Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Touch of Lame

MAN WITH GRAY HAIR: My hair says experience.

MAN WITH DARK HAIR: My hair says energy!

MAN WITH "TOUCH OF GRAY": My hair says, I'd like to rewind time, but not too much. Just the point where I looked like I starred in a 1970s night time drama. No use being too attractive.

from the makers of Touch of Bald

and Touch of Bags

Monday, January 26, 2009

Movies I Do Not Want to See During an Economic Recession

Most people watch movies to escape reality. The two hours of relaxation are worth any price, which explains why, even during an economic downturn, I had to wait in a long line to see a woman order potato salad in The Wrestler. Some films, however, will make it hard to forget the pinch on your wallet.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

The tale of a tragic hero with a classic hamartia: she lacks the reasoning ability to fit all her newly purchased shoes into one cab. It is resolved in the first five minutes of the movie when she calls for a limo. The plot certainly has to go somewhere, so they introduce a foil: A dashingly handsome man to come and sweep her off her feet, and more importantly, extend her line of credit. The hardest part of making this movie is clearly which purchases to keep in the film and which to leave on the editing room floor. Luckily, a gold-plated towel warmer from Brookstone makes it in.

Hotel for Dogs

From the makers of Promotion for Dogs, Paid Time Off for Dogs, and Renewed Wedding Vow Ceremonies for Dogs comes the follow-up you have been waiting for. Finally those overworked canines can relax in style. And who is footing the bill? Kids, of course. Wealthy kids with plenty of time on their hands. The only unrealistic part in this movie is the never-ending drink machine, a button-covered contraption that supplies thirsty dogs with a constant flow of Fiji water. As if they wouldn't have Evian?

Bride Wars

How do you stand out on your wedding day? Growl like a rabid animal with a piece of taffeta in your teeth. You have to show wedding planners how serious you are about needing the dream dress. Don't forget to sabotage your friend to show her she'll never be as important as you, no matter how much she spends. Oh, and she will spend a lot. Each table at the reception will need to have a chocolate fountain. Brides in this film are instructed to buy so many that guests can give them away to beggars on the street.

This one is still okay.

Yes it has millionaires, dogs, and a potentially costly marriage, but somehow I sympathized with the lead actors. I know it wasn't shot here, and so it is devoid of any fat suits, animal tricks or green screen technology which usually facilitate an easier escape. But since it takes place overseas, watching it feels like you've traveled, and that's a $4,000 value.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Carpet Top

The world's richest prop comedian.

"This is a popsicle. But it's also my wife. Because it's cold. Why aren't you laughing?"

(Throws money. Audience cheers.)

"I thought so. Hey, you ever see a pirate made of ice cream walk the plank?"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

He's Just Not That Into Jew

Hollywood presents the unrelatable, yuppie rom-com you have been waiting for since the finale of Friends. "He's Just Not That Into Jew...Or Any Other Culture or Race" is the story that asks, "What's his type?" and answers, "Anglo-Saxon. Skinny. And famous." This film gives American audiences what they want: lots of cliches delivered by celebrities. Because ever since the wacky Oscar season of movies with non-endings (about countries not fit for old men or oil tycoons), viewers long for familiarity in a film. In fact, the movie boasts such a star-studded cast of recognizable faces there is absolutely no room for a token black newcomer. Some naysayers may argue that even the black production "The Family that Preys" features a porcelain Kathy Bates in the center. But as Tyler Perry points out, "That was just to give kids in the subway something to scribble over."

Get out your Clinique blotting papers and put on your Jane Seymour Open Hearts pendant. You will want to look pretty for the sage advice coming your way. Pearls of wisdom like, "Guys don't make passes at girls who refuse shot glasses," and "If his mom answers the phone, pretend to be foreign and hang up," are just two of the life lessons our seventeen protagonists learn. Featuring a very special appearance by Meg Ryan who sadly bemoans ever starting the romantic comedy craze and, after shoveling ice cream into her face with her hands, tragically falls into a vat of Haagen-Dazs.

We can all get into that.

Two frostbitten thumbs up!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Taking the Oath

Watched the Presidential Inauguration in a coffee shop today. Let me know where you were in the comments section. Like a lot of America, the cafe opted for a live feed from a website. To my dismay, there was too much online traffic which slowed the server. According to my received text messages, the oath was being taken while I was viewing Yo Yo Ma play, "A Gift to Be Simple". Although Barack's image was frozen, at least I got to hear him become president.

A new president! Woohoo! An African-American, and I'm not watching a movie! History, Baby!

I thought the commercial that followed was a little anticlimactic.

Black Gum

Are you a smoker? A Harvard graduate? A father of two? No reason is too irrelevant to savor a good stick of Blezident gum. From Black Choice, the makers of Beyon-shea butter, comes a gum that makes you proud to be an American. Nothing says progressiveness like its dark color and nothing says cool like its smooth cognac flavor.

Chews or lose. Blezident is the chewing gum of choice for black presidents.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Revolving Door Podcast

Last summer I met up with comedians Andy Kleiman and Jay Abbondanza in a 4th floor Brooklyn walk-up on a sweltering day. I stayed for a really long time while we shouted over each other, sang off-key, played games and giggled like hair stylists.

What on Earth did we talk about?

My hair, how I met Luke, why comics don't date other comics, and English actors that suck at American accents. Also my hoarding of bath products. (28:00)

Play along! Seinfeld Trivia. I had the best questions, and scored the worst. Cheaters. (32:00)

Questionable casting choices on Seinfeld. The ethnic actors always had to put on a thick accent. Maximizing comedic potential or perpetuating stereotypes? (23:00)

The Top Ten Ways to Beat the Heat. Get out your pad and pencil. You may want to write these down! (5:10)

A would-you-rather challenge: listen to a loop of Alice in Chains or periodically break your partner's bones? This is a no-brainer. (8:40)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Double Dilemma

Sometimes you think it takes being unique to make it in show business. I say if two stars with the same name, hair and face can become equally popular, then even you can do it.

Just ask the Jamies.

Or the Ashleys.

Or the orange cats.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ask Abbi: Best Show Ever?

Chris of cynical-c.com writes:

What's the best comedy show you have ever been to?

Thanks for asking! I have great memories of Butler University, even though I did not go to school there. I made my best Girl Scout cookie sales there as a child, I babysat at a house facing the campus for three consecutive New Year's Eves during my awkward teen years, and in between college semesters, I made extra cash by working as a creative writing camp counselor there in the summer.

The best time I had there when I saw my first live comedy show. Not only is it a fun memory of spending time with my mom, but it is seared in my brain as the hardest I have ever laughed. Sinbad was playing at Clowes Memorial Hall. I was not old enough to go to comedy clubs, so my exposure to stand-up was limited to Comedy Central's programming. This was back when they cut and assembled footage of various stand-up specials together and listed comedian details in the lower left corner, like a music video. You would see a white man in a blazer with fringe sleeves blowing the audience away with his slow, homemade rap song, and then the info would fade in:

Barry Sobel
A Night at Hee-hars

We were about four rows from the stage, and I was really gaga over celebrities. I once jabbed Dick Clark in the arm at a restaurant, just to tell my middle school classmates I had touched him. Now you understand the kind of person who babysits instead of going out with friends on New Year's Eve. So back to the auditorium, when Sinbad walked on stage, my eyes widened in unison with the crowd's crescendo applause. I don't remember his material, but I remember my cheeks hurt from smiling all night. He is still someone I consider to be a significant influence.

I have since seen other stand-up legends, been to amazing improv marathons, and watched SNL from studio 8H, but this show will always be my favorite. Until I see Barry Sobel live.

Feel free to post your questions for Abbi in the comments section, to be answered in a later post, or write curlycomedy (at) yahoo.com with "Ask Abbi" in the Subject.

Photo credit:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Revolutionary Road to Perdition

After twelve long years, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reunite to slap that sugary taste of romance out of your mouth. What could possibly quell the sadness of watching Jack sink down into the icy depths of the Atlantic ocean? Resurrecting him, washing him ashore and letting him set up shop in suburbia. 20 steamy minutes in the cargo area of the Titanic turns into a 9-month deadline for Jack to abandon his artwork and get a real job. Rose realizes red hair is unbecoming of a housewife and models her 'do after a Palm Olive ad she sees while clipping coupons.

In this 1 hour and 59 minute drama, Sam Mendes explores what pushes a dysfunctional (i.e. American) couple over the edge: Martinis and Shake 'n' Bake. Phone call scenes are inter-spliced with footage of FBI Agent Carl Hanratty from Catch Me If You Can. Because there is no Oscar bait like a sprinkle of Tom Hanks.

"The only thing deeper than Leo DiCaprio's frown line is his pants pocket, which starts at his breastbone and ends at his calves in a method actor's salute to Art Carney."
--James Lipton

"Kate Winslet artistically bares all...again."

I can't tell you what else happens in the film because I haven't seen it. I am avoiding it like the plague, because I am getting married in t-minus three months, and I need to believe in love right now. Slumdog Millionaire, however, was excellent.

Two weary and disillusioned thumbs up!

Photo credit:

Saturday, January 10, 2009



Luke has been gone for a couple of weeks working a gig at a resort in Mexico, and we talk through iChat.


After years of making fun of the movie Armageddon, it finally comes back to bite me. I feel like Liv Tyler when Ben Affleck is in outerspace, and she has to touch the monitor to feel close to him. Or is it her dad? Or was that a music video?


At times like this, I'm glad Luke doesn't look like Steven Tyler.


It happens every year in millions of American neighborhoods. Christmas trees are dismembered and abandoned on the street. Most are DOA. Some have viable phloem through which nutrients may still travel. But there is hope for these dears. For five dollars a day, the price you pay for a (labeled) cup of (high-calorie) coffee, you can support the return of this tree to its natural habitat. Instead of being hauled off to the dumpster, Curly Comedy Collectors will pick up a tree by hand and redistribute the needles into a nearby garden. Then the branches will be stacked into bundles and made into trendy hats.

Please. Don't let this opportunity to feel guilty pass you by.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Those Weren't the Days

One of the best parts about living in New York is exposure to ethnic food from around the world. The other day I found a dollar on the ground. Several hours later, I found myself in Chinatown, walking by a stand that said, "Hong Kong Cakes, 15 pieces, 1 dollar"

Don't tell me there is nothing you can afford during these trying economic times! I felt like I was in one of those stories your 70-year old uncle tells--about fighting overseas and, during peaceful times, being able to eat sweets for pennies. The dough balls tasted like condensed crepes, all warm and spongy and with soft, cakey sweetness in every bite. Fifteen of these? All for me? Then I remembered that you get what you pay for.

After the sixth piecsh it shtarts to taste like nerf.

Casting Brains and Beauty...and Bull's Eye

In responding to the Craigslist ad, "CASTING BRAINS AND BEAUTY FOR NEW TELEVISION SHOW", I figured they needed a new host.

They got back to me and clarified:

"Thanks for your submission to our project. This is a dating advice show where our host helps singles fix their
dating faux pas. We are seeking WOMEN TO ACT AS TARGETS for our singles to talk to..."

I stopped reading. They want to pay extras $50 to dupe other aspiring extras into thinking they like them. I politely declined, mostly because I couldn't figure out how to put it on my resume. "I was in the hit reality guerilla dating show. I played BAIT."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside, The Untold Story

In December 2007, I gave you a new take on this old classic, acting out the potential menacing tone of the lyrics to Dean Martin's "Baby It's Cold Outside." One year later, I performed it at the Delusions of Spandex show at Parkside Lounge.

Alas, great minds think alike...but I like my version better.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Happy New Year!

I went party-hopping in Washington, DC and finished with home-made chicken and waffles at 3:00AM. I resolve to eat more chicken and waffles on special occasions. Like breakfast.

Actually I resolved to write more this year. Jokes, blog posts, website contributions, sketches, love letters, thank you notes, journal entries, comics, clever Post-its, twitter tweets, e-mails, and messages in the snow with my urine. The goal of course is to become a well-oiled comedy machine, a human fortune cookie with a wise idea at all hours of the day. It may be the key to earning a living as a writer. Or at least becoming a darling of the open mic scene.

At the very least it will enhance the quality of my vows.

What's YOUR resolution?

Come One, Come All

There's a fabulous coffee shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn that has an open mic that I will host tonight. Martin, the husband in the couple that runs the shop, looks a lot like weatherman Spencer Christian (and not Spencer Tracy as I incorrectly announced the first time I met him).

Root Hill Open Mic
262 4th Ave (at Carroll)
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Sign-up: 7:00PM
Starts: 8:00PM
Cost: FREE!

This is not to be confused with Roots Cafe, the new coffee shop that my friends Jamey and Randi opened, or Postmark Cafe, the coffee shop where Luke and I produce The Living Room show. But the neighborhood is brimming with unique coffee-drinking experiences. Collect 'em all!

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Portrait Contest

Thank you for coming to this public address. Having received no entries, I hereby declare, as mayor of this great city, an end to the Annual Portrait Contest! (Audible gasps). I will now take your questions.

"Kent Brockman from The Simpsons here. Does this mean you will no longer accept artwork by your fans?"

People are more than welcome to submit any depictions of me they like. They just won't get an original portrait of themselves in return.

"Ms. Mayor! Trisha Takanawa from Family Guy. Are you removing the portrait element because you are bitter that no one submitted to this year's contest?"

Absolutely Trish. I'm trying to nurture an ego here.

"Ms. Mayor. Doug as painter Bob Ross with a question please."

I'm sorry--who?

"There were no more cartoon reporters available through a Google search. I am an impersonation of a PBS personality with his own painting show...as done by a cartoon called Doug that was popular in the mid-90s."

Okay, go ahead.

"When you paint happy little trees, do you still think about Patty Mayonnaise? Does it make you so mad at the brush, you just want to beat the devil out of it?"

I'm not taking any more questions.