomorrow (sorry for being out of touch!) and our new couch arrives next Tuesday. A few rugs, nightstands, coffee table and chest of drawers later, we’ll be nice and cozy. Until then, our place is an organized mess and I love it. I sat up in bed this morning and peaked out at the Empire State & Chrysler Buildings and marveled at how close to perfect this whole thing has been.
I’m 15 minutes to Midtown, baby!
Catch Ophira Eisenberg on Comedy Central this Friday when her Premium Blend episode premieres at 10:00 PM EST.
Life Inside My New Apartment
Much time is spent daydreaming and discussing what colors, furniture, rugs, curtains to keep, get rid of, buy new …just how do we want this new place to look? I told Christian I would enlist my dear friend Scott’s help. “Yes. Time to call in the Gays,” Christian replied.
So, if you need a matching dresser/mirror & chest of drawers, a stereo, VCR, Foreman grill, microwave, mosaic & iron coffee & end tables or a wicker coffee table, email me.
Me: I’m off to the Denist, sorry.
Jack: That’s okay, I’m just happy to hear you’re getting drilled.
I spent much of today in the dentist chair. I sat patiently listening to soothing classical music and staring out the window at the beautiful top of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and daydreamed about my new apartment.
Yes, I was drilled with a view of St. Pat’s. I love this place.
Know of any good decorating wesites?
Tonight marked the end of “Eating It” at Luna Lounge. The former moves to the Zipper (love that place!) and the latter gets demolished and turned into condos.
But I can’t really think about that.
We did it. We took the plunge. We signed a lease for a new apartment. No more turning back now.
We literally went from making the single most important jointly made decision together to the Lower East Side to an alternative comedy show in a dive bar and promptly got drunk. The bar even gave out champagne to mark the occasion. Well, technically it was for the end of “Eating It”, but whatever…
Pictures coming soon!
I am happy to report that Christian is doing really well headlining at the DC Improv. The shows have been sold out and he has been in top notch performance mode. I am excelling in my role of “enthusiastic and supportive girlfriend” by eating and drinking for free, hanging out in the green room, flirting with old professors and generally not getting in the way or on his nerves. Part of why I’m here this weekend — aside from the reasonable cost and ease of traveling here by train, that it’s a long weekend, I haven’t been in DC since ’96 and I had nothing better to do — is because yesterday marked our two year anniversary.
We celebrated with an okay lunch at Smith & Wollensky. On the whole, S&W is supremely overrated. Or at least this one was. Christian’s filet something provier was tasty, but the service was inattentive, my lemon chicken was dry as a bone and bland to boot, and our Bloody Marys were the worst tasting spicy alcoholic crap. On the upside, their salads — both the Caesar and the mixed greens — were amazing as were the whipped potatos. Dessert was overly generous and scrumptious and the price was extremely affordable due to the $20.05 Restaurant Week fare we enjoyed. Would I go back? If it were Restaurant Week, yes. I would simply stick to their specialty: red meat, make sure my server wasn’t sick or they weren’t going through a shift change, and stick to wine.
Having an anniversary that falls during a season of new beginnings affords us the opportunity to look back at the year together, acknowledge our amazing milestones and fun times as well as set goals for the future 12 months. We did this last year, and I’m pretty certain that one of Christian’s goals was to have his own 1/2 hour special (CHECK!) and one of mine was to start my own production and PR company (CHECK!). I can’t wait to see if this year’s goals are checked off with similar success. Stay tuned for January 15, 2006, for an update.
Today we woke up early — well, early for two people sleeping in a dark, cool hotel room after hanging out till the wee hours — and took the Metro to The Smithsonian’s American History Museum for four hours of absorbing our Nation’s history. We thoroughly enjoyed the Star Spangled Banner exhibit. Since 1998, it has been undergoing an extensive and exhaustive reconstruction and cleansing. A process you must see to believe. There is also a relatively new exhibit, open since November 11th, about the U.S. and all of its wars called “The Price of Freedom.” While the Civil War and WWII exhibits were extensive, I was disappointed at the lack of anything about 9/11 other than a giant steel beam and a phone from one of the planes. That was it? Seriously? I suppose more perspective must be gained to have an unbiased and less emotional influence on the display. History, after all, is still being made with regard to that day. It is strange to think, however, that 50 years from now that 9/11 is reduced to just that…a big beam and a mashed up sky phone.
Tomorrow on the Daily Dose: a trip to the National Archives!
Some time ago, 1-800-Flowers & Cataldi PR, contacted Ballyhoo Promotions with regard to Christian Finnegan. I sent them his press kit which contains his contributions to Jest. They loved his work and felt like he would be the perfect match to write the Thoughtless Male Survival Guide.
They were right.
His guidebook is heeeeelarious and will be availble online soon. A campaign is in the works for Christian to make live appearances across New York (and LA?) and conduct various radio interviews in hopes of helping thoughtless men across America make nice and play well with the women in their lives.
Meanwhile, look for a blurb by him (alongside his sexy new headshot) on page 56 of the February 2005 issue of FHM.
Update: See the scan of the FHM blurb.
Caroline’s on Broadway was chock full of laughter, and yet no mike was plugged in. Mix one part open bar, one part ham & turkey buffet and 150 comedians and you’ve got yourself a bunch of pictures requiring major red eye removal.
We arrived earlier than expected at 5 minutes past the official start time of 10:00, yet the place was already hopping with revelers. Most notable at that early hour was Stacey J from The Apprentice who seemed to be the guest of Paul Mooney who was dressed in a giant fur hat, military coat and heavy boots and danced alone in the sightlines of the spotlight & camera and a reserved Gilbert Gottfried.
One drink and a buffet round down, I headed back to the bar to see Lynne Koplitz & her boyfriend, Nick, arriving. We said our hellos and chatted briefly about how well my friend did as a guest on Lynne’s show, Life & Style, last week.
I had a nice chat with Lou Viola, head of programming of the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. His was a name I’ve heard many times over the course of two years and finally had the pleasure of meeting. He was knew of my newsletter, which was encouraging.
Donnell Rawlings passed me and stopped in his tracks. A big broad smile swept across his face, “Hey, I know you!” I have heard great things about his Chappelle’s Show Live comedy tour with Charlie Murphy & Bill Burr and he confirmed, “That show is whack.” To which I replied, “Is that good?” (I’m so square. Have I correctly spelled “whack”?) Apparently, “whack” is very, very good. The shows are packed, the audiences are enthusiastic and the money is rolling in. He has divorced since the last time we met, but is nevertheless enjoying himself as evidenced in the photo below.
During this time, Dave Attell was making his way towards us. I was interested in meeting him, but he was intercepted at least five times. I never did get to say hello. I did, however, have very brief and pleasant encounter with Jim Norton, but not Patrice Oneal who is just a bit much for my taste.
On our way out, I met (again?) Artie Lange who said I should drop by his studio to deliver the latest Jest Magazine. I would be afraid of Howard Stern et al. accosting me to find out about my sexual past. Perhaps I’ll just mail it.
Judah Friedlander (most excellent in American Splendor) & Danny McDermott
Donnell Rawlings and Guest
Russ Meneve, Eric Kirchberger, Christian Finnegan & Todd Barry
Adam Spiegelman (writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live), Jim David, Demetri Martin & Christian Finnegan
Skipping the Stand Up NY party.
So The Clip Joint at the Knitting Factory sold out. Did you hear me? SOLD OUT! And not just all the seats were taken — even in the balcony — it was standing room only five people deep. FIVE PEOPLE DEEP! Seeds of Peace should be thrilled. I am. Can you tell?
Stacey & her husband had just flown in. I gave them a lightening speed tour of Rockefeller Center (excluding St. Patrick’s Cathedral — what was I thinking?!) before we grabbed a quick bite and rode the rails down to TriBeCa. I think they enjoyed the show. If they didn’t, they got in for free so they didn’t lose too much.
After the show, Christian & I went to the VH1 Best Week Ever holiday wrap party at Ava Lounge in the newly refurbished/renamed Dream Hotel. I had great fun chatting with Doug Benson, Rob Huebel, Fred Graver, Scott (stereogum.com) and, well, everyone. What a great time. Although, coming in late to an open bar party that has been underway for well over two hours means everyone aged 25 and under is pretty much shitfaced. Kim was literally leaning on people as she slurred and plodded through sentences. I wonder how she’s feeling today?
My favorite conversation was with Doug when he told me Googled himself and found this entry I had written. He had no recollection of this conversation (he is a marijuanalogger, after all), but he thought himself pretty clever. Agreed. I wonder if he’ll now Google himself to find this entry and not remember telling me about Googling himself and how long will this cycle go?
I wonder if Doug will remember telling me he will cast me in his next play?
Ho, Ho, Ho!
Things are going really well to the point I can hardly remember to breathe!
On the 15th, I’m taking her to this fundraiser at the Knitting Factory that will be FABULOUS! All proceeds benefit Seeds of Peace. Here are the details:
The Clip Joint! New School Comedy, Old School Style.
The Daily Show’s Lewis Black headlines this new monthly comedy/variety show at the Knitting Factory. Comics Matt O’Brien and Rory Albanese host Lewis, Jessi Klein, Christian Finnegan (VH1’s Best Week Ever) and other acts in a show that takes you back to the days when people got dressed up to go see comedy.*
Wednesday, December 15
The Knitting Factory
Main Performance Space
74 Leonard Street
New York City , NY 10013
8:30 PM – $15.00
“[Sob Stories] host Christian Finnegan must pack a lot of protein because he sure did carry a high level of energy. Christian’s effervescent personality was contagious, like herpes, but in a more positive way.” — So says Tara Koppel of NewYorkCool.com.
The December 7th edition of Sob Stories will include Lizz Winstead, the creator of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Rob Huebel , known as the “Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man” in the pre-movie commercial and a million other national commercial spots. He also happens to be an amazing story teller. Rob’s last time at Sob Stories, he dazzled the crowd with a true tale about how he, while working for a never debuted hidden camera show on a television network that shall remain nameless, almost snuck a German Michael Jackson impersonator out onto the Yankees pitching mound to throw out the first pitch during the World Series after 9/11. Scarily, security wasn’t so tight. They only caught on after they asked “Michael” a question and he wasn’t able to answer because he didn’t speak English.
This time around, the theme is holiday cheer. Here’s the promotional blurb that subscribers received along with this picture that ran in Time Out NY:
Going home for the holidays? Get a preview of the horrors that await you at this month’s Sob Stories, as comics recount tales of undercooked turkeys, humilating family reunions, lame presents and a host of other holiday disappointments.
356 Bowery (btwn Great Jones & E. 4th St)
$5.00 – NO drink minimum!
Come on down!
My Coolest Years premieres this weekend on VH1. Christian Finnegan will appear in the episodes Summer Vacation and First Time, premiering Sunday, December 5th at 12:30 PM and Saturday, December 11th at 10:00 PM, respectively. Click here for additional air dates/times.
OH MY GAWD!!!
I just spoke to Christian about what to photo shop over the Comedy Central logo in the below pic for our Christmas Cards…his suggestion: Baby Jesus.
He’s going to hell! And I guess so am I since I’m totally going to do it!
Here’s an even better Backstage article by Amelia David published in October when Sweet Paprika had their Premium Blend special. For some reason my news clipping service failed to pick that one up. Hmmm.
In Other News
The photo I took of Christian for Sob Stories ran in today’s Time Out NY. Also, Lindsayism.com got a Page Six mention today. She was kind enough to link the movie screening invitation yesterday. She already gets a gabazillion hits, but this timing is superb. Gawker plugged her plug which plugs her site which plugs the screening. The theater is sure to be packed now!
Thanks, Lindsay & Amelia!
Even though we have been dating for nearly two years, Christian met my mom for the first time yesterday evening when she arrived safely from Houston, Texas. He treated us to dinner at The Brick Cafe before we headed in to the City for a gig Christian had at The Slipper Room.
The show was going well enough though one British comedian did call my mom out (“there’s a deaf woman in the house”) when I had to sign to her in sign language what the comedian had just said. Then Christian was called to the stage as the final performer. He did a few minutes before segueing into a bit called “How is This My Fault?” in which he talks about traveling with me, his girlfriend.
“Speaking of my girlfriend, that deaf woman in the audience is her mother. She is in town visiting. She’s actually not totally deaf. She can hear if you YELL AT HER! In fact, Christy–that’s her name–why don’t you come to the stage?”
[Audience applauds and searches the room for “Christy”.]
My mom looks to me with excited, wide eyes and signs, “Does he really want me to go up there?!?!” Her look hints of uncertainty and slight fear that she will be made butt of some terrible joke.
I pull her out of her chair as I sign, “Yes, they’re waiting for you!”
[Christy gets on stage to wild applause. They engage in mild banter.]
“You’re here visting New York. Where are you from?”
[No applause, save for a tepid clap or two.]
“But you voted for John Kerry?” Christian asks.
“Oh yes I did,” Christy replies emphatically.
[Wild applause. Some hooting.]
“You and I have just spent about two hours together, what do you think of your daughter’s boyfriend so far?”
“I think he’s pretty cool.”
“Do you think your daughter and I have a future together?”
She skeptically replies, “Oh I don’t know about that!”
[Huge laughter from everyone but Christian. A few people turn to look at my horrified reaction.]
“Oh, really? Well, maybe you would like her to give you grandchildren?”
She glances my way with raised eyebrows, “Well, yes, but Kambri has always said her career comes first.”
“Well, we have a little surprise for you.”
[My mom’s eyes grow the size of silver dollars as she whips her head in my direction. Audience gasps, shocked & thrilled giggles & laughter fill the room.]
She simultaneously mouths and signs, “You’re pregnant?!”
Christian says, “Were. We aborted it.”
[My mom grabs her forehead in mock shock. Even more shocked & thrilled gasps and giggles fill the room.]
He continues, “On that happy note, why don’t go back and take your seat. Come on everyone, give a round of applause to my mother’s girlfriend!”
The “DJ”, comedian Craig Baldo, chimes in, “Whoops! Mother’s girlfriend?”
Christian responds with his trademark, “Paging Dr. Freud!”
After the show, the comics approached her to compliment her on her “performance”. She said, “I wish I had known he was going to do that, I would have prepared some funny answers!”
[What? Is she a comedian?]
“Oh, no, you did just fine.”
She was up at 7:00 in the morning (?!) on the phone with my stepdad telling him the whole story. Well, actually, she was trying to tell the story but had it all wrong and couldn’t remember most of the important details which meant she had to interrupt the conversation every two seconds to ask, “How did it go again?”
Last night’s Sob Stories was quite possibly the best one to date, performance-wise. Although it wasn’t standing room only (thanks, Vice Presidential Debates & Yankees playoffs), there was still a healthy crowd (thanks to the special mention in Metro, Time Out NY & Gawker) bearing witness to hilarious tales of penis numbing cream, attempted mercy fucking of an elderly man and an unsuccessful attempt at volunteering for a study on semen. Performance anxiety has never been that fun!
Next month’s installment will be on the 9th to avoid conflicting with the election. Mark your calendars now — you won’t want to miss it!
Last night’s benefit was a success. Free wine, cheese, desserts and, by the way, jug bands rule. Although, there were technically no jugs. Nevertheless, you have to love any band that has a kazoo as an instrument. I’ll post pictures later in the week.
Meanwhile, tonight’s Sob Stories is going to rule. Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents) & DC Benny have been added to the lineup along with Jackie Kashian and Andy Selsberg (The Onion). Oh, yeah, and it was a critic’s pick in this week’s Time Out NY.