Bills & crime aren’t funny
Carolines comedy club on Broadway has spawned Seinfeld, Shandling, Leno, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Larry David, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Maher.
Says owner Caroline Hirsch: “COVID’s first year we were mandated to close. We thought maybe a month. It was 16 months.
“Staff left, we gave our food away, checked that systems were shut, gas wasn’t leaking. It’s a lot to shut down a restaurant. But bills — telephone, Wi-Fi, electricity — didn’t end. It was a horror show.
“Now we’ve reopened but things changed. People laugh through masks. Some places lock guests’ cellphones in a case. When they leave we unlock it. Comedians don’t like their shows taped. Who knows how people don’t have nervous breakdowns with all the stuff happening? Jerry Seinfeld won’t play colleges anymore. He goes, ‘Screw that. This cancel culture gets offended at everything.’
“We’re running at 70% capacity. Out-of-towners are starting to come. But all our expenses have gone up — which we now have to pass on to the customer. You have to borrow money. You put in disinfectants. Air purifiers. You can’t find help.
“And, listen, I grew up in New York. Our city’s crime is terrifying. Scary. Like we’re back in 1970. I’m not going anywhere — but I notice nobody sees this police commissioner. She must be in hiding.”
Hang in there
Set in England, nominated for five Tonys, including Best Play, comedy “Hangmen” is hanging on till the 18th. Producer Jean Doumanian: “I saw this in London and loved it. It was to open here 2020 before things shut down. But even during difficult days when we had COVID casualties, if the theater is only half full, it was important to produce this. Why? Because this is New York. What do out-of-towners come to New York to see? The Statue of Liberty and Broadway.”
This . . . and that
Rancid Pelousy. Once you couldn’t discuss how she hornswoggled her hairdresser. Now you can’t ask how her husband flunked driving. And never can you mention that her Vesuvius mouth is swallowing the country . . . Also Ethan Hawke, who usually plays nice guys, now plays a killer in “The Black Phone.” Dead children call it. He says: “It’s dark, sinister, but sometimes scary’s fun.” Opens the 24th so we’ll see if audiences hang up on this or it scares away business.
I read a story saying “Selling oligarchs’ assets may take years and Biden wants to speed up the process.”
Really? How about speeding up his mumbling from the cue cards? Or speeding up the gas price problem, immigration problem, inflation problem, son Hunter problem, health care, global challenges, economy, pandemic, climate change situation, unemployment, financial crisis, discrimination, economy disaster, social issues, poverty, hunger, nuclear threat? And our nightmare gun problem.
If a handler fluffed his pillows he could maybe mouth it all from his crib in Delaware. And, listen, I’m not even mentioning how bad’s Kamala or the Tony Awards.
Full of charity
Here’s Biography magazine’s partial list of groups supported by Prince Charles the almost king: Goon Show Preservation Society, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Museum of Garden History and the Specialist Cheesemakers Association.
Medical doctor: “Nobody makes house calls anymore, except plumbers, TV repairmen and burglars.”
Only in America, kids, only in America.