Here's a really funny man on the street video C.J. Toledano shot while visiting Chicago this week! Watch out for traffic cone costumes and masks from a surprisingly popular sequel you probably forgot about and catch C.J. at the Lincoln Lodge tonight!Read More
Three years ago C.J. Toledano, Trevor Martin and Conor Sullivan put up a Halloween show at Second City's de Maat Theater called Everybody's Haunted. The show was essentially written in 2 hours (most of which was spent napping) and was simultaneously all sorts of crazy, lazy and stupid.
Now, with Everybody's Haunted Part Boo: The Screamquel happening tonight (saki Records, 10/31/13 at 7:30pm), let's take a look back at by FAR the most prepared piece from that night three years ago: A video from a fourth person (Kevin Lee) that was obviously not made for the original show.Read More
Louis C.K. was on Conan last week, (and all over your Facebook newsfeed, so sorry in advance for writing this) and not to sound like the gushy piece of garbage that I am, I have to admit - I, as a 26-year-old man, felt the same exact joy and giddiness while watching him on there that I remembered feeling when I would watch him as a guest on Late Night when I was a 12-year-old kid.
Obviously, Louis is a huge star now, known for his numerous stand-up specials and his Emmy award-winning television show. But back then I just knew him as that absurd stand-up comedian who I looked up to because not only was he telling silly jokes in clubs all over the country, but he also got to write comedy for a living for some of my favorite late night talk and sketch shows over the last couple decades. He was a guy who was respected by some of the most reputable comedians in both the stand-up and sketch community. It was the exact path and career that I wanted back when I started, and continues to be what I strive for to this very day.
Why am I saying all of this?
Well, because at the tail end of the interview on Conan last Thursday, there was a very sincere moment where Louis thanked Conan for giving him a chance back in ’93. At the time he was really desperate and was seriously going to quit comedy the night before. In a past interview, he actually even said he was about to “empty his brains out into a bathtub” until Robert Smigel, the first head writer on Late Night, called to hire him, thus obviously preventing him from doing so. For me, watching him take that moment to thank Conan was so beautiful and it reminded me to be grateful for all the help and advice that I’ve received so far in my short and not nearly as successful career. It made me think of all of those who even just took a couple minutes to share their wisdom with me when I was just starting out. “Who were some of those people?”
I sat there, thought about it and then it struck me. Holy shit. An insane realization washed over me.
One of the first people to ever directly give me real advice in comedy was Louis C.K. himself. Quickly, I ran to my computer and with the magic of the Internet, I was able to track down those exact pieces of advice and realized it should be mandatory reading for anyone who is getting into comedy.Read More
Inspired by Splitsider's controversial coast-centric list of rising standups, comedian C.J. Toledano assembled a top 10 list of Chicago-based comics who most deserve a spot on your radar. C.J. is a rising performer himself, he recently finished a string of dates opening for Todd Barry and has worked as a staff writer on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and consulting writer for The Onion News Network. Who better than someone embedded deep within the scene to shed light on the stars of tomorrow?Read More
There's a special fundraising show this Friday (11/16) at saki for Joe McAdam's Aunt and Uncle, whose home in Brick, New Jersey was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The show features standup from Junior Stopka, Will Miles, CJ Toledano, and Joe Kwaczala, and music from Gabe Liebowitz from Dastardly. We've also received several generous prize donations from local businesses like Second City, The Owl, The Music Box Theatre, and more, which we'll be raffling off at the show.
If you'd like to make a donation but can't come out to the show, head over to Joe's website and click the giant "donate" button in the top left corner.
What follows is a brief piece from Joe about his family and his personal connection to New Jersey.
My aunt and uncle along with their two boys just lost their home the other day to Hurricane Sandy. It seems hard to even imagine completely losing your house, but I've seen the pictures, there was about 5 feet of water in their living room and it completely destroyed nearly everything they owned.
I'm racking my brain to think of a comparable situation I may have been in. One time someone stole my clothes at a party, it was weird. That might be the closest.
It's hard to imagine a place you used to visit being gone. I went to their home a lot as a kid, it was my favorite place.
My aunt Krissy McAdam was always "the fun aunt". She is a lot younger than my dad and had Grateful Dead posters and a Nintendo. I remember meeting her husband for the first time too. He showed up with literally a car's trunk full of candy. I'm not kidding at all. To this day, I've never seen such a thing.
My memories of visits with her are some of my favorites, she would always take me out to the boardwalk to go on rides, play carny games and all the other Jersey-type fun. She used to own a pseudo-head shop store that sold bootleg concerts and incense and all that, and it was my favorite place to hang out. I'd sit around there all day learning juggling sticks or something. She let me be in a parade float for her store one time too. I got to dress up like a Grateful Dead bear and ride a jet ski on the bed of a truck. This sounds weird and looking back, it was. To me New Jersey was like an entire state that was an amusement park. Now I know that it's just Jersey, but my aunt and uncle made it the best place imaginable to a kid.
Even growing up and visiting as a teenager was great. I remember having one of my first beers at that house (if you tell my dad, I'll fucking kill you. Also if you tell him about the swearing, well, that's not exactly cool either.)
The point is, my aunt Krissy and her family have been really important to me. They've been extremely generous and have always been some of the most welcoming and loving people I know. As a young nephew you're rarely in the position to do something to return the favor. But right now they need some support to get back on their feet and rebuild. I'm a broke comic, but I have a lot of good-hearted friends so I figured I'd use the only real skill I have, tricking people into laughing, to help them out. I know what I'm able to give back pales in comparison to what they've given me, but I feel like they don't even want me to dress them up like Dead bears at this point anyway.
C.J. Toledano is a very funny and accomplished standup comedian and writer. I talked to him about his experiences as an intern on Conan, a writer for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and in his new position as a consulting writer for The Onion News Network, which recently relocated from NYC to Chicago.Read More