B-Boy Limping

Punch Up Your Life, 9/22

It’s been an amazing past few days for seeing indie comedy in NYC. Last Thursday through Sunday was the second go-around of Eugene Mirman’s eponymous comedy festival, where I caught the Tearing the Veil of Maya closing night show at The Bell House. Tight sets were delivered by Mirman, Leo Allen, Todd Barry, Michael Showalter, and surprise guests Jim Gaffigan and Reggie Watts. Also, Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver checked in from the Emmys, sending pics to Mirman’s email which was sweet because They R Friendz.

Two things I wish: 1) that I’d hopped a ride in the white Hummer limo rented by Mirman to shuttle audience members back to the Atlantic Avenue subway station, and 2) that I caught the “Ten Drink Minimum” event with Marc Maron and Michael Showalter, where comedians talked about their journey to sobriety. There’s a strong re-cap here. Worth the read.

Last night the funny continued for the fall season opener of Punch Up Your Life , a comedy show hosted by Jessi Klein and Pete Holmes at the independent bookstore Housing Works. I’d always meant to check it out, but last night it was Aziz Ansari on the bill that actually brought me to the venue (he was in town for the Emmys). For some reason, while I’m a fan of Ansari, I’ve never seen him do stand-up live. So to see him for free in a bookstore was a dream situation, kind of like what it must have been before he started hanging with Kanye and being famous and shit.


Klein and Holmes, our lovely hosts for the evening.

I gotta say, though, while Ansari was the main draw, every single one of the comedians last night killed. They included up-and-comer Joe Mande (check out his wonderfully funny blog here), the ubiquitous Kumail Nanjiani (who cracked a joke about getting auditions for all the roles Ansari turned down), surprise guest (again!) Jim Gaffigan, and, of course, Ansari, who seemed hyper-aware of his new celebrity. There was a barrage of camera flashes in the beginning of his set, so much so that he had to ask the audience to stop, but not after giving us a few good poses to blog about (I had already put my camera away by that point and was too lazy to get it out again. Eh.). Later in the set he also outed a girl that was filming him with her iPhone, supposedly for YouTube. We can’t believe he was too upset about that, though, since in the beginning his career was amply helped by the site. Remember this? And this? And the whole Human Giant thing? So good.

On the internet-promotion bent–which Ansari is a master of–last night he did a great bit about a recent Twitter war he had with a random follower. The bit was him basically reading the exchange, an argument about gmail and um, hippos, out loud. You can read the exchange here at Ansari’s twitter. See Sept. 16th.

Oh, and, Padma Lakshmi and James Murphy were there last night.

The comedians:


Aziz Ansari, Joe Mande, Jim Gaffigan, and Kumail Nanjiani.


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