stand-up comedian | WAMC

stand-up comedian

The fallout after Michelle Wolf’s roast at the 2018 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Samantha Bee’s forced apology after calling Ivanka Trump a name I can’t say here, Kathy Griffin’s being “blacklisted” from Hollywood after posting a photo with what looked like the president’s severed head, all represent a dangerous and growing trend—to censor comedians.

In the new book, "Yes I Can Say That," comedy veteran Judy Gold argues that "no one has the right to tell comics what they can or cannot joke about…. Laughter is a unifier. It's the best medicine. It's also the most palatable way to bring up seditious, subversive topics.”

For Gold, nothing is more insidious than enforcing silence and repressing jokes—the job of a comedian is to expose society's demons, and confront them head-on, no prisoners allowed. In ten impassioned polemics, she frames comedy as a tool of empowerment, a way to reclaim hateful rhetoric and battle the democracy-crushing plight of censorship.

Ian Fidance
Phil Provencio

When we interviewed comedian Ian Fidance, he was supposed to be coming to our region to do standup at Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington at the end of March and in May at The Comedy Works in Saratoga Springs. The coronavirus has shut down just about all public gatherings in the Northeast, but we thought some levity was in order even if those gigs aren’t.

Comedian Brent Terhune
Brent Terhune

With everyone stuck at home over the past several weeks, social media updates and videos have increasingly become a primary way to communicate. And in this odd political moment, Brent Terhune’s videos are getting more attention than ever.

Lewis Black is a Grammy Award-winning stand-up comedian and his 2020 tour, ‘It Gets Better Every Day’ is coming to UPAC in Kingston, New York on February 22.

Known as the king of the rant, Black returns to UPAC with his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing, skewering anything and anyone that gets under his skin.

Steven Wright
Jorge Rios

In his characteristically deadpan fashion, Steven Wright has been making people laugh for more than four decades.  Over the course of his career, Wright has won an Oscar and been nominated for Grammy and Emmy Awards while working regularly in movies and on TV.

Book cover for "Nice Try," photo of Josh Gondelman, album cover for "Dancing on a Weeknight"
Center photo by Mindy Tucker

High Mud Comedy Festival Presents Josh Gondelman in a night of stand-up comedy at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

Josh Gondelman is a stand-up and writer who has earned two Peabody Awards, three Emmys, and two WGA Awards for his work on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” He is currently a writer/producer for “Desus & Mero” on Showtime - which was just renewed for a second season. 

He has a reputation for being a true mensch and among the nicest guys in comedy and his new book “Nice Try” is available from Harper Perennial and his most recent stand-up album “Dancing on a Weeknight” was released in April of this year.

 

He joined us to talk about stand-up, working for and with great people, Twitter pep-talks, and #agoodgame.

Craig Ferguson’s "Hobo Fabulous" is six half hour episodes which are an amalgam of stand up special and rock tour documentary filmed during his recent 50-date tour of the USA and Canada.

Craig Ferguson is an actor, writer and comedian, who as the host of CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" set all-time viewer records during his ten-year run as host, which earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination and the 2009 Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ferguson was also the host of the syndicated game show, "Celebrity Name Game," in which he was awarded the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host two years in a row. Ferguson is also an acclaimed standup comedian.

"Hobo Fabulous" is available on Comedy Dynamics.

Paul Reiser and Joe Donahue on stage at Page Hall in Albany New York
Patrick Dodson

Comedian, actor, television writer, author and musician Paul Reiser co-starred as Paul Buchman in the decade-defining 1990s comedy, "Mad About You." Other starring roles include Michael Taylor in 60 episodes of "My Two Dads," Doug Getty in "Red Oaks," and Dr. Sam Owens in "Stranger Things." His films include: "Diner," "Beverly Hills Cop" 1 & 2, "Aliens" and "Whiplash."

Reiser is also the author of three bestsellers about family life, including "Couplehood," "Babyhood" and "Familyhood." This Creative Life conversation was recorded on April 4, 2019.

Steve Martin and Martin Short
courtesy of the artists

Steve Martin and Martin Short bring their new tour "Now You See Them, Soon You Won't" to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York on Friday, September 13. The comedy-variety show also features Grammy Award winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers, and Jeff Babko.

As two titans of comedy, Steve Martin and Martin Short have conquered film, television, and the stage in the course of their long, dazzling careers. But the live shows that grew out of both their friendship and their undeniable comedic chemistry create something special enough to stand out even among the many achievements of these two show-biz veterans.

Comedian, actor, television writer, author, and musician Paul Reiser who has spent the last 30+ years acting in Oscar and Emmy award-winning movies and TV shows will be in Albany for two events this week.

On Thursday, April 4, he'll be at Page Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus for for an evening of conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue as part of "The Creative Life: A Conversation Series." "The Creative Life" series is a major arts initiative of the University Art Museum, New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in conjunction with regional public radio station WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

On Friday, April 5, he'll perform an evening of stand-up comedy at The Egg.

Michelle Buteau
http://michellebuteau.com/


  Stand-up comedian and actor Michelle Buteau will perform at the High Mud Comedy Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts for the festival's second night - that’s this Saturday, March 30.

 

Buteau performs regularly all over New York City including at #Adulting, her regular show with Jordan Carlos at Union Hall in Brooklyn. She co-stars in BET’s forthcoming series “The First Wives Club” and has recently been seen on HBO’s “High Maintenance” and “2 Dope Queens,” she has a set on “The Comedy Line-Up” on Netflix. Her podcast from WNYC Studios is “Late Night Whenever.” She's also a new Mom to twins, is in "Someone Great" and Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” soon to be released on Netflix, and runs a Mid-Century Modern furniture store (Van der Most Modern) with her husband. 

She's great, she's very busy, and she's coming to North Adams. 

Stand-up comic and actor Judah Friedlander is bringing his “Future President” tour to MASS MoCA’s High Mud Comedy Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts. His recent material, including his Netflix comedy film “America Is the Greatest Country in the United States” presents a satirical take on American exceptionalism and his presidential platform should he be chosen-slash-forced  to become U.S. President.

Friedlander played Frank Rossitano on the NBC comedy series “30 Rock” and became well known for his dry delivery and trucker hats. He also had a memorable arc a "musician" named Gordy on the Netflix series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” He is the author of “How to Beat Up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion” and "If the Raindrops United: Drawings and Cartoons."

Lewis Black - bobblehead
www.lewisblack.com

Lewis Black, Grammy Award-winning, stand-up comedian, is one of the most prolific and popular performers working today. He executes a brilliant trifecta as a stand-up comedian, actor and author. Receiving critical acclaim, he performs more than 200 nights annually, to sold-out audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. He is one of a few performers to sell out multiple renowned theaters, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City Center, the Main Stage at the Mirage in Las Vegas and most recently, a sold-out Broadway run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.

His live performances provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. He's performing at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on March 16.

The Front Parlor Series began in February 2011. Front Parlor is held twice a month in Troy and in Albany and features storytellers and comedians from the Capital Region and beyond. Storytellers share witty, honest, terrifying, compelling, and sometimes sorrowful tales from their own personal lives and observations. The 8th Anniversary show happens this Friday at 8PM at The Linda – WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio and Front Parlor will feature 5 brilliant storytellers.

To tell us more we welcome local artist, storyteller, and corporate educator Gregor Wynnyczuk, producer of the show Jamie Thompson, and stand-up comedian Jeff Simmermon -- who has been featured on The Moth, This American Life, The Risk Podcast, and in his own show "And I Am Not Lying Variety Show" at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC.

Lea DeLaria seems to have achieved overnight stardom with her three-time, SAG Award–winning, stand-out role as Carrie “Big Boo” Black in the Netflix hit series "Orange is the New Black." However, DeLaria’s multifaceted career as a comedian, actress, and jazz musician has, in fact, spanned decades. DeLaria holds the distinction of being the first openly gay comic on American television which led to countless television and film roles portraying police lieutenants, PE teachers and the lesbian who inappropriately hits on straight women.

Returning to Bard Fisher Center after sell-out performances at the SummerScape Spiegeltent, DeLaria performs an extra-sassy concert of holiday favorites with her all-female jazz ensemble. "Oh F*ck It’s Christmas" will be performed in the Sosnoff Theater on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Wanda Sykes has been called “one of the funniest stand-up comics” by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America. Her smart-witted stand up has sent her career in many different areas.

Her latest comedy tour is entitled, "Oh Well," which she will bring to the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, New York on Friday, October 26th at 7:30 PM.

In addition to her standup comedy, Sykes is a writer, producer and actor with projects including television's "Blackish," "Alpha House," "House of Lies," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "The Chris Rock Show” and most recently the reboot of “Roseanne.”

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his starring roles in "Mork and Mindy" and "Good Will Hunting," Robin Williams was an innovative and beloved entertainer -- but as New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff shows in his new biography, "Robin," Williams' comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt.

Colin Quinn's current stand-up tour "One in Every Crowd" will be at The Egg in Albany, New York on Friday, March 23. 

Former "SNL" cast member and Weekend Update anchor, Quinn has been in the comedy business for around 30 years. He recently  had a recurring role on HBO's "Girls" and played Amy Schumer's father in the 2015 movie "Trainwreck."

Kathleen Madigan
Luzena Adams

For 29 years, comedian Kathleen Madigan has been touring 250 nights per year and squeezing in hour-long filmed specials and performances on every late night show ever made. From 25 appearances on the Tonight Show and multiple appearances on Letterman and Conan to recently riding around with Jerry Seinfeld in his internet series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," Madigan sells out theaters across the country. 

Her most recent standup special "Bothering Jesus," is currently streaming on Netflix and she’ll be performing at The Egg in Albany, New York on Thursday, March 22.

Louie Anderson is an iconic comedian, Emmy award winner, one of the country’s most adored comics and named by Comedy Central as “One of 100 Greatest Comedians.” He currently co-stars with Zach Galifianakis in the hit FX series, “Baskets,” Anderson’s extraordinary role as Christine Baskets, the matriarch of the Baskets clan won him his third Emmy Award.

He will perform at The Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, NY on Sunday, March 18.

Mike Birbiglia
Evan Sung

The High Mud Comedy Festival takes over the campus of MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts this Friday and Saturday.

Friday night, Sasheer Zamata hosts “Sasheer Zamata Party Time!” in the Hunter Center. On Saturday, there will be a satire writing workshop by the Reductress, comedian-led gallery tours, and a performance by Nellie McKay.

To close the festival, Mike Birbiglia will present his new one-hour of stand-up, aptly entitled “The New One.” Birbiglia’s previous popular shows include “Thank God for Jokes,” “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” and “Sleepwalk with Me.” The latter was adapted into a film co-directed by Birbiglia and his stage-director Seth Barrish. In 2016 Birbiglia wrote and directed “Don’t Think Twice” starring Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key.

Known as the king of the rant, Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.

His new tour "The Joke's On Us" comes to UPAC in Kingston, New York, on Saturday, February 24.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "Phantom Thread"

Upcoming:

  • “The Hustler” - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 1/25, 7 PM
  • Configurations: Anne Francey - Please exit, doors are closing: Tatana Kellner - Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, opens Friday 1/26, 5-9 PM, through March 12
  • “Paris Time” - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, Friday 1/26 through Feb. 18 (opening night Wed. 1/31)
  • Bill Staines - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 1/26, 8 PM
  • D.L. Hughley - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Guilderland, Friday 1/26 through Sunday 1/28, various times
  • Alicia Hall Moran - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 1/27, 8 PM
  • Joey Alexander, piano - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 1/27, 7:30 PM
  • Donna McKechnie: Same Place, Another Time - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 1/27, 7:30 PM
  • State Ballet Theater of Russia’s Swan Lake - Palace Theatre, Albany, Tuesday 1/30, 7:30 PM

New movies: “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” “Hostiles”

Piff The Magic Dragon will be performing at the Funny Bone in Albany tonight – Saturday, January 20th as part of his all-new 2018 tour The Dog Who Knows.

If the name doesn’t immediately conjure up an image of a grumpy-yet-hilariously-entertaining-English-comedian dressed in what looks like a handmade dragon costume (who performs magic tricks with his doggie in tow) then you simply don’t have your finger on the pulse of the comedy scene.

Piff rose to fame as the stand out star of season 10 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” earning high praise from judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern before reaching the top 10 in the finals.

Since then, Piff has made Las Vegas his home, where he has a residency at The Flamingo casino on a regular basis.

Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based comedian and writer who The New York Times praises as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.”

He’s the co-host of the podcast Politically Re-Active with friend/fellow comedian W. Kamau Bell. His new documentary The Problem with Apu will premiere on truTV on November 19 and Hari will perform at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Saturday, November 4.

Comedian Kevin McCaffrey will be headlining Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show at Proctors tomorrow night.

McCaffrey made his network TV debut on The Late Show with David Letterman in November 2013, and was hired to write and warm-up for the show for the remainder of its run.

In addition to Letterman, Kevin has also written for VH1, National Lampoon, Fuse TV, and various celebrity awards shows. Kevin hosts College Stories with Kevin McCaffrey, a weekly podcast talking to comics, writers, and actors about their stay in college, and their best/funniest/craziest stories from that time.

Mario Cantone is back for another hilarious night of comedy and music at Bearsville Theater on September 16th as part of the 5th Annual Woodstock Comedy Festival. From Liza Minnelli to Julia Childs, come see Mario's best impressions, stories, music and all new jokes. 

Mario is a Tony nominated comedian who is best known for his role as Anthony on the hit HBO series Sex and the City is also an accomplished stage actor and singer. He has performed on Broadway in Shakespeare’s The TempestLove! Valor! Compassion!Assassins, and his one-man show, Laugh Whore.

Besides his acting career, he has conquered the comedy scene performing as a standup and impressionist in venues like Carnegie Hall.

Paula Poundstone is a popular panelist on NPR’s weekly comedy quiz program Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!. She tours regularly, performing standup throughout the country. Poundstone was the first woman ever to share the stage with the President as host at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Her new book is The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness.

She will perform at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA at the Fairview Hospital Gala on September 16, at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on October 13, and at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts on October 14.

Joan Rivers was more than a legendary comedian; she was an icon and a role model to millions, a fearless pioneer who left a legacy of expanded opportunity when she died in 2014.

Her life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband, her feud with Johnny Carson, her estrangement from her daughter, her many plastic surgeries, her ferocious ambition and her massive insecurities.

The Joan Rivers story is told in the new biography, Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers, by Leslie Bennetts. Bennetts is a veteran journalist who was the first woman ever to cover a presidential campaign for The New York Times and was a contributing editor for Vanity Fair for nearly 25-years.

Peak Joel McHale

Dec 13, 2016

For years, Joel McHale’s stand-up performances have sold out venues across the country, and his role in the beloved cult series Community and as the host of E!’s The Soup have made him a household name in comedy and pop culture.

He currently stars in the new CBS comedy The Great Indoors which is about an adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine when he becomes the desk-bound boss to a team of millennials in the magazine's digital department. 

McHale's submission to the vast world of celebrity tell-all books is Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be.

Pages