Category: News

I’m fresh off the plane from sunny Mumbai, India.  It was a quick visit, but enough to change my perspective on a city most Americans have only experienced from the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”

So, to give you another perspective, here are the answers to the most common questions I’ve gotten about my trip:

1.  Why did you go to INDIA?!

Eric Schwartz, Raj Sharma, Vir Das, Tehran Von Ghasri and Jeremy Craven at the Vishanya Amphitheatre in Pune, India, Jan. 23, 2015.

Me, Raj Sharma, Vir Das, Tehran Von Ghasri and Jeremy Craven at the Ishanya Amphitheatre in Pune, India, Jan. 23, 2015.

I visited for the Weirdass Pajama Comedy Festival, presented by popular Bollywood actor and comedian, Vir Das. My friend, American comedian Raj Sharma, referred me to the festival.  Raj, myself and fellow Americans Jeremy Crave, Tehran Von Ghasri went from Hollywood to Bollywood, to perform on the the “American Invasion” show.

2.  Do they speak English?

Yes!  Last time I checked, India used to be owned by the British, who totally speak American.  It’s also one of the most tech-savvy nations in the world, so they have mad wifi reception, which imports most references on American pop culture.

Eric Schwartz India McDonalds

You can’t escape America, even in India.

3.  What did you eat? … Read More

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By Eric Schwartz

MOSCOW – After dismantling of the Steve Jobs monument in St. Petersburg in response to current Apple CEO Tim Cook coming out as gay, Russian officials announced Wednesday they will expand their anti-gay policy.

Aleksi Chernobyl, chief of Russia’s Gey Politsii (Gay Police), promised a nationwide cleanup of “erected structures defiled by gayness.”

Chief of Russia's Gey Politsii Aleksi Chernobyl searches a bus rider for gayness.

Chief of Russia’s Gey Politsii Aleksi Chernobyl searches a bus rider for gayness.

 

Public outcry was ignored as Chernobyl divulged plans to destroy the Kremlin after records revealed a homosexual hammersmith had worked extensively on the foyer in 1485.

The Trans-Siberian Railroad, Red Square and St. Catherine’s Cathedral will meet similar fates due to 100-percent probability a gay person had made contact at some point.

“Don’t even get me started on the Hermitage,” Chernobyl chuckled about the famed, now doomed, museum.  “Do you realize how many artists are gay?”

Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest lake, will be drained just in case a homosexual had ever frolicked in its waters.  Once refilled, it will be renamed “Lake Straight-kal,” to erase any inference to acquatic bisexuality.

In a selfless act of solidarity, President Vladimir Putin has agreed to chop off his own arms, realizing they are tainted from shaking President Obama’s hand after the US President met with gays–most notably, Cook himself.  Putin then recognized removing the second arm would be impossible since he’d only have one arm at that point.  Fortunately, he accepted Chernobyl’s offer to help in severing the other limb.  But, “no homo.”

Even Russian meteorologists are bracing for the next rainstorm, where Chernobyl says rainbows will be outlawed in a “symbolic attempt to stop the natural beauty of love.”

Apple Senior PR Manager Jonathan Miller says he is “surprised by Russia’s archaic ideas” and fully supports Cook on his decision to make his sexuality public.  He invites Russians to open their minds to the company’s slogan:

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One of my most popular bits is my mocking of T-Pain.

But for those of you who think T-Pain is an untalented hack who relies on AutoTune, YOU’RE WRONG!  His performance on NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concerts” proves it.

I hate to say “I told you so,” but I’ve always looked up to T-Pain.  Obviously, my piece is rooted in my fantasy of being him.  That’s why it always sounded off key to me when people criticized him to my face. They had obviously never used AutoTune.  In order to parody him, I had to learn how to use it and can tell you that you have to be able to sing to make it sound good!

Yes, some people use AutoTune and other pitch-correcting software to fix bad singing.  But their goal is to be undetectable.  The difference is, T-Pain wants you to hear it.  His use is creative, turning his voice into a new instrument.

Even if you still think any use AutoTune is blasphemy, you must admit T-Pain has real musical talent.  I realized that trying to mimic the harmonies on “Buy You a Drank.”

Listen to my version:
“Why Do Ya Stank?” (2009) (Track 25)
Buy on iTunes.

T-Pain is one of today’s most underrated musicians.  He isn’t “cheating” any more than someone using vocal effects like reverb, chorus or delay.  Using effects doesn’t necessarily change the characteristics of a singer’s voice.  They make vocals sound good in the overall mix of a song.  It’s kinda like using Instagram filters.  If the image is a piece of shit, there’s really not much Toaster can do.

I’m glad T-Pain has finally proven himself with this #NOFILTER performance.  He won over a bunch of new fans who would now admit the T stands for Talent.

Now, l’ll go back to fantasizing about earning as much money as him…

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After a week of multiple shows and tapings each night of the Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival, our big reward was watching Jim Jefferies at the Arlington Theater on State Street.  Q Magazine once called him “Britain’s most offensive stand-up comic” a title he proudly displayed on the cover of his DVD.

Jim arrived at the theater with his girlfriend Kate Luyben and 20-month-old son, Hank.  They ordered a vodka soda, pinot grigio and an apple juice.  I’m not sure who got what, but I’m just saying Hank had zero social anxiety.

Jim’s new special “Bare” released on Netflix just two days before this show, and most of the crowd had just pre-gamed it.  That meant all that material was off limits for Jim, who had no problem testing out a new 100 minutes of never-recorded material.  It was truly an amazing set, as Jim has a stunning ability to make you laugh at things you’ve been told you should laugh at.

Then, somewhere between C-word-laden tirades on his morbidly obese mom and tales of his penis cancer, Jim heard his son yell “Daddy!” In a few moments, the mood went from caustic to cute as young Hank hopped across the stage to join his dad at work.  It was more adorable than Jim’s description of his bandaged penis.

After this hilarious emotional roller coaster, I got the chance to interview the Jim (clip coming soon).

Jim Jefferies and Eric Schwartz

As you can see, he absolutely loved me.

jim jefferies kiss eric schwartz

As many remember, Jim launched into the international spotlight after an angry patron attacked him on stage at the Comedy Store in Manchester, England.  It’s nice to see a guy who pays it forward. I’m just grateful it was with his lips rather than his fists.
jim and eric
It was a perfectly odd ending to a celebration of things that don’t always match.  But one thing’s for sure: The Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival was a perfect fit for this town.  We received so much love and appreciation from this town.  I think we created a lot of good memories for the community and ourselves.  It was a massive undertaking that could only have been pulled off by a lot of talented, hard-working people.  My only regret is not interviewing them to expose their greatness.

Luckily, festival mastermind Scott Montoya of LOLflix is already planning for next year, which will be even bigger and better!

Eric Schwartz at Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival

Watch my comedy special, Surrender to the Blender on LOLflix.

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