Andy Kleiman: Comedic Boy Wonder

By Andrew Singer

Despite his youthful charm, Andy Kleiman has been working the NYC comedy scene for many years now, not only doing solo stand-up but also with his sketch troupe Bacivo Nuggets and his podcast The Revolving Door.  He creates numerous whimsically off-beat characters and personas for his videos, which include his love for an internet sensation and his political campaign to find a girlfriend.

CS: You are a particularly cute young man.  Has that been helpful or detrimental for your career, and how?

AK: It’s actually been a total non-factor, both in comedy and in more romantic ventures.  Only gay guys and women my mom’s age tell me I’m cute.  How come it’s only gays and my mom who think I’m cute? Why can’t a 25-year-old straight girl find me cute? If they’re my age, then they’re gay and if they’re a woman, they’re 50 years old. I can’t seem to get that nailed down.

Please tell us all about your sketch comedy troupe, Bacivo Nuggets.  Definitely let us in on the meaning behind the name.

Bacivo Nuggets is myself and my two friends from college, Jake Serlen and Marcus Terry.  We all meet at Ithaca College, at the college’s comedy troupe aptly called the IC Comedy Club.  Marcus and I were both presidents of the club for three years (two of those years together as co-presidents) and Jake was an officer. The three of us all wanted to go into comedy after college whereas some were just doing it for fun. So we gravitated toward each other. After college, we still talked and even though we lived in different states (I was in Baltimore, Jake was in Philadelphia and Marcus was in Ithaca), we’d still get together to film sketches. I moved to New York a year after graduating and Marcus and Jake followed me a year after that, and that’s when we officially formed the Bacivo Nuggets.

Now, the origin of the name is quiet another story. I’ll tell you the long version and you can use as much of it as you want. The name was very important. We wanted it to be catchy, but nothing that people could visualize because then you might get preconceived notions of what the troupe is about. So one day Marcus and Jake were visiting me in Baltimore to work on some sketches, and later that night we went to my friend’s house for some drinking. After a bunch of beers, Jake and Marcus got high–I don’t smoke–and we’re talking about my dog’s name. My parents just got a dog and his full name was Murray Wiggles Nugget Kleiman (Wiggles and Nugget were the runners-up for his first name). Everyone thought Murray Wiggles Nugget was hilarious, and like drunks and stoners do, we repeated it a bunch of times until it formed into Murray’s Wiggle Nugget. Jake, Marcus and I looked at each other and decided if that name was still funny when we were sober, that would be the name of our troupe. Sadly, it lost some pop the following morning.
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So, after some time went by we and some former members of the IC Comedy Club went back up to Ithaca to put on a show. During one of the meetings we discussed the name. Murray’s Wiggle was out, but we like the Nugget part. We toyed around with a bunch of variations and Matt Chura (former member) suggested we try for an anagram and suggested OBGYN. After some more toying we decided that would stand for Oh Boy Glistening Young Nuggets. We didn’t like that you could visualize what that was, since being able to do that was one of the things we wanted to avoid. Someone noted that that name sounded like “balls are covered in baby oil”. Then collectively, we wrote down what the anagram for that would be.  BACIBO. We agreed that that sounded too strange, I think it was me that suggested we change it to vegetable oil and the BACIVO Nuggets were born. From Murray’s Wiggle Nugget to Balls Are Cover In Vegetable Oil. I’m exhausted.

How did your interview talk show The Revolving Door Podcast first get created, and how has it evolved over time?

The Revolving Door Podcast got created with Jay Abbondanza and I living together for almost a year and cracking each other up and realizing this was too good to keep to ourselves. We always talked about doing a podcast, but never had the time or technological know how. Then, the economy took a dive, and Jay and I found ourselves without jobs but with plenty of free time, so we started it up. The great thing about us is that we agree on almost nothing, but no one finds him funnier than I do and visa versa.   We started out in comedy together and have known each other since 2003, so we have a lot of history. We have a very good chemistry together. Jay is a very outspoken person with strong opinions and I’m a tad more grounded, though he’s been bringing out the beast in me slowly but surely.

Like many ventures, it was a little rough in the beginning.  At the outset, we had no knowledge of how to do a podcast. It actually began as the JABcast, it was going to be Jay, Andy and Bob Bazer, our other comedian friend. Bob dropped out after the first one and so replaced him with a new guest each week. A revolving door of guests, if you will. After we had a few episodes under our belt, I learned the technical side of the podcast, but still ran into a lot of problems along the way, I finally got it figured out, and in the middle of January went on an uploading spree. That’s why if you look at our first ten or so episodes there’s a new one every month or so, then in the middle of January seven episodes got put in the span of a week. Now, we’re running smoothly. We have a new episode each Tuesday and have really found our stride. We mainly have comedians on the show and talk about anything and everything. The life of a comic, TV, sports, women, living in New York and lists. For some reason, we love lists. Lists are a big thing on the show. Things you would do with an unlimited amount of money, women that just don’t do it for ya,  which songs should you be embarrassed to like, but aren’t. I love the podcast, it’s my favorite thing I’m doing right now. I get to talk and make jokes (one of my favorite activities) with Jay (one of my favorite people) and my comic friends, what’s not to like? If I could do this for a living, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Oh and by the way, Jay and I agree the episode you were on was our best one.
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Thanks, you’re too kind.  So, is there a big market for improvised historical re-enactments?

Hahaha, you know, this one took me a second to figure out what you were talking about. I can’t believe you remember that. That was soooo stupid. The first time I did it, I made one great joke and then for the duration of the show, that was my thing. Funny thing is, out of stand-up, sketch and improv, improv is by far my weakest, but that’s what Ted Greenberg thought I did well, so that is what I did. That was such a great show, I’m so sad it’s gone, I really think that show had legs. Le sigh. How like life.

You have a show called The Bacivo Nuggets Totally Flirt With You.  How long have you been doing this show? What’s the most / least awkward things have gotten between you and your lucky lady?

Our first show was on April 30th. They gave us a three month run, the last Thursday of each month. I guess you’ll just have to come to the show at The Creek in Long Island City on May 28th or June 25th to see what happens. We’re very excited for this show, we actually came up with that idea because Jake literally hits on everyone and thinks that every girl who makes eye contact is “totally flirting with him.”So when we were coming up with an idea for the show, we wanted to have audience interaction and I told Jake he couldn’t hit on the audience member we brought up, then we thought, why not? And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Andrew Singer performs all over the NYC as comedic rapper “soce, the elemental wizard.” He has toured Europe and the U.S., and been featured on numerous media outlets, including MTV, VH1, Here TV, Logo, The Source, Out, Howard Stern and Sirius Shade 45.  His CDs are available in store and online at Other Music.

Last 5 posts by Andrew Singer

Posted on 25 May 2009 at 4:06am
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