Known for his role as Gene on Bob's Burgers, Ygeny Mirminsky on Delocated or any of his other roles, comedian Eugene Mirman brought his unique style of stand-up to Mahall's last night. Over the years, the New York City-based, Russian-born comedian has created a number of influential comedy showcases. His New York standup variety show series Invite Them Up and Pretty Good Friends received critical acclaim and are well respected by the comedy scene. His strange take on stand-up is much more than merely telling stories. By incorporating his hilarious answers to questionnaires, letters to companies and other mediums, he's made audiences laugh to no end. Last night was no different.
Amy Schumer has got it going on. The attractive blond comic stars in Inside Amy Schumer, a successful comedy show on Comedy Central that returns for a second season on April 1. She’s also in the midst of writing the script to Train Wreck, the new Judd Apatow flick due out in 2015. And she’s booked an extensive tour of mid-sized venues. Her popularity is at a peak.
But things weren’t always so peachy.
“I had a good upbringing, just the normal horrible childhood insecurities and looking all fucked up,” says Schumer via phone from Los Angeles where she was busy revising the Train Wreck script. She performs tomorrow night at the State Theatre. “My parents made me over-confident. That was my problem. I didn’t realize until later years that they had been lying to me.”
"I mean, I was always a huge nerd," he says. "In lieu of having actual interesting things to say about my own life, I would usually drop random factoids into conversations, and people would always say, 'You should be on Jeopardy!'" That's the short version of the story that brought the Broadview Heights resident to the beloved trivia game show.
The slightly longer version involves the actual process: an online test, an in-person audition, a written test, and, lastly, a mock game show — "Just to make sure that you're not completely insane, that they can deal with you on camera," Chu says.
He filmed the episodes back in November; his appearances began airing Jan. 28.
And just that short time, Chu has become a three-day victor on the show (he'll return tonight at 7:30 p.m. to defend the title), as well as a bit of a controversial figure.
According to Chu's Twitter account, he's garnered both a robust fanbase and at least a handful of detractors during his two-day stint on the show thus far. Reading through some of the retweets he's posted, it really begins to seem like tonight's show will be *can't-miss TV* (the episode will air at 7:30 p.m., by the way).
A quick sampling of Internet opinion:
@arthur_affect So happy to see someone playing game theory correct on Jeopardy. Totally nerded out after you bet to tie. You're awesome!— Craig Macnaughton (@CraigMacn) January 30, 2014
I hate that damn stupid Arthur Chu bastard on #jeopardy so much, I want to destroy his stupid dumb asshat face— Jake Publicover (@TheRoyalJake) January 30, 2014
"Well, yeah, but it's bullshit."
"Why?" The young boy clearly didn't understand the man's callousness.
"Because Batista won!"
Now at this point, I had no idea what they were talking about. They eyed me warily and dried off their hands before leaving to discuss this Batista character further. I was a stranger in a strange land: Monday Night RAW at Quicken Loans Arena.
An angry man wearing essentially nothing but a t-shirt strode into the ring. WTF! Who the hell...? The crowd was chanting YES! YES! YES!, and arms were flailing throughout the Q. This was a moment that called for unbroken attention, save for the errant gulp of light beer. The show was on.
This was Daniel Bryan, who began the night by telling off the likes of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon for overseeing an unjust Royal Rumble the night before. This was Daniel Bryan, the guy who garnered the loudest eruptions of cheer and praise and sudsy belches throughout RAW's proceedings. The crowd loved this guy. Hell, I loved this guy. He was committed to the role - and committed even more so to wearing a t-shirt with no pants. (I mean, this wasn't a case of shirt cocking or anything, but that takes some level of determination.)
Listen, I had no idea what was taking place. I didn't watch the Royal Rumble the night before, and I had probably only clocked about six minutes of WWE over the past 15 years. I sure as hell didn't know who Daniel Bryan was. But I began to realize that there was a cogent narrative unfolding here.
Everyone had their favorites (read: DANIEL BRYAN; yes, I eventually joined the masses). And no one liked Randy Orton or Dave Batista or anyone who entered the ring wearing a suit (and rightfully so). In fact, the swell of either raucous cheers or damning boos became the common thread of the night.
You were an active participant in the theater, whether you wanted to be or not (you did). Perhaps what was most interesting to me was how dedicated the WWE fanbase still seems these days. I recall fervent fandom in the late 1990s, back in the WWF era. But the show rolls ever onward.
At times, I probably did the exact opposite of what you should be doing in the crowd at a WWE show when I began silently musing on the subculture of niche interests. The dedication of the people at the Q last night reminded me of my time at, say, Phish concerts. The WWE has gone on steadily over the year, flying ever more under the radar.
Fueled by mutual energy and ample re-ups on beer from the Loudville Grille, I fell into the ebb and flow of the crowd. There were lulls now and then - mostly when WWE would broadcast some sort of advertisement for future matches (and while the USA Network would cut to its own commercials) - but the absurd theater couldn't be ignored.
Voting ends in 10 days. Visit the official page to cast your favor.
The "Office Thief" team has its own website, which is garnering thousands of fans on top of the ad's success in the contest thus far.
One of the great perks of working for Scene this year is extremely talented musicians have started to drop by our office to play acoustically for us. It's great, seriously. We call these three or four-song sets "Scene Sessions" and they showcase the crazy talent of the Cleveland music scene.
As 2013 wraps up, we thought we'd highlight some of the best tracks from the Scene Sessions artists that have stopped by this year and share them with you, our loyal readers, to stream or download as MP3s. So press play on the Scene Sessions - Volume 1 playlist as you're killing time at work, or download them for the too-long drive to your parents' house for Christmas.
To listen to each of the 13 tracks uninterrupted, press play on the Soundcloud playlist. To play individually, just scroll down a little further. To download a song, click on the file name to view it on soundcloud.com and then click the icon that looks like a downward facing arrow. And, of courses, make sure you check out the websites and social media accounts of all the local musicians you enjoy from here.
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