By Johnny Liesman
Pelham Comedian Shaun Eli Breidbart is hitting the stage this September with possibly one of his biggest shows yet. Shaun and five other comedians from his comedy group, The Ivy league of Comedy, will perform two back to back shows at the Emelin Theatre on Friday September 27th for a 90 minute TV special.
With up to 10 cameras filming the comedians, the TV special will capture the scene of the entire comedy show, including the conversations and interactions in the dressing rooms.
“One of the things that happens backstage is that comics discuss their jokes together and someone says hey have you tried telling it this way, adding this punchline or changing the order of this part,” explained Shaun. “The cameras are going to capture this element for the TV special.”
While audience members will not get to view the backstage action, they will get to participate in an interactive Q&A session with all of the comedians, a feature Shaun recently added to his shows. Ending the shows this way not only gives the audience a chance to have their questions answered, it also allows the comedians to tell funny stories that aren’t necessarily stand up comedy material, Shaun explained.
“We tell the audience if you're curious about anything we do they should ask us a question,” Shaun said. “For example, how do we put our jokes together, how do we choose what to talk about, what it's like backstage… anything like that.”
For the TV Special, Shaun chose five experienced comedians from his group: Wali Collins, Karen Bergreen, Jim Mendrinos, Clayton Fletcher, and Ophira Eisenberg. These comedians have performed on Comedy Central, HBO, and shows such as The Late Late Show and The View.
“In addition to being comedians, these 5 comedians also teach comedy classes,” explained Shaun. “These are great people to have backstage talking about working on material and presentation so I think this will make the backstage section of the TV special more interesting.”
Shaun Eli became a full time comedian after he quit his finance job in NYC. Following his life changing decision, Shaun put together a comedy group that he named the Ivy League of Comedy, aiming for a more upscale and clean comedy experience. There is now a pool of about 50 comedians in the group that perform in smaller groups at clubs and events.
Shaun performs solo and group shows regularly in the tri state area, and also travels internationally to perform. In the past year, Shaun has performed in South Africa, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland, which he said was one of his best trips.
“I didn’t want to come home from Ireland,” Shaun joked. “They loved me there, it was amazing.”
For the coming year, he is planning a trip to perform across the countries of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.
“I want to see the world,” Shaun said. “But let's put it this way, my dad was a tax accountant and its always been my goal to make the most expensive things in my life a tax write off.”