Nate, Wil, Ira, and Flip

The 3rd round of semi-finals for the Boston Comedy Festival reared it’s head last night at The Hard Rock Cafe in Faneuil Hall.  The competition, a collection of the best new stand-up comedians in the industry today is a compliment to the more featured acts such as  Steve Sweeney,  Kevin Meaney, and Lenny Clarke who performed throughout the week.

The nights festivities were hosted by Tom Dustin, fresh off winning the top prize at the Montreal Comedy Festival. Tom unites his self-deprecating humor with a very thorough explanation of  ‘the rabbit.’  Never heard of ‘the rabbit?’ ask Tom, he’ll tell you.

The evenings co-finalists were Nate Bargantze and Wil Sylvince, with honorable mention going to Ira Proctor and Flip Schultz.  Bargantze, who has a slight resemblance to Jackass’s  own Johnny Knoxville, steals the show with his deadpan humor.  Calling marriage a mosh pit that looks like a good idea from far way, Bargantze goes on to say that he’s been married for four years, and now it’s getting serious.

When co-finalist Wil Sylvince hits the stage, you’re either ready to laugh or prepared for a Shabba Ranks concert. The Brooklyn native got the crowd going with his critique of local weathermen.  ‘When you say it’s going to be 50 degrees with a wind chill of 10, than it’s going to be 10 degrees! What it feels like is what it is.’

Runner-up Ira Proctor is Farley-esque in his humor.   Proctor, who makes no secret of his stomach girth, tells us that it’s not good when you go out for a run and come home in a cab. When he runs it’s like a Model-T going down the street out of control, not a pretty sight.  His best bit is about going to Dunkin Donuts and waiting behind the construction guy who places an order for half of Boston.

And last but not least, Flip Schultz brings his Judaism and impressions to stage. One minute he’s impersonating the snotty waiter at name-your-fancy-restaurant, and the next he’s doing a FreeCreditReport.com commercial featuring one of the Chilean miners.  Flip imagines attending a Jewish Rock concert, ‘are you ready to rock? no, you guys go ahead and do that, we’ll just sit here and eat.’

NateBargantze.com

WilSylvince.com

IraProctor.com

FlipSchultz.com

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A Cause Celebre

On November 8th, the Fashion Institute of Technology hosted their first ever Give Life Event at the college in the John E Reeves Great Hall. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness about the importance of being a registered organ donor. Kristin Molini, a recent recipient of a five organ transplant shared her story of her struggles before and after her transplant. Julia Rivera and Maria Torres (also a transplant survivor) from the New York Organ Donor Network also spoke about the critical need for registered organ donors as New York has one of the lowest percentages of registered organ donors.

Celebrity guests in attendance were: Grizz Chapman of 30 Rock, a recent kidney transplant survivor. Danielle Staub, Eric West, Alexa Winner celebrity stylist, Alexander Berardi and  Malan Breton; fashion designers. Brice Hall; a celebrity personal trainer, Preston O’Neil Roberson-Charles from Real World New Orleans, Amy O’Dell; fashion editor at NY Magazine, Micah Jesse; celebrity blogger.

Give Life is a group project of students in the “Principles of Public Relations” class, taught by Professor Loretta Volpe. The project is being led by Christina Alibrandi, with the assistance of Karina Abbaj, James Lim, Alicia Moo-Pow, and Sarah Scott Smith, all of whom are Advertising and Marketing Communications majors.

Raising awareness about organ donation is critical in New York, as the state has one of the lowest percentages of registered organ donors in the country—just 13 percent of individuals age 18 and older.

Currently, close to 110,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants.  Approximately 18 people a day die while waiting.. Of those waiting, approximately 9,600 people in New York State need life-saving organ transplants. In 2009, there were just 423 deceased organ donors in the entire state, 285 of them in the greater New York metropolitan area.

Research shows that while college students generally are in favor of organ donation, many are not registered. The goal of the Give Life event is to raise understanding about organ donation and the importance of registering as an organ donor.

The Electronic Signature Act, introduced in the New York State legislature by Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried and State Senator Thomas K. Duane, and signed in July by Governor David Paterson, will enable New Yorkers to enroll in the state organ donor registry online. However, before it is implemented, New Yorkers will continue to have to download, fill out, print and mail a form.

Organ donation by a single individual can save up to eight lives. A donor who additionally is a registered eye and tissue donor can save or improve up to fifty lives.

For more information on organ donation in New York City, go to www.DonateLifeNY.com

Press Material provided by Christina Alibrandi/Cheri Fein from FIT. (FitNYC.edu)

The following is a paid post:

Registering to be an organ donor is simple, and it takes less time than making a sandwich or playing a sk.partypoker.com game. Perhaps one of the main reasons that people neglect to do it is simply because they are unaware of the process. By informing the public, we could increase the amount of registered organ donors and start saving more lives!

Raising awareness about organ donation is critical in New York, as the state has one of the lowest percentages of registered organ donors in the country—just 13 percent of individuals age 18 and older. Currently, close to 110,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants. Approximately 18 people a day die while waiting.. Of those waiting, approximately 9,600 people in New York State need life-saving organ transplants. In 2009, there were just 423 deceased organ donors in the entire state, 285 of them in the greater New York metropolitan area.

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The Meaney of Life

Tonight marked the start, ‘scuse me, the staht of the Boston Comedy Festival, now in it’s 10th running.  This evening’s show, emanating from the ancient and honorable Hard Rock Cafe in Fanueil Hall was headlined by the hilarious Kevin Meaney with openers  Joey Carroll and festival founder Jim McCue, both of whom have toured with the USO in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joey Carroll had the crowd going with his stories of childhood angst and growing up poor, including his mother complaining of  a certain male cancer, which as Joey puts it ‘she says ”i got it from your father.”

To follow, festival founder Jim McCue got the crowd into it with his precise and witty crowd work. It doesn’t matter who is in the audience, Jim will find them and give them a reason to hide in shame, unless they are already laughing too hard to think.

Headliner Kevin Meaney is sort of a kid in a grown-ups body, and yes you may have heard that description before, but for Kevin, it’s true.  A comedy star  since the mid-80’s, Kevin brings forth a mixture of laugh out loud family observations combined with his hysteric delivery. It’s as though he takes on the aura of a Mother Superior when he exclaims his trademark ‘that’s not right!’ along with his signature finger guns in the air.

You really have to brace yourself during his routine because there is not one moment when the audience is not laughing hysterically. It’s one thing after the other, and due to his hyper delivery, even the pauses to get a drink illicit a roar of laughter.

To end his show, he did a combination of ‘The Dogs’ which is Kevin’s take on what celebrity dogs must sound like, along with a one-man re-enactment of ‘We Are The World’ which must be seen to be believed.

You can find Kevin Meaney at www.KevinMeaney.com. The Boston Comedy Festival runs through Saturday, November 13th.

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