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The 60 Best Places to See Stand Up in LA

By: Deborah Vankin


Comedy nights at the Roosevelt Hotel grew out of the darkest days of the pandemic, aiming to offer an essential service: laughter. The historic hotel, together with Max Events LLC, wanted to keep stand-up comedy alive at a time when it was most needed. It also wanted to boost jobs in entertainment. At first it was held outdoors, by the pool, featuring a mix of established and emerging comics; when COVID restrictions were lifted, it moved to the hotel’s intimate, cabaret-style theater. Earlier this year it launched two monthly stand-up shows: Well Dressed Comedy (hint: there’s a dress code), hosted by Josh Edelman, includes live jazz; and the Shindig Show, hosted by Jimmy Shin, is a more relaxed, jeans-appropriate affair. Big names grace both stages: Pete Holmes, Darrell Hammond and Madison Sinclair have made appearances.

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Best Documentary

By: Jason Zinoman


“Mentally Al” catches up with the unsung comic Al Lubel when he’s near broke, disheveled and struggling with an impossibly dysfunctional relationship with his mother. Onstage, however, he’s consistently hilarious, even when the audience doesn’t think so. After countless documentaries about how a really funny person became a star, there’s finally a revelatory one exploring why one didn’t.

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By: Matthew Carey

EXCLUSIVE: Idiosyncratic standup comic Al Lubel has plied his trade in relative obscurity, but that may change with the release of a new documentary about “the greatest comedian you’ve never heard of.”

Comedy Dynamics on Tuesday announced its acquisition of Mentally Al, a film directed by Joshua Edelman that explores the atypical comedic mind of a man widely admired by his peers, if not well known to the general public. The documentary will be released August 24 through a “hybrid distribution system” that includes multiple platforms: Comcast, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Spectrum, Peacock, Dish, Google Play, Vimeo, and YouTube.

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By: Julian Stern


I love this movie. You may already know that because I accidentally have recommended it twice in prior Sternal Journals, but I also have now watched it twice, so doesn’t actually count as a repeat...

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By: Danny Lobell

Finally, the world is going to learn how much of a comedy genius [Al} Lubel is; he’s the star of a new documentary, “Mentally Al,” which follows him on his gigs, shows a glimpse into his personal life – like visiting his elderly mother in a nursing home in Florida – and features interviews with his contemporaries like Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Kevin Nealon and Andy Kindler. Silverman talked about how Lubel was the first alternative comedian before alt comedy even existed. 

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By: Ian Ira Rousso


Josh is one of the funniest people I know. Having spent years cutting his teeth at places like Bert’s Backroom, The Fourth Wall and late night in The Lab, Josh has won over hearts and minds with his quick whit and high energy sets. Josh has recently seen success with his documentary on legend Al Lubel titled “Mentally Al” which you can stream most places where you stream content.

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