Carolines breakout artist: Harrison Greenbaum

By | August 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm | 4 comments | Features | Tags: ,

Harrison GreenbaumPrint this page out to get $5 off admission to Harrison Greenbaum’s headlining show at Carolines on Aug. 17. Get more ticket info here.

World famous comedy venue Carolines on Broadway and Punchline Magazine have joined forces to present the Breakout Artist Comedy Series. Each Tuesday, at Carolines in New York City, an emerging stand-up comedy star will headline their own show and prove just why they’ve been quietly building a name for themselves in the national comedy scene.

And since we here at Punchline Magazine are all about exposing the best comedians – well-known or not – we’ll be profiling each comedian taking part in the Carolines series each week. So let’s get to this week’s headliner: Harrison Greenbaum!

Harrison Greenbaum is one of stand-up comedy’s hottest rising stars. A Harvard graduate and writer for MAD Magazine, Harrison has been featured on SPIKE TV, the Science Channel, and on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Most recently, Harrison headlined two sold-out shows at TBS Just for Laughs Chicago and was the official co-host of the Times Square New Year’s Eve World Wide Webcast, seen by over 250 million people around the globe.

He’s also received several honors for his comedy, including being named a finalist for the Andy Kaufman Award (2009), a finalist in the New York Comedy Contest (2010), and a semi-finalist in the Boston Comedy Festival (2009). From colleges to comedy clubs, from talk shows to theaters, Harrison continues to bring his unique style of comedy to audiences across the country!

Who do you think are the breakout artists of the next few years?
I hope everyone who took part in this series will be the breakout artist of the next few years (if they aren’t already). I feel really honored to be included amongst such amazing artists and I hope for a ton of success for all of them!

You hosted the Times Square Alliances New Years celebration last year. Was it tough to be funny for six hours of broadcast TV? How was it trying to work amongst a million drunken revelers?
Hosting the ball drop in Times Square was definitely one of the most fun things I have ever done in my life. There’s so much positive energy in the air that you can’t help but feel excited and in the zone. I was joined by some incredible co-hosts and backed by an incredible crew, so staying on top of my game, both in terms of hosting and in terms of being funny, was easy.

The revelers were all so incredibly happy and, as I soon discovered, often had amazing stories to share, that working with them was actually quite a joy. In terms of running up and down Times Square, I had a VIP pass and a crew with me, so navigating back and forth from the red steps of Duffy Square to the marquee of the Hard Rock Cafe wasn’t too difficult (though it was quite a work out!).

You’re known for incorporating magic into your act. Where are the areas of over lap between magic and stand up?
On a basic, technical level, both stand-up comedy and magic rely heavily on surprise and misdirection. On a deeper level, I think magic and comedy have the same goals: both a really good joke and a really good magic trick inspire an audience to step back, think for a moment, and question their current conceptions about reality.

You’ve also got a B.A. from Harvard: how do you think such a prestigious pedigree has effected your act?
Other than help me recognize that “effected” should actually be spelled “affected”? (Oh crap, I think I just confirmed every Harvard stereotype there is.)

I think the Harvard experience was a really unique and interesting one, so I definitely address some of the issues I had (and still have) because I went to Harvard in my act. I think my education also affected my worldview and perspective, which is turn affects my comedy.

What’s next for Harrison Greenbaum? Where will you be in a few years?
Good question! I have no idea, which is part of the fun of being a comedian. I hope that there’s some TV in the future, maybe a cool writing job, but who knows? I’m so happy right now – I mean, I’m making my living doing what I love, so what more can you ask for? (I know, I know: it should be “for what more can you ask.”) I’m going to keep writing, performing, and bringing my comedy to as many people as possible, so in the next few years, I’ll be wherever that takes me!

Print this page out to get $5 off admission to Harrison Greenbaum’s headlining show at Carolines on Aug. 17. Get more ticket info here.

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