Dan St. Germain – Bad at The Good Times

There’s something about Dan St. Germain that captures your attention. It could be his long, wavy hair – or maybe it’s his very full beard. It could be his personality, which is vibrant to say the least. Dan St. Germain is a comedian, but he’s not a punch line comedian, he’s a real life comic who has some hilarious stories to share about his difficult past. Germain has been featured on MTV’s World of Jenks and MTV2’s Guy Code. Last night Germain stopped by the UCB Theatre to provide us with some laughs for his upcoming comedy CD, “Bad at the Good Times.’

Germain is the type of guy who has that comedic energy and stage presence that keeps the audience going. He’s not a quiet comic. He’s part redneck and part hardened New Yorker. He has the ability to describe sitting on the New York subway and then dive into a passionate monologue imagining Maker’s Mark and Evan Williams Whiskey hanging out at a party. It’s almost like he’s a ride at an amusement part and you’re waiting to see what happens next.

Germain’s pace wavers between relaxed and frenetic, and the ferociousness of his stories add to the humor. He has a little bit of Sam Kinison in him, without being overly offensive or edgy. As he aptly put it, ‘I used to weigh 240 pounds, and I realized I had a problem when I was eating an ice cream sundae… in the dark.’

For more on Dan St. Germain check out www.danstgermain.net

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The Laughing Devil – Grand Opening

About two months ago I had the chance to catch up with comedian Steve Hofstetter, part owner of the Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta. At the time he was in the middle of constructing the Laughing Devil Comedy Club, his gift to the comedy community of Long Island City. According to Steve, it would be the first comedy club in queens in almost 20 years, as well as one of the smallest. Steve let me in behind-the-scenes to what was then a narrow hallway with a chandelier in the middle. The way Steve described his vision, he was going to replicate a major comedy club, except on a much smaller scale – the club seats 50 people.

Fast forward two months and the dream is alive and well. Last night marked the Grand Opening Celebration of The Laughing Devil Comedy Club, and it is quite the site to see. The club has a full bar, with a remarkably nice decor and stage area. The left wall of the club is decorated with comedy albums from past luminaries such as Lenny Bruce and Shelley Berman. Because of it’s size, the club provides a feeling of intimacy that if often missing in larger clubs in the city.

It’s cozy, and due to its set up (all tables are lined against the left wall) you can stand up and use the mens room and not have to worry about bumping into the table next to you. There are no obstructed views, and the staff is very friendly. Given that so many comics already live in the surrounding Astoria neighborhood, it won’t be long before the Laughing Devil is the comedy hotbed that it has set out to be.

Photo provided by Queens Chronicle

For more info go to www.laughingdevil.com

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Senseless and Homeless

Anyone who has ever rode the NY subway has taken part in the time honored tradition of trying to ignore a crazy person shouting about something. Sometimes it’s money, which counts as panhandling, which is illegal – although never have I seen anyone stopped from doing so. I’ve seen transit police and homeless people, but never simultaneously on a subway car – maybe they’re in collusion, who knows.
I’ve seen people asking for money, although never have I seen two homeless people enter the same subway car and ask for money. I’m kind of hoping one day I see that – you know, a competition of sorts.

So this morning on my way to midtown, I hopped on the 2 train at 135th in Harlem and was ready to head in. No less than 1 stop in, a shaggy haired crazy dude got on the car and began yelling about something. I think, and I emphasize THINK he was explaining how important Jesus was to him. So he’s going on and on, and per usual, nobody cares. As the subway car pulls up to the next stop and the doors open, the man makes his way out the door – thankfully – but wait, not quite. He makes his way into the area where the doors close, thereby basically blocking the doors from closing. Everyone assumes he’s on his way out, I mean, what kind of person intentionally stands in the way of the subway doors to continue spewing their lecture on Jesus – am I right, people? Well, this guy did.

The doors begin to close, and this guy is still standing there – and NOW he has everyone’s attention. Things just got serious. People start shouting ‘dude, get out of the door, let the doors close’ but this sort of instigates the guy. He’s like ‘you want me to leave the subway car? maybe I’ll just stand here and hold up your day a bit.’ So he’s standing there not caring, and people are yelling at him – and I’m wondering – what happens next? Is this like being on a flight and there is one crazy passenger who starts acting up so one or two brave souls take the guy down until the plane leaves? Does someone hit the red emergency button and hope the train conductor removes the man peacefully? Do I intervene? (nope, I’m white, I stay out of this one). So what happens – well, we’re in Harlem, bitches, so a kid gets up from his seat, walks towards the guy, and says ‘move motherfucker’ with his fist out – and the guy kindly retreats to his plaform perch.

Happy Travels!

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