STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Gary Gulman

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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 Gary Gulman and his latest release, All I Want for Chanukah is Christmas. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Here we are, a mere five days before Christmas – and I’m finally getting in the holiday spirit. I have to admit, though, that it took some much-needed assistance, which, not surprisingly, came in the form of comedian Gary Gulman’s 2010 holiday CD, All I Want for Chanukah is Christmas

The Boston native and Last Comic Standing finalist released the digital recording last year, which focuses on the utter awesomeness of Christmas as it relates to being a Jewish kid. Some might wonder what would drive a Jewish comedian to put out a Christmas CD.

“It’s part of my people’s tradition of selling albums by exploiting the gentiles’ holiday open wallet policy,” Gulman says. “Also I love jokes related to the holidays and I’m good at them so I realized I had enough for a short album and I wanted a project so there is the motive.”

Gulman’s brand of witty, off-the-cuff comedy has been selling out shows for years, so when it came to piecing together his best in holiday humor, he had ample material to work with.

“It’s a blend of several shows, not all even from the same venue,” Gulman describes. “It is a collage.”

All I Want for Chanukah is Christmas showcases Gulman ranting hilariously about the oddities of this insane time of year – from bizarre Christmas carols to reindeer with birth defects.

“Maids, stop a-milking, start a-cleaning up this bird crap,” he quips, mocking the Twelve Days of Christmas (as one should).”He’s turned my apartment into an aviary.”

But Gulman sort of steals his own show when it comes down to his Jewish humor – first with his deductions that Charlie Brown is Jewish  and then poignantly showcasing the many reasons we should all be thankful for Jews everywhere.

“Many of you will be using one of our products tomorrow morning. Yeah – you’ll be taking Saturday off. Wow, enjoy – on us. We started that. That’s our Sabbath, but you’re more than welcome to it.”

What I love about Gulman’s style is that he relies heavily on his improvisational skills in his act, which adds a level of intimacy with the audience in that one feels as if they’re having a casual conversation with the comedian.

“Initially it’s mostly improvised, which is to say I take a short premise and work it out on stage and then remember it or record it and then it becomes a part of my set,” Gulman explains. “BUT when I record a CD, I don’t try out hardly any brand new bits so it’s like 90% stuff that I’ve liked doing for a while.”

And as if Christmas wasn’t awesome enough on its own, Boston fans can look forward to very special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day performances of All I Want for Chanukah is Christmas at Nick’s Comedy Stop.  I knew my mother was lying to me – there IS a Santa Claus!

Even if you can’t make it to Boston for the fun, you can download All I Want for Chanukah is Christmas today – like, right now – and be enjoying the holidays with Gary Gulman immediately. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

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