Hey hilarious people, you might want to mark Wednesday nights down in your calendars. Funny man Jordan Landsman, originally from the US, has been organizing weekly Palermo based stand up shows in English. We spoke to both him and to one of last week’s performers, Talia (who in the spirit of full disclosure writes for The Bubble on top of being a total riot).
But first things first, the organizer himself, Jordan Landsman:
The Bubble: So why did you start the Stand Up shows?
Jordan: I started the show with Sofi Casas, who is Argentine, in November after we met in a stand up class given by Felix Buenaventura. As far as I know, there used to be two English-language shows before we started: Life Out Loud Stand Up Comedy and before that Gringo Stand Up, but both ceased to exist. I went to one of the last Life Out Loud shows in November 2014 as a spectator and ended up performing for my first time when one of the comedians didn’t show up. It wasn’t great (I did maybe 5 minutes of stuff I just had in my head) but I didn’t feel like I’d bombed either so when that show closed, I had the idea of producing a new one, and got in touch with a couple of comedians here who said they were interested, but never found a space and put it on hold. Fast forward almost a year, Sofi and I met in the class, became fast friends, she actually pitched the idea (so it was like a match made in heaven) and we got to work.
Stand Up has been getting more and more popular here for the past couple of years, and so we wanted to create a space for Argentine comics to reach the many foreigners and tourists here who love comedy but don’t necessarily speak Spanish (or if they do, just like hearing English once in a while). It’s also a chance for expat comics to do their stuff in their native tongue. We want the show to be as international as possible and so far we’ve had people from different parts of the U.S., Belgium, England, Bolivia, and of course Argentina.
The Bubble: Brilliant, and what kind of feedback have you had since it started?
Jordan: So far the feedback has been great. All of our shows have been full or close to it and we’ve gotten tons of support from people (expats and Argentines alike) who tell us that they’re thrilled to be able to go and see stand up in English again. Since we’re the only show of our kind in town we’ve been able to get big names like Ana Carolina, Felix Buenaventura, and Abby Feldman to perform with us, and we’ve been in touch with some other household names who are interested in doing it in 2016.
The Bubble: Oh… Wow. Have you had any surprises on stage? Any new rising stars?
Jordan: The best surprise was when Alex Hooper, who is a great comedian from L.A. and has appeared on shows like New Girl and performed at the Meltdown and other prestigious US comedy places, reached out to us out of the blue saying that he was on vacation here with his girlfriend and asked us if he could stop by to do a set. We were thrilled and so was our audience who absolutely loved him.
Sofi and I perform in the show as well and of course we love having built a place where we can try out new material. We try to keep the show as fresh and exciting as possible by bringing in new comedians every time, and it’s just been amazing how many people have come out of the woodwork asking to perform.
And how could I forget our good friend Talia Samuelson, who has done the show twice to much applause and amor.
*Cue the rising star herself*
The Bubble: Are you funny? Is it liberating to be on stage?
Talia: Okay. Am I funny? Is it liberating to be on stage? Is Louis CK really that ginger and that Mexican? Questions for the ages. But I’ll try.
The nature of stand-up comedy lends itself to self loathing, the outcasts in high school, the person who had to be the clown. Stand-up is just one long 10-15 minute cry for attention and approval really, LIKE ME YOU IDIOTS!
I think Jerry Seinfeld once explained that he never did another show like Seinfeld because he was simply becoming too popular. It was unnatural for him, to be so universally well liked and famous, he felt it to be contrary to the spirit of the entire president. So he, you know, went and did comedians in cars getting coffee to joke around with Barack Obama and Larry David. Real low-key, Jerry.
But I digress.
The reason I did it is because I was sitting around eating Jake’s bagels every Sunday and my friend Jordan told me he was starting a stand up night and would I do it, as he knew I used to back in DC. After he promised to buy me a bagel in return, I agreed. So really, it was all about the free carbs, it always is.
The Bubble: Thank you for being so honest, Talia. Moving on, don’t you think Spanish stand up would be worth a try given that we are in Buenos Aires?
Talia: I do know Jordan and Sofi do stand-up in Spanish all the time and everyone should definitely go check that out as well. I think they just saw a niche in the market. And sometimes, it’s nice to have laugh in English.
Check out their Facebook event for information on how to get in on the action as a comic or audience member.