Call the New York Comedy World Hotline at 212-501-3766 for the latest open mic, new talent and industry showcase news! Updated daily!

NYC

Ben To Record 3rd Comedy Album Sep 24 in NYC

Friday, August 11th, 2017

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be recording my third live stand up comedy album (to be released by Comedy Dynamics) at The People’s Improv Theatre in New York City on Sunday September 24th.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

FULL PRESS RELEASE

Comedian Ben Rosenfeld, a Russian born Jew based in New York City, covers such topics as his being raised by loveably insane Russian immigrant parents, American politics through an outsider’s perspective and his recent decision to get married – mostly to make his jokes more relatable.

Ben’s second album, “The Russian Optimist,” reached Amazon’s Top 5 best selling comedy albums. Now Ben returns to record his third live stand up comedy album, “The United States of Russia.” If you like your laughs sprinkled in with intelligence and thought provoking points, you’ll love Ben’s newest hour.

There will be two shows – 7PM and 9PM – both at The PIT Underground. Doors open 20 minutes before showtime.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

 

BIO

Ben Rosenfeld creates smarter comedy for smarter people. Ben’s comedy blends his family’s experience as Russian Jewish immigrants in America with his philosophical beliefs, political observations and unique characters.  Ben has appeared on FOX’s Laughs, CBS This Morning, National Geographic’s Brain Games, NPR Weekend Edition, SiriusXM Radio, Rooftop Comedy and been featured as TimeOut New York’s Joke of the Week.  He has twice headlined at Caroline’s on Broadway, hosted at the Lincoln Center and performs nightly in New York City.  Ben has two comedy albums, Neuro Comedy (2012 – iTunes | Amazon ) and The Russian Optimist (2016 – iTunes | Amazon | Google Play – released by Comedy Dynamics / New Wave Entertainment) – which has been an Amazon Top 5 Best Selling Comedy Album.  Ben also created the illustrated coffee table book, Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up, an Amazon Top 5 Best Seller in Humor Books.

 

Ben’s record label is New Wave / Comedy Dyanamics. They are the largest independent stand-up comedy production and distribution company, producing Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History for History, Animal Planet’s Animal Nation with Anthony Anderson, the new scripted comedy on Seeso, There’s … Johnny, History’s Join Or Die with Craig Ferguson, MTV2’s Wild ‘N On Tour, Hulu’s Coming To The Stage, and MTV’s Spooning with…Zac Efron. The company has worked with a wide-range of established and emerging comedic talent including Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Katt Williams and many more. Comedy Dynamics is available on most streaming platforms including: Hulu, Roku, iOS, Amazon, and Android.

 

Comedy Dynamics Records’ album Louis C.K. Live At Madison Square Garden won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 2016. In total, eight of Comedy Dynamics’ albums produced between 2013-2015 have been Grammy-nominated.

 

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

The post Ben To Record 3rd Comedy Album Sep 24 in NYC appeared first on Ben Rosenfeld - Comedian.

Geriatric Stranger Danger

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
New Yorkers are not rude people. It’s just that we can get through the day without a lot of extraneous chitchat. We can communicate with each other with a quick chin lift, a head nod, and if need be,...

My First Dragon Con

Sunday, September 13th, 2015
My Seven Favorite Moments from The Con I was invited to perform at my very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. For science fiction/fantasy fans this is like being asked to suit up and be the...

Mission Accomplished: Welcome to Fog-a-licious San Francisco

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
I’m geeked to be working in San Francisco this summer. They say its California’s version of New York, so I feel right at home in another city I can't afford to live in. Since it’s my first time...

Hey Baby Birl

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Image courtesy of stock images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net“Baby Girl.” That’s what James Evans, the father on Good Times, called his daughter, Thelma. Years later it’s also how Bernie Mac referred to...

Puppet Shoes and Other Things

Friday, January 9th, 2015
This past weekend, the one before the one coming up, was a whirlwind. Last Friday night I helped contribute to a Guinness Record for Longest Variety Show. I know I keep going on about it, but it still blows my mind that I contributed to a victory that will be in a book I used to hog constantly in my elementary school library. After that, I performed as a part of Little Laughs at Jalopy Theatre that Sunday. Thursday was spent finalizing a writing project, and Saturday preparing for Sunday.

Getting ready for the show Sunday was slightly stressful. This was in part because I was tired from being constantly on the go, but also because an audience of kids is very unpredictable. Sometimes they are with you, but when they turn God Bless America. While this is pretty rare, it does occur. More than anything, the factor that makes me reticent about kids shows are the adults involved. Sometimes the other performers are crazy, and not in a good way. Other times the organizers want you to go through all this red tape and take themselves so seriously. Or the parents are just plain rude and think that as an adult who entertains children you are utterly stupid.

This was not the case at all with the Little Laughs Show at Jalopy. The audience was wonderful, both children and parents. Not only were the young ones engaged, but their parents were as well. The host was an awesome master of ceremonies. Sure, the kids enjoyed the show but the parents laughed as well. When the parents laugh at a kid’s entertainer, that is always, always, always a good sign. The other two acts were amazing. One woman played guitar and had a story coloring book that went along with her song. Then the magician, and a magician can go either way, was both funny and skilled at his craft.

When it came for my turn, the kids were a great audience. They were rambunctious because they were into my show, but they were wonderful. These kids were gentle spirits too. One remarked that one of my puppets seemed “mean.” I never felt Sweetie Pie Kincaid and her prankster sensibilities were mean. Still, it speaks to the fact that there has been outcry against bullying, and perhaps we are headed towards a kinder, gentler generation. I found I really enjoyed these kids, and they really enjoyed the show. Afterwards, the host teasingly told me I had a stalker.

The event made me want to do more with children. I did when I was younger. In my hometown I entertained at pre-schools and such with my children, or my collection as a British journalist recently called it. I also did a show where I read bedtime stories to children called Storytime with April and Friends. Filmed on a shoestring, it aired on public access in 36 states, 6 countries, and the world wide web. During a street performance, I actually met someone who used to label my tapes. It was kind of col actually.

This past year, I have been trying to go less blue. I wasn’t originally even a dirty club comic so to speak. However spots are late at night, plus open mics are just one big, bad filth fest of easy punchlines and then off you go. Nothing against those who work dirty, God only knows I have. Heck, a lot of those folks supported me the most. Still, after a while my act was dark blue. Then again, Otto Petersen who I admired greatly, defined blue. There is nothing wrong with blue.

Yet in a way I feel ready to try for the cleaner set. Some is that I want to do more with kids again. Some is that my career is taking me on television and I don’t want to cost the network money. Some of it is I want a new challenge and am ready for it. Then lastly, some of it is that while my beloved cabaret crowd loves blue, it’s baby blue. When I did the Guinness Show, I found the crowd responded to the better written jokes than they did at the shock humor. Note: The shock humor was used to wake them up because some of them had seen nearly 6 hours of show.

I want to be funny to both kids and adults. Richard Pryor was. While most don’t know this, he had a short lived children’s show that was cancelled. It was a disagreement over money, nothing else. Still, he was good at it. Then again, Richard Pryor defined funny then and still does now.

This past Monday these thoughts poured through my head, as well as finding my chap stick. The temperature was dropping and the new year still quite new. While all the work I did in 2014 is paying off, that year nearly killed me. I can’t do another bipolar 365. While the highs were amazing, the lows were depraved in a way I never imagined. One minute I was in heaven, and then the next wandering in the Valley of the Shadow of Death wondering when I was going to get out if ever. But it gave me humility making heaven even greater than imagined.

Then I got a facebook message. Someone working the event informed me one of May Wilson’s shoes was left at the club. I had been so wiped out that I hadn’t realized our girl had lost her shoe Cinderella style. This person, bless his soul, had been kind enough to leave the shoe in the sound booth. I called the club and they told me to swing by about 5 PM.

The woman working the front, a nice lady, cabaret type, had a good sense of humor about the whole thing. “In all the time I have worked here, you are my first puppet shoe call.” She informed me laughing. There is always a first time for everything I suppose. Only days before we had all broken a world record and now they had a lost puppet shoe. Oh the times, the times…..

As I left the club, I remembered how ten years before I had decided to go for this ventriloquist thing for throttle for the first time. On cold nights like that I went from mic to mic to mic using my food money for stage time and transportation. Sometimes I did homework when others were onstage, because if I flunked out of school I had to go home. It was my mom’s rule.

The year before had the same bipolar spirit, and I remember I had almost left New York. But I didn’t. I kept fighting. This crossed my mind as I fear in a way what 2015 will bring, because the downs of the year past nearly killed me. Then I remember I kept going ten years ago, and didn’t give up. All the hard work that young woman laid down has gotten me to this point. Things are coming together, not so much because I am good at what I do, but because I have always known who I was, worked hard, and stuck to my guns.


I am that puppet girl. My puppets are pranksters but all in good fun. Sometimes they lose their shoes. Like real children I reign them in, and just like any other family, we keep going. 

www.aprilbrucker.com

I Can Fly (Rainey)

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
Yesterday I broke a Guinness Book Record as a part of the World’s Longest Variety Show. Leading up to the show I felt a lot of things, and there was not one word to describe fully everything that was going through my mind. Heck, one word would have been unfair. A thousand words too many, but when words are your friend and your napalm and elixir against the unforgiving world, the one that tries to steal the ideas of writers and comedians if it doesn’t silence them outright, things get confusing.

For starters I felt crazy. Yes, I had been going since Christmas and I recently discovered a problematic young woman had been trying to pass my work off as her own, read last blog. Another word of course would be excited, because I was about to break a world record, DUH! Of course a third adjective would be nervous, because of some writing work and film projects I have not been on stage as much. Then there is the term humbled, because I am part of such a large group effort of people who do what they love, chased their passion to the Big Apple, and continue to chase that dream. I also say flattered, because I was on the show with some seriously well known performers and cabaret legends. Thus I cannot leave out the word magical, because I was going back to the Metropolitan Room, the place where I filmed my DVD.

Then later in the day, as I got ready for my show, another word that entered the trajectory became bittersweet. Yesterday, I got an update from an acquaintance from another part of my past. It is one that I no longer associate with, and consider myself removed from the people in it. This particular woman was on a bad trajectory when I knew her, and I wasn’t in the best place either. I always considered her a nice person, and although we were never really close she was a friend on a day when I needed one. However, my life started to crash and burn, and I made a decision to change my ways.

 She didn’t. Without getting into detail because I risk being judgmental, her life is a real shit show.
It made me sad because she is truly a good person, and never slighted me in any way. Can’t say the same for everyone I meet. Also, it was a punch in the gut because my life could have easily gone the same way. It was like being sucked into a terrifying portal, a Choose Your Own Adventure Book from the deepest darkest pits of hell. Yes, the one where I had chosen to stay with the abusive fiancé and watched my life spiral from there. Yes, that ending. To say it didn’t make me ill, another word, ill, was an understatement. It also made me happy I had taken the better turn when confronted with that fork in the road.

When I got to The Metropolitan Room, the place was abuzz with performers and such. We were breaking a record. Apparently, they had been going since the night before, and there had been people performing around the clock. Some had been by earlier, and came back to support. I heard stories of people performing at 3 AM, 5:30 AM, my friend Bob Greenberg was there when the record was broken at 7 AM. The whole time the show was being broadcast around the world. Heck, some audience had been there for hours on end.

I made my way downstairs, because the room was being flipped after Marilyn Maye’s performance. While I didn’t get a chance to talk to her because of the commotion that comes with changing a room and after show fanfare, I went downstairs. There was comedy. Yes, comedy. This had been a long comedy show.

I remembered the comedy marathons during my earlier days. Once upon a time, I had hosted an open mic at a comedy club. In exchange I got a weekly spot on a bringer which already says nightmare. Anyway, after the bringer the show would change emcees and then bleed into regular club spots of fledglings who were trying to earn their wings like I was. The show could go on for anywhere from 4-5 hours. To say it was brutal was an understatement. There were the comedians who just died with the crowd. Others abandoned ship and simply just talked to the people. Then there were those who brought the energy and did alright, but it was a fight. I would have liked to say I was always the third, but not so. It’s tough to kill when they are already at the morgue.

To their credit, the crowd was engaged, but the crowd was trying to laugh but just couldn’t. They were worn out. They were beat. They were tired. This was truly the show that never ended. Then again, we were breaking a world record by not stopping.

During my waiting, I reconnected with an old friend of mine, Jack. I hadn’t seen Jack in a while, and the last time I saw Jack his life was hitting the skids similar to my old acquaintance’s. However, Jack looked good. So good I almost didn’t recognize him. He gave me a hug and mentioned after taking a break to get it together, he was singing again. Seeing Jack so happy and together not only made me proud, but also assuaged the guilt I felt about not taking the wrong door. Actually maybe guilt is not the right word. For someone that claims to know what to say and how to say it, there was nothing to describe the pang in my stomach when confronted with where my life could have headed. Jack had taken the same door I had. Like myself, Jack decided he had enough and took the fork in the road that led him in the right direction. It didn’t appear Jack was looking back, and I couldn’t either.

Jack sang, and rocked the house. I had always heard him talk about his love of music, but never knew he was as talented as he was. Apparently Jack had also won a cabaret honor. I was honored to call him my friend. Wow. And here we were, breaking a world record together.

I studied the crowd, these were cabaret people. A large majority were well-educated with a narcissistic edge. They knew theatre and they could answer any Sondheim Quiz on Buzzfeed. If that wasn’t enough, some were unemployed theatre professionals. Schooled in their craft but without a gig, they scrutinized every angle of your performance. I felt it. I felt the bitchy middle school girl eyes they gave each performer. The hosts were all cabaret people as well. Shit, they were going to hate me. The whole world was going to see it, too.

I thought about it again and again. They were going to hate me.

Just then I saw one who reminded me of a woman I delivered a singing telegram to. Then I remembered all my telegramming adventures. There were some people that were harder than others, but because of my day job I am rather fast on my feet and can make any performance situation work. I know I sound like an egomaniac, but it’s true. Note, some are MUCH SMOOTHER than others. However, it is a reminder that everyone does need to laugh no matter who they are, and wants to do so no matter how much they do or don’t  admit it.

Then I also remembered this past year I had been embraced by the cabaret world in a way I never thought I was going to be. Not only had I begun performing in their venues more regularly, but I had done a good show and was treated very well. Oh, and I had been highlighted in several publications in that genre. To say that the insiders had supported me would be an understatement.

I took a breath. Now I wanted to go onstage and rock it. Sure, sometimes there were telegram deliveries that were harder than others. Then there were the interminable comedy shows that went on forever. Ha! While this record breaking show wasn’t ending for sometime, at least there was actual talent on this lineup. The best part was, I was performing alongside some legends and damnit I belonged.

My name was called and I took the stage. I did some crowd work to wake the people up. Then I cracked a few jokes. They were laughing. Okay. Then I asked, “Do you have any roommates?” And got no answer. Dead silence. They got the cabaret crowd look where when you lose them, they are like bodies lost at sea. You might never get them back.

I lost them. Shit. Then again, they were kind of tired. Just then, a female cabaret singer said, “Yes, I have one.”

“Do you like him?”

“He’s my husband.” She responded. The place laughed.

“Do you like him?” I inquired.

“He’s been doing the same job for 32 years…..I needed to give you something to work with.” The place laughed again. Okay. Sigh. Saved.

Then I brought May out. The first few seconds were dicey. This was an odd hour and the puppet might weird the people out. Our first two jokes got eh. Then we got rolling and we got them. They liked two jokes, but then they didn’t like another. We just acknowledged that they didn’t like the joke, and when we did that, it got a laugh. Then we got them again. Then we lost them. Then we got them. Then we lost them. Then we got them again, then we lost them. Finally we almost got them again, but now we were all just tired. That is when I got the light and the set ended. They had made me work for it, and now we were all exhausted. But hey, it was fun.

When I got off the stage my friend Jake hugged me. He asked me how I thought it went. I told him I thought it went alright, but they made me work for it. “Yes they did.” Jake said and we both laughed.
“Did I come across okay?” I asked him.

“Oh yeah. For what it was you did really well, April. You had good energy which they appreciated and you didn’t turn on the crowd.”

“Were people turning on the crowd?”

“Yeah.” Jake said. Comedy 101, you never turn on the crowd.

The people running the event complimented me on my set. And when I checked my phone I saw a message from an award winning comedian I love both as a performer and as a person complimenting me on my work. This meant a great deal to me, because I respect him oh so much. It was great.

Maybe the cabaret world could be insane, but it was my kind of insane. The performers never do anything less than their best, and everyone cares about their work to an OCD fault. But then again, I always kick my own ass when I do less than my best and I make OCD look calm. Oh and the show must go on. Maybe the cabaret world had embraced me because they were my kind of people all along, and I just had to grow up a little. Either way, I look forward to a long and beautiful friendship with them.

I also know what is next for me is going to be good. I spent my 20s delivering singing telegrams to everyone from the baker to the CEO of Credit Suisse to royalty from all over the world. I spent my 20s performing for hostile crowds and doing shit spots on shows that would never end. I escaped the hell of a guy who beat the crap out of me in order to do the things listed above. There were times I didn’t understand why I was being led down the road I was where nothing seemed easy. But then again, when you can roll a boulder you can easily throw a pebble. Translated, if I didn’t have to endure some of the things I had, I would have never handled that crowd the way I did. Actually, it makes me feel like I can handle anything, anywhere. That is, until you talk to me next week.

I held my certificate knowing I helped make history. Sure, I could have gone down the path I was going. But I didn’t. Yeah, I had to keep going and couldn’t look back. No, actually, that’s incorrect. Not only can I not look back, I need go onwards and upwards.


I can fly. 

PS I kissed a Marine and I liked it

www.aprilbrucker.com

Life in the NYC Slow Lane

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
The 25 Miles Per Hour Speed Limit is Killing Me I am a Native New Yorker. That’s not a typo. It should to be capitalized. It’s not pride in an accident of birth but it’s staying here long after many...

I’m Ready for My Close Up

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
BEFORE MAC, AFTER MACWhen I got called in for a sitcom audition one of the things my acting coach told me to do was to find the M.A.C. store nearest to my audition and have them do my makeup. No, he...

Taken for a Ride

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Image courtesy of Damian Brandon/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net The Big Named Car Service That Advertises on TV that I normally use recently doubled their price for a trip to the airport so I called The...

Mission Statement

New York Comedy World strives to be a one stop show for everything in the New York Comedy scene…It is a site where you can purchase tickets to some of New York’s best Stand Up venues…We also sell tickets to New York’s best Improv, Sketch and One-Person shows…

There is a Comedian Resource section…This is a place where comics may be able to see choices in Comedy Schools, Seminars, Open Mics, New Talent Showcase & Industry Showcases…It also features Gigmomma, a new and innovative site that matches performers with people looking for talent…

It is also filled with additional content…You will find info on stand up comedy festivals, great podcasts, featured articles by great columnists about the comedy business. And some very funny videos…We hope you enjoy!