Paul Mecurio on Paul McCartney, Wall Street, and Advice for Future Comedians

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Courtesy Stand Up Live
Paul Mecurio performs at Stand Up Live Thursday, September 4, through Sunday, September 7.
Paul Mecurio likes to keep his plate full.

At present, the mergers and acquisitions lawyer turned comedian writes for the Daily Show With Jon Stewart -- a gig he's had for more than a decade that's earned him an Emmy and a Peabody Award. He produces his own podcast, The Paul Mecurio Show, performs his own stand-up, and has at least three potential television shows in development.

We caught up with Mecurio in between his many jobs to talk about Paul McCartney, Wall Street, and his advice for future comedians.


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10 Comedians You Should Know

Categories: Comedy, Top Lists

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Comedy Central
If you don't know this stand up now, he's about to become a household name.
There are a lot of rising stars in the comedy world right now, and it seems stand-up is in something of a golden age. Even sitcoms, for the most part, have done away with the laugh tracks and traded the sexy Hollywood stars and starlets for professionals in the art of being funny. Truthfully, the more great comedians that are out there performing, the harder it is to know whom to follow. We just want to warn you that the following 10 people likely will have you giggling at your desk.


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Tom Cotter on Lucky Breaks and America's Got Talent

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Courtesy of Tom Cotter
It's a dog-eat-dog world out there.

And no one knows this better than Tom Cotter. The New York comedian came in second to a troupe of dancing dogs on the seventh season of ABC's America's Got Talent. Since then, he's been riding out his runner-up success, restocking his arsenal of quick one-liners, and taking his show on the road. Up next is Phoenix, Arizona.

We caught up with Cotter before his upcoming shows in the Valley to discuss talent, timing, and the dogs that still give him nightmares.


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Jamie Kilstein on Performing in Phoenix, Panic Naps, and Politics

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Courtesy Jamie Kilstein
Jamie Kilstein is making his voice heard.

The progressive left-wing comedian can be found sharing his thoughts on war, abortion, gun control, rape culture, religion, veganism, and mainstream media coverage on stage at New York comedy clubs, on his comedy album, What Alive People Do, on his political podcast with Allison Kilkenny, Citizen Radio, and on the pages of their upcoming book #Newfail set for release October 14.

This weekend Kilstein and improvist John Frusciante will perform at Playhouse on the Park to deliver a one-night only show that's part stand-up, part improv, and all parts politcal.

We caught up with Kilstein about how he got here, where he's going, and what's in store for Phoenix.


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Comedian Annabelle Gurwitch on Aging Not-So-Gracefully and Performing at The Most of Lit Lounge

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Courtesy Annabelle Gurwitch
Annabelle Gurwitch on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" in April.

Comedian and author Annabelle Gurwitch has a habit of turning the negative into positive -- or, at the very least, a lucrative book deal. When Woody Allen fired her from the cast of his off-Broadway New York production, Writers Block, in 2003, she created Fired, a collection of essays about getting canned from Tim Allen, Felicity Huffman, and David Cross to name a few. When her 50th birthday was fast approaching, she penned I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50 a comedic call to action for the middle-aged that has made the New York Times bestseller list.

Her penchant for performing caught the attention of Tania Katan, the entertainer at the helm of SMoCA's Lit Lounge series and the second annual The Most of Lit Lounge event held on Thursday, June 26 at the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

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Voyage Trekkers Movie Coming Soon to a Galaxy Near You (This One)

Categories: Comedy

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Squishy Studios
Doctor Rena (Gabrielle Van Buren), Captain Sunstrike (Adam Rini) and Commander Powell (Logan Blackwell) make up the cast of Voyage Trekkers

The Phoenix-based web seriesVoyage Trekkers is looking to boldly go where no Arizona sci-fi web series has gone before: the silver screen.

After doing two seasons of their "comedic love letter to Star Trek," creators Nathan Blackwell and Craig Michael Curtis have their sights set on making a feature film in the near future, with the help of their fans. The duo recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to try and raise the funds needed to get the Voyage Trekkers movie off the ground. The guys from Voyage Trekkers will be out at Monkey Pants Bar & Grill Sunday, June 29 to "shamelessly promote" their project, as they put it.


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Adam Carolla on His Podcast Drama and Returning to Phoenix

Categories: Comedy

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Stand Up Live

Patent trolls be damned, The Adam Carolla Show must go on.

Former host of The Man Show and the Crank Yanker himself, Adam Carolla will bring his podcast, The Adam Carolla Show to Phoenix's Stand Up Live on Friday, June 20, and Saturday, June 21, with two shows per night. His special guests include Doug Benson, Teresa Strasser, Kelley James, and Arizona's own John Holmberg. "There's nothing that gets you going like the live show," Carolla says.


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Kumail Nanjiani Spent 14 Hours Filming Silicon Valley's Hand Job Joke

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Courtesy of Stand Up Live.
Kumail Nanjiani (right) will be performing with his Silicon Valley co-stars at Stand Up Live.
If you saw the season finale of HBO's Silicon Valley, then you definitely know the joke we're talking about.

The Mike Judge show is about a group of friends and housemates struggling to launch a successful tech startup called Pied Piper without being squashed by a giant Google-like organization called Hooli. And the ridiculous, mathematically centered penis joke arrives as the five guys are sitting in a hotel room prepping for a tech conference presentation that could change their lives. It's crunch time, but instead of working on the task at hand they become consumed with developing an equation for how to give every member of the 400-person audience a hand job during their slotted 10-minute presentation time.

With that stellar ending to the show's first season, new shows in the works, and some hilarious new and old characters on Portlandia, the future is looking bright for comedian, writer, and actor Kumail Nanjiani, who will be performing in Phoenix this Friday with two of his Silicon Valley co-stars, T.J. Miller and Thomas Middleditch.


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Matt Mira and Jonah Ray of The Nerdist Podcast Coming to Stand Up Live in Phoenix

Categories: Comedy

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Stand Up Live
Jonah Ray and Matt Mira are Coming to Phoenix June 5.

Comedians Matt Mira and Jonah Ray make their way to Phoenix to bring their fans a new show -- sort of. The guys will bring the alternately titled The Matt and Jonah show or The Jonah and Matt show depending on whom you ask, to Phoenix for a first-of-its-kind event. The pair makes up two-thirds of the very popular Nerdist Podcast and goes Chris Hardwick-less for a one-night-only show at Stand Up Live on Thursday June, 5.

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Chelsea Peretti on Wolf Mode, Writing for Kroll Show, and Season Two of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Luke Fontana
Chelsea Peretti's in Phoenix May 30.
Better get used to hearing the name Chelsea Peretti.

The comedian, writer, and actress is primed to blow up. Why? Well, to borrow a phrase from her comedy comrade Nick Kroll, first and first mostly, she's hilarious. Her work in the writer's room on shows including Parks and Recreation and The Sarah Silverman Program and as an actress on Kroll Show (where she's also a writer) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine demonstrate her love of pop culture satire and ability to deliver straight-faced, reality TV-inspired insanity.

Peretti is working on her first-ever one-hour comedy special, which she'll tape in San Francisco on June 13. Before stopping by Stand Up Live on Friday, May 30, as part of her American Treasure Tour, Peretti talked with Jackalope Ranch about her role as Gina on the Golden Globe-winning comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, her passion for the Kroll Show sketch Cake Train, and what we can expect from her upcoming one-hour special.


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