Al Lubel is a “terrifically funny comedian” according to David Letterman, and Jerry Seinfeld has stated that Al has one of the best jokes he has ever heard.
Al started off as a lawyer (to please his mum) and became a comedian to please himself (which did not please his mum). After graduating from law school in Florida, Al moved to Los Angeles, passed the California Bar Exam but chose to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian rather than a lawyer.
After quitting law, within a year he won the $100,000 Grand Prize for comedy on Star Search. Doing the The Tonight Show was a childhood fantasy, so when Al heard that Johnny Carson was retiring; he auditioned and became one of the last comics to appear with Johnny. Al has performed on the Late Show with David Letterman five times.
Tickets are available to see Al Lubel at Leicester Square Theatre on Saturday 20th September
Have a listen to Al Lubel’s audio interview with Sara Shulman on Comedy Blogedy
The transition between live comedy and television can be tough; editing out material that might not work in the mainstream but still intending on keeping the integrity you have as a performer that made you an investment worth broadcasting is a balance needing careful attention. This can be particularly difficult for sketch comedy.
Read the full article on Ticketmaster
CB: Where was your first gig and what was it like?
TN: My first gig was at an open mic at a coffee house in Los Angeles that is no longer around. And it surprisingly went well. My next gig though did not go as well – I felt so confident from the first time, that I actually signed up for a comedy competition the following night. I bombed so bad that I ended up running off stage before my time was up.
CB: How often did you start gigging after your first gig and what was the comedy environment like in terms of booking gigs and progressing on mixed bills?
TN: It took me years to build up an act, and then I toured as much as I could and drove around the country making little or no money being put on shows as an MC and opening act. It took about 3 years before starting to headline comedy clubs.
CB: How do you feel that your material has changed since when you first started gigging?
TN: When I first started doing stand-up, I did a ton of one liners and general basic jokes, then I started doing longer jokes and stories and then even allowing myself to be more honest or physical or even pushing a stool around the stage for laughs. It had very little to do with material. Anything I do though, there’s always very clearly my voice behind it.
CB: Do you have a specific process that you go about when you write your material? Does the way you write your stand-up material differ at all to the way you write sitcoms?
TN: I get an idea, or I think of a story that I want to work out and then I just get up on stage as much as possible and keep telling that story over and over and over again. And I record these sets. And then listen to them. And then keep working out this material, tweaking, finding different nuances and tags. So in terms of what I actually write on paper, it is usually never more than bullet points.
CB: Your comedy album Live has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and was ranked the number one comedy album by Entertainment Weekly. Did you find that you had a different approach in preparing material for this album?
TN: That set was completely different than any other. I had no intention of that performance turning into an album. I had just been experiencing absolute hell in my personal life, and did not know if I was even going to live, and I love being a stand-up, so I wanted to perform and discuss all I had been going through – it was just a very raw set.
CB: Your project Showtime found you performing in the homes of your fans around the U.S. How did you find that experience?
TN: I had done this before, just never had it taped for a special. It was always really fun in the past, and that got me to thinking that this could be great on television and fortunately Showtime agreed. So not surprisingly, shooting this project was again a lot of fun.
CB: Do you have a favourite type of audience to perform to?
TN: The sleeping elderly.
CB: You’ve also toured and performed comedy at some of the most prestigious festivals around the world. How do you find that these gigs compare to performing at a comedy club?
TN: They are way different. Some of these festivals have a huge music component, so sometimes I am performing and there is actually a literal barrier between myself and the audience, which can sometimes make it a little bit more challenging. But my experience on a whole at these festivals are always quite amazing and fun.
CB: Having performed in so many different types of venues all around the world, do you have a favourite type of venue to perform in?
TN: There is something about small intimate venues that I really love. It is also amazing to perform in thousand seat theatres. To not be able to see anybody, but to hit a first punch line, and then from the darkness feel a huge roar of laughter in response, is pretty exhilarating.
CB: Do you have any tips or advice for comedians and new acts starting out in comedy?
TN: Be yourself and get up on stage constantly.
You can win tickets to see the show – all you have to do is ‘Like’ the Comedy Blogedy Facebook page.
Grammy nominated comedian Tig Notaro is performing at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Monday 1st September 2014 as part of her ‘Boyish Girl Interrupted’ debut UK tour. If you would like to win tickets to see the show, all you have to do is ‘Like’ the Comedy Blogedy Facebook Page and the winner of 2 tickets will be chosen randomly. (Doors: 18:30 Show Start: 19:30)
“One of the best stand-up sets I ever saw” LOUIS CK
“One of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen” SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE
After the hugely successful and critically acclaimed sell-out Edinburgh Festival run last year with her debut UK show ‘Boyish Girl Interrupted’, the awe inspiring Grammy nominated comedian Tig Notaro has announced her first mini UK tour. The tour takes in London, Manchester, Birmingham & Glasgow this September and are her first UK ever dates outside of Edinburgh.
On August 3rd in 2012 at Largo Theater in Los Angeles, Tig Notaro made a seemingly nonchalant detour in her stand-up routine to announce that she had breast cancer, just days after being diagnosed. Her blend of humour and matter of fact approach left comedy fans riveted, many in both tears and laughter. Wrote Louis CK to his twitter followers: “In my 27 years doing this I have seen a handful of truly masterful performances. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo.” This set was recorded, and became Tig’s sophomore album Live (as in, want to live, not perform live). Live encompasses the previous four months of Tig’s life leading up to that night at Largo. The juxtaposition of career highs like never experienced before with personal lows that many human beings may never experience in a lifetime.
Live has now gone on to sell over 100,000 units, which is unheard of for comedy albums these days. During 2012 and this album release, Tig has been reviewed and profiled by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, GQ Magazine, Rolling Stone and Time Magazine amongst many others. The Grammy nominated album was also ranked #1 comedy album of 2012 by Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine and The Onion AV Club and Tig herself was recently ranked #21 on Rolling Stone’s “50 Funniest People in the World Now” list.
Tig’s project with Showtime, entitled, Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, follows Tig as she performs in the actual homes, barns and cul-de-sacs of selected fans across the country. Tig also recently appeared in the Lake Bell feature, In a World, and is next slated to appear in the feature Walk of Shame opposite Elizabeth Banks, and Shreveport opposite Ryan Phillippe, both due out this year. Tig continues to host her weekly podcast, Professor Blastoff, which has consistently been in the top 10 iTunes comedy podcast charts. In addition, Tig has a book deal with Ecco, an imprint of Harper Collins.
She remains a favorite on both PRI’s, This American Life, and on Conan. In previous years Tig has guest starred on shows such as ABC’s Suburgatory, NBC’s The Office and Community, HBO’s The Life and Times of Tim, wrote for The 2011 Emmy’s and 2010 MTV Movie Awards, and toured nationally and internationally at the most reputable comedy and music festivals.
UK CRITICS ON ‘TIG NOTARO: BOYISH GIRL INTERRUPTED’
“I would gladly see this show again tomorrow” THE TIMES ****
“Creates a bond with the audience that Notaro exploits with delight….” METRO ****
“Truly masterful performance’s” THE INDEPENDENT ****
“… Delivered one of the most spellbinding comedy performance’s in recent memory.” EDINBURGH EVE NEWS *****
“The funny happens in the space between the words, surely the mark of rock solid comedy persona” CHORTLE ****
“…A gloriously down to earth enigma” TELEGRAPH ****
TIG TV HIGHLIGHTS:
This American Life featuring her Taylor Dayne comedy story. http://bit.ly/XxkH5K
Her first appearance on Conan http://bit.ly/Yw3Kcb
Opening up on Last Call about LIVE. http://bit.ly/XBJenh
CNN on how she coped with cancer through comedy. http://bit.ly/Yw3AS8
You can buy tickets to see Tig Notaro from: www.kililive.com/artists/tig-notaro
Sara Shulman interviews the winners and nominees for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014.
Best Newcomer Nominees – How did you find out you were nominated?
Best Comedy Show Nominees – How did you find out you were nominated?
Phil Ellis: Funz and Gamez – Panel Prize
Alex Edelman: Millenial – Best Newcomer
Best Comedy Show
John Kearns: Shtick (Winner)
Alex Horne: Butterfly
James Acaster: Recognise
Liam Williams: Capitalism
Romesh Ranganathan: Rom Wasn’t Built in a Day
Sam Simmons: Death of a Sails-Man
Sara Pascoe: Sara Pascoe vs History
Alex Edelman: Millenial (Winner)
Dane Baptiste: Citizen Dane
Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume I
Lucy Beaumont: We Can Twerk It Out
Steen Raskopolous: I’m Wearing Two Suits Because I Mean Business
John Hastings is an award-winning stand-up comedian. Having started performing stand-up comedy in 2006, Hastings has since performed all over his native country Canada and around the world. In 2010, Hastings won the Best Newcomer Award at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and has been nominated for a Canadian Comedy award in the category of Best Newcomer and was named on of the five ‘comedians to watch’ by the Canadian Comedy Network. Hastings was the youngest featured performer at the 2011 Winnipeg Comedy Festival and in the United States, Hastings was the youngest and only Canadian finalist of the 2011 San Francisco International Comedy Festival.
Hastings’ stand-up comedy special was chosen to be the last special to be shown on the 15 series run of Canda’s only stand-up comedy showcase seriesComedy Now. The Canadian Organisation of Campus Activities voted John as the ‘Comedian of the Year in 2012′. That same year, Hastings moved to the UK in July and currently performs all around the UK, entertaining audiences with his sharp punchlines delivered through his observational storytelling style. Hastings was featured in The Comedy Reserve at Pleasance at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013 and is set to perform his new show ‘Adventure’ at the Edinburgh Festival this year.
“A strong calling card from a thoughtful and observant comic with enjoyably wry sensibilities…we’re in the hands of an appealing consummate pro.”
“He was fast, polished and had an original slant. We will hear more of him.”
John Hastings: Adventure at Edinburgh Festival
Eric Lampaert and Jack de Havas’ podcast ‘Coffee Ramblings’ featuring Kyle Simmons (Bastille) and Sara Shulman (Comedy Blogedy).
Eric Lampaert is a comedian and actor that has appeared on BBC2, BBC3, Ch4, Ch5, E4, ITV2, HBO including shows such as Life’s Too Short, Cardinal Burns and The Midnight Beast. Eric is also in Dizzee Rascal’s music video ‘Bassline Junkie’ and Scouting For Girls’ ‘Love How It Hurts’ respective music videos as well as Sky’s advert with Bruce Willis. Eric studied at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris & Middlesex University in London.
Eric also won the Latitude Comedy Competition (2010), the Laughing Horse Big Comedy Competition (2008), was a Raindance Short Film Nominee 2011 and named a T4 Rising Star of 2012.
In 2013, Eric performed at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, where his set recorded for TV went out on Comedy Central UK last month. 2014 sees him performing at Latitude Festival, an appearance on Alex Zane’s ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ for London Live a large role in the new The Lennox Brothers film ‘AM✮DAM’, out this Autumn and Eric is currently filming a new feature, ‘Moonwalkers’.
“★★★★ He makes it look so easy. This is a man with very funny bones” – DAILY EXPRESS
“★★★★ Likeable and enjoying, sweeping up the audience in the sheer energy of his performance. The strength of his scatty character rips through the room like a mini-hurricane” – CHORTLE
“★★★★ Delightfully Weird” – TIME OUT
“Uniquely talented stand up and expert improviser” – GQ
“Quirky, with an eye for the absurd and a couple of near-Izzardian flourishes… energy is such that it’s almost osmotic” – THE STAGE
Testiculating (Waving Your Arms Talking Bollocks)
Venue: Laughing Horse at The Counting House
Time: 7.45pm Dates: 1st – 23rd August inclusive
Comedian’s Cinema Club
Venue: Just the Tonic at the Tron
Time: 3.40pm Dates: 31 July – 23rd August (except 12th)
Stand-up is already an unusual art-form, but one of the most unusual things about it is that you start in the most difficult environments.
Nothing else is like that.
If you were teaching someone to ski, you’d pop him or her on the bunny slopes until they figured out how to turn, or decelerate, or at least angle their skis in a way that doesn’t make them look like a six-year-old snowplowing down a hill.
In standup – especially in New York, and Boston, where I incubated – you start in the roughest rooms, in front of impatient audiences that are persnickety, drunk, and generally unforgiving. The lighting is rarely focused on you, so you get to see the frowns on every disapproving face as you disappoint them. You’re not gently introduced by the experiences; you’re forged by them. In stand-up, when you’re starting, there are no bunny slopes. There are only black runs.
But that environment produces comedians that are, in a way, unbreakable. When you’ve done three short minutes in front of a scattering of people at a Chinese restaurant, or spent ten agonizing moments sitting in utter, careless silence created by an audience solely comprised of other acts waiting for their turn to spend some time in silence, there isn’t a whole ton that fazes you.
Still though. I’ve been doing comedy solidly for about seven-eight years now; I’ve never heard a first-time-onstage story with a collection of circumstances more unfortunate and pathetic than mine. Count the cringe-inducing things, if you can bear it. You’ll need more than two hands:
My first set took place not at a comedy club, or a bar, or a University talent show or something, but at a pizzeria called Roggies in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston. It was a Tuesday night near a college campus during a winter break, so the college kids were gone home, for the most part. It was daylight outside, still when I roller-bladed to the gig. I was on pretty close to the end, but not so near to the end that there weren’t still four or five bands and singer-songwriters that were furious that a bona-fide child was onstage trying stand-up. Because the night was not a comedy night, it was a music open-mic, and when I showed up, the lady running it, a blonde named Chrissy who always hosted the mic and played songs with a Sheryl Crowish bent, looked me up and down and said, with justifiable concern, “you want to try stand-up comedy?”
“You look about twelve.” Yeah. It was 2005, and I was fifteen years old. The reason I was performing in a pizza joint was because, at that age, I wasn’t old enough to get into a bar, and I didn’t even consider a comedy club, because I was pretty convinced that there were only about ten comedians who played in them, and they were all famous like Bill Cosby. She was right, by the way, I did look about twelve. It was something I was sensitive about, and a source of real tension at home, where my parents were beginning to become worried that I wouldn’t grow. Out of desperation, they had begun urging me to take second and third helpings of food. I didn’t tell her any of this, obviously.
“I’m fifteen. My name is Alex.”
“OK, Alex. How much time do you want to do?”
I considered my material, which was about a page of scribbled notes I had put in the back of a Maths notebook. “Well, how much time do the musicians do?”
Chrissy told me they did about ten-to-fifteen minutes, and I nodded obliviously.
“Well, I guess I’ll do about that.”
About an hour later, she brought me onstage with—God, this is really a pathetic story—“we have someone here who wants to try stand-up comedy. Yeah. Well, I don’t know. Clap for him, his name is Alex.” I had been planning to do fifteen minutes on how I had recently seen U2 and they weren’t that good. The material lasted me more like three minutes, and about halfway through, I realized that U2 was actually great and maybe the best thing my fifteen-year-old mind had ever seen. The songwriters looked at me blankly, looked at each other blankly, looked at Chrissy blankly. There was a lot of blank in the room. I tried an ad-lib about looking like Macauley Culkin to no response. One of the waiters at the pizzeria walked directly in front of me holding a tray of soda.
I don’t remember what else I tried onstage, but the most vivid detail, the one that summarizes the set to me, is the only two audience members—a husband and wife who had shown up to support a trio of college students who were doing some original stuff mixed with Neutral Milk Hotel covers—looking at each other before one said, softly, but still loud enough for me to hear: “Are you understanding this at all? Because I’m not.” I think it was the wife, but I can’t be sure. In my occasional nightmares about that night, the voice would usually be my own, anyway.
I came offstage, flushed and ashamed, to sparse applause that managed to sound sympathetic, angry, confused, and relieved all at the same time. Chrissy went back on.
“That was Alex. Doing stand-up. Which doesn’t always work here.” I was close to tears, and readying my rollerblades for a hasty retreat. And then—and maybe she was just thinking out loud, but it felt like a lifeline—she said “perhaps he’ll get better and come back.”
Alex Edelman will be performing his debut stand-up show ‘Millenial’ at the Pleasance Courtyard from 30th July – 24th August at 20:15 (1hour). Tickets.
Joz Norris is a stand-up comedian, character comic, writer and actor based in London. He started working on the stand-up circuit in 2011 and has since become a critically lauded and well-respected figure on the alternative comedy, character and clowning circuits, as well as working prolifically in other media and collaborating frequently with some of the best alternative comics.
In 2011, he was one of the winners of the “Huge” competition to perform at the UK premiere of Ben Miller’s film Huge at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square. His first solo character show in 2012, Joz Norris Is Matt Fisher: Uberperson, was greeted with unanimous praise from critics, comics and audiences alike. 2013′s Joz Norris Has Gone Missing was his first full Fringe show and was similarly well-received, being chosen as one of Time Out’s Top Ten Free Shows and Laugh Out London’s Pick of the Free Fringe, as well as being Fringe Review’s Pick for its venue.
He is a frequent collaborator with other comics, being a part of the Chortle Award-nominated Weirdos Collective, with whom he had a part in their sellout performance of Hook in 2012, and he will also have a regular role in Weirdos’ new monthly project, Blueprint. He is also a frequent collaborator with several performers on the clowning circuit and had a regular guest role in the children’s clowning show Are You Serious? A Whimsical Stupid Circus at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe.
In other media, he is one half of the popular online What Not Comedy Podcast with Karl Schultz and is a prolific writer, performer and producer of online sketches, as well as taking roles in sketches by other comics including Bec Hill and Barry Ferns. He is currently working on the early stages of a new webseries currently titled What Not Dating. In May 2012 he was the host of the student-produced online panel show, Punchlines, by UCA Maidstone, and he was also featured as a guest of Tom Wrigglesworth for BBC Radio 4 Extra’s The Comedy Club Interviews in July 2012.
He has worked extensively in theatre, having set up the No Answer Theatre Company in 2007 as a showcase for local acting and writing talent, through which two of his own full-length plays were produced by Salisbury Playhouse. More recently he had a role in two immersive theatre projects by Christopher Green, Late at the Library: The Party Rules at the British Library and This Show Has No Name at the London Wonderground.
Joz Norris will be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe from 30th July – 24th August 2014 at the Underbelly at 16:20 (1 hour).
“Norris has created a genuinely brilliant character, performed with a confidence that belies his years and a pomp that defies the room. The audience loves every second.” – The Skinny
“Quality moments of silliness…Norris performs with indefatigable gusto and not a hint of pretension…the kind of cheeky grin that must have been a hit with the dinnerladies.” – London is Funny
“One of the most exciting comic character creations on the up-and-coming comedy scene…If there’s a space to watch, it’s this one!” – Comedy Blogedy
“Norris is uber-confident, but he has the material to back up his tenacity.” – Time Out
“Actually pretty good.” – Terry Pratchett
“Joz Norris may have gone missing, but his comic ability is still evidently present.” – Three Weeks
“For this young and talented comic, the future is obviously bright.” – The Comedy Journal
“Some of the most original and involving comedy I’ve seen for some time.” – Theatre Geek
Sara Shulman is the Founder and Editor of Comedy Blogedy, TEDxUCL Speaker on ‘The Power of Funny’, specialist comedy blogger for Ticketmaster and blogger for The Huffington Post. Sara was the former Head of Comedy at UCLU Rare FM and produces the Comedy Blogedy podcast ‘Humour Me’. Sara is currently a student at the National Film & Television School and occasionally gigs on the comedy circuit
Live Nation proudly presents: McQueen
Pleasance 10 Dome, Edinburgh
July 30 – August 24, 11pm
“This show is mad funny! Dudes doing something crazy original, it’s going to be huge man!” DAVE CHAPPELLE
“An original show that showcases immense talent and wow factor!” HUFFINGTON POST
“It was like watching Jimmy Fallon and Reggie Watt’s love child bringing down the house!” BUZZFEED
“Nothing I have ever seen compares to the originality and hilarity that went down last night! So much going on with one constant! FUNNY!!!!” CNN NEWS
“It’s just brilliant!” THOM YORKE, RADIOHEAD
Whilst touring with Radiohead one fateful night in Miami, McQueen Adams impressed the band with an impersonation so fresh an idea was born. Together with drummer Timothy Oakley (Phantogram), Adams has created a fusion of music, comedy and video, which parodies pop stars, movies and a variety of celebrities. It’s a jamboree of songs, stunts and sketches, and the material’s range stretches from subjects as varied as the sounds of Daft Punk to the magic of the wizard Gandalf, with some Jason Statham, Orlando Bloom and Coldplay along the way.
Transmitting a hi-tech audio-visual experience, McQueen and Oakley create an incredibly unique new universe. It collides with planet Edinburgh for the first time this summer, so prepare for a blast!
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