Archives for posts with tag: New York City
Tom Shillue

Tom Shillue

The ECNY Awards, celebrating the best of the comedic performing arts in New York, were presented Monday night, March 8, at the city’s Comix comedy club. Fifteen awards were given out, in categories ranging from best male standup comedian to outstanding achievement in the field of tweeting.

For the third year in a row, Jon Friedman (“The Rejection Show,” “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”) hosted the show. “It’s weird to choose a winner in comedy,” Friedman said before the ceremony, comparing the ECNY Awards with the previous night’s Academy Awards. “Comedy is so subjective, and any comic can simply have an off night on any given night. Or, as a comic, you can connect with certain people and not at all with others, no matter what day or night it is. Whereas with a film—say, for best picture—that film is exactly the same every time it’s shown.”

Among the past ECNY winners presenting awards were Kurt Braunohler (BBC’s “Penelope Princess of Pets”), Sara Benincasa (Sirius Satellite Radio), Leo Allen (“Saturday Night Live”), Pat Baer (UCB Theatre), Reggie Watts, Kumail Nanjiani (“Michael and Michael Have Issues”), and Michelle Collins ( Other presenters included Michael Musto (The Village Voice) and Andrew W.K., with a special video greeting from Michael Ian Black (The State).

Upon accepting his award for best one-person show early in the evening, Tom Shillue said of the raucous event, “The future of comedy is community. And that’s what this is.” Shillue then exceeded his 30-second acceptance-speech limit, was played off the stage with “Me So Horny” blaring from the speakers, and cursed everyone he had just thanked. Read the rest of this entry »

Kumail Nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani

Standup comedian Kumail Nanjiani relocated to New York City from Chicago in 2007 to jump-start his career. Fast-forward just two years, and Nanjiani has been named a comedian to watch by Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and New York magazine, writes for and performs on the Comedy Central series “Michael & Michael Have Issues,” has appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “The Colbert Report,” and Comedy Central’s “Hot List,” and is touring his standup act. This year he’s also developing a sitcom pilot for NBC.

And he did it with a little help from his friends. Nanjiani knew other Chicago transplants in New York, such as comedian Pete Holmes, and he’d opened for Zach Galifianakis on tour before moving to the city. As soon as he landed in New York, Nanjiani started performing regularly at open-mike nights, where he met and built relationships with more-established comics like Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter.

“It was sort of lucky, where I had known the right people coming here, and then once I did shows, I always had the right people seeing me,” Nanjiani says. His rapid success is the exception rather than the rule, of course, but his career suggests the many opportunities available for comic performers in New York, whether their goal is standup, improvisation, or sketch comedy. Read the rest of this entry »

You can’t really understand a neighborhood until you live in it. Your friend who lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side will tell you that his block on 91st Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue, is quiet and peaceful on a Wednesday afternoon.

But that description tells you nothing about what he might have actually seen when he looked out the window, or when he opened the door to his building that day. Read the rest of this entry »