Jamie Lissow

Gotham Comedy Club

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In this post, I mentioned that we might go see Jamie Lissow (again) at the Gotham Comedy Club.

After enjoying the Vienna Boys Choir at Carnegie Hall in the afternoon, we relaxed in the apartment and watched most of To Catch A Thief by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

For the second night in a row, which was also only the second time in forever, we took our car out of the garage and drove a whopping 11 blocks to eat at a wonderful vegetarian Indian restaurant called Pongal on 28th and Lexington Avenue. On a typical Sunday night in NYC (especially in the winter), parking should have been a breeze down there.

Unfortunately, NBC was shooting something down there, and the police had signs all over the neighborhood saying “No Parking” after 7pm. 🙁

I dropped the others off, and after circling the neighborhood twice, found a great spot two blocks away, so it ended up being fine.

We had a fantastic meal that all of us enjoyed, but we also all felt stuffed to the gills afterwards. One of the five of us didn’t have an interest in the comedy, so she walked back to the apartment and relaxed there for the evening. The rest of us drove to Gotham Comedy Club, and we got a great spot on the street, directly across from the front door.

It’s a beautiful club, with a spacious layout between the tables (a very welcome change to lots of NY venues where you are packed in like cattle). Unfortunately, the seats are extremely uncomfortable, and need way more padding. In addition to a cover, they have a two drink per person minimum, or a food order. Obviously, we were too stuffed to order food, so two drinks it was going to be.

Again, unfortunately, our waitress was hyper-aggressive about wanting to start the drinks rolling. We were seated at 8:15pm for a 9pm show, so it was disappointing to get that much pressure/attitude that early in the evening. To boot, the gratuity is built in to the check…

We really went to see Jamie Lissow, who was the MC last night. When he came out, he was pretty funny, but 95% was interacting with the crowd (“Where are you from?”, followed by funny ad-libs, etc.). He was definitely good with the crowd. Unfortunately, while he was on stage between every act, he only told two or three jokes, instead just making introductions the rest of the evening.

There were roughly seven other comedians last night. All of them had good stage presence, and each had at least one good joke, a few of them a handful. Unfortunately, all but one of them resorted to ultra-crude humor to try and get laughs. We haven’t been to a comedy club in ages, so perhaps this is the norm. It just happens to not be that clever (in our opinion) and is, in fact, lazy.

The crudeness actually doesn’t bother me at all, but it really bugs Lois, so I cringe when they say something that I know is flat out offensive. Jerry Seinfeld (among many others) has proven that you can have a 100% clean act and still make it. Of course, perhaps it’s much harder to actually think about everyday life, and spin it in a funny way, rather than another sex joke filled with curse words…

The last comic, Kevin Flynn, who was the best of the bunch (not including Jamie) was introduced as having been in a movie with Ben Stiller (The Heartbreak Kid). IMDB doesn’t list him, but oscars.org does, so I am not 100% sure.

After the show was over we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to say hello to Jamie, and let him know that I was the guy whose blog he commented on. Hopefully, he got a kick out of that.

We definitely enjoyed the evening and were glad we went, but on balance, we’d rather see live music than gamble on the quality of comedians we haven’t seen before.

We got back to the apartment a little after 11pm, and watched the end of To Catch A Thief. We didn’t discuss the movie afterwards, as Lois and I went straight to bed. But, just based on body language, I’m guessing that I enjoyed it more than the other four people combined. 😉

Jamie Lissow Strikes Again

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If you read this post, and this one, you know that we thoroughly enjoyed seeing Jamie Lissow perform with Kevin Meaney at Tarrytown Music Hall last Friday night.

If you have lots of extra time on your hands, and also read the very few comments made on my blog, then you also know that I only found out Jamie’s last name because he posted a comment and that’s how I discovered it. 🙂

Once I learned his last name, I went to his site. There, I found out that he was appearing on a TV show called Red Eye, on Fox News Channel. This is a comedy show at 3am that does a fast-paced take on items in the news. I’ve seen it once or twice in the past.

So, I set the DVR and we’re watching it now (it was on at 3am this morning). The entire show is actually pretty funny, and Jamie held his own really well! During one of his very funny lines, they flashed a message that he was appearing this coming Sunday at the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC.

I went to their site, and he wasn’t listed. There are two shows on Sunday, and both are audition shows. Lois called, and Jamie is the MC of the second show at 9pm.

Under normal circumstances, we would definitely go. This weekend, we have three people staying with us. When we have company, we work hard to find things that they will enjoy, rather than things that we might otherwise do ourselves. So, if this isn’t their cup of tea, we will end up passing.

In order to leave our options open, we made a reservation for five people for the 9pm show, just in case, and we explained the situation to the person who took our reservation. 😉

Obviously, we’ll cancel well in advance if we end up doing something different.

Whether we go or not, if you want to see a funny comedian (and perhaps many of them), then go to the Gotham Comedy Club this Sunday night for the 9pm show!

Jamie Lissow and Brian Kiley

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In this post, I mentioned two guest comedians whose names I wasn’t sure about.

Thankfully, one of them, Jamie Lissow, commented on my posting, so I now have his correct name and website (now linked to his name earlier in this sentence). A very funny guy who you should try and see live if you get a chance!

That inspired me to check for Brian again. It turns out I guessed the spelling of his last name incorrectly. It’s Brian Kiley, one of the writers on the Conan O’Brien show. He’s extremely funny as well.

I feel better now that the record has been set straight on these two talented comedians! 🙂

Kevin Meaney at Tarrytown Music Hall

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A while ago, Lois and I had to make a decision as to which of two shows to attend last night (December 7th, 2007). There was another Dave Koz and friends concert (including Jonathan Butler, who blew me away the last time), at the Beacon Theater, and Kevin Meaney at the Tarrytown Music Hall.

We loved the Dave Koz concert last time, so that would have been an easy one to pick. That said, we like to spend weekends at the house whenever possible, and I like Kevin Meaney (and comedy in general), so we decided to see Kevin.

It was snowing much of the day, so only having to drive 10 minutes was welcome, though we had to walk very carefully from where we parked.

Kevin was pretty funny right off the bat. I knew that he had a few guests scheduled (it was his Christmas Show), so I was actually a little surprised that he opened the show himself.

He brought out seven little kids (the oldest had to be 7 or 8). He interviewed each of them, and it was absolutely hysterical. Then they all sang one Christmas song together, and the kids were done. Very cute.

After a little while, he introduced a comic whose name I didn’t catch, but both Lois and I think his first name is Jamie (see comments, as we now know his last name is Lissow), and he lives in NYC. He had a slightly strange style, and it took a few minutes for him to warm up, or for the crowd to warm up to him, but once he got rolling, he was really funny. Cheeks were officially hurting by the time he was done.

After a few more jokes by Kevin, they broke for intermission. After the intermission, he introduced a comic whose name I thought was Brian Kylie Kiley (now we know) (sp?) who is a staff writer on Conan O’Brien. Unfortunately, I’ve tried to search for him (and Jamie) and couldn’t find either, so I am sure I got his name wrong too.

He was essentially a one-style comic, but he had it honed to perfection. He would tell the setup, wait five bananas, and deliver a punch line that was always 100% misdirection. Here is a typical example, though this particular joke is both old, and not even remotely one of his better ones: “Now that I’m a parent, I call my Dad for advice more often. He always says the same thing… (count to five bananas…) ‘How did you get this number?'”.

Anyway, the above joke aside, he was very funny. My cheeks really hurt again when he was done.

The only marginally unfortunate thing is that Kevin Meaney ended the show with a movie that he shot in Tarrytown that afternoon. There were clever moments, and it showed off his skill at improvising, but ultimately, it wasn’t that funny, and there were a few uncomfortable moments as well. It was a waste of time…

I am an over-the-moon lover of comedy. I would rather laugh than do anything else. I am also an easy mark. I am happy to laugh at bad jokes, if I can see where the joke was heading. Lois, on the other hand, enjoys a good laugh, but the joke better be clean, and delivered well, etc. In other words, she’s a much tougher critic than I am.

I really didn’t expect her to enjoy the show last night, and I greatly appreciated that she was willing to go in good spirits. Thankfully, she really liked both Jamie and Brian (again, perhaps we got the names wrong), and 1/2 of Kevin’s stuff made her laugh as well (she was nuts over the part with the little kids).

So, it was a very successful evening!