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Dumpster Diving

Ben Karlin and comedy colleagues present a live version of anthology of relationship pieces.


Former Daily Show showrunner Ben Karlin brought guest contributors to his one-year-old anthology, “Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me,” to a special reading and performance at the 92Y Tribeca on January 29, promoting the new paperback edition of the book.

One of the highlights of the evening was Tom Shillue (see Jester’s Blog, Jan. 4, 2009 on his appearance in “50 First Jokes”) with his theory about prior pre-marriage relationships being the “fake marriages” that allowed him to make all possible mistakes so he’s now a happily married, non-divorced man.

But the true peak of the show was Paul Simms, the creator of Newsradio, reading his piece about the phenomenon of instant crushes, and how quickly and easily they can dissipate sometimes.

Other segments were aided by supporting performers, like Eric Slovin’s tale of a secret admirer and an exclusive party, as well as the David Wain closing piece, an elaborately built tale of thwarted romance told through cellphone messages.

Just as he put together the book, Karlin served as ringmaster for the show, telling brief tales of pieces in the book by those who weren’t present and screening a couple related short films made for a once-potential pilot show based on the book. Karlin was effectively joined as co-host by Jonathan Coulton, a comedic singer-songwriter who performed a couple songs inspired by the idea of the book, and provided accompaniment throughout the show.

The evening was well conceived and definitely whetted your appetite for the book. Karlin introduced enough multi-media elements to make it more than just a reading, and with so many contributors, this was the only way to experience the book live since a book tour would have been unwieldy.

   

   

     

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