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Entertainment Weekly spotlights UCBT performers as future stars of comedy

Mar 10, 2015

Bo Burnham, Anjelah Johnson, Whitney Cummings, T.J. Miller, Aziz Ansari, Jen Kirkman, John Mulaney, Kristen Schaal, Liz Cackowski, Mike Birbiglia, Roy Wood Jr., Pete Correale


A Dozen Comedians (With Extra Ham)

T.J. Miller
Why We Think He'll Be Big

Bringing his offbeat onstage timing to TV, the goofy, rubbery comic was the best thing about ABC's short-lived sitcom Carpoolers. In Cloverfield, he made an impression in very few frames as the quippy, mostly unseen narrating Handicammer, and you'll see him in Mike Judge's next film, Extract.

Why He Thinks He'll Be Big

'I am to comedy what rap stars are to acting. Out of place, without a real grasp of the genre, and vital to the American people.'

T.J. performed regularly at UCBTLA in blerds.com and co-hosted the open mic show Gutbucket at UCBTNY.

Aziz Ansari
Why We Think He'll Be Big

The writer / performer / Illusionator from MTV's inspired sketch show Human Giant will star in Greg Daniels' (The Office) new NBC sitcom alongside Amy Poehler.

Why He Thinks He'll Be Big

'Because I just started a punk band with Jason Statham from The Transporter. We've been recording demos, and they're really good, and I'm pretty sure when people hear them they're gonna be like, 'Oh, he used to be an actor, but now he's a musician. With Jason Statham.''

Aziz performs with Human Giant in Crash Test and stand-up shows including Comedy Death-Ray at UCBTLA.

Jen Kirkman
Why We Think She'll Be Big

With her warm, conversational style of storytelling, she's become a favorite at L.A. comedy-snob venues like Largo and the UCB Theatre. Though she comes off as your funniest best pal on stage, she works out her mean streak in her day job as a writer for Chelsea Lately

Why She Thinks She'll Be Big

'I did this thing in London last year called The World Stands Up. It'll air all over the world... except America. But I'll get my fan base in South Africa going, which is one of my goals.'

A former Harold team member, Jen can frequently be seen in shows at UCBTLA including Morgan Murphy Presents Jen Kirkman (and others) and Comedy Death-Ray.

John Mulaney
Why We Think He'll Be Big

The Georgetown grad-turned-regular Best Week Ever commentator-turned-Saturday Night Live writer rocks the mic with an old-school vibe (he grew up listening to Jack Benny). But make no mistake: This hilarious stand-up is a 21st-century observational machine.

Why He Thinks He'll Be Big

'Because my dad is Eddie Murphy.' Why didn't you use his name? 'At first I wanted to be fair about it, but then I thought, 'No. I'm coming out. I'm making this public.''

John performs stand-up frequently at UCBTNY and staged The Oh, Hello Show with Nick Kroll at both UCBTNY and UCBTLA.

Kristen Schaal
Why We Think She'll Be Big

Have you seen her as obsessed, creepy fan Mel on HBO's Flight of the Conchords? Or as an occasional correspondent on The Daily Show? Or as a daffy, surreal stand-up? If the answer is no, apologize to yourself. Then check out Schaal -- who is developing shows for British TV and Paramount -- on her Comedy Central special in April.

Why She Thinks She'll Be Big

'Cold. Fusion. Let's just say that I'm getting close to cracking the case.'

Kristen recently hosted the Best Sketch in NY Showcase for the New York Comedy Festival at UCBTNY.

Liz Cackowski
Why We Think She'll Be Big

The ex-SNL scribe has been seen on the big screen (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and the computer screen, in her brilliant, spot-on soccer-mom chat show The Jeannie Tate Show. She's now developing a Jeannie television series with Warner Bros.

Why She Thinks She'll Be Big

'With a name like Cackowski, you're pretty much destined to be big. It's like that old Hollywood adage: A hard-to-pronounce Polish last name screams movie star. Like, um, Tom Hankski.'

Liz performs weekly at UCBTNY with improv team Death By Roo Roo.

Mike Birbiglia
Why We Think He'll Be Big

What do you do when you have a bizarre sleep disorder? You turn it into Sleepwalk With Me, an Off Broadway one-man show produced by Nathan Lane. It's an outgrowth of his winning stand-up act of awkward recollections that has landed him in the top late-night spotlights, from Dave's to Conan's.

Why He Thinks He'll Be Big

'My last name has the word big in it. It seems like a logical progression that if you shed away the Bir and the lia, I'll just be Big.'

Mike workshopped Sleepwalk With Me at both UCBTNY and UCBTLA.

NY General

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Violet Krumbein: Human Painkiller Reviewed in The Apiary

Mar 10, 2015

Human Painkiller @ UCBT
MR. WILLIAMS & ME Will Violet Krumbein's unorthodox methods of healing be successful? 

If the theme song to 'Sanford & Son' doesn't get you in a silly mood, watching a woman make out with herself will. In 'Human Painkiller,' UCB alum Violet Krumbein creates a world where hilariously insensitive characters interact with a cloying protagonist who just wants to make people happy. Krumbein begins by playing two people: A Holly-Hunter inspired-lesbian bar owner named Joyce, and Jezebel, the naive star of the show who seeks to provide joy to an invalid using her wits and good vibrations.

Wearing a black leotard, black tights and a gold miniskirt, Krumbein assumes more than half a dozen characters with minimal costume changes that involve hats or moustaches on a stick. Most characters come to life by their accents and mannerisms alone.

With direction by Megan Neuringer, sound design by Bill Buckendorf and tech by Jon Guttierez, Krumbein's show is a visual spectacle of a woman who makes a spectacle of herself. It wanders into dark territory (Jezebel does an erotic dance to cheer her father up after he accidentally kills her mother), and borders on the absurd (Jezebel's boyfriend is called 'Happy Fun Glove' --a rubber glove full of red liquid that bounces on a balloon string), but is consistently silly as Krumbein dances between scene changes. The author is not afraid to take risks or look awkward. Can you assume multiple sexual positions with a puppet in front of strangers?

The homemade props are almost art exhibits. Consider Happy Fun Glove or the wheelchair-bound Mr. Williams whose baby-doll head sits on clothes that are fitted over flat cardboard and whose limbs are stuffed pantyhose. The show also features some confusing running gags that become funnier as they are repeated. Whenever a particular disease is mentioned, a deep male voiceover says, 'It's a real disease.'

Krumbein tap dances and plays the kazoo. She throws pills while singing about modern medicine. She quacks: 'Flashback! Flashback!' to remind us we're going back in time. I happened to go to the show in a bad mood, and ended up laughing in spite of myself. Violet Krumbein IS the human painkiller.
"Get tickets for the next showing, Nov. 19 and 26 @ 8:00PM

Abbi Crutchfield is a standup comic and co-producer of The Living Room. She recently wrote about Elon James White and standup veterans Richard Belzer and Rick Overton.
NY Shows

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Derrick's MYSTERY TEAM Premiering at Sundance Film Festival 2009

Mar 10, 2015

DERRICK Comedy's first full length feature film, Mystery Team, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009 as part of the Park City At Midnight series. The film is written by and stars UCBT performers Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, and DC Pierson, was directed and edited by Dan Eckman, and is produced by Meggie McFadden.

The film features UCBT performers Aubrey Plaza, Matt Walsh, Bobby Moynihan, Kay Cannon, Ben Schwartz, John Lutz, Ellie Kemper, Jon Daly, Greg Burke, Neil Casey, Will Hines, Ben Rodgers, and Anthony King.

The trailer can be seen at -movie.com.
NY General

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