STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Adam Newman

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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 Adam Newman and his latest release, Not For HorsesIf you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

I recently published an article on examiner.com about the importance of a comedian’s ability to connect with his audience, and how creating even a small amount of audience empathy can only stand to strengthen a comedian’s act.  It seems perfectly fitting, then, that in this week’s Stand Up Tuesdays edition, I offer my take on comedian Adam Newman’s debut album, Not For Horses, which was released on Rooftop Records in July 2011.

Newman’s stand-up credits include performances at The New York Comedy Festival, Just for Laughs Chicago, The New Orleans Comedy Arts Festival, North Carolina’s Laugh Your Asheville Off Festival, Austin’s Out of Bounds Festival, and Atlanta’s Laughing Skull Festival. Named one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch in 2010, he was a finalist for the Andy Kaufman Award. He was also on the College Humor Show on MTV, and has been featured in Time Out NY and the NY Daily News.

While some may cringe at the thought of any comedian’s ‘debut’ recording and question its quality immediately, Newman is no beginner.  He’s done his rounds and has honed his craft in comedy clubs nationwide so well that describing his CD as ‘debut’ just feels silly.

“I did stand-up for the first time at Lenny’s Bar in Atlanta on July 1, 2006,” Newman tells me. “I didn’t know anything about open mics or where to do comedy in Atlanta, so I just set up a show and did 45 awful minutes in front of my friends. I grew up on my mom’s Carlin and Cosby records, always loved stand-up and sketch comedy, just didn’t know how to get into it. I found two or three open mics in Atlanta over the next few weeks, but moved to New York on August 2, 2006, so I really got my start here. I found a listing of NYC open mics online, and hit them every night.”

Recorded at Atlanta’s Laughing Skull Lounge, Newman described the experience of recording his performance in his home state.

“The first recording experience was great. The Laughing Skull is one of my favorite clubs in the country. If it had been around when I started, I wonder how long my move to New York would have been delayed,” Newman states. “Specifically for the recording: I like how it only holds about 75 people, the club treats comedians great, and Margaret Cho was in town and was fun to have opened all the shows. Also, it’s one of the clubs Rooftop records at, so it worked out nicely to do the album with them.”

Newman’s material is not only hilarious and well-timed, but also personal. Each of his jokes shows you a glimpse of Newman’s true personality – and this openness instantly generates a huge amount of likability that keeps you eager for more.  For instance, those who know me are well aware of what a dog person I am – and, given my own experiences, I couldn’t help but almost fall out of my chair with laughter upon hearing Newman relay his own story of sitting for his friend’s dog – whom he affectionately dubbed, “Doogie Schnauzer, MD” for the weekend, and who happened to have also consumed an entire plastic bag earlier in the day.

“So the next day, I walk the dog for the first time,” Newman recalls.  “He did his thing on the sidewalk and everything came out fine.  But then I looked down and saw that the dog had a little tip of a plastic bag coming out of his butt. And I was like, Oh no, we have to get that out right now.”

That was what sold it for me.

It’s physically impossible to not laugh at the mere thought of anyone – let alone a comedian – being faced with having to extract anything from a dog’s backside, but as Newman goes on to describe the undigested leftover, he reveals it to be a tall kitchen trash bag. Naturally, hilarity ensues.

Newman’s material isn’t limited to glorified poop jokes, however. He seamlessly spins tales of truck stop encounters, customer service encounters and teaching small children to do ‘the worm’ – all with  a welcoming approachability that makes you want to just have Newman around wherever you go, offering commentary along the way.

Definitely pick up a copy of Adam Newman’s Not For Horses (the CD’s title track stemming from the aforementioned truck stop encounters) via Rooftop Records today and enjoy a deeply-funny experience!

Written by: Angie Frissore (Follow her on Twitter)

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  • I hope we’ll be able to see him perform – is he on Comedy Central, HBO, etc.? From the schedule on his site it looks like he mostly performs in NYC. I hope I can catch his act one day.

  • Carol Blotner

    Wish Adam would get a gig up in the Mount Washington Valley in New Hampshire…..  A great venue for his comedy would be The Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, Maine….  just over the NH border.  He’d have a receptive audience for sure… ayah….