Manhattan Comedy School

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Spread Joy Throughout the Land, Via Microphone

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

It’s the season when people start making resolutions to improve themselves in the coming year, but losing 20 pounds or organizing the hall closet is so 2014. You can help your friends, family, and coworkers make truly exciting changes in their lives with a gift certificate to Manhattan Comedy School‘s six-week beginner stand-up comedy classes.

Your unique gift will be the ticket to a whole new world. Whether the recipient is determined to finally go after an entertainment career, enhance their public speaking skills to help the one they’ve got, or just experience the ego-boosting adrenaline surge that comes with performing live at New York City’s most celebrated comedy club, MCS will advance them toward their goal in a fun, creative, and innovative way.

An accomplished industry professional teaches students all the skills they need to command the comedy stage, then each one gets to perform live at the Gotham Comedy Club.  The appearance is also recorded on a DVD just for them. What’s more, performers at MCS graduation shows have been joined on the stage by big-name special guests including Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, and Sherri Shepherd.

Gift certificates are good for any Level 1 class, and are valid for up to 12 months from the date of purchase. Limited numbers are available, so hurry and get a few of them.

Scroll down here to purchase: http://www.manhattancomedyschool.com/classes-and-registration/

Recipients choose the class they want to attend (continuing start dates are posted at the link above), and then contact MCS at least two weeks in advance to register. All classes are held at 54th and Broadway, in the heart of the Theater District.

For more information, call (212) 896-3911.

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Money CAN Buy Happiness, Which Makes a Great Gift

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Face it, no one wants to look under the tree and find a cat straitjacket, furniture that conceals their guns, or an inflatable necktie for taking naps at work.

Numerous studies have shown that a full 98 percent* of the population prefers practical holiday presents that are also great fun–for example, gift certificates to professionally-taught courses to learn how to become a comedian. The skills the recipient masters are invaluable not only for fledgling comics and actors, but for people with jobs that require polished public speaking or presentation skills.

Fortunately, Manhattan Comedy School, the leading school of its kind, is now offering just such gift certificates for its six-week beginner stand-up comedy classes. To showcase what they’ve learned, each student also gets to perform live on the Gotham Comedy Club main stage, and the sppearance is recorded on a DVD just for them.

Lewis Black, International Headliner on Comedy Central, The Daily Show, and HBO, agrees that MCS classes are a timeless gift that will be cherished for a lifetime. “So you want to be a comic. Well, get off your ass and do something about it,” he says. “I can think of no better place to start than the Manhattan Comedy School. The faculty is exceptional. It’s a roster of comics that I truly admire.”

Gift certificates are good for any Level 1 class, and are valid for up to 12 months from the date of purchase. Limited numbers are available, so hurry and get a few of them for all those hilarious friends, family, and doormen.

Scroll down here to purchase: http://www.manhattancomedyschool.com/classes-and-registration/

Recipients just choose the class they want to attend (continuing start dates are posted at the link above), and then contact MCS at least two weeks in advance to register. All classes are held at 54th and Broadway, in the heart of the Theater District.

For more information, call (212) 896-3911.

*The remaining 2 percent want an excruciatingly painful death visited upon their enemies.

 

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Andy’s Tuesday Tribute: A Salute to Veterans

Posted on by andy

In honor of Veterans Day, and in lieu of the typical Tuesday Tips, I wanted to pay tribute to all the comedians who have served in the military.

This is a partial list of comedians who previously served in the Armed Forces of the United States:

In addition, I want to honor and salute all the men and women who have served, past and present.

Over the past several decades many of America’s most famous comedians have taken part in United Service Organization, Inc. (USO) Tours. Here’s Robin Williams performing for the troops at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in December 2004:

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Give the Gift That Gives You a Good Laugh

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Reward that someone in your life who makes you laugh by ensuring they never stop being funny. Manhattan Comedy School is now offering gift certificates to beginner stand-up comedy classes, taught by a real-live working pro.

MCS’s six-week training course rounds up with each student giving a live performance on the Gotham Comedy Club main stage, which is recorded on a DVD they get to keep. Recent graduation shows also included special guests Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, and Sherri Shepherd.

It’s the the gift that keeps on giving. Whether you’re ready to launch a new career on stage  or just improve your public speaking for the job you’re keeping, you’ll benefit from polishing the skills required to be a comedian. Even better, you’ll find out how performing stand-up is the ultimate natural high, perfect for realigning your karma after a tough day.

Gift certificates are good for any Level 1 class, and are valid for up to 12 months from the date of purchase. Limited numbers are available, so hurry and get a few of them for all those hilarious friends, family, and doormen!

Scroll down here to buy gift certificates: http://www.manhattancomedyschool.com/classes-and-registration/

Recipients just choose the class they want to attend (continuing start dates are posted at the link above), and contact MCS at least two weeks in advance to register. All classes are held at 54th and Broadway, in the heart of the Theater District.

For more information, call (212) 896-3911.

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Put Your College Education to Work

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Did a funny thing happen on your way to 19th Century Lit? Does cramming for exams heighten your sense of humor? Have you thought up a lot of insults you can’t say to your professors?

Then sign up now for the College Student Stand-up Contest!

This unique and lucrative competition to identify the wittiest people in higher education happens Saturday, November 8th at 9:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Room, sister club of Gotham Comedy Club, at 34 West 22nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan.

1st Place Prize: 

2nd Place Prize:

To be eligible, you must be currently enrolled as a college student, and you must agree to bring at least 10 people to the show.

Sign up quickly, the limited number of spots are filling up!

Respond to Andy Engel, Director of New Talent, Gotham Comedy Club at [email protected]
and provide your:

  1. Full name
  2. Phone number
  3. Email address

Remember, you can’t spell campus without camp. Sign up today for our College Student Stand-up Contest!

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Andy’s Tuesday Tips: Ryan Reiss on Being a Warm-up Comic

Posted on by andy

One of many different roles for stand-up comics in the entertainment industry is warm-up comic for a TV show. It’s a highly sought-after job because it allows you to get paid during the day, and still have your nights open to do shows. Warm-up comic duties can be extremely grueling, though, because you have to fill a lot of time while you keep the audience energetic for the show taping.

Ryan Reiss is the warm-up comic and a writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers, as well as a warm-up comic for shows on Fox. He notes that he has to approach each of the crowds differently. Here’s his advice on being a warm-up comic:

Andy: What are the differences between warming up for different kinds of shows? For example, warming up for LNSM compared to Fox shows.

Ryan: Warming up different crowds is like playing different rooms. Fox is an older audience, so I do a lot of Harry Truman jokes. . . .  Some shows have different rules on what you can do and what you can’t. For the most part, you are trying to make a connection with whatever audience you are in front of.

Andy: How did you go from open mics/new talent shows to getting paid spots and getting passed at clubs?

Ryan: Get on stage as much as possible. When you have a good set, try to open for some better comics. If you do a good job for them, they will recommend you to better venues.

Andy: What are the top things that helped you in your career?

Ryan: 1) Get on stage every night! 2) Know where you want to be in 10 years; 3) Anything is possible in this business! The industry does not know who is good and bad. If you have to do this, then you may as well believe in yourself.

Takeaway

There are a lot of different types of jobs for comics in the city. You have to work on your craft every day, and stick with your gut.

Follow Ryan Reiss on twitter: @ryanreiss

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Double Whammy: Seinfeld AND Louis C.K. Drop-ins!

Posted on by Emily Rosenberg

Two comedy legends appeared in one night at the New Talent shows at Gotham Comedy Club this week. Jerry Seinfeld was there for the 7:30 p.m. show, and Louis C.K. showed up for the 9:30 p.m. show on Wednesday, October 22nd.

Once again, this proves that you never know what’s going to happen at a New Talent show, which always makes them a great opportunity to update your video. Imagine performing when one of those celebrity comics drops in, and how the wildly excited crowds will make your video that much more dynamic and attention-grabbing.

Here’s your chance to snag two upcoming dates for New Talent shows:

5-Person Bringer

Saturday, October 25th at 9:30 p.m.
The Metropolitan Room

If you want to make a new video when you do the show this Saturday, you only have to bring five people. We rarely offer this fabulous deal, so take advantage.

If you can’t perform this Saturday, you also have the option to do one of these shows:

Monday, November 3rd at 7:00 p.m.

Monday, November 3rd at 9:30 p.m.

Gotham Comedy Club

You must bring 15 people.

You MUST respond to [email protected] with the following information:

  1. Full name
  2. Email address
  3. Phone number
  4. Which show (date and time) you want

Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your talent!

 

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Andy’s Tuesday Tips: A Tribute to Jan Hooks by Nora Dunn

Posted on by andy

Saturday Night Live has been inspiring me my entire life, and Jan Hooks was one of the best. Here’s a beautiful and touching tribute written by Nora Dunn, her castmate on the show in the 80’s.

It was Jan Hooks who came up with the idea for the Sweeney Sisters. On the spot, while we were shooting a commercial parody for Saturday Night Live. It came like a minor explosion, as most of her ideas did, and she delivered the concept and our names in a matter of seconds. Then she started belting out medleys of classic swing songs. There was no way I could keep up with her. She was a seasoned improvisor who never credited herself as a writer, and at the heart of her matter, she was a genuine actress.

Saturday Night Live wasn’t summer camp. It wasn’t fun until and unless you were in front of the camera, doing a bit you loved. And I loved nothing as I loved being a Sweeney Sister. In character, Jan and I knew exactly who were without discussion. It happened on its own. As Liz and Candy, we shared an uncomplicated bond and an enduring sisterly love. The fact that they became a hit was secondary to the joy of being them. We opened the Emmys in 1987, and backstage we decided to chat with George Will and Sam Donaldson in character. They shunned us as if we were two backstage barflies trying to slut it up with a couple of genuine prime time newsmen. No one enjoyed something like that more than Jan Hooks.

She did have stage fright, but once in front of the camera, she carried the show. It was our costume designer, Pam Peterson, who found our lounge gowns, and it became part of the gag that we wore them in every single sketch. I don’t know where those dresses are now, but they should be in the Smithsonian. In our finest sketch, we performed with Mary Tyler Moore, who was the one and only third Sweeney Sister.

I’m not ready to accept that Jan died at 57. That’s not fair. But neither is life. It’s sorrowful, and there isn’t one comedian worth her weight in salt if she doesn’t understand that. No matter how long we are here, it’s not long enough. But I always thought I’d see Jan again. I knew she wasn’t well, but we always think things will get better. It takes a long time, a long history, to know that the best things, the best moments in life, are gone in what seems like a flash. She and I had our best moments together on television, and sometimes late at night in our offices, where we were talking and not writing, and sometimes out in a so-so tavern in midtown Manhattan while we were drinking too much.

She and I spent an evening with George Harrison in Lorne’s office one night, drinking wine and playing records and listening to one of the Beatles, who was engaging and prolific. I remember her saying afterwards, “Did that really happen?” And I hear myself saying that now, as I read this piece. Did it?

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Andy’s Tuesday Tips: Jimmy Failla’s Tips on Breaking into Colleges

Posted on by andy

How did you get a college agent? 

The most common way is to send a clean tape to an agent you want to work with and then follow up. Assuming the agent finds it funny, you’ll need to convince him or her that you’re a punctual person with a minimal amount of sociopathic tendencies. Don’t be too self-conscious about that last part, because most comics have serious issues. We’re talking weapons-grade personality flaws.

What’s it like working colleges compared to clubs and other gigs?

College gigs pay way better than club gigs. An entry-level comic usually makes $1,000 for each 45-minute show. But you’ll earn that money because the audience is sober and they’re obsessed with political correctness.

Clubs are a better place to develop material because your audience is a lot more diverse. You’ll have 20-year-olds, 50-year-olds and every socioeconomic demographic there is.  Clubs also offer the chance to learn from big-name comics who drop into the shows. Jerry Seinfeld will stop by Gotham, but he’s not going to do a guest spot at Suffolk Community College. Although Dave Chappelle might, if that’s where his weed dealer goes.

Do you recommend pursuing becoming a college comic? What are the benefits and disadvantages?

The upside to doing college gigs is that they pay well and give you a ton of stage time. And of course, there’s the occasional wayward co-ed who invites you to her dorm.

The downside is that they’re completely off the grid in terms of showbiz relevance. Nobody who books anything meaningful pays attention to college gigs because they’re an isolated demographic. The other downside is that most of those wayward co-eds have HPV.

My recommendation would be to use colleges as a way to make money and develop yourself under the radar. But don’t let the money trick you into thinking you’re making commercial progress. Ultimately, you need a presence where the big decisions get made, which is here in the city.

Good luck finding parking.

For more information:

 

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Andy’s Tuesday Tips: A Tribute to Joan Rivers by Cory Kahaney

Posted on by andy

When the news “Joan Rivers Hospitalized” broke, I hoped it was a publicity stunt. I couldn’t imagine a world without her. I was so sure she’d be making jokes about the whole ordeal: “I was in a medically induced coma. You know how they put me under? They made me watch Jay Leno’s last monologue.”

When I was a kid, I saw Joan Rivers guest-host the Tonight Show, and suddenly it made sense. I will never be able to tell her how grateful I am for that.

The only thing that cheers me up is knowing that she worked the night before. She never wanted to retire and she never had to.

Why is Joan so relevant? She was supposed to marry a doctor and move to the suburbs. She didn’t. She was supposed to know her place and let the male comics take the spotlight. She didn’t. She was supposed to quietly go off and have her baby. She didn’t (she did stand-up pregnant on the Ed Sullivan show). She was supposed to wait in the wings to see what Johnny Carson had in mind for her. She didn’t. She was supposed to disappear after her husband’s suicide. She didn’t. She went bankrupt and was supposed to lose everything. She didn’t.

She was supposed to age gracefully. She did.

- Cory Kahaney

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