Category Archives: Elsewhere in the City

Doing It The Right Way: Joe Machi


Set your DVR’s!

One of the brightest new talents to come out of the Comic Strip lobby in years, Joe Machi will be making his network television debut on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” tonight!

Joe Machi is a true workhouse. Machi’s New York comedy origins actually began as a student in D.F. Sweedler’s Comedy Writing Workshop where he studied under Sweedler for 8 weeks. Each week, he would write his jokes, come to class, read them aloud to the room and work to help himself and others get better at following their dream. Sweedler still teaches this class (which has produced talents such as Rob Riggle, Sam Morril, David Baker and more!). Keep your eye on this blog for upcoming class registration info!

Following the class, Machi worked hard, grinding it out and hard and seemingly hopeless open mics around the northeast for years, finally getting to the point where the bookers at the Comic Strip felt like he has earned his place and passed him to perform as a member of the “Late Night” roster.  Late Night is an after-show where he and other younger acts would hang out all night in the lobby and after all of the scheduled performers were done, he would get a chance to entertain whatever audience was left. Going up on stage for 5 minutes in front of depleted crowds who had just watched over 3 hours of the best stand up in New York City is a tough task for anyone. But Machi persisted, coming in four times a week for almost four years, perfecting his craft to this point he was undeniable.

He won the New York Underground Comedy Festival’s “Emerging Comedian” award, began receiving spots at many of the major clubs in town and on December 16th, 2009, Machi realized one of the biggest dreams he had when he moved to New York City: he auditioned and “passed” for regular paid spots at The Comic Strip.

Since then Machi has been a regular on the Strip’s stage, delighting our capacity crowds nightly. Tonight’s appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” is a testament to what being a good, hard-working person can bring.  Joe Machi is a guy who has never taken short-cuts, gotten worn down by industry slights or become victimized by being unfairly passed-over. He is a consummate professional who has put in the time and is deserving of the accolades that he is receiving.

Congratulations Joe. We are all incredibly proud of you.


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Karen Bergreen’s “Following Polly” available in paperback August 16th!


Longtime friend of the Comic Strip Live! Karen Bergreen was met with critical acclaim last year when her first novel, the dramatic and hilarious Following Polly was released in June of 2010. Now, over a year later, Karen will get another taste of publishing success as Following Polly has been awarded with a paper-back release!


A gifted comedian, Bergreen uses her personality-led story telling style and unique sense of joke delivery and timing to craft Following Polly into a page-turning, fascinating read.

You can listen to Karen talk about the book during its initial push on Jon Fisch’s In The Tank podcast here.

Karen Bergreen with a just-released copy of Following Polly at the Comic Strip!

Amazon already lists the paperback edition of Following Polly as available for pre-order, and word is that Following Polly should be available in all finer book retailers come August 16th. If they don’t have it, ASK for it!

And when you can see this hilarious comedian turned author on stage at the Comic Strip? Keep an eye on our schedule page!

Congratulations yet AGAIN Karen! I hope we have many more excuses to sing your praises soon.

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Filed under Alumni News, Elsewhere in the City, Live at the Strip, on the web

Modi, Elon Gold excel at Just For Laughs Festival!


This last week wrapped up the 29th annual Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival.  Many friends of the Comic Strip Live! participated in this year’s festival and early word around town says that Comic Strip regular Modi, may have walked away from Montreal as the talk of the festival!  Amazing, eye-opening performances on a variety of showcases helped the veteran stand up earn accolades from his peers as well as many of the industry in attendance.

Even prior to the festival’s kick-off, Modi was listed as performing on one of the three “must see” shows of the festival by in “The Ethnic Show” where he shared the stage nightly with such comedy heavyweights as Maz Jobrani, Sebastian Maniscalco, Angelo Tsarouchas, and Wil Sylvince.

Also at the festival was Comic Strip favorite Elon Gold, who participated in multiple showcases including the always popular Best of The Fest shows. Best of the Fest, as always featured a very select, hand-picked collection of talent and for Elon to be included in that mix was quite an honor.

Elon Gold, Bobby Slayton and Modi backstage at “The Bar Mitzvah Show”

Modi and Elon performed together on “The Bar Mitzvah Show” hosted by “The Pitbull of Comedy” Bobby Slayton and as comedy writer Paul Telner remarked:

The major standouts of the show were clearly Modi who had the entire crowd on the floor. Modi is to me one of the biggest breakout comics of the fest. The guy is a star and it’s only going to keep getting bigger. Elon Gold also killed the show with his hilarious views on Judaism.”   To read Paul’s complete review of the show, click here.

Congratulations to both talented comedians as well as everyone else from the Comic Strip who made their way to Montreal this year.

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Filed under "stand up comedy", Alumni News, Elsewhere in the City

New Faces making Big Noise!

The Comic Strip Live! has for years been known as the premier place in the country to catch both established house-hold comedy names as well as the best new up-and-comers climbing the ranks of success. The current class of talent hanging around our lobby is no different.


Last night hilarious club favorite Joe Machi won the prestigious New York Underground Comedy Festival’s Emerging Comics Competition. This coveted award has led past winners to high-profile television work and has been the stepping stone to breaking out as the premiere comedians in the city.

A State College, PA native, Machi has been a member of the Comic Strip family for well over 3 years. This high honor is just another sign that the crafty and clever Machi is going to become a name to be reckoned with on the comedy scene, perhaps much quicker than we think.

Also, recent addition to the lobby, Sam Morril was in March crowned the  champion of the New York City March Madness competition. In an NCAA-style bracketed head-to-head showdown, Morril bested 63 other competitors in a month-long stand up tournament. Morril’s bracket was stacked with big names on the comedy scene and to emerge victorious was an achievement not to be taken lightly. Congrats again, Sam.

Jamie Lee has also had a breakout year.  Starting 2010 as a style critique for Life&Style Magazine, Jamie was featured as a talking head on the VH1 series Undateable and became a household face across the country after making it to the semi-finals on NBC’s Last Comic Standing.  A native of Texas, Jamie is a marquee name in New York’s alternative comedy scene and has the talent and skill to be a major force in this business.

All three of these hilarious emerging comedians can be found performing on our Late Night show, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at the Comic Strip Live! Be sure to see them, while you can still afford to!

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Filed under Elsewhere in the City, Live at the Strip, Lobby Life, TV apperances

Comedy Matters

Richie Tienken, Kevin Hart, and Jeffrey Gurian

(Via Punchline Magazine Online and Jeffrey Gurian):

Follow THIS link.


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Filed under Elsewhere in the City

This Friday: Brian Scott McFadden performs on Letterman!


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