Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Big Announcement

I am thrilled to announce that my monthly comedy showcase, "ADAM SANK'S GAY BASH," is moving to Comix -- the newest and most fabulous comedy club in Manhattan!

My first show is Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. and will be headlined by JIM DAVID -- legendary comedian (and gay pioneer) who has starred in his own "Comedy Central Presents" special as well as countless TV appearances.

Also scheduled to appear:

KARITH FOSTER (Comedy Central's Premium Blend)

BRAD LOEKLE (Sirius OutQ Radio)

ROBIN FOX (Ladies of Laugher)

WILLIAM MULLIN (Santa Fe Comedy Festival)

JACKIE MONAHAN (Lesbians of Laughter Tour)

For those of you haven't been there yet, Comix is gorgeous and HUGE! (It's also in the Meatpacking District, nyuk nyuk.) The club boasts 14,000 square feet, including a 5,000 square-foot acoustically-tuned showroom consisting of 320 seats in an amphitheater-style setting.

Seriously -- how fabulous is this??

For tickets, click here!

And I'll see ya then!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dane Cook: Joke-Stealer?

I always hear from people -- particularly from bitter unknown comics -- that Dane Cook is a terrible comedian who doesn't deserve one iota of his success. Up until now, I've always defended Cook, first because,I do find him funny. No, his material isn't particularly ingenious, save for his old "Speak 'n' Spell should have been called 'Speak Like the Devil'" riff, which is inspired. But Cook delivers his stuff with a flair and physicality that I think distinguishes him and makes him highly watchable.

Plus, he's hot.

And his hands and feet are gigantic.

I've also long felt that most of the bad-mouthing is sour grapes. We'd all like to be Dane Cook; we'd all like to sell out Madison Square Garden in an hour and have our own HBO series and be showered with movie offers and fame and money. But the fact is, we're not. And there's a reason he is. And it's not just dumb luck.

All that said, I came across a blog the other day that alleges Cook stole several of his regular jokes from Louis CK. The blog, scamboogah, points to three bits in particular:

1) Witnessing a guy getting hit by a car.

2) Naming your kid something bizarre.

3) Having an itchy asshole.

Now these are allegations -- nothing more and nothing less. Except: The blog then provides audio of side-by-side comparisons of the bits. In each one, the first voice you'll hear is Louis CK, and the second is Dane Cook.

Take a listen. (I'll wait.)

Wow, right?


Now, it should be pointed out, the bits are not identical. And there's also no proof that Dane stole them from Louis, rather than the other way around. But given Cook's enormous popularity (not to mention Louis's own stature in the comedy world), the accusations are certainly worthy of some investigation. This Boston Herald article doesn't shed much additional light. Is there anyone out there who can?

As for my own enormous comedy career (just kidding -- my career, like my hands and feet, are tiny), I enjoyed a road gig last Friday at Rainbow Mountain Resort in the Poconos. When I told my mother the name of the place, she said, "That's the gayest thing I've ever heard."

She was right.

Here now, a photo-essay:

4:00 p.m. Friday, at New York's glamorous Port Authority,
on-board a Martz Trailways bus that will take me to East
Stroudsburg, PA. For anyone who's ever wondered what I look
like with really bad lighting.

With me, my trusty photographer and traveling companion,
Jeff Hardy.

6:00 p.m. Two hours later, we arrive at the main lodge.
It's very quaint and charming. "Like Newhart." But gayer.

6:05 p.m. Jeff and I are shown to our room, one of the
"deluxe" cabins. Visions of Kathy Bates from "Misery"
are dancing in my head, but once we step inside the room...

...we find it's actually quite nice, particularly the
Pepto-Bismol-colored walls...

...and the large topiaries. Look closer,
and you'll see they also leave condoms in
all the rooms. A touch of class, no?
We have dinner up at the main lodge and
then take advantage of...

...the outdoor hot tub! (Jeff will never forgive me for
posting this picture on my blog. His body looks
fabulous, though, no?)

9:30 p.m. A 1/2 before showtime, and when we arrive
at the nightclub, we find it completely empty. Seriously.
That one jacket on the chair? It's Jeff's.
is everybody?! Didn't the see the poster?

Well, maybe that's the problem. But sure enough, by 11 p.m...

The place is more or less full, and I am off to a good
start. That is until I refer to that person in the green-
and-blue-striped sweater as a lesbian. Doesn't she look
like a lesbian to you?! Well, she's not. In fact, she's
not even a she. She's a he; a gay man. Now, you all know
I have a problem with faces, but I'm usually pretty good
with GENDERS! And maybe the burly guy with his arm around
him/her could have tipped me off.

Don't you love the mirrors? I did, and in the middle of
my set I suddenly broke into "The Music and the Mirror"
from "A Chorus Line."

I had a strong set overall. Around 40 minutes, and they
kept laughing. All except for the one guy who kept
yelling "Take it off!" So, for my grand finale, I did.

Damn cuff links!

Hey -- I can always use a few more dollars.

Apparently inspired by my dancing, this guy did a little
performance of his own.

In all seriousness, I had a wonderful time. Jeff and I were treated like kings, and the owner gave me such nice feedback. He hopes to have me back in the summer, and I'd love to go.

Finally, some of you may be wondering, "Hey, Adam -- what's going on with your Gay Bash show at Carolines? You haven't mentioned it in a while."

To you I say, stay tuned; I'll have a big announcement very soon.

Come see me host the next Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, Jan. 28 at 10 p.m., when my special guests will be Karith Foster, Rob Driemeyer and Hilary Schwartz! Details on my web site.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Dinner With Sarah Silverman

Last night I'm having dinner at Eatery on 9th Avenue with my friend Ken Kleiber. (Ken is the host of "That's Kentertainment" which airs on Manhattan Neighborhood Network as well as the web site Click here to see the interview he did with me a few months back. It's delightful!)

Anyway, Ken and I are chatting away about comedy and showbiz and whatnot (since we're both so famous), and suddenly I feel upon me the eyes of the woman sitting at the table next to us. (You know how that can happen, when you suddenly feel creeped out by someone's gaze?)Anyway, so I turn my head ever so slightly toward her as if to say, ya know, "Eavesdrop much?!" and I find myself looking directly into the face of Sarah Silverman.

And she was making this exact face, too.

I am so stunned I stop talking mid-sentence and just stare to her.

"Hi," I finally say, which is what I always say when I see someone famous, as if she's going to recognize me and say, "Oh, hi, Adam."

Sarah immediately looks away (making one of those befuddled
Sarah Silverman faces) and goes back to her salad.

Now there's a giant elephant in the room. Ken and I try to act normal and continue eating and making conversation, but we keep giggling like a couple of gay hyenas. I keep thinking, how can I introduce myself and tell her I love her without making a total ass of myself and interrupting her dinner? (Impossible.)

Then it occurs to me: Hey, I wonder whom she's eating with?

Before I go further, let me try to illustrate our respective positions at the two tables.

In the above matrix, Sarah is "Stars," Ken is "Question Marks," I am "Dogs," and Sarah's dining companion is "Cash Cows," all of which is strangely appropriate.

Obviously, I have a clear view of Sarah, but in order to see her dining companion, I have to turn my head completely to the left. So I pretend like I'm trying to get the waiter's attention and try to get a look at the companion, whom I can only see in profile.

Ohmigod! It's Tina Fey!

Or is it?

I lean across to Ken and report my findings. Ken, who has a much better view of the companion's face, shakes his head. "No, I don't think that's Tina Fey."

Keep in mind we're whispering all this, which makes us appear even more ridiculous than when we were giggling. Now Ken is positioning his spoon to try and get a different angle on the companion's face.

"I don't know," he says. "She does have a scar on her face."

I'm convinced. "It's her! It's totally Sarah Silverman and Tina Fey! This is amazing!"

Finally, I feign having to go to the men's room so I can get a full-on view of the companion's face. It's not Tina Fey. This woman has shorter hair and a much chubbier face (albeit with a similar scar). But the other one is definitely Sarah Silverman. And now, it occurs to me, this makes sense, as she's appearing at Carolines later this week.

So we finish the meal and pay the check and get up to leave, and finally I lean toward their table and begin to deliver the speech I had prepared for the entire meal.

"Hi, Sarah," I say. "I'm so sorry to interrupt you, but I just wanted to say..."

"I'm not Sarah Silverman."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm not Sarah Silverman, if that's who you think I am."

Silence. I'm paralyzed. It's as if she just announced, "I am a rooster."

Finally I mumble something like, "Oh, um, er, you really look a lot like her. Sorry."

Then, because I'm truly retarded, I add: "Wow, don't be surprised if Page Six reports tomorrow that Sarah Silverman was spotted at Eatery! Bye."

Ken and I high-tail it out of there.

Walking down 9th Avenue, we debate whether she could have been lying. This person was identical to Sarah Silverman, right down to the hair, makeup and style of dress (sort of Jewish hippie-chic). On the other hand, her voice was kind of high and squeeky -- higher and squeakier than Sarah Silverman's. And Ken points out there was something about her mouth that suggested perhaps she was, indeed, not Sarah Silverman.

Or she was Sarah Silverman, and she was lying to us because she didn't want to be bothered by two silly queens while she's having dinner. Except by denying it, she actually increased our interaction time. (She could have just said "Thank you," and let us move on.)

In any case, one thing's for sure: I had dinner last night with Ken Kleiber.

At least I think so.

Come see me host the next Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10 p.m., when my special guests will be Laurie Kilmartin, Greg Walloch and Rome! Details on my web site.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My 3rd Annual Golden Globes Recap

All in all, a bit of a snore I thought. But for what it's worth, here's my recap:

Worst Fashion Trend: Metallic gowns. Nearly every woman there looked like an extra from "Wonder Woman."

Best Dressed, Female: Reese Witherspoon in canary-yellow silk floral jacquard Nina Ricci bustier dress. Like a delicious lemon tart.

Most Amazing Ability to Dress Like a Hooker and Still Look Fantastic: Beyoncé

Beyonce Knowles
Talk about Golden Globes!

Worst Dressed, Female: Meryl Streep. I don't know what the hell she was wearing, but it looked like loose skin.

Meryl Streep
I'm Melting!

Worst Dressed, Male: Jeremy Irons, who looked as if he had just come from a Civil War reenactment.

Hottest Man on Earth, Regardless of Whether He's at an Awards Show or Not:
Mark Wahlberg. Speaking of which, one of the attendees at my viewing party informed me that his (female) friend slept with Wahlberg back in his Marky Mark days. According to her, he's no Dirk Diggler, but it's still "pretty nice."

Most Unfortunate Pronunciation of a Film's Title:
Joan Rivers, who kept referring to Pedro Almódovar's "Volver" as "Vulva." (To Penelope Cruz: "You were amazing in 'Vulva!' I loved you in 'Vulva!'")

Cutest Couple: Will Smith and his pet dachshund.
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Don't even tell me I'm wrong.

Most Tedious Couple: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. When Ryan Seacrest asked them a perfectly reasonable question -- about what it's like being the constant focus of tabloid scrutiny -- they glared at him as if he had just farted. Fuck you, Brad and Angelina! What are we supposed to ask you about?
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie
And her dress was dumpy, too.

Most Disturbing Case of Plastic Surgery: An unrecognizable Drew Barrymore (pictured here with co-presenter Hugh Grant).
Drew Barrymore, Hugh Grant
'I wonder if she'd blow me in the limo...'

Best Impersonation of a Bratz Doll: Vanessa Williams. Seriously -- what the fuck. She's one of the most beautiful women on earth. Whoever did this to her should be killed.
Vanessa Williams
Rule No. 1: Never wear fur that matches your hair.

Best Ad-Lib:
Justin Timberlake, crouching down to accept Prince's "Best Song" award on his behalf.

Celebrity I Wish Would Just Go Away Forever: The aforementioned Prince. From showing up too late for his own award, to blocking the camera with his hand every time they tried to get a reaction shot, he is, quite simply, a flaming asshole. And not in the good way.

The "I Forgot to Buy a Dress, So I Just Threw on Some Wrapping Paper and a Torn-Up Sheet" Award: Sienna Miller.

Sienna Miller
Nuff said.

Best Speech: Sacha Baron Cohen. And I quote:
This movie was a life-changing experience. I saw some amazing, beautiful, invigorating parts of America but I saw some dark parts of America, an ugly side of America, a side of America that rarely sees the light of day. I refer, of course, to the anus and testicles of my co-star, Ken Davitian.

Ken, when I was in that scene and I stared down and saw your two wrinkled golden globes on my chin, I thought to myself, "I'd better win a bloody award for this." And then, when my 300 pound co-star decided to sit on my face and squeeze the oxygen from my lungs, I was faced with a choice: death, or to breathe in the air that had been trapped in a small pocket between his buttocks for 30 years. Kenneth, if it was not for that rancid bubble, I would not be here today.

Worst Speech: Warren Beatty. Man, what a pompous blow-hard.

Gayest Red Carpet Pose: Zach Braff and John Stamos. Mmmmmm...
Zach Braff, John Stamos
'Meet you in the bathroom during Warren Beatty's speech.'

Most Moving Speech: America Ferrera, talking about how little girls all over the country tell her they feel worthwhile and lovable after watching "Ugly Betty." Because God knows, every little girl aspires to be called "ugly."

And now, the actual winners:

Picture, Drama: "Babel"
Actress, Drama: Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
Actor, Drama: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
Picture, Musical or Comedy: "Dreamgirls"
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
Movie Screenplay: Peter Morgan, "The Queen"
Foreign Language: "Letters From Iwo Jima," USA/Japan
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, "The Painted Veil"
Original Song: "The Song of the Heart" from "Happy Feet"
Animated Film: "Cars"

Actress, Drama: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Actor, Drama: Hugh Laurie, "House"
Series, Musical or Comedy: "Ugly Betty," ABC
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Miniseries or movie: "Elizabeth I," HBO
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Helen Mirren, "Elizabeth I"
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Bill Nighy, "Gideon's Daughter"
Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Emily Blunt, "Gideon's Daughter"
Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jeremy Irons, "Elizabeth I"

Warren Beatty

Seriously -- I hope you bitches appreciate how much work this is for me every year.

Come see me host the next Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10 p.m., when my special guests will be Laurie Kilmartin, Greg Walloch and Rome! Details on my web site.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Notes on a Salad

Forgive my momentary return to Courier New font. I'm blogging from work, and for some reason Franklin Gothic Medium is unavailable on this computer.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is this: I hate frisse. Every day for lunch, I go to EuroPan Cafe on 8th Avenue and get them to make me a salad. My choice is to start with either romaine lettuce or mixed greens. I always go for the greens -- a healthier choice -- along with grilled chicken, shredded cheese, cucumbers, broccoli and cherry tomatoes, topped with a sesame ginger dressing. Delicious, nutritious, and an excellent source of fiber.


There is always WAY too much fucking frissé in the mixed greens.


People outside of New York may not even be familiar with this hateful weed. (I'm thinking your salads probably consist of iceberg lettuce, raisins and marshmallows.) But basically, frissé is the skinny, curly crap that grows in between the cracks of your backyard patio. It's the pubic hair of lettuce. Bitter, nasty, and prone to getting stuck in your teeth, it's foul! The only thing worse than frissé is parsley, which, thankfully, I only have to eat once a year, on Passover.

And I guess it's cheap, because no matter where you get a salad in New York, it turns out being at least 30 per cent

It's gotten so that I specifically request that the Puerto Rican guys who work at EuroPan pick out the
frissé before they make my salad. This is difficult, as frissé doesn't exactly translate into Spanish. What I usually say is, "¡No hierba, por favor!" (No grass, please!) The first few times, they looked at me like I was smoking hierba, but now they just smile and gently sift through the salad, removing nearly all traces of frissé. Invariably, though, they always leave behind one long, prickly, multi-leafed strand of frissé hidden at the bottom. And I never notice it until I start to gag.

Salad vendors of the world, I beg you: No more
frissé! Live frissé-free or die! Frissé? No way!

Thank you.

Come see me host the next Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, Jan. 14 at 10 p.m., when my special guests will be Michelle Buteau, Josh Spear and Scott Sussman! Details on my web site.

Monday, January 8, 2007

And to All A Good Night

I was very nervous going into last night's Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour. It was the first one of the year and the first time I had performed ANYWHERE in three weeks. Soaking in my ritual bath an hour before the show, I was filled with that old familiar dread: Who the hell do I think I am? What business do I have trying to do stand-up? What if they don't laugh at ANY of the three new bits I'm opening with? And why does my left heel always itch when it gets wet?

Compounding my worry was the fact that when I got to Therapy around 9:00, the upstairs was nearly empty. This didn't bode well, especially when we were showing a brand new episode of "Desperate Housewives." As I stood and waited and brooded, a few more people trickled in. Then a few more. Then a helluva lot more. And somehow, by 10:00, we were standing-room-only.

Up I went. And for the first time in memory, the applause lasted longer than my intro music.

"Welcome to the first Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour of 2007!"

More applause, louder this time. The crowd was totally insane.

They laughed at all the new bits.

They hooped and hollered and clapped.

I believe I even heard a whistle or two.

I mixed in some fast and furious crowd work: "What? You two straight girls are from San Francisco, and you came all the way to New York to go to a GAY BAR? Don't you EVER want some dick? Your names are Marty and Jessie? What the hell are you, Pink Ladies? Where's Frenchie?"

Having the time of my life.

I felt so completely in my element. I didn't want to leave the stage. But I did. And up went Jodie Wasserman, for her Therapy debut.

The Wass is wass'up.


Up went Brad Loekle, a Therapy fave.

Never Gayer.


It was midway through Brad's set though that I realized Lisa Landry had yet to show up. Lisa is probably the person I most admire in the comedy world. She has headlined my room a dozen times. NEVER missed a spot, NEVER shown up late. And yet there it was 10:45, and no sign of La Landry.

I let Brad go on. He had done about 15 minutes at this point and the crowd was still loving him, so that seemed OK for the moment. But still, I was panicked. I called Lisa... and got her voice mail. Jodie called Broadway Comedy Club to see if any comics were hanging around and wanted to do a last-minute spot. Suddenly I heard Brad say, "Thank you so much! Here's Adam Sank again!" Worried he had somehow missed the light, Brad had wrapped himself. Oy, vey!

A rather artsy-fartsy photo of myself, as seen against
one of Therapy's legendary cosmos. (Photos by Seth Gilmore.)

Any other night might have been disastrous, but this crowd was so pumped up and so nice that they didn't mind as I vamped for another five minutes or so, pulling whatever bits I could think of out of my ass. (Not literally, Mom.) Just as I was really starting to sweat, Luke announced, "Lisa is here!"

Up she went.

Better Landry than never.


Shiny Happy People.

On my way home, a guy stopped me as I rounded the corner of 52nd and 9th. "Hey!," he said. "You did the comedy show tonight! It was unbelievable! My friends and I couldn't believe how hard we laughed!" I thanked him and continued on my way.

A great night. A really wonderful, terrific, great night. As I head into my fourth (!) year of this insane, unforgiving, ridiculous business, it's nights like these that keep me going.

Come see me host the next Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, Jan. 14 at 10 p.m., when my special guests will be Michelle Buteau, Josh Spear and Scott Sussman! Details on my web site.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Best and Worst of 2006

Happy 2007, y'all. I have been completely MIA blog-wise in the last several weeks and vow to get myself back in the swing in this, the new year.

First and foremost, I have a new font: Gone is Courier New; it's so 2006. In its place, please welcome Franklin Gothic Medium! I hope you like it, as I've spent the last half hour selecting it from a list of dozens. If you don't... suck it!

I'd also like to wish my sister, Anna Joy Haselmann, a very Happy Belated Birthday! Her birthday is Jan. 1, which is possibly the shittiest of all birthdays, since the new year always steals her thunder, and everyone's always hung over on her birthday. But Anna's a good sport about her unfortunate natal day, and I love her dearly. Your gift is on the way, babe!

My own new year's was pretty fun. Saturday night I went to see Jennifer Hudson, diva of the moment, at the Hammerstein Ballroom. It was a trés gay event, organized by the Saint at Large, which is known for organizing hugely entertaining, debaucherous all-night parties. This one turned out to be more debacle than debauched. The line was endless, the sound system, appalling, the backup dancers, completely unrehearsed. Jennifer looked pissed; she didn't even perform "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going," her signature song from "Dreamgirls." Nevertheless, I knew tons of people there, and once Jennifer's mini-concert was over, we had fun dancing until 4 a.m., when the organizers forcefully ejected us.

The next night I had a little party at my apartment, culminating in a midnight toast on the roof. Oddly enough, almost everyone at the party was named "Robert."

Robert, Robert, Bob, Nimish, Michael and Me

It's hard to spot in the photo, but the Times Square JumboTron is actually visible from my roof, so we were able to watch the ball drop live on the screen. (Which I guess is what anyone with a television set can do, but it still seemed really cool to us.)

By the way -- I don't know Nimish at all, but I figured I had to invite a South Asian person or Ravi Kissoon would accuse me of being a racist. (Just a little Comedy Soapbox in-joke there, folks.)

That was pretty much it for my holidays, other than the Sank Family's annual Chanukah party, which took place this year at my sister Laura's. There's not a lot to report there, but the pictures were really cute, so here goes:

Granny, age 89, looks on as Xander, age 3, and the other grandkids light the menorah.

Clockwise from top: Molly, Justin, Leo and Xander.
Yes, that's a Christmas tree. My family is multi-denominational. Deal with it.

Justin takes a flying leap.

Uncle Adam rocks some John Denver on the guitar while nephew Tyler suffers.

And now, for no particular reason and in no particular order, my picks for Best of 2006:

Best New TV Show, Drama: Friday Night Lights
Best New TV Show, Comedy: The Class
Best Reality Show: Project Runway
Best Blog About the Best Reality Show: fourfour
Best Pop Album: Panic at the Disco!: A Fever You Can't Sweat Out
Best Dance Remix: DJ Revolucian: Barbra Streisand/Shut the Fuck Up!
Best Movie: Shortbus
Best Performance in a Good Movie: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Best Performance in a Bad Movie: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Best Broadway Musical I Haven't Even Seen Yet But Am Addicted to the Cast Album: Spring Awakening
Best Broadway Play: The History Boys
Best Off-Broadway Musical: Evil Dead
Best Book: Sadly, I Didn't Read a Single One -- wait, that's not true -- I read Gore Vidal's memoir, "Palimpsest," and Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but both the books and their authors came out eons ago...
Best Forced Outing: A Tie: Congressman Mark Foley/Pastor Ted Haggard
Best Inspiration for Comic Material: Dick Cheney Shoots Man in Face
Worst Date I Had in 2006:
Man Shoots in My Face -- just kidding! that was my BEST date!
Worst News Event of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and Beyond: Iraq
Worst President Ever: George W. Bush
Deadest President Ever: Gerald R. Ford

Feel free to disagree or add your own. I forgot how exhausting blogging was and am going straight to bed (so to speak).

Come see me host the first Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour of 2007 this Sunday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m., when my special guests will be Lisa Landry, Brad Loekle and Jodie Wasserman! Details on my web site.