STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Eugene Mirman

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Eugene Mirman. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

 

Eugene Mirman brings his off-beat and satirical observational style and some visual aids to Comedy Central in the world premiere of his original one-hour stand-up special, “Eugene Mirman: An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory,” which premieres on Friday, December 14 at midnight ET/PT.

Mirman is an absolute expert at finding humor in what ordinary people find mundane, and in his first one-hour special, filmed at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco, Mirman treats the audience to a hilarious grownup game of show and tell.  Prepared with print-outs, cocktail napkins, and his childhood notebook, he explains unique ways to keep your daughter safe, how to serve the perfect revenge to the cable company, and how to make ten Saudi Arabian men give you $40 each.  Theremin enthusiasts will be particularly excited to know that Mirman stole Jimmy Page’s instrument and uses it in this special.

“I live in Brooklyn and I’m away a lot, so I have stuff mailed to this mailbox place,” Mirman quips in the special. “Whenever anything arrives, the guy calls me and he always goes, ‘You have a small package.’  Oh, stop it, you flirt!”

Mirman currently does the voice of “Gene” on Fox’s newest hit animated series “Bob’s Burgers.”  In the streets he’s sometimes recognized as Eugene, the landlord, from “Flight of the Conchords” or from his role as comedian/mobster Yvgeny Mirminsky on Adult Swim’s “Delocated.”  On “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” he’s Dr. Eugene Mirman and on “Home Movies” he was Eugene, the Russian foreign exchange student.  He also has been featured on “comedy Central Presents.”

Mirman created and curates “Pretty Good Friends,” a weekly comedy show that features Mirman and special guests/comedians, which sells out every Sunday night at Union Hall in Brooklyn. Along with Julie Smith and Caroline Creaghead, he also produces the annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, now in its fifth year – and actually started as a joke.

“I decided to do it; we put it on one year and have kept on doing it since, which is now five years ago. It is a lot of fun to do,” Mirman recently told me. “It’s always been in the same two venues, basically, and it’s just sort of this small thing. But it’s really fun to do.”

Mirman was named “Best New York City Comedian” by The Village Voice, one of the “50 Funniest” by Time Out New York, and one of the 10 best comedians of the last decade by Paste Magazine. He has released three comedy albums (the last two on Sub Pop Records) and a parody-ish self-help book, The Will to Whatevs. Named by Rolling Stone as a “Hot Twitterer,” Mirman keeps his over 238k followers entertained daily. Mirman cites his ability to do so many different things as the highlight of his comedy career.

“It’s definitely stand-up that I really love. I have to say that one thing that I really like is the variety – that I get to do voice acting, but also live action acting and also do stand-up and then even things like the comedy festival which is sort of thinking of weird stuff and producing events,” Mirman tells me. “So it’s sort of the variety of things is kind of what I really love. I wrote a book several years ago, and that was really great – it was really great writing a book. I don’t know if I’d want to just write books, but I did really enjoy that. All of that relates to comedy; none of it involves guitar – though I guess it does involve a Theremin. But who can’t play a Theremin?”

Mirman’s comedic style is unmatched, as he can take the most basic of topics and make it utterly hilarious – often leading one to wonder just how the comedian is able to come up with such absurdity.

“You know, a lot of it is I think, when I started doing comedy when I was in college, I had this show in the basement of my dorm – and then in general, since college I did stuff at the Comedy Studio, and even here, I’ve always sort of run shows. A lot of it was that I would tell a story or do some bit and if the audience laughed, I would keep it. And my act sort of became this collection of things that essentially, as long as they made an audience laugh, became my act. So it sort of works with me thinking of something and then trying it – even in the special, there’s lots of things; there’s probably ten titles for books to sell at Urban Outfitters and I think, like, three are on there. There were lots of potions and I think I used like three or four in the actual special. So a lot of it is trying all this different stuff out, some of it works, some of it doesn’t, and you sort of keep what works. I like doing what works. It’s a little fun doing stuff that doesn’t sometimes.

“Eugene Mirman: An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory” airs this Friday, December 14 at midnight ET/PT only on Comedy Central – and thank goodness for that, as it’s bound to take a top spot among this year’s comedy specials.

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