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Thomas Middleditch: Littlebitch Reviewed in Time Out New York

Mar 11, 2015

Middleditch, proving someone does buy those American Apparel shorts.

Like Barack Obama, comedian Thomas Middleditch cut his professional teeth in Chicago, where he performed at Second City and iO. Unlike Obama, Middleditch is not running for President, perhaps owing to his being Canadian. It's unfortunate; his penchant for caricature would make the debates a helluva lot more entertaining.

At least we can see him on a smaller stage, rolling out an absurd cast of colorful characters. The lanky comic gains momentum with each skit, showcasing expertly mimicked personages. In one of the longer pieces, the versatile comedian plays all seven characters in a murder mystery; it is both brilliant and exhausting to watch. One, "Francois" is distinguished only by his Maurice Chevalier accent and De Gaulle-style finger-mustache. Predictably, Middleditch the French swine insults Middleditch the wide-eyed American; a one-man melee ensues. And when, at last, the true murderer is revealed, you'll kick yourself for not sussing out the culprit.

Afterward, he upgrades his finger-mustache for a more substantial one, emerging as Daniel Plainview, the main character of There Will Be Blood. As Plainview reenacts a scene from Pulp Fiction (he is Jules, obviously) with a member of the audience, the laughs roll (almost despite yourself). He deadpans, in his oil prospector's drawl, "English, motherfucker; do you speak it?" Simple, but effective.

Less exciting is the character with which Middleditch opens and closes: a ten-year-old boy doing stand-up. Unfortunately, just because the kid is meant to be annoying doesn't really make him any less so. It's kind of surprising to see such a dud among the other gems, but it's useful to remember that, in comedy as in politics, weak areas can be glossed over with a healthy dollop of charisma.
NY Shows

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UCB Part of Time Out New York's New York 40

Mar 11, 2015

The New York 40

Improv comedy cartel

The Upright Citizens Brigade

What do you love about doing comedy in New York?

Amy Poehler: New York is so accessible to the lifestyle we were leading when we first moved there. You can eat really cheaply and buy nitrous at the deli before your show.

Ian Roberts: I remember we did a show at P.S. 122 and I realized right beforehand that we didn't have a dildo for one of the sketches. We ran out onto the streets and within ten minutes had found a store with a dildo.

Amy Poehler: You're always ten minutes away from a dildo in New York.

Who are your favorite New Yorkers?

Ian Roberts: Robert DeNiro.

Matt Walsh: Lou Reed.

Matt Besser: There was this comedian who used to perform in Washington Square Park, Charlie Barnett. He influenced Chappelle. I think he died that year . He didn't have to have a stage. He made his own stage. And people listened.

What's the biggest thing to happen to the city in the last 13 years?

Amy Poehler: Well, what do you think that answer's gonna be? For me, it's the new restaurant next to Kiehl's.

Ian Roberts: The changing of the Lower East Side.

Amy Poehler: Yeah, when I lived there, you'd wake up and some guy would have taken a shit by your door.

Ian Roberts: That was me.

What's your favorite place or thing in New York?

Ian Roberts: I'm gonna say the UCB Theatre.

Amy Poehler: During the blackout our theater didn't lose power for some reason. Everyone in the neighborhood came over and some people slept there. We performed all night.

I was there the first night the theater reopened after 9/11, for performers only. It was a very special gathering.

Amy Poehler: Yeah, in the past 13 years, when the shit goes down, we meet there. It's a great place to be when the world goes to shit.

Matt Besser: If there's one place that means something to us besides the theater, it's Washington Square Park.

Matt Walsh: When we first moved here, we'd go there every day and pass out flyers. No one knew who we were.

Matt Besser: We shot a bunch of stunts there. In the city, no matter where you go, there are people.

Amy Poehler: We shot everywhere. There's so much free access in New York.

Matt Walsh: The cops were very camera-friendly.

What's the future of New York? What are your hopes, and what needs to happen?

Matt Besser: We definitely need the Mets in Brooklyn by 2010.

Amy Poehler: I'm pretty excited about the High Line. To me, it represents New York: It's using available space and it's up in the sky. And there will be trees up in the sky! Basically I think New York needs more trees in the sky.

Matt Besser: I want them to get rid of that law that inhibits Critical Mass. It's a great human event-especially in a city filled with buildings and concrete.

Amy Poehler: I wish we had those shared-bike programs.

Ian Roberts: Yeah. I'd get all those bikes. And I'd take them to my apartment.

Amy Poehler: I want to be able to teleport to other neighborhoods. I've been waiting for that to happen for a while.

If you could have a drink with anyone else on this Top 40 list, who would it be?

Matt Besser: Jay-Z, cause he's gonna take me to the Mets game.

Amy Poehler: I'd like to do a speed-dating thing where I'd talk to each for 30 seconds.

Matt Walsh: Derek Jeter.

To the three who've moved to L.A., what do you miss about New York?

Matt Walsh: Walking around everywhere, the food....

Ian Roberts: In L.A., you go straight from your air-conditioned house to your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned office. Walking around in New York, it's refreshing to know that you're part of humanity.

Matt Besser: Hot and sour soup at Empire Szechuan.

Ian Roberts: He has an endorsement deal with them.

Matt Besser: I love the way New Yorkers talk to each other. A guy at the dry cleaners once, because of my eczema, looked at me and screamed, "You have AIDS!"

Matt Walsh: I miss the Black Israelites. They used to preach on the street near my apartment.

Amy Poehler: Yeah, Matt, you got called a white faggot every day for a while. You'd wake up, get your coffee and bagel, and get called a white faggot.

Complete the sentence: New York is...

Matt Besser: ...everything.

Matt Walsh: ...UCB.

Amy Poehler: ...full of cheeseburgers.
NY General

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UCBT performers Aubrey Plaza & Nicol Paone cast in new Judd Apatow movie

Mar 11, 2015

Congratulations UCBT performers Aubrey Plaza and Nicol Paone, cast in the Judd Apatow film Funny People starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

From UCBTNY, Aubrey rehearsed her stand-up character 'Daisy' in the UCBTLA shows Not Too Shabby and Judd Apatow Presents: An Evening of Comedy.

Cast as the sister to Adam Sandler's character, Nicol has appeared in several UCBTLA shows including Comedy Death-Ray, Laughing from the Left, Don't Make Me Angry and The Tournament of Nerds.

LA General

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