Mar 28, 2015
There’s nothing worse than a cold, cold room in late night television. I said “cold” the first time because the air conditioning in TV show studios is set notoriously low to keep everyone alert. I said “cold” the second time because the audience usually comes in mentally cold. They’ve been standing outside, on the street, usually for hours, waiting to get in to see a favorite show. But by the time they finally get admitted and take a seat, they’re hungry, tired and in need of a restroom. Their abundant good will for the star of the show is exhausted.
KEVIN BARTINI podcast excerpt: "I was auditioning for Jon Stewart. Being a fan of 'The Daily Show,' one thing I knew about Jon that I thought would maybe help me was that Jon is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, as am I. Some part of me thought, 'If only Jon Stewart knew we had a lot of similarities, we would get along!' So when it came time to do the warm-up and then bring Jon out at the end and introduce him to the audience, I did it with a Bruce Springsteen introducing Clarence Clemons style intro. Bruce would do this whole ramp-it-up of 'Do I HAVE to say his NAME?' And the audience would cheer. 'Coming from the STREETS of NEW JERSEY...' Well, it worked. The audience went freakin' crazy. Little did I know it then but 'The Daily Show' house DJ always kicks in with the opening of 'Born to Run.' Jon Stewart came out and I knew that second that I had the job because he enters where the guests come out and has to walk all the way upstage, shake my hand, and take the microphone. He never broke eye contact and just kept mouthing, 'Wow.'"
What they need is a warmup. What they need, more specifically, is comedian Kevin Bartini. Bartini has warmed up audiences for everything from “The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” to “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” He’s currently getting crowds ready for Comedy Central’s latest smash, “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”
KEVIN BARTINI podcast excerpt: "I don't do stand-up when I warm them up; I do crowd work. It's off the top of my head, reacting to them, who they're with. I never talk about current events or politics because that's (Larry Wilmore's) gig."
Of course, no one outside of the studio gets to see Bartini do his thing. So you might want to check out his latest comedy album, The Unintentionally White Album, or his podcast, “The Movie Preview Review,” which co-stars Adam Lash, Jessica Bailey (Bartini's wife), and "Jellybean" Jay Schmidt. You can also check his website, KevinBartini.com, to see where he will be appearing for the rest of us. Or you can watch and listen to today’s Mr. Media show.