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Entries in Carolines (5)

Monday
Aug162010

The Honey Shot - Harrison Greenbaum

Harrison Greenbaum | Photo: Kyle Buzby

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss Harrison performing in "Breakout Artists Series," TUES, AUG 17 @ 8PM at Carolines on Broadway | Tickets

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.

Wednesday
May192010

The Honey Shot - Todd Barry

Todd Barry | Photo: Patrick Wright

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss Todd Barry performing at Caroline's TONIGHT @ 9:30PM through SUN, MAY 23 | Tickets
  • Q&A: Apiary bro-han Michael Grinspan (Caroline's blog) caught up with Todd for a quick few.
    You normally play downtown, more alternative rooms, but this past November you opened for Ricky Gervais at Carnegie Hall. How was it to perform in such a different (and legendary) setting?
    TB: I actually play all over New York, not just downtown, but I do often play downtown, because I live downtown. I've been lucky enough to do Carnegie Hall twice; the first time was with Sarah Silverman. It's sort of surreal, but once I was on stage, it was more like doing a normal show than I thought. Except that it was in Carnegie Hall.
    You’re a staple of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, starring in "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," "Home Movies," and most recently "Squidbillies." Why are Todd Barry and Adult Swim such a good match?
    TB: I think because they give me work and I want the work. The nice thing about doing animation is that once they use you, they'll just call you in again and again, without having to audition. Last time I was in Atlanta, I wrote to Adult Swim -- their offices are down there -- to let them know I was in town. The next thing I knew I was doing the voice of "Bird #2" on Aqua Teen.
    In 2008 you took a bit of departure from comedy to star in the film "The Wrestler." Did the success of that movie surprise you? Does it make you want to take on more dramatic parts?
    TB: I had a feeling it would do well, but I certainly didn't anticipate the attention it got. I'd be up for a more dramatic role, as long as I don't end up embarrassing myself.
    Does the movie's success make you want to wrestle professionally?
    TB:
    Yes. I'm actually looking into it. I think I'd be a natural.

-- Don't miss Todd Barry headlining at Carolines starting THURS, MAY 20 @ 9:30PM. He'll be performing through SUN, MAY 23.

Addendum - Does the success of ‘The Wrestler’ make you want to wrestle professionally?
Yes. I'm actually looking into it. I think I'd be a natural.
Tuesday
Apr062010

INSIDE WITH: MIKE BIRBIGLIA

Mike Birbiglia | Photo courtesy of Mike Birbiglia

By: Keith Huang

On Thursday, standup statesman Mike Birbiglia makes his way back home to Carolines for a four-day headliner "special engagement." According to a recent Tweet, the never-not-working comic says he'll be  performing all new material. But before he launches into what promises to be a weekend of raucous laughter, The Apiary shot him some random questions for which he had some very good answers.

So I saw the Final Four bracket you filled out for the Georgetown University blog -- pretty brutal. Have you ever won a bracket pool?
You can win those things? As a Georgetown alum, I was a little biased in my picks. I will not be opening one of those $3.99/minute gambling hotlines anytime soon. Incidentally, on the one I didn’t submit, I had Butler beating Michigan State.

Who do you have opening for you these days? And who are the up-and-coming comics are on your fave list?
My friend Sean Conroy has been opening a number of shows for me lately, as well as Boston-native Joe Wong. He's a scientist-comedian. Another new comic who's great is Geoff Tate out of Cincinnati. Lots of great New York guys Joe Mande, Gabe Liedman, Max Silvestri ... others. 

Nowadays when you Google "Mike Birbiglia," what you find online could fit in the Library of Congress. Back in the day, what was one of the first things you remember finding your name in when you Googled yourself?
Mainly Google would just ask me, "Did you mean 'bibliography?'" I actually used to be a big "Ask Jeeves" guy, but then they fired Jeeves. I heard he threw a fit. Started wandering the streets answering questions people weren't even asking.

I've read that you've been spending a lot of time preparing your new book. How far along are you with the book?
I have been working hard on Sleepwalk With Me and Other Stories. I’ve written a lot of words so far, but they keep telling me it’s more than just the number of words, it’s the words you choose, and how you arrange the words. I’m like, “Eh, I’m pretty sure you just need to write enough words.”

Are you going to have a traditional book tour?
I will have a traditional book tour, with special shows, signings, all that kind of stuff. I’m REALLY excited about the book, though. I  think it’s the best writing I’ve done. But who knows, maybe people will hate it, and, by proxy, me.

How would you describe the standup scene in New York today compared to when you started? I ask this because it seems that nearly all of your contemporaries who stuck with it have gone on to do some incredible things (like yourself)...
It’s true. Almost everyone I started with who stuck with it is in every movie or television show I see. I sometimes talk about this with my friend Eugene [Mirman]. His advice for aspiring comics when they ask for advice is "start doing it and then keep doing it for like 10 years." I think that’s pretty accurate.

And, finally, what are your Top 3 Favorite Tweets of yours ever?
Here’s 4 ...

  • "did a bar mitzvah. a bar mitzvah is like a wedding except you don't have to get married. maybe tiger woods should have had a bar mitzvah."
  • "Millions of people around the world loved the movie 'Up.' One guy said, "We are so doing that, but with our child." #balloonboy 
  • "After Meet the Press, I'm planning to watch 'Meet the Press 2: 'Meet the fuckers' starring Sarah Palin."
  • (after tiger woods’ famous voicemail was released) "hey....twitter followers...if you could just pull down your avatar....my wife found out i have 25k followers. thanks. huge."

--Don't miss Mike Birbiglia headlining at Carolines starting THURS, APRIL 8 @ 8PM. He'll be performing through SUN, APRIL 11.

Friday
Mar192010

The Honey Shot

John Mulaney | Photo: Jesse Chan-Norris

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss John Mulaney headlining TONIGHT @ 8PM and 10:30PM (and SAT, MARCH 20 @ 8PM & 10:30PM) at Carolines on Broadway | Tickets

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.

Thursday
Nov192009

Lessons Learned Behind the Scenes of the 2009 New York Comedy Festival - Part 1 | By: Michael Grinspan

Hi. My name is Michael Grinspan; I'm a comedian, a producer, and I am lucky enough to have one of the best gigs in New York - working in the publicity department at Carolines on Broadway (America's Premier Comedy Nightclub). Now, Carolines produces the New York Comedy Festival, which took over NYC November 4th - 8th, and as the editor of Caroline's new blog it was my job to go to every show and record anything and everything for internet posterity. Over the course of five days, I saw and met Stephen Colbert, Lisa Lampanelli, Ricky Gervais, and Tracy Morgan just to name a few. I saw a lot and, more importantly, learned a lot, lessons which the Apiary has been kind enough to let me share with you today and tomorrow.

Lesson #1 - Don't mess with Cindy Adams

The only thing that gets between Cindy Adams and her scoops: Puppies! | Photo: Patrick McMullanThe 2009 New York Comedy Festival kicked off with the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s Stand Up for Heroes, a tux-and-gown fundraiser headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Colbert, Lisa Lampanelli, and Louis CK. Now Stand Up for Heroes featured your typical red carpet – typical press and typical celebrities - only it wasn't anything typical for me, because this was to be my first red carpet.

In need of some journalistic advice, I spotted Cindy Adams, the New York Post's legendary gossip columnist, sitting at the end of the carpet wrapped in a fluorescent maroon fuzzy lamb vest. Getting my schmooze on, and with the whole press line watching, I asked, "Hey Cindy! With all your experience, do you have any advice for a guy reporting on his first red carpet?" Cindy looked me up and down and up again and replied, "Sure, I have some advice for you, sweetie... STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME AND MY STORY!!!"

Snap! Did I just get burned... by a woman wearing a thneed? What kind of comeback can cancel out a Maude-esque gem like that? Nothing! Cindy Adams cut me down like a god damn Truffula tree and I just had to take it lest she skin me the way she apparently skinned Grimace for her outfit. To be fair, I actually talked to Cindy later and she admitted she was just having some fun at my expense, but the lesson was clear--don't mess with Cindy Adams.

Lesson #2 - Poorly Placed Bathrooms Lead to Comic Gold

Any high school drama nerd can attest to how easily things can get messy backstage. An incident at Stand Up for Heroes really underlined how something as simple as the placement of a bathroom backstage can lead to some hilarious and unintended consequences. With too many performers and too few dressing rooms, Town Hall (the venue for Stand Up for Heroes.) hosted its VIPs downstairs, jam-packing people like Bob Woodruff, Stephen Colbert, and, well, me into the same 12' x 60' basement corridor. We're talking Nobu catering across from exposed copper wiring and a Jameson bar across from a "Facts on Asbestos Poisoning" poster. The best part was the VIP bathrooms; two unfortunately located stalls situated directly on the corridor. The perfect recipe for a messy backstage moment.

About an hour into the show, Bruce Springsteen wrapped up his set and ran through the corridor to his dressing room. Bob Woodruff, who was being followed by a camera crew all night, managed to work Springsteen into a corner and ask him some questions. Not five seconds into the interview a loud toilet flush interrupted the shoot and elicited shocked groans from everyone watching. What jackass just interrupted Bob Woodruff ? I thought. And that’s when Stephen Colbert exited the stall. The room burst into laughter as Stephen glanced around and mooned “Oh shit!” Without missing a beat, Stephen then proceeded to ham it up and just totally ruin the interview. Check out the video of Stephen really sealing the deal.

Anyone else leaving that stall would've been fired. But Stephen Colbert? He knows what do with a poorly placed and poorly timed bathroom exit.

Lesson #3 – Don’t Fall Face First Down a Flight of Stairs 

I know this lesson seems both obvious and unrelated, but let me explain. After hanging with Dane Cook at the Garden and partying with New York’s funniest stand ups the night before, I was pretty much on top of the world Thursday night. “I’m damn near invincible,”  I thought to myself as I ran to catch the 1 train. BIG MISTAKE. As my ‘invincible’ ass ran for the 1, my feet came out from under me and, as the title indicates, I FELL FACE FIRST DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS.

I didn’t pass out, but I was bleeding profusely.  Rather than be that-guy-with-the-gushing-head-wound on the subway (you know the one) I decided to catch a cab. As empty cabs flew by, some guy from across Broadway actually shouted “You need to get yo’self to a mothafucking hospital!” Pride in shambles, all I could think to say back was “You don’t know me. All I do is fall down the stairs!” (I don’t). Finally a cab stopped and took me home. I cleaned my head off, taped a bag of ice to my wound and debated between going to sleep and going to the hospital. "Don't go to sleep!" you shout at your screen, "You could have a concussion! Go to the hospital! Don't go to sleep!" I went to sleep.

I woke up the next day at around 7 a.m. and thought “Why does my mouth taste like blood? Oh. That’s right.” So I got up and went to Cornell Medical Center.  I got my head sewn up and donned the only baseball hat I own – my bright red Phillies hat. “Lucky” for me, Friday was the day of the Yankees parade and everyone in NY was wearing Yankees gear; the first day I actually need to wear my Phillies hat and it’s literally the worst time and place ever to do so. But I had work to do, so I rushed from the hospital to Carolines. My boss – who hadn't heard what happened to me – took one look at my bandages and my Phillies hat and demanded, “Who did this to you?! Who attacked you?!"

I worked the rest of the festival wearing a bruised and battered face and a brand new NYPD hat. Although my head required over a dozen stitches, I think the largest injury I suffered that day was to my pride...

More life lessons from behind the scenes of the NYCF tomorrow!.