What the Heck Makes a Man?!

MarieClaire.com recently asked a few of us lady comedians to answer the question “What Makes a Man”?

…and it came out somethin’ hilarious ;)

It’s a cool lil slide show of different “manly” film/TV characters, with our definitions of men beside each pic.  I was STOKED that mine were matched with literally my top celeb crushes, Spock/Zach Quinto and Chuck Bass/Ed Westwick (and Walker, Texas Ranger/Chuck Norris)!

Here’s one of my blurbs:

Click the pic to read the full article on MarieClaire.com

That’s just one!!!  So check out the piece!

I think we did women everywhere proud – we being “some of the funniest women in the country”:  myself, Carolyn Castiglia, Sara Benincasa, Jamie Lee, Chelsea White and Alison Rosen.  We also commentated it up on a previous MC piece,  A Girl’s Guide to the Late Night Fight.

Not all my material was used, so here are a few of the rejects that did not make the cut:

Reject #1 – A man owns lotion, but does not care to use it unless his skin is cracking on top like an oatmeal cookie.

Reject # 2 – A man can tell the difference between the “Family Guy”, “American Dad”, and “The Cleveland Show”

Reject # 3 – A man never orders anything with the word “Chai” in it.

Reject #4 – A man is someone who, as an individual, should never purchase a Bichon Frise.

Reject # 5 – A man is someone who does not realize how awesome shoes are.

Jen’s 2008 Review: My Fellow Comedians and What I Would Do To Them

My 2008 review of la vida comica would incomplete without a post on my fellow NY comedians. Here are some of the favorite people I’ve met over the past year and what I would fucking do to them (but can’t because of two or more barriers).


If I Were Single And These Guys Were Straight…

Sexy cub in da wa-tah!

Baby cub in da wa-tah!

A wizard from da streets is where it's at, son!

A wizard from da streets is where it's at, son!

…what wouldn’t I do to these guys?!  I already collaborate with these talented f***ers, but in an alternate universe, I’d be first in line to cuddle up with these campy – but never trampy – entertainers!  Ben Lerman and Soce, the Elemental Wizard are two of the best personalities on the NY comedy/music scene, and I always look forward to their super-tight, super-hilarious, super-true to themselves performances.  Ben is as close to a white, male ukulele player version of me as you can get and Soce is a multi-tasking producer and rapper whose freestyle battles skills are beyond compare.

. ……. … .. …. ….

If I Was a Kleptomaniac And Had More Closet Space, I’d Ravage…

Funky Coolster!

Funky Coolster!

Shane Webb‘s wardrobe!  She’s a true original, though her onstage dervish does remind me a little of Maria Bamford (albeit more kindergarten art teacher than lady-with-shopping cart).  She also shares my many color clashing fashion aesthetic, though I think she is slightly more daring than my ass!  If you see her around town but aren’t sure that it’s her, just look for a picnic blanket-print bag with a sunny side up egg and bacon smiley face on it!

. ……. … .. …. ….

If I Had More Time On My Hands And Were A LOT Creepier, I Would Take An Unpaid “Internship” So I Could Follow…

This guy is so good, he scares me.

This guy is so good, he scares me.

Is he wearing eyeliner, or is that definition a blessing from God?!

Is he wearing eyeliner and color contacts, or are they all just gifts from God?!

A genius in more ways than one.

A genius in more ways than one.

Kumail Nanjiani, Sean Patton and Sara Benincasa around on alternating days (which would have varying degrees of creepiness because I’ve performed with Kumail but have never met him so he’d be like “Who the hell is this secret admirer chick?”, I’ve met Sean once but never performed with him so he’d be like “Oh yeah, that comedy hanger-on who chatted me up at the bar.”, and I’ve worked quite a bit with Sara on Ultimate Gossip Girl Summit and Family Hour so she’d be like “Um…Kwok, all you had to do was ask…”

There are a lot of great performers on the NY scene that I could theoretically stalk, but I really admire these guys (and lady) for being the creme of the crop of young, original, daring and really effing good comics.  Any of these guys have “new” or “off the cuff” material that kicks a lot of people’s “A” material’s ass.  It would be criminal if all three didn’t blow up in 2009.  I’m convinced that Kumail is a special elf with the power to make anything funny, Sean is an alien sent from a marsh-like planet where they breed people to tell hilarious f***ed up stories, and Sara grew up in a cabbage patch where she was watered with George Carlin’s perspiration and raised in a compost of Paris Hilton’s PR saavy.

. ……. … .. …. ….

If We Were Ever In The Same Place At The Same Time And I Wasn’t Too Shy, I’d Say Hi To…

Hello...?

Hello...?

…fellow musical comedian Jessica Delfino, whom more than one person has compared me to on more than one occasion.  But now I’ve just mucked it all up by writing about her and downloading (then uploading) her picture on my blog.  However, it we are so similar we are probably interchangeable, so I can safely assume that we will never be booked on the same show.  She is like my Jiwon Lee of the ukulele.  Or Jiwon is like my Asian Jessica Delfino.  Or something.  I’LL NEVER BE FREE!!!

Jen’s 2008 Review: Comedy Venues

Hey you guys! I started writing a blog about my past year in comedy (my first full year doing this crazy life) and it ended up being really…depressing. Since starting comedy, I’ve had over seven jobs in ten months (accounting temp, pet sitter, pre-k teacher, barista, VH1 blogger, craigslist spammer, background/extra for TVs and movies, etc.), performed at 70+ shows (from back rooms to Highline Ballroom) and gone on a few dozen auditions (from reading sides in the back of a diner to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart).  No doubt it was a damn roller coaster and I barely got through it.

So…maybe it’s not the most realistic thing to do, but I am just gonna focus on the highlights in taking a look back at this year.  This is the first in a series of stuff worth remembering:

The PIT (People’s Improv Theatre)

MC Hammerstein at The PIT

MC Hammerstein at The PIT

I’ve been in/around The PIT since 2006 and it continues to be, to me, the best all-around comedy venue (and school!) It consistently has the best shows, the most diversity (in programming, people, etc.) and an undeniably welcoming attitude.  The PIT’s definitely been through its changes, but it is truly a bright light on the New York comedy scene:  an open/non-snobby atmosphere combined with stellar quality.  Unlike a lot of comedy shows (and trust me, I’ve seen almost a hundred this year!), I can say without exception that The PIT has never failed to impress me in terms of talent and FUN.  Yes, comedy shows that are fun!!!  This is truly exemplified by the love fest that is Super Free Wednesdays, the weekly free improv show by PIT house teams and faculty.  Some of the top sketch groups in NYC also came out of The PIT, but ticket prices are still low (typical prices are FREE, $5 or $10).   http://www.thepit-ny.com


Stain Bar

Soce, The Elemental Wizard, in action at Stain!

Soce, The Elemental Wizard, in action at Stain!

I first became familiar with this bar/art lounge when I heard about its annual Bjork celebration, and have been a regular since performing at Evan Morgenstern’s Switzerland Neutral Comedy show.  Stain hosts tons of cool events, plus it has great ambience with funky wall art and plaid shirt-covered bar stools.  The humble stage makes it feel like you are hanging out in the coolest living room in the world, although the location of the bathroom at stage left does make things slightly awkward.  Stain also boasts some unique and delicious-against-all-logic wine cocktails (red wine and Manhattan Special?!) and a supercool staff.  As comedian Mark Normand said, it’s like doing comedy “in a Wes Anderson movie”.  It’s a bit off the beaten path in Brooklyn, but it’s absolutely worth the trek.  They’ve also got a huge, gorgeous backyard and it’s much less scene-y than other bars located along the L train.  http://www.stainbar.com/


Ochi’s Lounge

Jen with Soce at Ochi's

Jen with Soce at Ochi's

There are some places I perform at a lot that I have mixed feelings about, like Ochi’s Lounge.  Picking up where Mo Pitkin’s left off, Ochi’s has tons of cool alt shows and frequent drop-ins from established stars.   However, it’s half-love, half-schmego.  Schmooze and ego.  Maybe it’s because I’m too sensitive about my chosen profession – or maybe it’s because Ochi’s is in the basement of Comix, but there are a lot of young comedians folding their arms at each other’s sets.  However, you can tell that Ochi’s means well and the producers are great people who represent a variety of comedic tastes (Sara Benincasa of Familiy Hour, Carol and Sean of Drink at Work, John Morrison of the Motel franchise, Sean/Pat/Blaine of Don’t Touch Me There are just some of them), and it’s all presided over by the ever-lovely Kambri Crewshttp://www.comixny.com/ochislounge.aspx

Next time on Jen”s 2008 Review:  Fellow Comedians