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Great Big Show! Deets Below…

February 13th, 2014 by D.Billy

We’re putting on a Very Special Valentine’s Day version of the And I Am Not Lying variety show at UCB East at midnight (11:59 PM on 2/14) on Valentine’s day, featuring the all-female mariachi band Flor De Toloache, an aerial Lucha Libre burlesque act, and standup by NPR’s Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg.

Poster designed by D.Billy and Jeff Simmermon

The show is at UCB East, 153 East 3rd St. @ Ave. A, Friday, February 14th at midnight (11:59 PM) – $5.
Here’s a link for tickets/reservations:

And a 40-second teaser trailer:

This month’s show features:

Hosting/Storytelling by Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth podcast)

Aerial Luchador Burlesque by Lucy Licious and Airlingus

Live Mariachi Music by Flor De Toloache (with burlesque accompaniment)

Storytelling by Peter Aguero (The Moth, Daddy Issues)

Stand-up by Ophira Eisenberg (host of NPR’s Ask Me Another) and Abigoliah Schamaun — who will also chew and swallow an entire light bulb during her set.

Archives Posts

More NYC Dong Drawing

October 26th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I’ve referenced NYC’s classic folk-art subgenre before – the subway dong drawing. I found this marvelous specimen on the LIRR from Atlantic Terminal to Jamaica yesterday morning:

2013-10-25 09.59.31

She looks so pleasantly surprised, as if to say “I was expecting a breakfast treat, but this is really something special!”

Filed under Art & Design, Beauty, Comedy, Found, New York City having Comments Off

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Clear the Cache and Defrag the Hard Drive – Have a Good Cry

July 31st, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

Everyone knows that straight men are emotionally repressed. If we weren’t, ‘Mad Men’ would be a two hour miniseries on Lifetime that nobody watched and ‘The Sopranos’ would be a Ken Burns documentary about the excellent and communicative management style of the New Jersey underworld.

Nobody ever talks about this, but all that emotional repression is a net positive for our species. Or, it can be, for a while.

Here’s why:

Testosterone is a hell of a drug, man.

Starting one morning when I was twelve or thirteen years old, and continuing for the rest of my life, my brain’s most immediate response to any stimulus is:

1) kill it
2) fuck it
3) eat it with your hands

Thirteen and fourteen are pretty tough years for guys because we are learning not to trust the constant swarm of chemicals in our bodies that is gearing us up to lead a Viking raid from horseback.

You learn to curb that shit pretty quickly that if you want to continue to earn your mother’s love and be allowed inside the house. Otherwise your family would just keep you in a shed in the backyard and throw chickens in there sometimes, like that one family in every zombie movie that’s in horrible denial about what’s really happened to their boy.

You know what they call guys who are fully in touch with their feelings and express them in real time the moment that they have them?


What’s initially a pretty solid social survival skill just kind of calcifies and turns into a habit after a while. A good habit in one context is a terrible habit when the context changes.

I’m starting to notice that the same impulse control mechanism that kept me and most of my friends out of jail in high school is now working against me.

Yesterday was a brutal day at work, just a beige blizzard of corporate stupid, and I had to come straight home and lie on the couch in my drawers and watch Superman cartoons.

My wife, my brand new wife of exactly two months, came home from the gym, glowing with exercise and beaming to see that for once I came home early instead of spending an evening trying to impress a bunch of schlubby misogynists at a dingy basement comedy show. She leans over and gives me a sweet kiss, then starts telling me about her day while she stretches on the floor, and a few minutes in says “you’re awful quiet. Is there something wrong?”

And this seriously came out of my mouth:
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And I Am Not Lying! At Under St Marks, June 5th & UCB East, June 6th

June 2nd, 2013 by Cyndi Freeman

We got two amazing shows this week! And Jeff is getting married so if you are like “Where is Jeff?!”
- Well he is off getting hitched and we wish him well!

In the meantime the show must go on…or shows as it is. We got two of em!
Two separate line ups!
Two different days!
Two different times!

And I Am Not Lying – Deluxe Version
Under St Marks Theatre
94 St. Marks Place, New York, New York
9pm – Wed. June 5th
$10 – for tickets go to

Two hours of the mightiest variety show in New York City. This is the epic power ballad of Burlesque, Storytelling, Stand-Up and Sideshow held every month at Under Saint Marks.
This month’s line up features:
Story telling by Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman and Kevin Allison
Burlesque by Cherry Pitz and Bunny Buxomm
Comedy by Matt Koff

And you are not seeing double!

And I Am Not Lying – The Quick Jab To The Solar Plexus
UCB East 153 East 3rd Street
11pm -Thur. June 6th
$5 – for tickets go to

The fast jab, one-hour Ramones set of the powerhouse variety show, featuring storytelling, burlesque, comedy, and sideshow that you recently saw listed in the New York Times. Live at UCBeast

This show features:
Story telling by Brad Lawrence, Cyndi Freeman and Diana Spechler
Burlesque by Cherry Pitz and Melody Jane
Comedy by Matt Koff

Archives Posts

Two Shows in May: 5.1 at Under Saint Marks, 5.9 at UCB East

April 29th, 2013 by Cyndi Freeman

Man, the month slipped past FAST. We’ve got two big shows in New York this May, and I’m here to tell you about them:


First, we’ve got the monthly installment of our residency at Under Saint Marks Theater on Wednesday, May 1st, 9PM. The theater is at 94 Saint Marks’ Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.


Storytelling by: Cyndi Freeman (The Moth, NY Fringe Award Winner), Brad Lawrence (The Moth, BTK), Jeff Simmermon (This American Life, The Moth)

Standup comedy by: Guilia Rozzi (Stripped Stories)

Sideshow by: Abigoliah Schamaun (Abigoliah’s Bizarre Bizaar)

Burlesque by: Brief Sweat, Cherry Pitz

You can get tickets here.

Then on May 9th, 11PM, we’re bringing the show to UCB East in a one-hour bouillon-cube of thrills, featuring

Storytelling by: Shannon Cason, Jeff Simmermon

Comedy by: Paul Oddo

Burlesque by: Nastie Canasta

… More special guests to be announced.

UCB East is located at 153 East 3rd Street at Avenue A. Tickets are only five tiny dollars, and you can click here for reservations.

Archives Posts

And I Am Not Lying’s 2 Year Anniversary at UCB East

April 9th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I can’t believe we’ve been at this for two whole years. On the one hand, it feels like we just started yesterday, but on the other, it feels like it’s been forever.

This Thursday, April 11th, we’re celebrating our SECOND ANNIVERSARY at UCB East, at 11PM!

If you want tickets or reservations, click here.

Here’s a flyer, lineup after the jump:

NotLying_UCB Read the rest of this entry »

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Your One-Stop Resource For Info on Bitches and Flamethrowers

April 5th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I just happened to take a look at the blog stats this morning, and found a pretty magnificent run of Google search queries that led the reader directly to this blog:


What if these were all the same guy, Googling each question in sequential order?

Filed under Beauty, Comedy, Found, Jeff Simmermon, New York City, Weirdness & WTF having Comments Off

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New Video: Fighting the Big Black Bird With Some Help

April 3rd, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to be able to share this video of this story. I told it at The Moth’s “Love Hurts” show on February 13th of this year.

I’ve been working it over and over for a few years – it’s a significant revision of a piece about the depression that comes after cancer surgery, and also all of the stupid shit that people say to you when they hear you’ve had cancer. Just a hint: Yoga can’t actually cure cancer, but getting high and watching ‘Pootie Tang’ will help you to feel better.

I put a lot of jokes into it that I’ve written over the last year, and it feels right. This is also the first time I’ve been able to adequately communicate in public just how much my fiance means to me without using any cliches, and why I can’t imagine living life without her.

Think what you want of Lance Armstrong – the doping scandals, the lying, the bullying, whatever. I didn’t follow cycling or that story that closely, so I’m shielded by a thick cushion of ignorance on that one. But the thing that helped me the most through this whole process of having testicular cancer was being able to talk about it openly, on stage and in the street.

People get a little weird about it now, but they used to get a LOT more weird about it, and it was something that wasn’t discussed at all. We used to say that people were testicular cancer victims, and now they’re cancer survivors. It’s a major cultural shift, and it’s come through the hard work of the LiveStrong foundation.

It’s OK to feel however you want to feel about the man, but let’s please recognize that the foundation has done – and continues to do – really, really important work. I benefited from it directly and indirectly, and a lot of other people have, too.

Archives Posts

And I Am Not Lying, Live on April 3rd

March 31st, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

It’s time all over again for another installment of And I Am Not Lying at Under Saint Marks’ Theater – this month, we’re featuring a VERY special burlesque tribute to John Turturro’s Jesus Quintana from “The Big Lebowski!”

Here’s a fun flyer, info and ticket links below the jump:

And I Am Not Lying, April 3rd
Read the rest of this entry »

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Doin’ It All For A Baby That Can’t Love Me Back

March 29th, 2013 by Jeff Simmermon

(I see a lot of traffic coming in to read this post – in the event that some of you are interested in seeing the performing that I’m talking about, you can see that this Wednesday in NYC, just click the link.)

Five of my friends have had babies in the last two weeks. The birth of a baby is supposed to be a happy thing, but it can also be a funeral for a friendship.

It’s great that everyone I know is immediately, rapturously in love with their child, and I wouldn’t wish anything else for them. I see the joy and happiness that my sister and her husband feel now that my nephew is here, and I genuinely want everyone I care about to feel that, too. But it’s not like I stopped needing someone to hang out with, talk to, commiserate with about the crushing grind that is art and performance in NYC, get super baked on pot cookies and watch sci-fi flicks together.

I’m not suggesting that the emotional needs of a 36 year old man should never come ahead of a baby’s, either. If any of my friends kept hanging out like everything was exactly the same, that would be even worse. I’d hate to find out that a close friend was so into our friendship that he was willing to become a deadbeat dad just to keep our train on the tracks.

I think a lot more kids are accidents than people let on. After a certain age, people just go to a different doctor when they find out they’re pregnant than they did in their twenties. I think so, anyway. But after my run-in with testicular cancer a few years back, I’m not going to be surprising anybody.

So while I grieve for my lost – or suddenly, drastically changed – friendships, I’m also jealous. Not like, snatch-a-baby jealous, but with the option of sudden, natural conception behind me, it makes me a lot more conscious of my choices. And I don’t feel like my life is in a place where I could drop everything and support a new life.

I’m really, obsessively focused on writing and performing now. It takes up almost every waking hour, and it pretty much has to until further notice. It’s crushing and exhausting, but sometimes it works out.

For example, I was honored to be the only white guy in a tribute to Richard Pryor at BAM last month. I grew up listening to Richard Pryor records in my room, mimicking his cadence and timing and trying to learn how he could conjure so many characters in a story. Not imitating them, but just becoming them. I’m a storyteller, Pryor was too. And I’ve got a story about a guy who pretty much is the living embodiment of his “Mudbone” character. It was a perfect lock, and such a thrill to be there.

The room was packed, standing room only, maybe 300 people or so. I went on second, after a guy who just crushed it. He’s brash and sharp, grew up incredibly poor in Washington, D.C., and the crowd loved him. Then I went on, and things changed.

They weren’t trying to hear anything from a huge white dude that looks like most people’s boss, dressed in a cowboy shirt. Especially not if the story was a complex story about a friendship with a schizophrenic black man. A large Caribbean woman sat right in front of me, frowning a hole in my skull with arms crossed in front of her like two giant pythons guarding a gateway to laughter on the far, opposite side of an echoing room. I saw dates look at one another and mutually decide to wrap it up early and claim they had an early meeting the next day.

Some people laughed here and there, but I knew in 30 seconds that it was going to be a fight. Comics can go to backup material, but when you’re telling a story and it’s going bad, you’ve got to land that burning airline no matter what happens.

Phones were coming out and lighting up all over the place, and I could hear the audience start to chatter. I swear I heard someone say, “it’s cool, we can talk over this guy.” I zeroed in on a friend’s face and just started talking to her, just to get through it.

And then, also in the front row, I saw this:

A haggard, middle-aged woman pulled a sharpie out of her pocket, and drew a mustache onto her face with a very practiced motion. Then she reached into her coat and took her shirt off completely, unfurling her boobs like faded, trusty flags she’d flown a million times before.
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