Blog: How Was Your Week? With Julie Klausner
As a comedienne, actress, and writer, Julie Klausner has been a major fixture in the New York City comedy scene for some time now. Whether it was a show at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theatre or the much missed Mo Pitkins, Klausner is an artist that routinely kills audiences with her acerbic humor, her mastery of skewering pop culture while still adoring it, and her excellent singing voice. The hardworking Klausner did not rest within these mediums. Instead she harnesses this smattering of talent and has created the ever popular “How Was Your Week?” podcast. And for a lucky sold out Bell House crowd in Brooklyn on Wednesday night we were about to witness a live Halloween themed version of the show aptly titled, “How Was Your Shriek Live!”
The packed Bell House crowd waited eagerly with many in attendance donning costumes under Klausner’s instruction, each of which depict specific topics from her podcast. Shortly before 9pm singer/songwriter Ted Leo took the stage along with his band who would serve as the musical accoutrement for the evening. After ripping out some kooky riffs, Klausner was introduced, taking the stage as a red headed “Bride of Frankenstein.”
From that point on, the laughs did not cease one iota. The live audience was treated to a visual recap of what Klausner has been following on Twitter since her last show, taking pointed shots at the former, “Dancing on the hood of a car” celebrity Tawny Kitaen followed by a user submitted “Cats – The Musical Fan Fiction” piece, both of which were priceless and clinically insane. Next up, Leo and Klausner raised the stakes on the evening by competing against each other in a “Spooky Sing-off.” And even though the song selections were meant to tickle the funny bone the crowd was nevertheless blown away by the dueling pipes of the pair. Their duet of “There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein’s Place),” the classic tune from The Rocky Horror Picture Show was especially light-hearted and fun.
With many lighters placed squarely in the air, the first door bell sound rang out signaling the arrival of the evening’s first guest. It happened to be KISS founder, Gene Simmons. Well not really. It was in fact Jon Wurster (Superchunk) doing a vicious parody of the money hungry musician, setting up a brilliant live sketch between Wurster and his WFMU radio comedy partner Tom Scharpling posing as an obsessed KISS fan. Wurster and Scharpling kept character so well that even Klausner was forced to break several times. The two men then stepped aside for the night’s second guest, the beautiful and delightfully outrageous Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock from the Sun), who hit the stage like a blonde tornado dressed spectacularly as “Kill Bill’s” Elle Driver. Johnson and Klausner quickly launched into a lively and funny interaction with topics ranging from Johnston’s outspokenness on both Twitter and in real life, a play that she can’t talk about starring in, and her odd interactions with fellow “3rd Rock” actor John Lithgow. Comic and writer Gabe Liedman would follow shortly thereafter in a costume that as he stated, ‘disguises himself humorously as a straight man.’ Liedman is always a pleasure to see live because of his biting wit and the way he mixes in so easily with hosts and other panel guests.
Julie Klausner is simply one of the most dynamic and truly funny women working today. Her unique voice encapsulates a great working knowledge of pop culture’s past and present and her interview skills are both entertaining and informative with a slew of interesting guests. Be sure to check out her podcast, “How Was Your Week” wherever podcasts are podded.
- Jay Rubin