Arts & Culture

A Long Set With Comedian Aaron Glaser

A Jewish comedian with a great drunk Batman impression Read More

By / October 1, 2013

Everything you need to know about Aaron Glaser is in the first sentence of his self-authored bio, “Aaron Glaser is NYC based comedian (Jew).”

Just kidding.

He also just finished shooting a small part in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, so he’s more than just a pretty face. Since moving from Long Island to the Big City to make jokes for a living, Glaser has made a Funny or Die video of the best Nazi brontosaurus impression you’ve ever seen, opened for Tim Allen at The Laugh Factory and was quoted by the New York Times for his Twitter humor.

Last Tuesday, Jewcy caught him in the flesh at The PIT for a “long set,” or 30 minutes of straight jokes. In a recent New York Times article, Amy Schumer, another Long-Island raised Jewish comedian said, “A solid hour consistently takes 10 years. I think maybe I don’t know.” So according to the math, the set I saw must’ve taken Glaser about five years.

An audience of about 25, apparently the biggest ever for a long set, mostly sat back and drank, warmly accepting the jokes. All, however, were overshadowed by one lady filming in the back with a shrieking high-pitched laugh. The kind of laugh that first makes you want to join in, but five jokes later had me wondering if she’s actually the one playing a joke on us all. Glaser, who came on stage after an opening set from Luke Kaiser, gleefully called her out. Wearing all black with slicked back hair, he opened with a few impressions of a drunk batman, engaging the audience immediately by crawling up the stairs between our seats followed by a Georgia O’Keefe impression in which he pointed behind him and said, “It’s basically a vagina.” The shrieking videographer was not the only one laughing.

Glaser’s strong, pop culture oriented set was punctuated by awkward transitions. He sat down and started a new joke, took a sip of his drink and changed topics, but his witty one-liners maintained interest. About two-thirds of the way through he admitted, “I don’t like transitions” and the audience laughed and took a sigh of relief. At least he knew.

The bulk of the Jew humor came toward the end when Glaser joked about how an Israeli might pronounce the cosmetics chain Sephora (“Sepho-RAH”) and finally, an incredibly succinct and on-point description of modern-orthodox Jews: “They dress like you and me” Glaser said, “but behind closed doors there’s a lot of candle lighting.” If it took five years to come up with this set, the wait was worth it.

If you’re in New York City, you can catch Glaser perform twice this weekend. On Friday night he’ll be co-hosting “Slow Dance” at Niagra Bar with guest Janeane Garofalo and on Saturday at midnight he’s hosting “Midnight Stand Up” at Upright Citizens Brigade in Chelsea.

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(Still image from YouTube)