Tag Archives: standup

“Remember that time Chris Tucker opened for Jenny?”

1 May

Last week, I went to Georgia and it was pretty awesome. I met a person named Dorito, saw a post office that doubled as a jail, and performed on the same stage as Chris Tucker.

Yes. The that Chris Tucker.

The famous one.

Blayr and I were in Atlanta to perform at the Laughing Skull. Laughing Skull is a pretty sweet comedy club in downtown Atlanta. They have some pretty prestigious comics perform there. We were performing at the open mic (and even then there is a long list to get a spot).

Laughing Skull also really pushes the skeleton motif to the limit. There are skeletons everywhere.

skeleton over stage

Have a great show… also– I’m going to haunt your dreams for the next month or so. Break a leg!

There is even a terrifying demon skeleton with laser eyes that crouches right above the stage. It is just hovering over you the entire time you are performing.

Three comics into the show, Blayr said we could go backstage. I don’t know how she managed that, because there weren’t any other comics hanging out behind stage (I guess she’s just cool like that…?). Whatever. I don’t question her mad skills anymore.

Behind stage, there was a small lounge/greenroom where the four of us basically sat in a tense silence.

I endeared myself to the host by asking where we were in the line-up every seven minutes (hosts LOVE THAT).

He looked like he was nearing the end of his patience around the 24th time, so I went out behind the stage and did some stretches.

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Famous Comedian Lenny Bruce and Almost-Famous Comedian Blayr Nias.

I stretch before shows because one of my teachers told us a story about a student who was so nervous during a presentation, she locked her legs and passed out midway through. Which sounds horrifying. As someone who lip-sycnced through all of my school recitals to further minimize my contribution, the idea of my body completely betraying me and thrusting me into the spotlight is my number one nightmare come to life.

So I stretch.

Anyway, right before I’m supposed to go on, a guy in a baseball cap came backstage flanked by two other dudes. The guy wearing a baseball cap was smiling and just radiating confidence. I couldn’t see who it was but he shook my hand and in that moment, I knew that he was going on stage next.

He knew it too.

I didn’t know who he was- but he had a posse, for chrissake. Of course he was going on stage next.

If you don’t know Chris Tucker, he is an incredibly energetic fella– like a tiger on cocaine.

I am not incredibly energetic.

There is absolutely no reason I need to stretch before my set. There is little to no movement involved when I am on stage. If they could, small birds would roost on my shoulder.

Chris Tucker did about 20 minutes of material. Judging from the gales of laughter I heard from the greenroom, I think he did well (I did not hear any of it because I was having a chat with the host and trying to make a good impression so he wouldn’t remember me as the moron who kept bothering him).

So, after Chris Tucker was finished with his set, I waited to go on stage (for reals this time). While the host was introducing me, someone in the audience called out, “I would hate to go on after Chris Tucker.”

Thanks, sir (read: asshat). That thought hadn’t crossed my mind.

To their credit, my three friends in the back started chanting “Jenny! Jenny! Jenny!

They get 8,492 karma points for being awesome (enjoy your next life as a dragon, you guys!).

My set went pretty well– and not just well considering I had to follow a celebrity. It went pretty well. I’m pretty sure that even the guy who thought I would suck was laughing (Haha! In your face, you doubting douchebag!).

So, yeah. From now on, I’m just going to say Chris Tucker opened for me.

I think he’ll be okay with that.

And even if he isn’t, it’s okay because he doesn’t know who the fuck I am.

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I’m Chris Tucker!

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Hey, remember January?

19 Mar

January was a pretty great month.

My calendar looked like this:

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(The circles are shows. There are a lot. Which is awesome and makes me want to do awesome air kicks all day.)

I also got invited to do my first podcast.

Why haven’t I posted about the podcast until now?

Because I am hilariously bad at self-promotion!

Anyway, in January, I sat down with Michelle Maclay and John Sideris to be interviewed for their podcast, “Small Town Funny.” It was mega-fun and made me feel like a professional comedian.

Michelle and John are two local NC comedians that I have performed with and have often (graciously) included me in some of the shows they run. “Small Town Funny” is a pretty cool little podcast that interviews comedians and asks them about their writing/creative process and how they come up with jokes.

The discussion, of course, wanders to other topics.

My episode talks about Armenians, my strange academic career, what goes into producing a show, and the virtues of Greek people. Everyone is hilarious on the episode and merriment is had by all.

We recorded the episode at Michelle’s- but “Small Town Funny” is moving into an actual recording studio. WCOM 103.5 will start broadcasting “Small Town Funny” in the coming weeks (because this podcast is legit and cannot be stopped!).

Anyhoo- listen to my episode. You can go to the site and check it out (or download it on iTunes).

Afterwards, you should leave a comment.

Just know, that it will be hard to top the first comment:

Picture 1Thank you, Sir Walter Raleigh. You are doing everything right.

Holy smokes, you guys! Awesome news!

2 Feb

April-Richardson

This is April Richardson.

She is a writer/performer on Chelsea Lately.

She is also one of the featured comics of the 2013 North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival.

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Every time she is on Chelsea Lately, she is hilarious. Her stand-up is wonderful and she has shared the stage with some pretty amazing comics.

Basically, everyone should be super psyched she is in this year’s festival.

But, WAIT! IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER!

I’ve also been lucky enough to be performing in this year’s festival. After one of my shows, I was approached and asked if I wanted to open for April Richardson.

At first, I just thought I had misheard and I was just experiencing some sort of wonderful/euphoric fever dream.

It turns out- that conversation actually happened!

whaaaaa

Here is proof!

So now, I am one of the comics opening for April Richardson.

I am mega-pumped! (Seriously! I have never used so many exclamation points in my life!)

If you are in/around Chapel Hill/Carrboro tonight, you should come out and see some awesome comedy.

It will be a blinding brilliant light of awesome.

hoorayJENNY CHALIKIAN, MATT D, APRIL RICHARDSON

9pm @ DSI (200 N Greensboro St./Carrboro, NC 27510)

Tickets are $14 ($10 for students)

(order tickets online)

Ultimate Comic Challenge (part 2 of 2)

20 Nov

Not only did I create a series of mediocre posters for the UCC, each challenger had a flyer personally made for them.

This was, of course, completely unsolicited on the part of my fellow comedians.

I don’t know why, though. These flyers are completely AWESOME.

Comedians tend to be critical of themselves (or simply consumed with self-loathing). There aren’t many opportunities to revel in being super awesome. Hence- the flyers.

Despite being super ridiculous (Especially Troy and Leo. I am so sorry!), it was my tiny tribute to the comics.

I’ve become friends with most of the comics that were in the semi-finals. They are a bunch of really great and really talented guys.

They have made my time in comedy a lot of fun.

So, here are some of my favorites.

Ultimate Comic Challenge (part 1 of 2)

20 Nov

Idiot Box is my favorite comedy venue in Greensboro. It’s downtown and nestled comfortably between five bars. Plus it is one of the few places where you can get paid to do shows.

FUN FACT: Comedians love alcohol and money!

Every year, Idiot Box hosts the Ultimate Comic Challenge. Comics compete in a tournament to be the Ultimate Comic. The final round takes place in the Carolina Theater (which is pretty dope) and the winner gets $1000 dollars.

That is so many dollars!

In the rounds leading up to the final round, the comic who gets the most votes not only goes on to the next round- they get $50.

FUN FACT: $50 dollars in Comedian World is, like, $200 dollars! (We are notoriously bad with money, you guys!).

Last year, I only made it past the first round. I had only been doing comedy for six months so I counted it as a victory.

This year, I made it to the semi-finals which was a great experience… and an even greater victory.

“12 comics compete to make you laugh… and then you decide their fate like some sort of depraved emperor.”

The comics in this year’s competition were much better than last year. All of the shows were great because all of the comics were great.

If I had been competing against this year’s line-up last year- I wouldn’t have even made it past the first round.

My set was notably better than last year as well.

It’s nice to have moments where you see that you are moving forward. There are more fails than successes on stage. Progress is hard to measure and it is aggravatingly slow. So it is incredibly refreshing have tangible evidence that you are getting better (and that all the horrible/awkward moments on stage are worth it).

Unfortunately for everyone, the day before the UCC Semi-finals, I had way too much time on my hands and flooded Facebook with UCC posters I made on Paint.

(Paint. Not MS Paint or even a cheap knock-off of Photoshop- Paint. It is free to download and it crashes if you try anything fancy- hence the incredibly pedestrian look of all the posters are sporting.)

Alas, I did not make it past the semi-finals but I ain’t fussed! The audience was packed and the show was awesome from start to finish.

(And if I continue on my current trajectory, I’m going to smoke the competition next year.

The finals will be at the Carolina Theater on January 25th.