Sunday, December 30, 2007

Introducing Dr. Erick Newberry

Catch her this week, JAN 3 at Variety Underground!

7-9pm * 1st Thursday of every Month
@ the Parkside Lounge
317 E. Houston St.
F/V to 2nd Avenue
Free admission - 2 drink minimum

Smile! You're on Canine Camera

Here's a new invention for the avid photography enthusiast who is also stalking famous people. Dog Cameras. Yes, I know they've been used for quite some time by Second Life-playing shut-ins who want to see what's going on in their backyard. Now they can work for people who actually leave their home.

HOW does it work? You set the collar to "Automatic", send a pooch in the direction of a celebrity, and whammo, all the close-up shots you'll ever need. Maybe even some of the fannie, knowing your dog. Simply dress as a school marm to retrieve the pet, and you have yourself a guilt-free photo spread for People magazine. Cha-ching! Come on, is there an easier way to get Scarlet Johansson to show you her cleavage? Don't answer that.

WHY does it work? For some reason, celebrities are more interested in giving their attention to a creature with garbage-breath than a paparazzo.

WHERE does it work? Anywhere a dog might conceivably get lost. A park, a sidewalk, a display pile of stuffed animals. May be suspicious at night clubs or in posh boutiques that are temporarily closed to the public.

I guess that's the end of my pitch. I just crank out the genius. I don't package it. Maybe I should end with a joke. Oh! I've got one! What's the difference between a dog and a member of the paparazzi? One is a a smelly, furry beast that licks its own poop-hole...

and the other's a dog.


It's good to be back.

Photo credits:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Road Trip: Ocala, Florida

Abbi, Clearwater Beach

I had a great time in Florida last November doing Jokeboy's Comedy Club. Come take a walk with me through the land of pictures.

80s video on Jet Blue

I used up my entire free cable experience on Jet Blue watching "Classic" videos you've never heard of featuring people who wore clothes from my entire Barbie collection.

Abbi in front of Jokeboy's

Showed up at the club in my travel costume (pajamas) to meet the owner. He was flatter and less body-having than I thought he'd be. But quiet. And I appreciate that.

Jokeboy's Condo Living Room and Patio

This was the first view I had of the comedian's condo. It exceeded my expectations by not having a dead body in it, and not being on wheels.

We did not stay here

I chose to stay here so that I could experience the road life I read about in I Killed.

Rental Car

Went for a drive in our sweet ride, the Chevy HHRefrigerator,

Ocala from the car

and took pictures of trees. Because I'm a nature-lover. For four seconds each day.

These Exist?! in K-mart

Pretended to be Nicolas Cage and went on my own national treasure hunt. Found a Little Caesar's Pizza, which I thought went out of business when I was 10.

Necklace raffle at K-Mart

Then Luke called me into the K-Mart so we could participate in a raffle to win a fake gold necklace. Because engagement rings are overrated. Before the drawing we listened to this salesman's pitch, and had a chance to spend $50 on four other pieces of junk. Some old guy shouted, "Get on with it, I have to eat lunch." We lost, but in a way, we won.

Blue Heron and Egret in Ocala, FL

Florida is full of old people, and I thought these two looked like birds. All hunched up and sitting still...hilarious.

Packed Room

Show time, Synergy! This was actually a Prepaid Legal seminar at the Ramada Inn that I crashed, but I told a few lawyer jokes and killed.

Luke Thayer at Jokeboy's Comedy Club

Luke opened the show, and didn't break a sweat when the owner hovered behind him, seven feet in the air.

Mark Evans

Mark Evans did an excellent job headlining each night, and even took us out to dinner one night. Other places to eat in Florida...

Zaxby's Chicken in Ocala, FL

Fast food chicken restaurants that sell gift cards. "I didn't know if you liked the chicken sandwich or the chicken fingers, so used the coupons in the paper for myself and got you this golden certificate for $5.99. Now you can CHOOSE!"

Aunt Fannie's

Aunt Fannie's. Home of giant biscuits, The Uncle Luke's special and Nickelodeon's newest toy, Soup Sand.

Whataburger in Ocala, FL

Whataburger, where people are so confused about what they're eating, they have to post a giant diagram next to the menu.

Abbi, Brian and Myra

This guy said he wanted a Hottie Sandwich, so I obliged. Then he paid me. Cad!

Brian, Myra and Luke

It's Brian and Myra, welcoming hosts of the comedy club! Get away from my man, Swingers!

Ice Cream Hut in Clearwater, FL

In Florida, not only are there old people, but they're all the grandparents you never had. And they used to host game shows.

Jokeboy's Guest Book

Nikki Glaser started a guest book for people to sign if they've won jewelry at the local K-Mart. We signed it. (Shhh, our secret).

Abbi Crutchfield

Here I am doing my waving wheat impression. Ocaaaala-homa where the laughs come rolling down the plains!

Clearwater Beach, FL
Thanks for a slice of heaven.

Lite Bust

I won a Lite Brite at a White Elephant party, and in the spirit of Christmas, I will now complain about my presents.

I originally chose this toy to recapture my youth, but oh how times have changed. Or they haven't changed enough. I'm a little bummed that their supposed upgrade to "Flat Screen" does not come with Tivo or HD. What's worse, the surrounding monitor is thick and red instead of thin and white, so it takes away from the art I so painstakingly made. Instead of having the actual board be black, it comes with flimsy black paper templates, so you get a picture you can only make once (because when you remove the colored pegs, the instructions on which colors to use are punched through. That's like taking a subway map, and covering over each stop with a black Sharpie once you have visited it).

If you don't use the template, the red board glows brighter than the pegs. And let's talk about the pegs! (audience applause) They're bigger than they used to be. Usually when you grow up, a toy feels smaller in your hand, not bigger. Did I shrink? Or is someone trying to make sure this choking hazard does the job quickly?

My original Lite Brite plugged into the wall, and turned on or off.

This new one has a 3 minute timer. So it tells ME when it's time to stop playing. I don't think so LB. And what's that I see? The 1967 version came with tackle boxes of colors? How convenient. The new one has a rolodex compartment in the front that gets stuck, and the pegs come flying out as you jerk it open. Also, the holes on the original were very close together, providing endless possibilities of what you spelled or designed. The new one has holes a mile apart, so the only thing I can make is a smiley emoticon.

Call me Mom, but the pegs still get all over the place.

The good thing about a White Elephant party is you get to swap until you find something you like. You pick a number, and on your turn pick from the grab bag of presents or swap that chance for something that's already been opened. I could have brought home the blue and black Nunchucks I briefly had...

or this post could have been called Chocolate Dong.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Am Nightmares

It has been a while since I have seen a movie without knowing what it was about ahead of time. I think the last one was ET, and nobody told me what it was about because you don't have to tell a fetus. Fortunately I was well aware that a giant and frightening Jafar would slowly rise from his chambers in Aladdin thanks to years of Disney cliches (like the giant and frightening dragon that slowly rises from the forest in Sleeping Beauty, or a giant and frightening Ursula that slowly rises from the ocean in The Little Mermaid). No amount of Alan Menken orchestral undertones could have prepared me for the horrible things that lurk in this latest blockbuster.

In his new film I Am Legend, Will Smith plays John Legend, a man alone in an industry of pop music. He is accompanied by his dog played smartly by Mariah Carey. Possibly her best on screen performance to date. Everything seems nice and fun as Legend cruises through the streets of New York City shooting at posters of Kanye West, but this is the calm before the storm. There are no spoilers here when I say this: go wearing a diaper.

All I know is, one minute I'm pointing at a neighborhood I recognize on screen, and the next minute I'm writing my will on a bag of popcorn. You think I'm exaggerating, but not since I was in a house of mirrors have I been so anxious about what would startle me (and this time it wasn't my alarming beauty). There are sounds of terror in the film that rival those made by Courtney Love's housekeepers on laundry day. I was on the edge of my seat, and as a result, leaning over some bald guy while murmuring The Rosary. At the end of the movie, he thanked me for the boob hat, whatever that means. Someone brought their three year old, which I don't understand, unless he is part of an early Scared Straight program. I recommend taking an elderly person whose estate is in your name, your thrill-seeking frat brother or at the very least, someone with the hiccups.

Two nail-bitten thumbs up!

Photo credit:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

She's Back!

In one of the best comebacks of 2007, here's the little girl from Full House (and various other television shows)

Jurnee Smollett

back on my T.V., this time in a film preview as the beautiful underdog in The Great Debaters

Yowsa! Hubba Hubba! Go black people! Go biracial people! And what's best, she disappeared from the limelight presumably to get an education or at least some acting chops, unlike some other child stars.

The Great Debaters is Oprah's latest golden bowel movement. I say that with great tenderness, because when Madame O farts, her assistants collect it in a bottle. Her accountants judge its marketability, and then it's on a shelf. So this film may be the result of mumbling while overlooking the blueprints to her school in South Africa, but it has blossomed into a major motion picture starring my sister's favorite daydream, Denzel Washington.

It's sure to go into my library of Films That Make My Quarter-black Children Remember Their Roots (by the way, do they make crib mobiles that play "We Shall Overcome"?) I am also guessing without checking IMDB that the young man who says, "Are you sure you want me?" is a kid from early '90s T.V. It's about as sure as there will be an overtly racist Harvard student who says something derogatory to Denzel's students and then ends the film with his head in his hands after he loses.

Photo credit:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dates. Raisin Imposters

When I was younger, I remember eating bowls of cereal with great caution. Not because of a loose tooth (little known fact: I still have all of my baby teeth), but because I often confused dried dates with raisins. I also thought Michael Jordan and Whitney Houston would get married, my toys could breathe, and switching the lids on all my markers would teach my mom for yelling at me. These were different times.

The only thing worse than flakes, soggy with elapsed cartoon viewing and devoid of all plump raisins, was those flakes with the odd date hiding underneath. And I do mean odd. And I do mean hiding--intentionally plotting a guerilla attack on my mouth. Dates were small, dark, and delightfully chewy like a raisin, but then they became gritty and deadly (not proven, since I always spat them out. But I think it's fair to say...poisonous). I could not tell the difference unless I bit into them, so every spoonful was like walking in a mine field. Thank goodness my lab testing proved that dates had identifiable, factory-cut corners and a golden brown hue when held up to the light. They also stink when microwaved. Coincidence?

Some of you are saying, "Hey, I am neutral on dates. Please write more about how horrible banana chips are." Others are saying, "I use dates to break my fast during Ramadan. I can't decide if they are more delicious than sacred or the other way around." I shake my head because you have been fooled by one of America's great masterminds.

What's next? Apple pie made entirely of crackers?

Photo credit:

In Loving Memory: Adara Almonte

Comedian Adara Almonte passed away recently.

She produced and hosted the Laugh Force comedy series and was a sweet and talented girl who provided plenty of stage time for the comics in the city. Hers is the show I used for my short video "Performing For Ghosts". There happened to be only two audience members watching by the end of the night, but she went out of her way to let me have a 20 minute set in preparation for a road gig. I only used 5 of those minutes, but I really appreciated her generosity.

I have performed on Adara's show when the place was packed. This girl could network! And she also had a league of faithful friends who would come out and support often.

Details of the funeral
(From the website

Viewing will be held Wednesday, Dec.19th 4pm - 8pm at Green Funeral Home
57 Main St, Danbury CT.

Funeral Services (Mass and Burial ) will be held on Thursday, Dec. 20th at 10AM at:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
29 Golden Hill Road
Danbury, CT 06810

Friday, December 14, 2007

Attention Disgruntled Target Employees

With a show this good, for a crowd not to be there is wrong. It's like displaying the Hope diamond in a backyard to stuffed animals.

Don't be a stuffed animal!

The Living Room is back and better than ever with our sole show for the entire month! Luke and I have been beating the elves and polishing the bells on the sleigh for this Holiday Extravaganza. In addition to Luke's stellar stand-up set, my news segment and a super-secret performance, we are welcoming:

Vince Averill (Western Canada Tour)

Hadiyah Robinson (BET's ComicView)

Moody McCarthy (NBC's Last Comic Standing; ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live)

a sketch by Phaea and Becca (Delusions of Spandex)

and your host with more profit than Superbad has grossed: Matt Little (Matt Little's Big Show)!

I want you to get someone else to take your shift, leave the kids at home, and get ready for a night of ho-ho-hijinx!

Photo Credits:
Vince -
Hadiyah -
Moody -
Matt -

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good Tidings of Comfort and JOY

New York wrote up a piece on the first JOY Variety show, and my picture is in it!

A link to it is not working so paste this in your browser:

I wrote about JOY not too long ago, in this post. Comedians Gabe Pacheco and J. Quarles are at it again in December, so don't miss it!

From the article:

The vibe was chilled and informal. The line up was cleverly selected to include hilarious up and coming comedians as well as headliner Leighann Lord, all with the same goal in mind. That the comedians "crack open the gray shell of the everyday and expose the glittering gold" to bring you 'JOY'.

Also possibly in the article (since I haven't read the whole thing):

One smashing highlight of the evening was a daring performance by Abbi Crutchfield. Her off-the-shoulder homage to 80s fashion complemented her clean, non-threatening face and made this reporter wish he hadn't sworn off black people as sex symbols. I for one am not going to miss her 8:00PM sketch performance in this Friday's Living Room show at Postmark Cafe!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Maybe It's Time To Develop A Taste For Dirt Sandwiches

Day one of unemployment (clinically known as Holy Crap Syndrome)

Feelings: numbness followed by self-pity and then euphoria
Thoughts: "The shackles have come off! I can get a good night's sleep AND finally get some things done around the house!"
Activities: laundry, groceries, paying off credit card bill, distributing resumes
Travel mug full of: Starbucks

Week one of unemployment (What Nextaphobia)

Feelings: fear, determination and optimism
Thoughts: "Since when is soy an extra $0.40?! Always? I guess I never looked at the receipt."
Activities: shower, dress, reach out to friends for networking and professional advice
Travel mug full of: Local coffee shop cocoa

Week two of unemployment (Who Am I Disorder)

Feelings: hatred of Macy's commercials, desire to make pancakes and put ice cream on pancakes, impatience
Thoughts: "Why is it that 'People who liked Starting Your Career As a Freelancer also liked Managing Debt for Dummies'?"
Activities: watching t.v., checking e-mail, painting--in pajamas. Craigslist--researching jobs, cheaper rent, how to post items to sell.
Travel mug full of: Tea made at HOME. Bitter, flavorless home tea.

Will our hero throw in the towel and answer the dog walking ad? Or will she take her suits to the dry cleaners and keep registering online for job notifications? Tune in next time on

Pesos y Lagrimas

Monday, December 10, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fa la la la laaaa French Vanilla

Someone took pity on me knowing I can't decorate and gave me a foil tree. In the spirit of giving I have something for YOU: I gots a new website in the works!

I'm excited about it, and it's coming along nicely. It involves Willy Wonka technology, in that you won't just SEE a picture of a cupcake, you'll be able to grab it and eat it. And if you see a little boy in a white suit who shoots off toy guns and watches too much t.v. you'll be able to put him in your purse.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Joaquin Phoenix is a Vegan?!

I guess cake is still meat-free.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


When preparing for a long bus trip, it is important to remember that comfort is key. Some people need food to be comfortable, others need a portable dvd player. As a woman hitting that time of the month, I needed protection. In the span of four hours, I could not rely on the brief pit stop to keep me feeling fresh, and so, I turned to diapers. Adult ones. Big, poofy, baggy, control-top Pampers.

It was my little (albeit bunchy) secret, and it was working. The first leg of the trip went without a hitch. I could nap, toss, turn, and the people around me were none the wiser. Only the baby across the aisle shook his rattle in solidarity.

At the half-way point, we all descended for fast food. I bought my Cinnabons and, once outside, found a sunny bench upon which to enjoy them. A presumptuous gentleman asked if he could join me. Begrudgingly, I shared my table. "As long as he doesn't try to chat with me..." I thought. A gust of wind blew my napkins off the table, and I bent down from my seat to follow them. They blew further away, so I got up, walked a few feet and crouched down to collect the scattered bunch. The guy instantly picked his food up and left. Instinctively I reached behind my back to tug my shirt down, and all I felt was the ribbed waistband of my diaper.

I know what you're thinking. What a jerk. But in his defense, the sun had moved, and maybe he just didn't feel like sitting on a cold concrete bench in the shade. You know how shadows can be so off-putting and ruin your appetite. Especially on a beautiful woman like me, who is far too young and normal-looking to be sitting in such large, conspicuous, absorbant...shadows.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

P.S. I'm Corny

Hilary Swank, Jennifer Garner and Sandra Bullock all star as the main woman in this dark drama/romantic comedy/coming-of-age story of young Holly Kennedy and her hot, dead boyfriend. Before he loses his life in the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., Gerry Kennedy writes an inordinate amount of love letters instructing her on what to do after his departure.

Suggestions like "Step 1: Quit Crying, Step 2: Get in a food fight in a glamorous kitchen and put flour on your nose" are not taken lightly. It is only after she trips on a pile of microphone cords while singing karaoke that Holly learns the real lesson her ghost boyfriend wants to teach her. Sometimes it takes someone's death to help you realize how to live.

He adds post-humous c.d.s for her to listen to in the shower and while driving so as not to feel lonely. He even hires a large man to sit on her couch and ignore her while he watches football.

In a classic twist, while Holly is taking strongly-advised pole dancing lessons, she runs into a saucy, young woman who is also grieving the loss of The Gladiator. Holly learns that the letters were not written in case of his death, but rather, in defense of his decision to dump her. Suddenly his advice seems condescending, and she moves forward with a Harry Connick Jr. look-alike played by Harry Connick Jr.

There are long walks with horses, pep-talks from Robert Duvall, and at least two scenes by a large water fountain (one by night and one by day). If you like movies where women sleep in their makeup and all men know how to shyly glance upward while baking bread, this is the holiday film for you.

Two French manicured-thumbs up!

Photo credit:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Double Your Birthday, Double Your Fun

Nichelle Stephens

Last Tuesday, Carolyn Castiglia and Nichelle Stephens, co-producers of Chicks and Giggles, celebrated their joint birthday at Ochi's Lounge in Comix.

Carolyn Castiglia

Carolyn reveled in the bliss of turning 21, and reminded everyone that Nichelle was 22. She hosted a stellar lineup and kept the laughs rolling in between.

Wendy Ho

Wendy Ho sang ghetto parodies the likes of which make Walt Disney spin in his space dome-shaped grave.

Becky Yamamoto

Becky Yamamoto adopted a theater vet persona and sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the likes of which make Judy Garland spin in her cognac glass-shaped grave.

Leibya Rogers

Leibya Rogers scored big time with her demographic and had a bra thrown on stage! She sang the rest of her songs with it on her head, around her neck, smelled it a couple of times, and finally wore it. Because she recycles.

Erin and Her Cello

Erin played new tunes on her cello and told an inspiring tale of the Walk formerly known of Shame.

Adira Amram

Adira took the stage in the character of an older, hipper Jewish woman...

Adira Amram and Becky Yamamoto

and together with Becky Yamamoto they discussed Lasix surgery and the joy of being MILFs!

Click here to see more fun and fabulous shots!