ABOUT THE ANDY KAUFMAN AWARDS LAST NIGHT
The show was soo much fun. I arrived early. Ben Lerman and I traveled up together from the Lower East Side using a little method of transportation I like to call the "F" train. For one magic time in my life, that monster showed up right as I set foot on the platform. Ben and I hopped on and were whisked away like some kind of movie stars. I actually felt pretty good because I was all dolled up and I looked good and I knew it. After spending a lot of time thinking about the award and contemplating what to do, and even coming up with some half decent wackadoo ideas, I decided finally to just be myself. I decided, I'm not "like" Andy Kaufman in that I play pranks on the audience so much, but I am like Andy Kaufman in that I'm an unusual one, a weirdo in my own way, and I like to have fun with people, whether they're completely comprehensive of what is going on or not.
Walking in, I saw Michael Kaufman who I knew from years past. He gave me a big old hug, and it was really nice to see him, like seeing an old friend. I also met Al Parinello who I'd talked to on the phone, who was producing the show, and I could tell right away he had been some kind of performer before. He was funny, charismatic and quick witted. I was right! He owned a radio station once upon a time in Atlantic City, and he put Andy Kaufman on stage the first time Andy had ever performed.
There were 25 other contestants in the show, chosen out of 100+ contestants. I have been a semi-finalist in 2 other shows and a finalist in the one the year that Kristen Schaal won. I saw a lot of people there who I recognized, including Kristen Schaal, who was a celebrity judge. Ben Lerman and Mike Amato, my flat mates from this past summer were both competing, as well as Shane Webb, Matt McCarthy, Matt Higgins, Eric Davis and several others I know and love, as well as many I'd never seen and some I'd only vaguely heard of.
Of the ones I've never seen before, some I really enjoyed were Mary Van Note, Claire Titelman and Sasha & Noob. I really enjoyed almost every act I saw though, and the judges literally could have picked 6 names at random and all of them would have been pretty Kaufmanesque, and worthy of winning.
The ones who won are as follows: One of them was a friend of mine, Mike Amato. They also chose Sasha & Noob, Blaine Kneece, Robby Roadsteamer, Eric Davis and Harrison Greenbaum.
I felt really good about my set and my decision to just be myself, and to not try to be Kaufman-y, though I had some pretty good Kaufman-like ideas. The audience enjoyed my set a lot, and I left the stage feeling very confident. My friends and co-competitors were also very supportive and encouraging. And I made some new friends! The ones who won deserved to win, and I am thinking of going back tonight to watch the finals.
For anyone interested in seeing it, it's at 7 PM tonight at Carolines, at 50th and Broadway in NYC. Go!!! See some Kaufman"esque" comedy from these comedians while they're still young and crazy.