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Entries in Eugene Mirman (4)


The 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival @ Union Park, Chicago - 7.16.10 

Michael Showalter | Photo by Clay Adamczyk

Festival-goers at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival were already ready to escape the 90 degree sun when comedy took the stage at 5:30 on Friday, the first day of the three day event. Kids with varying degrees of mustaches, baseball jerseys, feathers, and tattoos spread themselves out in the shaded, woodland area of Stage Balance, the smallest and furthest removed stage (yet situated closest to glorious beer). Tim Harrington, flamboyant lead singer of Les Savy Fav, 'hosted' the first ever comedy presentation at Pitchfork, mostly by throwing giveaways at kids sat closest to the stage and inviting contestants up to the stage for a marshmallow eating contest. The whole production ended up coming off as a hokey advertisement for Kraft, and ended with one contestant getting ‘sick’ (cue an absurd flood of multi-colored gag vomit). Harrington was amusing in and of himself, but his hosting didn’t do much to set up the showcase of some of the hottest comedians working right now.

Chicago’s own superstar Hannibal Buress opened as the first comedian to do Pitchfork, commanding the stage while also fighting the band playing simultaneously across the park. The opposing performers were dance punk trio The Liars, who at one point seemingly got louder at the exact time Buress was taking one of his signature pauses. This elicited one of the funnier quips about the perpetual sound bleed, as Buress asked the band, “What? You got a problem? That’s it! We got beef now. This is going to be one of most obscure beefs ever.” All in all, Buress commended the experience, saying, "I was really excited to be able to perform at Pitchfork; it was definitely fun to do a large outdoor event like that in my hometown."

Buress rumbles through his 45 minute set only slightly distracted from that point on, and the crowd is responding. However, their laughter kept drifting away in the wind, and the music across the way was sometimes the only answer the performer could hear. This was evident when Michael Showalter took the stage, first “competing” with his rock enemy, by faux-DJing on a laptop. He tried to get off some bits and stories, but soon was overcome with distractions, and became nearly hostile at suggestions from a few that he “do” some of his State characters. He attempted to address the situation of doing comedy in the out of doors at a music festival, saying you have to essentially be autistic to be able to perform in this setting, and luckily he has tendencies towards that condition. As he continued to meander and falter, the mostly supportive crowd began to drift, and at one point the singer on the opposing stage asked his crowd, “How we doing?” which elicited some cheers and whoops. It was getting increasingly surreal. Showalter mused, "All that’s missing is 400 people banging pots and pans together." He ended up leaving the stage approximately 15 minutes early.

Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac managed to smoothly incorporate his stories in a rhythmic overlap to Robyn’s sunny pop. More people were drifting over to the shaded area, spreading blankets and eating their festival dinners. Some napped.    

The wind picked up and the temperature began cooling off. Eugene Mirman was the comedy closer for Pitchfork 2010, and he handled his business downright professional. The sound bleed was acknowledged, as he remarked that it sounded like a musical spaceship was landing in the field, and then soldiered on. At one point he was having so much fun and so was the crowd, both with his material and his asides about the weirdness of the venue, that he exclaimed, “This is actually fine!” And it was fine. Sure, it wasn’t 100 percent optimal conditions for a stand-up comedy set, but it ended up feeling like everyone was in it together, and it was a blessed reprieve for festival attendees who needed to take a sit-down-and-laugh break. 

Mirman’s not a stranger to festivals, having performed in “ten or twenty” of them, he said. In reflecting on the Pitchfork experience the next day, Mirman said, “It went pretty good during my set. There were only a few moments that it was so loud that it was weird. With these things, often the audience is fine; the music is facing the comedians and the comedians can’t hear how loud they are through the sound… In general though this was fun; this is a very fun festival. The reason I come out is partially to see the bands and see friends and hang out.”

“I could see that people were laughing and that it was essentially going alright,” he added.  

--Kristy Mangel


Comedy to Join Uber-Hip Pitchfork Music Fest

Chicago! | Photo by Seth OlenickThis past Monday, Pitchfork released the schedule of their much bally-hooed summer 2010 music festival, in addition to the news that a comedy stage will be included as part of the festival for the first time ever. To appear Friday, July 16, will be festival slap-happy Eugene Mirman, Michael Showalter, Wyatt Cenac, and Chicago golden-boy expat Hannibal Buress, with host Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav.

Pitchfork Music Festival takes place in Chicago's Union Park, July 16-18. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are sold out; Friday's are quickly being snatched up after the announcement of the newly added comedy stage.

8:30 Modest Mouse
8:00 Eugene Mirman
7:20 Broken Social Scene
7:15 Michael Showalter
6:30 Wyatt Cenac
6:25 Robyn
5:45 Hannibal Buress
5:30 Liars
4:35 El-P
4:00 Tallest Man On Earth
3:30 Sharon Van Etten

--Kristy Mangel


Eugene Mirman and Pretty Good Friends @ Prospect Park - 6.17.10

By: Paul Gale

Last Thursday, Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell was home to Eugene Mirman & Pretty Good Friends, the latest installment in BRIC's mostly free and totally awesome Celebrate Brooklyn! series. The two hour show was a fun and relaxing combination of comedy, music, and friendship. Mirman, who performed at the top of the night, was a refined and generous headliner, acting more as a host than a star. He seemed to genuinely enjoy and believe in his friends, and with supporting acts like Kumail Nanjiani and Michael Showalter, why shouldn't he?

Even in a venue of 1,000+, Mirman, thanks to a large projector screen, employed his signature take on prop comedy, showing nonsensical posters that he made for the Tea party ("Liberty / Don't Tread On Tea!" among other, and funnier ones that I didn't write down).  In between acts, Mirman performed small bits, including one in which he handed out homemade, mostly Robin Williams themed, Father's Day cards. ("You are a better dad than the one from Dead Poet's Society.")

It was Showalter's 40th birthday, and, picking up one of musical guest Blitzen Trapper's guitars, the Brooklyn resident gave his 12-year-old self a present by miming an excerpt from "Sunday Bloody Sunday," while sloppily singing the lyrics. But the festivities didn't stop there.

At the end of Showalter's set, which mainly consisted of him giving away some of his old books by throwing them into the crowd, Mirman brought out a life-size cat cake with Showalter's face on it. Michael humbly accepted the bizarre gift, acknowledging his love for cats; minutes later, he came back out and presented Mirman with the cake's severed head, a fork, and a napkin.  

Michael Showalter gives Eugene a slice of birthday cake

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Invite Them Up @ The Bowery Ballroom - 12.14.6

Image Hosted by Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale brought their celebrated friends to The Bowery Ballroom for a year-end Invite Them Up blowout. NOTES --The show was sponsored by, a promising looking broadband network produced by Turner that is launching in January. More info HERE. --Many of the night's performers have stuff in development with SuperDeluxe. --A lucky Random Audience Member was presented a 250 dollar wad of CASH on-stage with the condition that she somehow use that money to make a video for SuperDeluxe. Seconds after being handed the money, she crazily raced through the venue tossing it into the air. --BIG POPS: Reggie Watts on mouthsex, Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler (as Jesus) having a Dirty Dancing moment to "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," and Jon Glaser's wicked heel turn as Jonny Attitude. --Daniel Kitson was SPOTTED enjoying some cotton candy with John Oliver. Anyone know what Kitson is up to here? --John Oliver has never heard of Ween. --Not as big a crowd as last year's show. One blogger is wondering whether the turnout is a measure of a burst comedy bubble. Eugene Mirman gave a starstruck fan an "aneurysm of joy" less than 2 days ago in LA, so we think it has more to do with the promotion than anything else and that the bubble is a-okay. --More pics from the show at the ITU MySpace page. Image Hosted by Image Hosted by Gabe Leidman & Jenny Slate do a solid impression of the Indigo Girls 69-ing each other Image Hosted by Jonny Attitude, we thought you were sincere Image Hosted by Paul F. Tompkins

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