Behind the Side Door Waits the Comic

Behind the side door, waits the comic. It won’t be long before the comic’s name is electronically tossed before a group of humans he or she expects to amuse. Maybe? It’s the old False Intro, a plague in the world of standup comedy.

The main thing every comedian wants from the emcee is to be brought “right up.” That is, on the first try. The host can be halfway through the comic’s credits and suddenly realize he didn’t mention the waitresses. Or his favorite album cut. When a comic is told next, he goes into his preparation mode. Standing offstage, he will roll his eyes to the back of his head or employ one of the various tics, twitches, and shiggles available to him.

Kevin Brennan slowly and steadily heads toward the stage. If the emcee doesn’t hurry, Kevin will be talking over his own intro. Mark (Coco) Cohen enjoys pre-set banter with the host. This can be dangerous, but we’re talking about Coco here. He’s built for it.

Waiting behind the side door this weekend at the Comic Strip Live is Wanda Sykes Hall. Noted for her writing and appearances on the Chris Rock show, she recently broke out on her half hour “Comedy Central Presents.” performance. Tim Young works out at the Strip and is always fun to watch. I figure any comic that can use the phrase “bucket of bb’s” in a set has got to have funny all up in him.

Over at Standup New York, see David Atell. Love Dave, hate Dave. You can have fun just trying to figure out how you feel about him. Dubbed the “comic’s comic,” Dave says things other comics think about, but figure those things are not funny.

Note to all late night comics searching for a closing line, try….Thank You and Good Night!

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William Stephenson

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