[Jandek] what to do for one night in Noo Yawk
jim.r at connectsavannah.com
Sun Sep 18 09:46:41 PDT 2005
If you appreciate intelligent humor, I highly recommend spending at least
part of your night at the increasingly famous Upright Citizens Brigade
The UCB Theater is the home base of the improv and sketch comedy troupe of
the same name, which used to have a bizarre, low-budget sketch show on
Comedy Central. Though they began in Chicago as a sort of edgy alternative
to the more established Second City Comedy Troupe, they moved to New York
and immediately became known as THE place where aspiring comics and
thespians could go to study improvisational acting.
Every Sunday night for the past 9 years or so, there has been a show at this
theater called ASSSCAT. It stands for something, but I can't remember what.
Anyway, it's one of the hottest tickets in town. There are two shows on the
night you're there. One is at 7:30 pm and the other at 9:30 pm. The early
show costs $8. The late one is free, but people start lining up an hour or
two ahead of time to get a seat (it's a tiny theater space underneath a
The cast changes a bit from week to week, but it usually includes a couple
of the UCB's founding members (such as SNL's Amy Poehler), as well as any
number of famous guests. You never know who'll show up, but in the past
there have been numerous appearances by folks like Conan O'Brien, Andy
Richter, Janeane Garafolo, Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, and people from The
Daily Show, and lots of SNL castmembers and writers.
The neatest thing about the ASSSCAT show, is that it's 100% improvised
(something most everyone on this list can probably dig on), and it mixes
monologues with sketch comedy. So, they take an audience suggestion and
someone has to step up and immediately deliver a completely unrehearsed
monologue about the topic. From then it shifts into high gear with everyone
trying to top each other and take the improv as far (and as raunchy) as it
can go. It's a little uneven, but then all things of this sort are. however,
when it works, it's really great.
Bravo recently shot and aired a pilot episode of a proposed series based
around these ASSSCAT shows, and it was easily one of the freshest things
I've seen on American TV in a long time.
They sell cheap beer and wine, and it's not unheard of to wind up sitting
next to all manner of celebrities in this funky dive. I saw a couple of
performances while I was up there for the Anthology Film Archive show, and
had a blast. The address is 307 West 26th St. The phone number is (212)
I'd also recommend hitting Other Music (lots of folks on this list seem very
familiar with this place). They're a small store with a great selection of
unusual CDs, vinyl and DVDs. They're at 15 East 4th St.
For cool cheap gifts and ephemera, try Toy Tokyo at 21 2nd Ave. It's an
upstairs shop that you get to by a small door and stairway from street
level. They carry all kinds of imported toys, gadgets, stickers, shirts,
etc..., all of a Japanese robot/monster/sci-fi variety. Plenty of weird
items you won't likely find anywhere else in America.
Hope this helps.
Tiny Pin Revolutionary
> Subject: [Jandek] what to do for one night in Noo Yawk
> Hello, my Corwoodian comrades. I'm going to be in New
> York City for one night, Sunday Oct. 9(arriving in the
> afternoon, leaving the next day around noon) What can
> those of you who are currently residing there
> recommend in the way of record stores, shows, or
> like-minded attractions. Any recommendations are
> appreciated. Thanks!
> Matt Gordon
> Columbus, IN
> jandek mailing list
> jandek at mylist.net
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