STAND-UP TUESDAY: Andrew Ginsburg

Andrew Ginsburg 2012

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 Andrew Ginsburg. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

This week in Stand Up Tuesdays, we’re switching gears from the well-known in comedy to instead focus on a comedian who is making a name for himself on the New York comedy scene and beyond, with Andrew Ginsburg’s Pumping Irony. Recorded at Caroline’s on Broadway in New York in May of 2012, Ginsburg recorded the CD after deciding to completely swap out his set and try out all new material – a risky move for any comedian, regardless of how seasoned.

“I’ve been in stand-up for ten years,” Ginsburg tells me in a recent interview. “I started in college and just kind of continued on, and just kept going with it and staying the course. I was on The View [last week]; I got to perform a quick little stand up set, so that was cool. I like the writing more than performing, but obviously you have to perform to get out there.”

A key take-away before diving in to Pumping Irony is Ginsburg’s decision to axe his prior material in favor of something totally new – and whether or not that works remains questionable. Each track on the recording is well under three minutes, and with twenty-one tracks, Ginsburg’s set overall feels somewhat rushed and underdeveloped.

“I think wedding dresses should be color coded, like karate belts,” Ginsburg quips. “All the virgins wear white, gold diggers wear green, and sluts wear black.”

Clearly, Ginsburg knows what’s funny, as his jokes (at least structurally) pull his audience in in lead up to the punch line; however, one can’t help but feel that the comedian is rushing to the end point. At several points in the set, I anticipated the many ways in which he could take certain topics, only to be left wanting more as he came to each abrupt conclusion. While not truly one-liners, the quickness with which he ends each joke indicates he could benefit from a tad more development.

While Ginsburg’s material pokes fun at many different ethnic or social groups, he seems most comfortable making fun of what he knows – the fact that he’s Jewish. As much of a fan as I am of self-deprecation, I can’t help but feel there are times when Ginsburg is reaching for the low-hanging fruit by going for the obvious stereotypes (of Jews being cheap and un-athletic). Knowing that Ginsburg set out with all new material makes me curious to seek out more of his work, if nothing more than to get a sense of the comedian when he’s doing a set he’s more comfortable with. In an industry where comedians across all skill levels are rushing to get a CD out to the public, one must take a moment to question whether it may be wiser to take one’s time with such a project, fine-tuning and examining every second of the set.

Ginsburg is also an actor, writer, champion bodybuilder and fitness expert, and has performed in comedy clubs and colleges across the country including, The Comedy Connection, The Comedy Studio, Comic Strip Live, Comedy Cellar, New York Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Governor’s Comedy Cabaret, The Improv, Standup New York, Boston University, William Patterson University, Adelphi University, Fairleigh Dickenson University, and Bard College. While “Pumping Irony” may not be the stand-out comedy CD of the year, it’s a worthwhile effort that will still have you laughing out loud at many points throughout. Pick up a copy of Pumping Irony today at iTunes via Pink Room Records.

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