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Entries in Comedy (44)

Sunday
Jul092017

Call Answered: Amadeo Fusca: "The Comedy Blender" at The Triad + "Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus Live!"

Amadeo FuscaComedy, laughter, and variety shows oh my! As a comedian myself, I love chatting with other comics. When I learned about So You Think You Can Roast winner Amadeo Fusca's new monthly comedy variety show The Comedy Blender, I knew I had to hit that funny bone!

The Comedy Blender is a night of NYC's best comedians bringing you stand up comedy, original sketch and unique solo characters. The montly series kicks off Thursday, July 13 at The Triad Theatre in NYC (158 West 72nd Street). Showtime is 9:30pm! Click here for tickets!

On July 28, Amadeo will also be performing at The Triad in Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus Live! for one night only at 7pm and 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Amadeo be sure to visit https://www.amadeofusca.com and follow him on Twitter!

Follow The Comedy Blender on Facebook and Twitter!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a comedian? Eddie Murphy's Delirious defintely had an effect on me and has stayed with me through today. Steve Martin & Tom Hanks also inspired me. 

2. This summer you are the host of a new monthly variety show at The Triad Theatre called The Comedy Blender. How did this variety show come together? I met Rick Newman, who runs The Triad, at the Friars Club's So You Think You Can Roast competition that I won in 2013 and we stayed in touch since then, keeping him up-to-date on what I was doing. We saw each other in March and Rick had wanted to talk to me about this idea he had based upon the Catch a Rising Star comedy club that helped launch the career of many well-known comedians. I told him I know a lot people who are on the cusp of being the next big name and it's just a matter of them getting the right audition or meeting the right person, so I pitched him the idea for this monthly variety show and he liked it. So we booked the venue, the date, and talent.

3. What excites you about hosting this monthly series? It's great being in a position to be able to put a show together and choose who I think should be part of it. There are so many talented people in the comedy world and I'm just so excited about the line-up of people I've asked to be part of it. 

Jack Black and Amadeo Fusca at the 2013 "So You Think You Can Roast" competition4. Since this is a variety show and it's been said, "Variety is the spice of life," how do you keep your life spicy? I have a girlfriend who helps me have fun. She keeps coming up with ideas of great things to do.

5. In 2013, you won the Friars Club competition, "So You Think You Can Roast." How do you feel winning this competition will help your career? The competition itself is sort of an under the radar contest, but the people that were there are big names...Amy Schumer, Bob Saget, Jeff Ross, Dennis Rodman, Richard Marx, Gene Simmons.I met some great people that I kept in touch with and if you stay in good standing with people, you never know how they might help you or what opportunities they could create for you. I won this competition and have been working since, so when I get back in touch with these people, they can see what I've been up to. Also getting the "Roast" videos has helped me book some gigs because I can send that out to producers and they get to see what I'm able to do.

6. You also are touring the country with Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus Live!, which will be playing NYC on July 28. What do you like about performing this show? What are some of the best audience responses you've gotten after the show? The show focuses on relationships, how men and women relate to each other, how we deal with each other on date night, remembering anniversaries, how we do our chores differently, and then there is a section of the show dedicated to sex. As an actor, there's so much meat to this show. When a new actor is brought in, like myself, I'm allowed to bring my own style to delivering the script, which is great. I've added some improvised moments on stage and now those moments have been implemented into the script and some of them get the biggest laughs of the night. That just adds a whole new energy to the room. I'm very phsyical when I act this show out, and I have to be, because it's a 90-minute show, so I have to be as engaging as possible. My favorite part about performing this show is the freedom and trust I've been given by the whole team. 

As I perform the show and look out in the audience, I can tell which parts people really relate to because the couples start holding hands at various points. Couples really identify with this show. After the show people come up to me after and say, oh, he did that or she does that. It is geared towards heterocouples because the show is based off the book, but I think at some point it would be great to update the script a bit and really open the material up include every kind of relationship out there.

7. Since you are a comedian and we live in very trying times these days, how do you continue to find the funny during these darker times? Once you are in a position to create content, it's important to have a night where you can make people laugh and get them to concentrate on you and your performance. If you just look at the news all day, you'll just be depressed. You have to find a way to laugh in order to move forward. 

8. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? It's a cliche answer, but working on my body and getting in shape. I keep seeing my belly pop out more and more these days, especially when I wear a t-shirt and I'm like, "What's happening down there?" So, I'd like to work on improving that by 20% actually.

Amadeo FuscaMore on Amadeo:

Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a regular at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Amadeo tours the country performing in the One Man Comedy Show Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus Live! In 2013, he beat out 55 other comedians to win the Friar's Club "So You Think You Can Roast?" competition. Amadeo joined the dais to roast Ricky Schroeder, NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman and Jack Black, performing alongside comic legends Sarah Silverman, Artie Lange, Bob Saget and Amy Schumer. Entertainment Weekly quoted Amadeo's as some of the funniest jokes of the event.

In addition to his live comedy, Amadeo's film and TV credits include Boardwalk Empire, Marvel's Daredevil, As The World Turns and the feature film A New York Heartbeat, starring Eric Roberts.

Thursday
Jul062017

Call Redialed: Jackie Beat: Birthday Bitch! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre

Jackie BeatI am beyond thrilled that Jackie Beat answered my call yet again! I love interviewing Jackie Beat. She keeps me laughing the whole time with her brilliant sense of humor! In this interview we get the party started with a pre-birthday celebration by talking about her new show coming to The Laurie Beechman Theatre entitled Birthday Bitch! 

Everyone knows that Jackie Beat is a big bitch. And a talented bitch. A shady bitch. A fierce bitch. A sick bitch. But this July, Jackie Beat is also a BIRTHDAY BITCH! To celebrate her birthday weekend, Miss Beat is invading New York, unwrapping some new parody songs and sharing some of her greatest hits. So here are the ground rules: Do not make eye contact.  Do not ask "how old?" Laugh loudly. Drink. Gifts optional.

Birthday Bitch! will play The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, in the basement of the West Bank Cafe) July 22 at 8pm & July 23 at 4pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Jackie be sure to visit http://missjackiebeat.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

For more shows from Spin Cycle visit http://spincyclenyc.com and follow them on Twitter!

Jackie Beat1. This July, you are once again returning to the Laurie Beechman Theatre with your new show Birthday Bitch! What are you looking forward to about celebrating your birthday at The Laurie Beechman Theatre with your fans? Well, all joking aside, there is no place I would rather be! Except maybe in bed with my dogs watching Netflix. Or at a grand opening of a new Arby's - with unlimited free Beef & Cheddar sandwiches. But after those options, on stage in full clown singing my balls off is definitely my third choice for best place to celebrate getting one year closer to death!

2. For some people, their birthday is a time for renewal and at this bash, you will be unwrapping some new parodies. I will leave the parodies as a surprise for those who attend your show, but what I want to know is, what do you hope to unwrap for yourself either professionally or personally that you have not gotten to yet? Time to get serious kids. I would really like to unwrap some peace-of-mind. It may be hard to believe, seeing how I have been doing this for close to thirty years now, but what with Drag Race and the mainstream popularity of drag in general, it's gotten harder. I'm like everyone else and I often compare myself to others. And when those others are half my age and have been on a wildly-popular TV show, sometimes it can get to me. But then I take a deep breath and think, "Hey, you're Jackie Beat goddamn it!" Then I yell, "Snap out of it!" in my best Cher voice and slap myself across the face. So yeah, a little much-needed boost of self-confidence would be a great birthday present. And I realize it's something that only I can give to myself. And if I can't have that, maybe a $50 gift certificate for Arby's?

Jackie Beat3. One thing attendees should know is that there are some ground rules for your Birthday Bitch! show: Do not make eye contact. Do not ask "how old?" Laugh loudly. Drink. Gifts optional. What will happen if someone breaks these rules? Are there different punishments for breaking each rule? GIFTS OPTIONAL!? Are you fucking new? Gifts are mandatory. I put the MAN in mandatory. And as far as punishment for breaking my rules, I think people are well aware of just how painful being read to filth in front of an entire roomful of fellow sodomites can be. Se be on your best behavior, kids! And bring presents.

4. What are some gifts you would like to receive this year? (Think of this as your registry). I really do love a nice gift card. You know, Starbucks, Bed Bath & Beyond, Trader Joe's. I'll avoid mentioning Arby's yet again so as not to make anyone think I'm shamelessly trying to land a lucrative endorsement deal with the deliciously trashy fast-food chain. I appreciate fan art, but - let's be honest - if it really looks like me I'm probably just going to get depressed. I also love accessories and makeup, but frankly, I have enough to last me the rest of my life. That's right, I have a 6-month supply! See what I did there? I guess if you really love me, you could start a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to have Lady Bunny brutally murdered. And not just brutally, but SLOWLY. Happy Birthday to me!

Jackie Beat5. You have been described as a big bitch. And a talented bitch. A shady bitch. A fierce bitch. A sick bitch. Out of everything you've done in your career, was there one or two things that made you feel as though it took more talent than something else? If so, what were those things that took more talent? Well, first of all I will say this: I'm very proud of becoming a successful drag queen before it was socially acceptable. I mean, there were Gay bars - leather bars in particular - that wouldn't even let drag queens in the door! Now they all have their RuPaul's Drag Race viewing parties and every event has a drag queen hosting and/or performing. Don't get me wrong, that's progress! After all, the only difference between a drag queen and a leather queen in their choice of fabric. All I am saying is that back in the day drag only appealed to a very specific kind of drama class/glee club outcast/misfit if you will. Now it's the cool kids! Which, again, is great! And, trust me, no one became a drag queen to make money! Also, me and Sherry Vine and Coco Peru and Varla Jean Merman and Lady Bunny and so many others couldn't just go onto YouTube and watch makeup tutorials.

But I guess what I most proud of is that I am a drag queen who can sing a rock song with a live band, play Bea Arthur as "Dorothy Zbornak" in a stage version of The Golden Girls, put on a 75-minute solo show and write material for people like Margaret Cho and Ross Mathews. I'm very well-rounded! But most of the credit for that goes to Arby's.

6. What is the shadiest thing you've ever done? What is the most fierce thing you've done? I'm honestly not that shady. And I'm sure there are some people who are rolling their eyes right now reading that, but it's true. Anyone who really knows me knows that I am a very loving person. Listen, we all have our moments. And I have certainly opened my big fat mouth and/or posted a Tweet before thinking that I later regretted. Unfortunately, that's the flip-side of being a comedian. What works on stage - saying the first and/or worst thing that pops into your head - doesn't always work in real life. I've had to apologize many times, trust me. That's why I feel for people like Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher. We want our comedians to be outrageous and push the envelope and then when they make a mistake or go too far, we crucify them. It's like getting mad at someone for pulling your hair or calling you a filthy whore during sex. Hey, it was done in the heat of the moment. I went too far. I'm sorry!

And as far as the fiercest thing, I'd have to say refusing to water-down my political beliefs and my unbridled hatred of Donald Trump. On the Drag Queens of Comedy Tour I sang a song that ripped him a new one and occasionally there would be someone in the audience who voted for him who would get upset. In Chicago an older drag queen dripping in rhinestones and wearing a tiara made a big scene and stormed out during my number. I mean, can you imagine?

Jackie Beat7. I can't believe we have done two prior interviews together and I never asked you how did you come up with your persona Jackie Beat? Oh God, it's such a long fucking story! When I first moved to LA way back in the 1980's, I considered myself a serious artist and poet. I used to go to this one open mic poetry night in Hollywood week after week and sign up, but because they always gave B-List celebrities priority, I never got to read my stuff. Well, one week I got so pissed off that I got in drag. I just put on a black turtleneck, a black skirt, black boots, black wig & a black beret. I wrote a "Beatnik" poem - which was essentially just a high-concept stand-up comedy routine. Well, not only did they not let me read my poem, they wouldn't even let me in the club! So I went to WeHo, to the gay bar Rage, and it was a talent contest that night. I decided to read my poem there. They asked me my name for the sign-up list and I just thought of the most Sixties thing I could think of: Jackie Beat. It was part Jack Kerouac, part Jackie Kennedy. Anyway, to make a long story short - TOO LATE! - I won the contest and the rest is history.

8. Since you are the Birthday Bitch! what is your birthday wish for your fans who continue to support you? Just keep laughing. Don't be so touchy and easily offended. And let's please fight the real enemy, not each other. If a comedian says something, take a moment to consider the context. Is it irony? Are they perhaps portraying an ignorant "character?" Are they playing devil's advocate? Or is the only possible conclusion that they are in fact a horrible transphobic racist monster who just accidentally revealed how they truly feel? Do the math. It's NEVER that last one, people.

9. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? Eat 1% less Arby's!

Jackie BeatMore on Jackie:

Jackie Beat is the self-professed bastard child of "Weird" Al Yankovic and buxom Bette Midler. An award-winning drag darling, Jackie Beat has been wowing unsuspecting audiences since 1989.  She has toured with Roseanne Barr -- as the comic legend’s opening act -- including a 7-week run at The New York New York in Las Vegas; written for TV (Fashion Police, Hello Ross, Hype! and others) and collaborated on special material with the like of Roseanne, Rosie O’Donnell and Jennifer Coolidge; appeared in countless TV shows (Sex and the City), Movies (Grief, Wigstock The Movie, Flawless, Adam & Steve) and Off-Broadway hits (Valley of the Dolls, Tell-Tale!). She has been named Best Drag Queen by New York Press and Best Live Performance by HX Magazine. Jackie is also a columnist, lead singer for the electro-rock band, Dirty Sanchez, and the subject of the documentary film My Name is Jackie Beat including commentary from Joan Rivers, Margaret Cho, and Roseanne.

Friday
Mar172017

Call Redialed: Lucie Pohl: "Apohlcalypse Now!" at Under St. Marks Theater

Lucie Pohl, Photo Credit: Laura RoseLast time comedian/actress Lucie Pohl and I spoke, she was starring in her one-woman show Hi, Hitler, now these two Jews are talking about her new show Apohlcalypse Now! From tyrants to death, we know our herritage! In this new show, Apohlcalypse Now! bangs together stand up, storytelling and character comedy. Expect bad language, bad decisions, a wedding, a break up, dead rats and wake up calls from Stephen Baldwin.

Apohlcalypse Now! will play a very limited run, four performances only, March 20, 21, 27 & 28 at Under St. Marks Theater (94 St. Marks Place). March 20 & 27 are at 8pm. March 21 & 28 are at 7pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Lucie be sure to visit http://www.luciepohl.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

1. It's great to catch up with you! Last we spoke, we did an interview for your one-woman show Hi, Hitler. Now you are back in NYC with your brand new show Apohlcalypse Now! How ironic that your show a few years ago had Hitler in the title and now your show has Apohlcalypse (a funny take on apocalypse) in the title. In the few years between shows, we got a new Hitler leading our country and he's creating an apocalypse. How do you explain this irony? Yes that is creepy and ironic. I'm psychic! Or may be it's that artists have invisible, subconscious feelers which pick things up before they've emerged into daily life.

One way to look at it is also, Hi, Hitler was very much a fish out of water story which went all the way back to my Jewish-German family history of persecution and migration. The whole point of the show was embracing that not fitting in was in my DNA. In this sense, I am not surprised that those of us who are different (for many different reasons) have become a target again. The fight for acceptance against periodic assholes will never end, I think.

The Apohlcalypse theme came out of a period of extremely taxing events in my life that kept piling up relentlessly. I also had been having this feeling of imminent doom for a few years. I never anticipated that history would tie these two shows together in such a frightening way.

Lucie Pohl, Photo Credit: Elmar Lemes2. What can people expect from this new show? What people can expect from Apohlcalypse Now! is a wild roller coaster ride into a year of tragically funny disasters in my life told through storytelling, stand-up and character comedy. It's an intimate, sometimes surreal, hilarious and very honest 60 minutes. And there's a goldfish monologue.

3. Let's play with the title of your show, "Apohlcalypse Now!" for a moment. What is the biggest event to happen in your life that would be as big as an apocalypse? The biggest apocalypse ever to happen in my life is when I realized Nutella is made with palm oil and I can no longer eat it! Game over!

No, ok, I'll be serious: it was the violent shattering of my 12 year relationship. Internally that was something which completely destroyed everything I thought I was, I thought I had and I thought I knew. And then a few other things happened simultaneously which just added more fire and brimstone. But these are all spoilers! That's what the show is about!

But one more thing: In writing the show I spoke to Anbarra Khalidi who is an apocalyptic scholar at Oxford (yes that's a job title) and she told me that the nature of the apocalyptic framework is both horror and clarity - exposing uncomfortable truths, mirroring the notion that we are our truest selves in moments of suffering, trial and judgement. This idea sort of fell into my lap and became what I was most interested in.

Lucie Pohl, Photo Credit: Mindy Tucker4. In this show we can expect bad language, bad decisions, a wedding, a break-up, dead rats, and wake-up calls from Stephen Baldwin. So for the next few questions we are going to break these down. If you could create a sentence using your five favorite bad words, how would that sentence look? Trump is a motherfucking thundercunting asswiping fuck-shit fascist.

5. What is the worst decision you've ever made? What did you learn from this bad decision? The worst decision I ever made was deciding to act on every impulse I had regardless of the consequence. I've made many bad decisions. What I've learned (the hard way) is that decisions matter and they are decisions, not accidents. You control that, it doesn't control you. It's not always about doing the thing which feels best in the moment, it's about knowing what's important and what you want in the long run.

And of course looking at the ingredients list on a Nutella jar.

6. What is one of your most funny break-up stories? When I was a teenager my boyfriend at the time said he was going downstairs real quick to get a Snapple. He came back 10 days later. I tried to punch him and missed. We broke up.

Lucie Pohl7. What is a good wedding tale you can tell? I once went to a wedding in England and woke up in Wales.

8. I hate rats. I mean HATE, but I'm going to ask a question about them anyway. What is an interaction you've had with a dead rat? Big, fat spoiler but here it goes: I found a dead rat in my mailbox! Yes, this is a true story and I have the pics to prove it.

9. When did you get a wake-up call from Stephen Baldwin? I got a wake up call from Stephen Baldwin in Istanbul, Turkey when I was in a horror film with him about a cult which impregnates women with demon babies to make an army of super humans. Duh! What else?! (Another spoiler).

10. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? Right now I'm trying to not freak out on subway platforms every day about terrible MTA service. Yesterday I waited for 45 minutes at Union Square and at one point a nice man eating plantain chips told me to "Relax." Gotta work on that. Ommmm.

Lucie Pohl, Photo Credit: Laura RoseMore on Lucie:

Lucie Pohl is a German-born-NYC-raised comedian, actor, writer, solo performer and producer. Her storytelling comedy debut HI, HITLER was nominated for the 2015 New York Innovative Theater Award (Outstanding Solo Performance), received 5 and 4 star reviews and played to sold out houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, on London’s West End, 59E59 Theatres NY & Los Angeles.

Thursday
Mar162017

Call Answered: George Bettinger: The Mom and Pop Shop

As the host of "Call Me Adam," I love chatting with other people who conduct interviews, especially when I ask them "What question I haven't asked that they would have liked?" It's so interesting to see how what someone else will think of. When I found out about comedian George Bettinger, who had a friendship with the legendary comic/TV host Joe Franklin and hosts the hit radio show The Mom and Pop Shop, I couldn't wait to interview him. He has interviewed some of entertainment's biggest names such as Madeline Khan, Julie Newmar, Robert Morse, Kathy Garver and so many more.

In this interview, we talk about laughter, fame, Joe Franklin, and get some inside scoop about a few of the celebrities George has interviewed!

For more on George be sure to visit http://www.momandpopshopradio.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

The Mom and Pop Shop airs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4pm EST! Click here to listen!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a comedian? As a child I had nephritis, which kept me indoors a lot. I watched a great deal of television. In the mid 60's there were great comedy films on TV from the silent days on up to the 50's. I loved Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, The Bowery Boys, The 3 Stooges and so on. It inspired me to imitate them and later to make little films on 8mm film doing that style of comedy.

George Bettinger and Lucie Arnaz2. You always say "Make sure you laugh a little everyday, it is important and can change the way you feel." Do you remember the first time laughter really changed the way you felt? If so, what was that moment? Has there been a day where you haven't laughed? If so, why didn't you? I can go as far back as being hospitalized for my nephritis, (maybe four years old) grabbing a doctors stethoscope and running down the corridor making the nurses and attendants laugh. There have been multitudes of days I haven't laughed. I suffered severe third degree depression and debilitating panic and anxiety.

3. When did you realize your brand of humor made people laugh and that perhaps this could be something you could do for a living? What feeling did you get the first time someone laughed at your jokes? Around age 12 I was making people laugh, in school, at friend's homes. I didn't think of it as a living then. A living to me was the toil my father worked at being a retailer on New York's Lower East Side, putting in six days a week selling luggage one suitcase at a time. From an early age I too helped out in the store. It was serious work. There was a huge family to feed with many splinter families and friends who came in and out of our home. My parents worked very hard. My mother took care of the home making sure all were fed and then packing food to take to her invalid parents. I accompanied her many times.

George Bettinger4. What was the worst comedy set you ever performed? After that performance, did you think of giving up or did you say, "We all have bad nights, I'm just going to learn from this and do better the next time?" I don't recall performing an actual stand up set that was so bad that I wanted to quit. There were many "on" and "off nights." I do recall attempting one particular bit on LIVE television that fell flat. It embarrassed me and gave me pause and made me realize that I can not do all that I think I could.

5. You first came to the public's attention as an Eddie Cantor impersonator on The Joe Franklin Show. What was it about Eddie Cantor that made you want to impersonate him? I loved Eddie's energy! I watched him on TV and really enjoyed his delivery and his mannerisms and his singing was unique. I read a great deal about performers. Eddie was one who was quite the humanitarian. He was also Joe Franklin's first friend in show business and I knew it delighted Joe when I impersonated him. As with Groucho Marx, I could do the "young version" and the "old version." Joe particularly got a kick out of when I would talk to him as the "old Eddie." Joe laughed and said "You make him sound like an old man in a rocking chair!"

George Bettinger and Joe Franklin6. What went through your head when you found out you were going to be on Joe Franklin's TV show? How long after your appearance on that show, did things start to change for you? Excitement, fear, adrenalin rush, pounding headaches and a feeling of accomplishment. Things changed relatively quickly. I was already putting together my first cable TV show called Movie Magic and contributing to The Uncle Floyd Show.

7. In a nice turn of events, you got to interview Joe Franklin in 1985. What was it like to interview the man who helped get you your start? Was there anything you wish you got to ask him that you didn't? I was 23. Joee was about 59 at the time. We were already long time friends. It was a delight to interview him. We had chemistry on TV and as personal friends. Joe kept a close circle of real friends. I was honored to be part of that circle. At that time he was extremely on top of this game as the "King Of Nostalgia" and a legendary late night host. He would not do any show. But he did mine. He then had me on his show the next week, sitting beside him, and told the world that "this is a recip (reciprocation)." He said referring to himself; "I did his show and now he is doing my show." I was able to make Joe laugh in private to the point where tears were flowing and he would beg me to stop. I would impersonate people that only he and I knew. We had a bond.

8. You are currently hosting the hugely successful radio show The Mom and Pop Shop on Dreamstream Radio. What do you love about having your own radio show? What made you want to call your show The Mom and Pop Shop? Our main station is Tune In Radio's It's Right Here In Miramar broadcast out of Miramar City Hall in Florida and heard worldwide on the Internet. What I love about The Mom & Pop Shop is that it's one of a kind. Fan's who merely met on the LIVE chat have literally traveled from FL to Italy to meet, from Ireland to The Bronx. That is loyalty and trust. I love that. It is a hybrid of the charm of the golden age of an accessible host combined with the immediacy of the fast paced internet. This is why NBC and ABC network news covered the show.

I decided to call the show The Mom & Pop Shop because of the album I created in 1998 titled George Bettinger's Mom & Pop Variety Shop which is still available of Amazon and CDBaby.

9. Over the years you have gotten to interview so many legends: Madeline Khan, Julie Newmar, Robert Morse, Kathy Garver and so many more. I personally was a big fan of Madeline Khan and Julie Newmar, what was one surprising fact about each of them that you learned from interviewing them? If you don't remember, then you can answer this question...what do you enjoy most about interviewing people? Who do you still want to interview? Madeline Kahn and I clicked as soon as we met in person. It was at an audition. She was a brilliant performer and a genuine person. I was overjoyed to gain her trust. When I reflect back, I realize that this was very important to Maddie. I feel blessed that she was in my life. William V. Madison mentions me in the first authorized biography of Madeline Kahn. I am at the top paragraph of chapter 74. Quoted as "her friend George Bettinger." What struck me most about Julie Newmar was her keen intelligence and wisdom on how to deal with life. I think of the words she said to me everyday. There are many people I wish to interview. I enjoy talking to people.

10. As an interviewer yourself, what is one question I didn't ask you that you wish I did? (and please provide the answer to said question). Here is my question: Where would you like to see yourself in the industry? I would like to have a television show, that would give me the opportunity to be a genuine, charming host sans the popular snarky-ness so prevalent today. I would like to have a program like The Joe Franklin Show where celebrities are interviewed and up and coming talent get their start.

11. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? Wisdom. I wish to continue to learn.

George BettingerMore on George:

George Bettinger began producing short comedy films by the age of 12, at a time when Kodachrome Silent 8mm film was the standard. "I began way before VHS tape. We had to purchase each 3 - minute film cartridge individually. It was costly for a kid. Three minutes was 50-feet of film stock and then we would shoot scenes and hope that after waiting a week for the 50-foot roll to be processed, something showed up that was usable!" At the same time, George was appearing regularly in school plays and occasionally showing his 8mm custom made films at school.

At a young age, George developed a great appreciation of classic comedians from the golden age of silent and early sound films. By 16, he was impersonating Groucho Marx, Eddie Cantor and other legends, when he caught the eye of broadcast legend Joe Franklin, who featured George regularly on The Joe Franklin Show on WOR-TV. He was also writing and appearing in comedy bits on The Uncle Floyd Show.

In 1982, George created an early cable TV series called Movie Magic, which ran for five years. He simultaneously worked at his father’s world famous little luggage store, Bettinger’s Luggage, on Rivington and Allen Streets in NYC’s historic Lower East Side. There George delighted customers with his impersonations as he sold suitcases.

Throughout the late 1980’s and 90’s, George kept busy auditioning and booking numerous radio and television commercials, playing the voice of the animated red M&M on NBC promos for Frasier and Will & Grace, one of the highlights of his commercial career.

Teaming with his mentor Joe Franklin on Saturday nights on WOR radio as Joe’s "Man of 1000 Voices," gave George the opportunity to release his CD, The Mom & Pop Variety Shop on Original Cast Records.

When given the enthusiastic green light to bring a 90-minute radio program to the internet George used the CD as his template and The Mom & Pop Shop was born.

Thursday
Oct272016

Call Redialed: Tori Scott: Seeing Double at Joe's Pub 

Tori ScottI can't believe it's been two years since I've gotten a chance to talk with belter and bad decision expert, Tori Scott. Tori's talent for singing and telling stories is unparalleled! I always love interviewing Tori because I know my jaw will drop from astonishment and laughter. We may have missed each other by one day in Provincetown this summer, but back here in NYC, we have connected to talk about her brand-new show Seeing Double which is coming to Joe's Pub this November!

In Seeing Double, Tori takes us on a celebration of poor life choices mixed with a hint of lingering regret and too much tequila. It's a shameless journey of slurred autobiographical stories filled with songs written by other people. Seeing Double will be at Joe's Pub on Sunday, November 13 at 9:30pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Tori be sure to visit http://itstoriscott.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

For more on Joe's Pub visit http://joespub.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Tori Scott performing at Joe's Pub in NYC1. I'm so glad we are doing this new interview together. Always a pleasure to get your insightful thoughts on your shows. This November you are returning yet again to Joe's Pub with an all new show called Seeing Double. What made now the right time to present a new show? What excites you about this new show? I love working on new material. I have a wish list of songs that I want to sing and I go through that list when I work on a new show and see which ones I can make work. I also had a great summer doing shows in Provincetown and Fire Island that were very much geared towards a gay audience and I’m really looking forward to talking about that!

2. Why did you title the show Seeing Double? When have you seen double? Seeing Double has several meanings for me. There’s the obvious one of drinking too much. It’s also about my friends coupling up and getting married, or having children. Another example of Seeing Double has to do with the fact that a lot of my gay friends and the guys they introduce me to have beards and frankly, sometimes, I cannot tell them apart.

Tori Scott, Photo Credit: Johan Salvador3. This show celebrates your life's poor choices mixed with a hint of lingering regret, & too much tequila. What do you consider your life's poorest choice thus far? What is something you have a hint of lingering regret towards? When was a time you drank too much tequila? Probably going into the entertainment business instead of pursuing a career where I could actually make money would be considered a poor life choice. I don’t have huge regrets in life, but I do have those lingering moments of wishing I acted differently around someone or wishing I had left a party sooner than I did. It’s often called "shame spiraling."

When it comes to tequila, I always drink too much of it. I have been doing the paleo diet off and on for the past year and vodka (my drink of choice) is not on the diet. But silver tequila is and it’s actually delicious. Well let me tell you….a little bit of that goes a long way!

Tori Scott performing at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Dan Klein Photography4. What is one story of Seeing-Double that did not make it into the show that you can share with us? It’s too early to answer this. I’m still playing around with stories and figuring out what I’m including or cutting! I really get down to the wire on these things!! I will say though, all of these stories are based on real life events…it’s just a matter of if I’m ready to share them or not.

5. Since drinking is always involved in your shows, if you had to look back over your life in drinking, what are your top 3 best drinking sessions and what have been your 3 worst?

 I would say top 3 drinking moments:

  1. This past January I went to Napa for wine tastings for my birthday with my sister and best friend.  Every place we visited was an incredible drinking session. The most delicious wine!
  2. Another great moment was drinking a Hurricane at a bar in New Orleans overlooking Bourbon Street. I watched very drunk people falling and laughing and pushing beer kegs in strollers..it was chaos. It was like something mythological…like a tribute to Bacchus or something.
  3. My 30th Birthday…which was sadly several years ago, was an amazing drinking moment. My sister and brother flew into town. We took over an entire upstairs section of a bar. Everyone had way too much fun and my brother was passed out on the couch in the bar before 9pm. I love a celebration!!!

As far as the worst moments go….those are the ones I can’t really remember. That’s the thing about drinking…too much of it makes everything a tad blurry. I will say that time I was arrested for Public Intoxication ON NEW YEAR’S EVE in Texas was not probably among the worst. And my mom had to bail me out so she certainly wasn’t happy with me.

6. If you were told, today is your last day on earth. You can have 1 drink. What drink would that be? I would say "screw you Paleo diet" and have a Tito’s martini slightly dirty with 3 olives in a very large martini glass! Yummy!

Tori Scott7. You are described as a belter and bad decision expert. When did you get crowned bad decision expert? Was there one epic decision that got you this title or was it just a series of bad events and finally you were like, "Fuck it. I've made so many bad decisions in my life, I'm giving myself the title of bad decision expert."? My friend labeled me a bad decision expert after my first show at Joe’s Pub four years ago. And, I appreciate the title. It’s important to be able to acknowledge your mistakes and bad decisions and grow from them. Although, I’m not sure I’ve grown that much from them, but I definitely enjoy singing about them.

8. Based upon your own experiences, what is the worst advice you could give someone? I think the worst advice I could give someone is that they should always go to a second location with people you’ve just met….especially if they want the night to end at about 4am.

9. What is the biggest misconception about Tori Scott? Honestly, I think the biggest misconception about "Tori Scott" is that my stories in my show are made up. The stories I tell in my shows are all true! I did one of my shows in Dallas a couple years ago and the reporter from the Dallas Morning News just would not believe my stories were true!

10. We both share a passion for fitness. I'm not sure if we share the same passion for it, but I know you've been doing it a lot. So, I'm excited to ask you this question that I've been asking everybody. On "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent every day. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better every day? I don’t know if I would call myself someone with a passion for fitness. That’s a bit of a stretch. I find it to be a necessity with growing older.  But, I am trying to find the joy in fitness. I made a commitment to myself about a year ago that I was going to find some sort of physical exercise that I enjoy. And I found Flywheel. I love it! It’s competitive and a great workout and I feel like I might die/amazing afterwards. And the music is amazing. I find that if I challenge myself to a workout like this not only do I benefit physically, but also mentally.

Tori Scott More on Tori:

Tori Scott is a New York based singer and comedian. She was named Time Out New York’s Top 10 cabaret artist and has performed her solo shows at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, the Laurie Beechman, the Metropolitan Room,and every gay bar on the Eastern Seaboard. As an actress, she was recently seen performing alongside Alice Ripley in a concert reading of a new musical The Girl with Polka Dot Eyes and performing opposite Linda Lavin, Leslie Uggams and Stephanie J. Block in the Symphony Space tribute to Sheldon Harnick and Fiddler on the Roof. On television, she's counted to 20 as a singing garbage woman on Sesame Street and dubbed the vocals of a singing hooker on HBO's Cathouse: The Musical. She is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory.