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March 31, 2017

Is Noah Gardenswartz standup comedy’s Next Big Thing?

He's scheduled to play Princeton’s 'Catch A Rising Star' in June

That's Show Biz Comedy
Noah Gardenswartz Mindy Tucker/for PhillyVoice

Noah Gardenswartz

One of the greatest joys of my misspent life in entertainment journalism has been the opportunity to discover, and help spread the word about, standup comedians who impress me well before they explode on the mainstream pop culture landscape.

Immodest though I may be, I can proudly point to Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano as two such artists I predicted in print would be stars when few outside of their immediate families and New York City comedy club denizens even knew their names.

Introducing my newest standup comedy crush: Noah Gardenswartz.`

Mindy Tucker/for PhillyVoice

Noah Gardenswartz

Gardenswartz, who hails from Atlanta, is extremely bright and clever, and edgy enough to play to the pop-culture zeitgeist without ever abdicating his primary (make that only) responsibility: saying genuinely funny things.

A good example is his bit—contained on his recently released album, “Blunt”--about the original “Most Interesting Man in the World” in the Dos Equis beer spots. Pointing out that the guy is, in reality, a Jewish septuagenarian, Gardenswartz suggests he should “own” his heritage and appear as “The Most Interesting Jew in the World,” as in, “At his Bar Mitzvah, the rabbi became a man.” And, “He got his JD-MBA when he was on winter break from medical school.”

Equally smart and hilarious is his riff on his getting a new beard trimmer which, he says, means that his old beard trimmer is now his “New ball-hair trimmer, and my old ball-hair trimmer is now my friend Kyle’s new beard trimmer.”

Of course, words on a screen can’t come close to adequately conveying standup humor; delivery is at least as important as content. And while Gardenswartz, who has a hulking physical presence and bears a slight facial resemblance to Jimmy Kimmel, isn’t quite as slick as say, Seinfeld, or bad-taste avatar Anthony Jeselnik, he certainly gets the job done.

Gardenswartz is scheduled to play Princeton’s Catch A Rising Star in June (his closest-to-Philly gig currently on the books). Needless to say, the gig is highly recommended. In the meantime, you can get acquainted with him at www.NoahGComedy.com. And to get you started, here’s the “Most Interesting Jew” routine:


SugarHouse a sweet venue

While I certainly enjoyed last Friday’s set by Canadian YouTube sensation "Walk Off the Earth," whose energetic, loopy set was most entertaining, my number-one takeaway from the gig is that the Event Center at SugarHouse is a pretty cool place to see a show.

The very definition of “intimate,” with its low ceiling and 600-capacity seating, the Event Center offers a great concert-going experience thanks to near-perfect acoustics. That the temporary seating is not tiered is a bit of a drawback. But at shows such as Friday’s, when the audience mostly stood, that issue is rendered irrelevant for fans.

A bonus (for some of us, at least): The casino’s state-of-the-art poker room is a stairway’s walk away on the first level.


Chuck Darrow is a veteran entertainment columnist and critic. Listen to “That’s Show Biz with Chuck Darrow” 3 p.m. Tuesdays on WWDB-AM (860), 104.9 FM, WWDBAM.com, iTunes, iHeartRadio, and TuneInRadio.

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