Tag Archives: laughing devil

She-Devil Comedy Festival to feature queens of stand-up

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

photo 1 (2)

Jen Murphy isn’t afraid to talk on stage about the modern-day ease of watching skin flicks on her smartphone.

The Los Angeles-based comedian, who quickly quashes the prickly debate of “are women funny?” is venturing eastward to appear in the Laughing Devil’s first annual She-Devil Comedy Festival, running October 24 through 28. This 100-woman-strong showcase will feature some of the funniest up-and-coming queens of stand-up.

Murphy, who lived in Astoria for several years before moving to the West Coast, boasts an impressive resume including two seasons of “Last Comic Standing,” appearances on “Comics Unleashed” and a stint as the host of her own show on TLC called “This is Why You’re Still Single.”

While Amy Poehler of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and Kristen Wiig of “Bridesmaids” have made it known that ladies are leading the way in recent comedy endeavors, Murphy said the early road to comedic success can be tricky for women.

“Sometimes it’s harder as a woman to get my foot in the door,” said Murphy. “It’s harder to get into clubs if they don’t know me. Club owners trust men more. But once you’re in, it can be easier because there aren’t that many of us.”

Most of Murphy’s material comes from everyday observations, like friends with kids and trials of single life, which she says provides plenty of laughs.

“I have one joke where I talk about how I wish I could be a whore because I’m broke and I hate dating,” said Murphy. “Dating is kind of like prostitution anyway!”

While the gripes of 30s singledom might ring like a girls night in, Murphy says she makes her stories something everyone — not just women — can understand.

“I try to make it something men can relate to too,” said Murphy. “I don’t just want to be like ‘dating is hard,’”

Murphy, who says she keeps pretty quiet when she’s not on stage, said audiences are often surprised when she opens her mouth.

“A lot of people say ‘I didn’t think you were going to be funny,’” she said.

Laughing Devil hosts fundraiser for Colorado shooting victim

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of supportcaleb.com

While increased security at local movie theaters and debate over gun control brought the Aurora, Colorado, shooting closer to home, a Queens comedy club came together to raise money for an aspiring comedian who was injured during the rampage.

On Monday, July 30, the Laughing Devil Comedy Club in Long Island City hosted a fundraiser for Caleb Medley, a victim of the Colorado “Dark Knight Rises” shooting that left 12 dead and wounded nearly 60 others. Medley, an up-and-coming comic, was shot while protecting his then-pregnant wife who gave birth shortly after the massacre to the couple’s first child, Hugo.

Scott Sharp, Laughing Devil’s manager and a Colorado native who knew Medley from the Denver comedy circuit, described the wounded father as an “incredibly nice guy who loves comedy.”

The fundraiser formed quickly with the assistance of Laughing Devil manager Steve Hofstetter. The club runners decided that instead of hosting a comedy showcase, constricted by the venue’s limited seats, the event would instead be a laid-back evening of “hanging out at a bar with a lot of very funny people.”

One hundred percent of the proceeds generated from ticket sales and 50 percent of all drink sales were donated to help pay the uninsured Medley’s hospital bills, which could reach an estimated $2 million.

The event raised roughly $1,000. According to Sharp, many people donated even if they were unable to attend. He said they just wanted to help someone in need.

“It shows how the comedy community rallies for one of their own,” said Sharp. “It shows how people want to help someone in need, especially someone in their own field.”

According to Hofstetter, outcry from the comedian community has been insurmountable and thousands of dollars have been donated to help Medley and his family from comics across the country on the fundraising website, www.supportcaleb.com.

“When one of us suffers, we all do,” said Hofstetter.


Long Island City comedy club to hold fundraiser for Aurora shooting victim

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Laughing Devil

On the day James Holmes was charged for the shooting at a Colorado movie theater, a Long Island City comedy club will hold a fundraiser for one of the shooting’s victims.

The charity event will take place tonight at the Laughing Devil Comedy Club in Long Island City for Caleb Medley, who was one of 70 moviegoers shot at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on Friday, July 20 in Aurora, Colorado.

Holmes was formally charged today with 24 counts of murder for the shooting. He was in Colorado courtroom on Monday afternoon where he was also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder. Twelve people were killed and 58 injured in the shooting.

Medley is an aspiring comic who was shot while protecting his pregnant wife, the Laughing Devils’ website says. His wife has since given birth.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and costs $15. All money from the cover will go to Medley, with 50 percent of the drink sales also being donated to cover his hospital bills.


Queens comedian competes for comedy crown

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Andrew Hendrickson

Comedian Andrew Hendrickson stepped into the spotlight on the makeshift stage at The Bread Box, a Long Island City eatery just off hip, bustling Vernon Boulevard. The restaurant was packed with locals and comedy junkies looking for a laugh and a chance to see the next “great one” before hitting the big time.

As a performer in the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival, Hendrickson was one of more than 100 comedians, hailing from the United States and Canada, competing for a cash prize and paid gigs at various comedy clubs throughout the city. The festival boasts several special guests at each show and a number of celebrity headliners.

Hendrickson performed in the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival’s sister event in Atlanta several years ago, failing to make it to the final round. He was determined to try again in New York – the city where stars are born and fame is just one great joke away.

Hendrickson was born in California, moving to various parts of the country during his childhood as a self-proclaimed “navy brat.” Regardless of his changing hometowns, comedy was always a major part of his upbringing.

“I’ve always loved stand-up since I was a little kid,” said Hendrickson. “I was living in Atlanta and I saw a news report about a guy who taught a stand-up class. When you ‘graduate,’ you perform for a live audience at the local club. So I signed up.”

Hendrickson developed his own material, compiling a five-minute routine that he performed at open mic nights. He then took his act on the road, working as an emcee and a middle act for bigger names. One year, he put nearly 40,000 miles on his car, driving from show to show.

“I know every gas station and rest stop in the eastern half of the country,” joked Hendrickson.

Now a 14-year comedy veteran, Hendrickson has developed his own style, employing conversational, dry and sarcastic undertones and methods into his routine. He believes there is no way to train to be a stand-up comedian, but a combination of relentless performing and writing can help a novice jokester find his voice.

Hendrickson claimed it took him 12 years to figure out how to be himself on stage.

“When people don’t laugh at my jokes it’s only because I’m being so subtle they miss it,” said Hendrickson. “After performing and writing for so many years, your mind starts to ‘think comedy’ constantly. It’s hard to turn off. You develop an awareness and look out for a funny perspective on just about everything. Most comics don’t know what’s funny until they bring it to the stage. Fortunately, for me everything I do is perfect and funny the first time I try it.”

As for his comedic inspirations, Hendrickson says they are not just the legends appearing on Comedy Central and filling thousand-seat venues, but his family.

“Everyone in my family is really funny,” said Hendrickson. “My mom is silly, my brothers are total smart [alecs] and my dad has a dark sense of humor. The family dog is the funniest of them all. He talks to me but no one else hears it. I get my best ideas from the dog.”

During his performance at the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival, Hendrickson ripped on Starbucks patrons’ ridiculous orders and his mother’s ability to leave him an entire story on his voice mail.

“I felt great on stage Saturday,” said Hendrickson. “The crowd was great. Who knew performing in a bread store would be so much fun. I felt really good about my set. I think I picked the right jokes for that round.”

Hendrickson took second place in the final round at the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival.

Up next in his budding career, Hendrickson plans to push around a sitcom script and gain more exposure on television.

He also has big plans for his love life.

“I want to marry a rich Hollywood starlet and live off her fame,” said Hendrickson. “I’m coming for you, Betty White.”