Almost Last Comic Standing Tour
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Almost Last Comic Standing Tour

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States
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The best kept secret in music


September 12, 2007

Funny girl Amy Schumer may not have the most experience, but she advanced a lot further than most seasoned comedians could ever dream of on NBC's Last Comic Standing. She had the judges in the palm of her hand from the minute she brought up her CATS the musical sweatshirt and quickly advanced through the show. Schumer shined in the challenges and never found herself to be a target, forming solid friendships with her fellow comics. She made it far, placing fourth, and many doors are opening for the young comedian these days. Amy takes some time to talk to BuddyTV about her time on Last Comic Standing and her upcoming national tour.

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.

Hey, this is Gina from BuddyTV and I’m talking to Amy Schumer from Last Comic Standing. Amy, how you doing today?

Good, thanks for having me Gina.

Were you surprised you went or were you more surprised how far you made it?

Definitely more surprised how far I made it. But you know, once I made the final five I thought I had a chance, I really did. But yeah, all those doors I thought maybe would be closed if I didn’t win, but they definitely didn’t and it’s cool because I got to sort of form a relationship with these people, with NBC, so I don’t know, things are looking good.

That’s great. And you only stared doing comedy three years ago, is that right?

Yeah, June 1 three years ago.

I love that you know the date. Tell me how you got started and what that experience was like for you.

Oh God, it was actually pretty painless because I wasn’t expecting very much from myself. Some friends are there, and my mom, so it was kind of like there was nowhere to go but up. But I still have that tape, and it’s really, REALLY painful to watch. But it was good, it was a good first experience to have on stage and actually Gotham Comedy Club was the first place I was ever on stage. So much has happened there, I got to shoot my first Comedy Central show there. And my audition for Last Comic was there. So Gotham is something past and present in my stand-up life.

How you done any theater beforehand? Did you grow up performing at all?

Yeah, I’ve always been an actor and I’ve done a bunch of theater, so I think that kind of gave me a little bit of an edge. It wasn’t my first time being on stage in front of people. Some people find comedy and they’ve been in insurance sales their whole life, so that’s a little bit of a tougher transition. So the fact that I had a theater background I think made it a little bit easier.

Which part of being on the show did you find to be the most difficult or the most stressful?

Having it be all boys the last couple weeks was a little difficult, but I got so close to these guys. Especially Doug Benson, Matt [Kirshen] and Gerry [Dee], they become like your good friends. But I’m always a fan of having more estrogen around, so I was not happy to see the girls go at all. They were like, “Oh, it’s so cool that you’re the last girl” and I’m like, “Trust me, I would trade it to have Debra [DiGiovanni] or Gina [Yashere] here right now.”

When we interviewed Doug he actually spoke really highly of you and thought you had a great chance of winning. You guys formed a nice relationship together?

Yeah, we did. I was just following him around like a puppy dog at first, always making him sit next to me on the bus and stuff, just because I really like funny people and people that can make me laugh, and Doug is just the funniest guy you’re gonna meet. I had so much fun. Hanging out with him was probably my favorite part of the whole experience.

Had you been around a lot of seasoned and experienced comics before coming on the show?

Yeah, actually one of the reasons I evolved kind of quickly in comedy is that the pros especially in New York really reach out. Comics can be the most insecure people, but they can also be the nicest people and really stick their necks out for you. So a lot of the big names in New York were really nice to me and would take me out on the road with them. Jessica Kirson, who was on a couple seasons ago on Last Comic, she right away was really nice to me and let me open for her all over. Everywhere from Italian social clubs to temples, so you learn how to bomb, first of all. Then just getting to perform in all those different rooms with the comedians there I most respect, that definitely moved things along, I get to do shows with my idols in New York. This past month, I guess Chris Rock’s working on a special or something, but I’ve gone up right before him or right after him. And I get to work with Dave Attell…and I just got to work with Wendy Liebman.

Oh, that’s awesome.

She is like my favorite, so it’s just really cool.

Yeah, I was gonna ask you what comics are out there now that you really look up to and that you’d like to work with?

I love female comics. Like, I love Judy Gold and Jess K -

English stand-up comedian Matt Kirshen appears as one of the top 10 finalists competing in season five of the NBC reality talent show Last Comic Standing. After finding out that he had been chosen as of the top 10 contestants, he joked, "Being in the top ten feels like getting a massage from a burly man. I know it's doing me good, but I still feel a bit dirty." His youthful appearance belies a 27-year-old veteran of the UK comedy circuit, where he performed his first solo act at the Edinburgh Festival, and was then lauded for his precise timing and biting wit.

Kirshen was the winner of the 2003 Hackney Empire New Act of the Year contest, gaining success and fame in London and throughout the UK. He is a regular performer at numerous clubs and locations, among them Just the Tonic, Belfast Empire, Komedia, The Comedy Store, Rawhide, and Laughter House. He also tours various universities throughout Britain, and has performed in festivals at The Carling Weekend in Reading and Leeds and in Glastonbury. He has collaborated with and opened for other performers such as Ed Byrne in Ireland and Jeff Green in the UK. He has performed internationally in Singapore, Dubai, Holland, Germany, and France.


Matt Kirshen traveled all the way from England to compete on this season's Last Comic Standing. He was chosen in the London round (along with fellow finalist Gina Yashere) by scouts Ant, Alonzo Bodden, and Kathleen Madigan. Targeted by the other comics for being one of the few with the least experience, Kirshen put up a good fight and made it to top 8.

Kirshen got started in comedy when he was still a college student. In an exclusive interview with BuddyTV, he tells us about the early part of his career. "I had wanted to do it for a while. I kept my eye on open mics and my friend James got me to do it. Both of us started together and we're both still going.

This is the first season that the show will be airing in both England and Australia but Kirshen had never seen the show before trying out. "I didn't have a clue what I was getting into," he said regarding the challenges. Perhaps his most uncomfortable moment came when he had to perform his comedy act for a drag queen who did not find him amusing. "Oh God, I don't know how people at home watch it. I was at home squirming watching it!"

Heading into the season, he didn't know any of the American comics. He knows that the fact he hasn't been doing this as long as some of the others is a reason he was targeted. "I had already done one head-to-head with Debra and knocked her out. I didn't know what was going to happen after with Ralph and Doug. I thought, well, they're going to pick me. I had only been going five or six years and everyone else has been going at least ten."

One might think comedy in England differs from comedy here in the states but Kirshen says: what's funny is funny. "We all get the same stuff, we watch the same movies, we get a lot of the same sitcoms. The only difference is that Americans cheer a lot more. I've never seen someone get a round of applause for saying they quit smoking." Kirshen plans to stick around in the states and plans to tour here. He will post all his upcoming tour info on his MySpace page.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)


As Schumer, a 1999 South Side High School graduate, continues to move up in the competition on NBC's reality show "Last Comic Standing," with comedians from around the world taking part and voters across the globe deciding who stays and who goes, Schumer may even turn out to be the funniest person in the world. As of press time, Schumer, who is known for her irreverent, self-deprecating humor, was one of the final five stand-up comics anxiously awaiting the results of Wednesday's show to find out whether they will compete for the title.
It was obvious from an early age that Schumer had a great sense of humor and would be on TV one day, said her mother, Sandy Schumer. "Amy was different from her brother and sister when they were younger in that they liked characters - her brother liked Superman and her sister liked Snow White," Sandy said. "But Amy made up her own bizarre characters."
One of them was a fortune teller, Madame Lavitsky, who would stop any visitors who walked through the foyer of the Schumer home to tell them their fortune. "We were all hysterical," Amy's mother recalled. "She was very, very funny. ... Her bed at home was on a platform and had a curtain in front of it. She put her mattress on the floor and used [the platform] as a stage, while she slept on the floor. We always used to say, 'Amy will be on stage one day, doing stand-up or in a sitcom.'"
At an early age, Schumer began acting in plays at local theaters, taking on the role of Gretl in "The Sound of Music" for Sacred Heart High School, and performing as Molly in "Annie" several times, as well as in other plays at other community theaters. Once she hit high school, however, she decided to concentrate on volleyball, becoming an All-County player. But the desire to perform was still there. "I always knew I was going to go back to theater," she said.
Throughout high school, her sharp sense of humor was always evident. At the end of her senior year, her classmates voted her "Class Clown" and "Teacher's Worst Nightmare."
"She was the class clown in a respectful way, when it was appropriate," said her former volleyball coach, Cheryl Scalice. "Her personality [now] is very similar to high school. I guess maybe it's meant to be. She always had a great sense of humor. She was very funny, very witty. You can even tell from the show that she's very smart. I don't know how she comes up with what she does so fast."
Schumer's former English teacher, Russell Reid, agrees that she easily took on the role of class jester. "She was a bright kid and quite funny," he said. "... I'm surprised at her career path, but I can see it. She was always outgoing and funny. So it's not a stretch."
Looking back on her high school years, Schumer says it's important for teenagers to stay true to who they are. "It's kind of cool that these things I've been punished for my whole life, now they're starting to pay off," she said. "I wasn't an outcast by any means, but I always felt a little different and a little off, and I always knew I was funny, but I had to mask that a lot of the time. What was most important was being a pretty girl. I would push that to the side and try to make people laugh. Maybe it would have been helpful to hear someone say that it's OK to listen to your impulses and to be yourself. If you feel you have something funny to say, say it; don't worry about what people think."
Schumer attended Towson University, graduating in 2003 with a degree in theater. In college she honed her comedic timing and also got back on stage, performing in a number of plays, taking on both comedic and dramatic roles. "I loved both the comedy and the drama," she said. "My favorite performances were ones where I could make the audience cry with laughter, then make them cry with me. I really got cast in both [types of] roles, the roles where you needed good comedic timing but had to be able to pull on people's heartstrings."
After college, like many actors, Schumer moved to New York City, and waited tables and tended bar while she auditioned for roles. She also began a stand-up career. On a whim, while walking past the Gotham Comedy Club, she decided to go inside to find out how she could get on stage. The club happened to have an opening for a show that night, but she had to bring at least four people. So she called her mom. "I said I was going to try stand-up and asked if she could come into the city that night," Schumer said. "She said, 'Do you have any jokes?' and I said, 'I'll figure it out.' I have the VHS of that first time. It was pretty horrible, but I got a good response, and people couldn't believe it was my first time. Ever since that night I've just been pounding the pavement and doing it every night."
She has become a regular performer at Gotham, the Comedy Cellar, the Comic Strip and Caroline's. She has worked with several improv troupes, and been signed by Comedy Central to shoot a Web series in which she will take to the streets to interv - Herald Community


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Almost Last Comic Standing Tour features the two youngest of the top ten comedians from NBC¡¦s Last Comic Standing. Amy Schumer from the New York auditions and Matt Kirshen from the London auditions met on the show and became great friends. Amy has appeared on MTV: Fight For Your Rights, MTV¡¦s Human Giant and Comedy Central¡¦s Live At Gotham. She has also performed at the 2007 Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. With an impressive array of awards and press accolades under his belt, Matt stormed the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His many international appearances include gigs in Dubai, Oman, Singapore, Malta, Holland, France, Austria and Germany, and, most recently, The USA. He has performed to festival crowds at Glastonbury, Oxford Truck and The Carling Weekend in Reading and Leeds. Together you have great diversity with intelligent comedy from England and America.