Rooftop Comedy Guest Editor Daniel Lehman

Rooftop Comedy Guest Editor: Daniel Lehman

Daniel Lehman is a writer and editor for the actors’ trade publication Back Stage, where he also writes about the New York City stand-up, sketch, and improv comedy scenes for and Blog Stage online. While not a performer himself, as a Casting Editor at Back Stage, Lehman works to find casting calls, open mic nights, and other performance opportunities for actors and comedians in New York and across the country. Comedians can find new comedy gigs every week in the pages of Back Stage and online at, or check out the Back Stage Facebook and Twitter pages for more, updated daily.

Click the links below to watch Daniel Lehman’s stand-up comedy video picks online at

Kumail Nanjiani: “Creation science fair

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Is any comedian having a better year than Kumail Nanjiani? He’s been called a rising “Comedian to Watch” by Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and New York magazine, wrote and starred in Michael and Michael Have Issues on Comedy Central, performed on Letterman and The Colbert Report, hosted the Gotham Awards, was chosen for Comedy Central’s “Hot List,” toured his stand-up act, and is developing a sitcom pilot for NBC. Kumail deserves the acclaim, as a very funny comedian who takes the time to step back and enjoy the wonderment of our bizarre society.

Jackie Kashian: “The hilarity of men

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I am guilty of this crime, and I suspect Jackie got help from my girlfriend — whose patience I test every day with what she considers my increasingly “middle-aged dad-like” sense of humor — when writing this hilarious bit about being forced to laugh at her father’s lame jokes. After all, doesn’t the best comedy use a specific example to reveal a universal truth?

Mark Riccadonna: “Drinking with my brother

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Riccadonna’s story reminds me of my road trip to New Orleans a few years ago, where my friends and I were driven around by a local guy who was drinking steadily from an open six-pack in his front seat. It’s frighteningly thrilling to get away with something like that.

Chris Porter: “Elevator etiquette

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Any well-rounded comedy list needs a good rant, right? Porter aims his righteous anger at people who selfishly disregard proper etiquette in public spaces. (Feel free to substitute subway cars, revolving doors, or the tops of escalators for the same effect.) Maybe now I can ride the New York City elevators and subways in peace, knowing that, somewhere out there, former Last Comic Standing contestant Chris Porter is standing up for me.

Joe Klocek: “Joe Klocek and a heckler on stage

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It’s a rare and risky move when a comic invites a heckler to join him onstage, a ploy that almost backfires on Joe Klocek in this sometimes painful clip. But Klocek controls the stage and handles the situation like a pro, winning this awkward 8 Mile-style stand-up battle by making sure the audience is still laughing with him. For the record, I don’t recommend taking this approach with every drunk audience member – but it sure is funny to kick ’em when they’re down.

Daniel Lehman is the “Guest Editor” for Rooftop Comedy the week of Jan. 18-24, 2010 online at