Abbi Crutchfield & Andrew "Soce" Singer host "Positively Awesome" | Photo: Amiessence Fine Arts
Leave it to Abbi Crutchfield and Andrew Singer to come up with "Positively Awesome," quite possibly the most host-friendly comedy showcase in the five boroughs, or at the very least, in the Lower East Side. Their showcase has quickly gained traction among the city's Funny Illuminati, if only because the co-hosts share less than one degree of separation with nearly every living, breathing comic in the tri-state area. The next installment of Positively Awesome is next Tuesday, and to beat the drum, Abbi and Andrew -- both longtime Apiary contributors -- lofted some softballs to each other.
ANDREW: Performers and audience have mentioned how posh and unusual the room is. Should a comedy show be in such a fancy space?
ABBI: Cellar 58 is a swanky wine bar that I thought would attract an audience of balding intellectuals who wear leather shoes. Instead it has drawn balding intellectuals who wear hooded sweatshirts. The unique look of the low-lit room from its walls covered in cork collages and wine bottles to its glass door backdrop inspires comics to riff on the décor, which I love. It’s sexy and sophisticated, like a Diane Lane movie.
ANDREW: How would you address the rumors that we are dating?
ABBI: You love women the way I love IKEA. I appreciate that it exists but I’m never gonna go there. I like that you’re out and people still think we’re a couple. Confusion may come from the fact that I produce The Living Room Show with my husband Luke Thayer who is also a comedian. And who is also hit on by men.
ANDREW: Spot swapping ... good or bad?
ABBI: I turn down offers to swap spots. Luckily our show is snub-free; the comics who don’t want to wait to get booked don’t have to. The last half-hour of each show is called the Night Shift, where we welcome 4 drop-ins. It’s kind of like a bucket spot—good for both open mic’ers and pros. Sean Patton, Myq Kaplan, Ophira Eisenberg, Mike Drucker and Cheslee Calloway are all huge talents that have popped in to take advantage of the Night Shift.
ANDREW: What's the key to running a smooth show?
ABBI: We have a great foundation, and we keep changing parts. It’s like our business model is Glade. Every month is capped off with a theme night (e.g. Positively Awesome Asians, Ladies, Homosexuals), there’s always top notch stand-up, and each show starts and ends with freestyle, sometimes featuring a booked comic who doubles as a musical guest. What changes depends on the guests. I love that Jon Friedman surprised us with a cameo during Stuckey and Murray’s set last month. And Carla Rhodes brought out a singing pigeon. Another key to running it well: knowing that many hands make light work. This is where having kids right after high school would have been a good idea. Hey I have some questions for you.
ABBI: How has your music performance background helped you get laid as a stand-up?
ANDREW: It’s definitely a strange feeling after performing as a musician in NYC and touring all over the US and Europe for over seven years to go back to hitting the open mics, but it’s been great to get a chance to develop a new skill set. Plus, as a rapper performing at comedy shows, I always felt like a tourist trying to blend in with the locals. Now that I’ve been doing stand-up regularly, I can sit around Mustang Sally’s to discuss the ins and outs of the art form over a round of beer.
ABBI: I never got any action at Mustang Sally’s. Some people have come to scout you at our show. Does that make you want to avoid or include them in your weekly freestyle?
ANDREW: I like freestyling shout-outs to scouts, without a doubt because it gives me clout and lots to spout about. There’s nothing more fulfilling than knowing that you’re good enough for talent scouts to drop by your show, appear to really enjoy your set and then never contact you again.
ABBI: Any super-famous comics you would you have on if they were guaranteed to say yes?
ANDREW: I’m very much into guys who are big and strong, so my dream comedy show would contain the following: Jim Gaffigan, Jeffrey Ross, Nick DiPaolo, Louis CK, Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Zach Galifianakis, Eddie Brill or Todd Glass.
ABBI: Let’s go for Eddie Brill since he’s local. To your list I would add anyone who has an assistant. Speaking of Corporate America, what do you like best about our power lunches at Sophie's Cuban Cuisine?
ANDREW: Are you kidding? The green sauce is my absolute favorite. It’s creamy. It’s spicy. It’s creaicy. I can’t ask for much more. As I always say, “Green sauce at Sophie’s, Tuong Ot Sriracha for everything else.”
ABBI: Yeah, you say that a lot.