stand-up comedy

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.”

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: "Game Night"

Upcoming:

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.

Still from "A Fantastic Woman"
Sony Pictures Classics

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: The Oscars, "Death Wish"

Upcoming:

  • Ellen Arkbro - EMPAC, Studio 1—Goodman, Troy, Thursday 3/8, 7:30 PM
  • An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett & Shawn Colvin - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 3/8, 7:30 PM
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Mass., Friday 3/9, 8 PM
  • Cedric The Entertainer - Funny Bone Comedy Club, Guilderland, Friday-Saturday 3/9-10, various times
  • Albany Symphony Orchestra: Kennedy Center Debut Preview Performance - Music of Joan Tower, Michael Daugherty, Dorothy Chang, Michael Torke - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 3/10, 7:30 PM
  • Eli Young Band - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Saturday 3/10, 8 PM
  • Chip Taylor - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 3/10, 8 PM
  • Dumpstaphunk - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 3/10, 9 PM
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tashi Dorji - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 3/10, 8 PM
  • The Chieftans - Proctors, Schenectady, Tuesday 3/13, 7:30 PM

New movies: "A Wrinkle in Time," "Gringo," "Thoroughbreds," "A Fantastic Woman"

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: "Black Panther"

Upcoming:

  • Troy Night Out: The Amazing Race Trivia Night - Downtown Troy, Friday 2/23, 5-9 PM
  • Mile Twelve - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 2/23, 8 PM
  • Shemekia Copeland - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday 2/23, 9 PM
  • Shelby Lynne, Teddy Thompson - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Sinkane - MASS MoCA, Club B10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show: Adrienne Iapalucci - Proctors, Schenectady, Saturday 2/24, 8 PM
  • Soovin Kim, violin; Paul Watkins, cello; Gloria Chen, piano - (Beethoven, Brahms, Pierre Jalbert) - Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sunday 2/25, 3 PM
  • Dropkick Murphys, Agnostic Front, Bim Skala Bim - Albany Capital Center, Albany, Sunday 2/25, 7:30 PM
  • "Casablanca" - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday 2/26, 7 PM
  • Staatskapelle Weimar with pianist Sunwook Kim - (Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, Richard Strauss) - Troy Chromatics Concerts, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Wednesday 2/28, 7:30 PM

New movies: "Annihilation," "Game Night," "Happy End," "Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool"

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: “Hostiles,” “Paddington 2”

Upcoming:

  • Time for Three - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Thursday 2/15, 7:30 PM
  • The Next Women of Country: Sara Evans featuring Raelynn & Kalie Shorr - Palace Theatre, Albany, Thursday 2/15, 8 PM
  • They Are Waiting for You: Laure Prouvost with Sam Belinfante & Pierre Droulers - EMPAC Theater, Troy, Friday 2/16, 8 PM
  • Bridgman Packer Dance - The Egg, Albany, Friday 2/16, 8 PM
  • Loudon Wainwright III - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Friday 2/16, 8 PM
  • Birdland All-Stars featuring Tommy Igoe - Proctors, Schenectady, Friday 2/16, 8 PM
  • Warren Miller’s Line of Descent - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 2/17, 7:30 PM
  • Eddie Izzard: Believe Me Tour - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 2/17, 8 PM
  • Bindlestiff Cirkus Cabin Fever Cabaret (Adult Oriented Show) - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 2/17, 9 PM
  • “Looney Tunes”: “Bugs, The Beginning and Beyond” - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Monday 2/19-Saturday 2/24 at 3 PM; Saturday also at 7 PM

New movies: “The Insult,” “Black Panther,” “Early Man”

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.

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: The Dark Tower, Atomic Blonde

Upcoming:

Godspell 2012 - Theater Barn, New Lebanon, opens 8/10 (Thursday) at 8 PM, through August 20.

The Philadelphia Orchestra American Classics - SPAC, Saratoga Springs - 8/10 (Thursday), 8 PM, All-Gershwin program featuring Marcus Roberts Trio; 8/11 (Friday), 8 PM, Ives, Metheny & Mays, Dvorak program featuring Christopher Deviney (vibraphone) & She-e Wu (marimba)

Spamalot - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 8/10 (Thursday) at 2 and 8 PM, through August 20.

Suzanne Vega, the DuPont Brothers - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/11 (Friday), 9 PM

Capitolfest (Vintage Film Festival) highlighting films starring Fay Wray - Capitol Theatre, Rome, 8/11 (Friday) through 8/13 (Sunday)

Tracy Morgan - Funny Bone Comedy Club at Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, 8/12 (Saturday), 7 and 10 PM

The Stick Men featuring Tony Levin - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, 8/12 (Saturday), 6:30 & 8:30 PM

Banjo Revelry VI - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, 8/12 (Saturday), 8 PM

Buddy Guy - The Egg, Albany 8/15 (Tuesday), 7:30 PM

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet - EMPAC Theater, Troy, 8/16 (Wednesday), 8 PM

New movies: The Glass Castle, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, The Midwife, City of Ghosts, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Annabelle: Creation

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: The Lovers

Upcoming:
Caitlin Canty, Lyle Brewer - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 6/1, 7 PM
Kill Bill Vol. 1 - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday 6/1 through Sunday 6/4, various times
The Avett Brothers - Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, Friday 6/2, 7 PM
Albany Symphony Orchestra’s American Music Festival - EMPAC, Troy, Thursday 6/1-Saturday 6/3
1st Friday Albany: New exhibits/receptions at Albany Public Library, Esther Massry Gallery, Albany Barn, Albany Institute of History & Art, many more - Downtown Albany, various locations, Friday 6/2, 5-8 PM
FLY 92.3 Summer Jam featuring Flo Rida, Sabrina Carpenter, Bebe Rexha - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 6/3, 3 PM
Duke Robillard Band - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Saturday 6/3, 6:30 & 8:30 PM
Sinbad - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday 6/4, 8 PM
John Mayall - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Tuesday 6/6, 8 PM
Made in the Shade of the Egg: New Breed Brass Band - The Egg (outdoors), Albany, Wednesday 6/7, noon

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

Seen: Bryan Ferry, Ghost in the Shell, The Sound of Music at Proctors

Upcoming:

  • The Lure - Time + Space Limited, Hudson. Thursday-Saturday, 4/6-8, various times
  • Lord Love a Duck - Madison Theater, Albany, Thursday-Sunday, 4/6-9, various times
  • Sarah Kilborne’s The Lavender Blues - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Friday, 4/7, 8 PM
  • Albany Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven’s Ninth, Joan Tower, George Tsontakis - The Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday, 4/8, 7:30 PM
  • Meklit - The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Troy, Saturday, 4/8, 7 PM
  • Selected Shorts - Sonia Manzano (Sesame Street), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), & Jim True-Frost (The Wire) - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday, 4/9, 3 PM
  • Sonny Ochs’ 80th Birthday Concert - featuring Emma's Revolution, John Flynn, Greg Greenway, Kim & Reggie Harris, Joe Jencks, Sharon Katz, Magpie - The Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady, Sunday, 4/9, 4 PM
  • Dale Watson and Ray Benson - The Egg, Albany, Sunday, 4/9, 7 PM
  • Chris Rock - Palace Theatre, Albany, Monday, 4/10 8 PM

New movies: Personal Shopper, Going in Style, Frantz, Smurfs: The Lost Village

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

Seen: Wilson

Upcoming:

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.

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

Steven Wright
Jorge Rios

Academy Award winning and Grammy nominated comedian Steven Wright will perform at The Egg in Albany on October 1st.

With his deadpan style, Mr. Wright has been a staple on the entertainment scene for more than three decades, dating from his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1982. He was invited to appear on the show again less than a week later.

Wright’s career expanded to albums, film and television appearances. His 1985 debut album I Have A Pony, earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, and he appeared in his first HBO stand-up special, A Steven Wright Special, later that year.

In 1989, Mr. Wright received an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, in which he starred and co-wrote.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award as a producer for the hit FX series Louie for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and also appears on Louis CK’s new web series Horace and Pete

  Actor, comedian, writer and producer, Paul Reiser, will headline this year's Fairview Hospital Gala on Saturday, September 24 at 8 p.m.

A seasoned actor, writer, and producer, Paul Reiser continues to add to his list of accomplishments. Having co-created and starred in the critically acclaimed NBC series Mad About You which garnered him multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, American Comedy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations, Reiser returned to television last year in the FX series Married.

While developing several television projects which he will write and produce, Reiser is currently starring in the Amazon coming-of-age series Red Oaks for producer Steven Soderbergh. It's been a busy time in film for Reiser as well. Following his role in Academy Award winning film Whiplash, and in last year's Concussion, Reiser has a full slate of films coming up. He will be seen in The Darkness with Kevin Bacon, Devil in the Deep Blue Sea with Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams, Miles with Molly Shannon, and also in John McDonagh's War on Everyone with Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena.

Not one to abandon his roots in stand-up, in between projects Reiser tours the country performing to sold out venues and was recently voted one of Comedy Central's “Top 100 Comedians of All Time."

  Susie Essman has played the sassy Susie Greene for all 8 seasons of HBO’s critically acclaimed and award-winning Curb Your Enthusiasm, her hilarious bouts of withering sarcasm and uninhibited insults her character’s trademark. She is also an accomplished stand-up. 

She will host Laughingstock! at the 4th Annual Woodstock Comedy Festival on Friday, September 23. The evening will feature stand-up from Karen Bergreen, Kendra Cunningham, Jaye McBride, and Liz Miele.

Laughingstock! is a benefit for Family of Woodstock and for the Polaris Project.

www.nerdist.com

  Stephen King has called him “a national treasure,” comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried is known for his trademark squinting and screeching...and hilarious observations.

He started his stand-up career at the age of 15, and in 1980 he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. He came to fame doing a series of memorable promo bits for MTV, and over the years he's appeared in numerous films, including Beverly Hills Cop II and The Aristocrats.

In addition, Gottfried regularly appeared on Late Night With David Letterman, Hollywood Squares, The Howard Stern Show and The Tonight Show. He is also the creator and host of the very successful podcast Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast where he talks with the show business legends, icons and behind-the-scenes talents who shaped his childhood and influenced his comedy.

Gilbert will be headlining the Woodstock Comedy Festival next weekend on September 24th at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock at 8PM.


  Mike Birbiglia is an award winning comedian, writer, actor, and director known for his autobiographical stand-up tours and one-man shows on Broadway. His first feature film, Sleepwalk with Me, was released in 2012.

His second film, Don’t Think Twice, opens this Friday at Spectrum 8 Theatre in Albany, NY and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY. This story is Birbiglia’s first major work not based on his own life -- in it, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater. When not all members of the group start to find success beyond the improv stage -- the group fractures, friendships are strained and feelings are hurt. It’s a funny movie about failure and success -- and how success doesn't always look the way you think it will.

The film is produced by This American Life host and creator Ira Glass, was written and directed by Birbiglia and he stars along with Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher.

  In The Comedians, comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff brings to life a century of American comedy with real-life characters, forgotten stars, mainstream heroes and counterculture iconoclasts.

Based on over two hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, Nesteroff’s groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years.

  18-year-old Diggy Lessard's Senior Project at Woodstock Day School is entitled Modern Vaudeville -- it will tell the story of James Hurst’s "The Scarlet Ibis" through music, dance, and comedy in a one-night only variety show at BSP Lounge in Kingston, New York on May 22nd. Diggy’s project was to schedule, promote, and produce the show which will benefit Woodstock Day School’s music programs. (Joe Donahue interviewed Diggy and his dad, Stefan Lessard from Dave Matthews Band earlier this week.)

One of the participating acts is comedian, Bobby Tisdale. Tisdale is an film and television actor and provides the voice for Zeke on Bob’s Burgers on Fox.

  Comedian and actor, Colin Quinn will headline a comedy benefit for Woodstock Land Conservancy at The Woodstock Playhouse this Saturday, April 16th at 7 p.m.

The Woodstock Land Conservancy is committed to the protection, preservation, and stewardship of open lands, forests, wetlands, scenic areas and historic sites in Woodstock and the surrounding areas.

Colin Quinn was on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2000, hosting "Weekend Update" for a few of his years there. He recently wrapped up an Off-Broadway run of his one man show, Colin Quinn: The New York Story which ran at Cherry Lane Theatre and was directed by Jerry Seinfeld. Last summer he played Amy Schumer’s characters father in the hit film, Trainwreck. His meta Law & Order parody webseries, Cop Show, is streaming on YouTube and at lstudio.com.

Early 2016 At MASS MoCA

Jan 13, 2016

  We feel very lucky to have MASS MoCA in our region and to have such a good relationship with the incredible visual and live arts presentation venue. 

MASS MoCA's Managing Director of Performing Arts,  Sue Killam, and Director of Communications, Jodi Joseph join us with a preview of upcoming exhibitions, concerts, residencies, and more.

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