The Last Invite Them Up

It’s not Flashback Friday or Throwback Thursday or whatever bullshit alliteration thing that exists on the internets. I am however going to take you guys back in time to February 2008 with some very cool, but very terrible photos from the last two shows of the underground comedy show Invite Them Up. I had an awful early digital camera at the time, but I think these are worth looking at anyway.

I had been living in NYC for about a year and a half and I was shooting party photos every day and all that shit, but I also was going to underground comedy shows a couple nights a week. For some reason I rarely took photos at these events but there are a couple of exceptions.

In late February the legendary Invite Them Upended. Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale had been hosting it for five years and for the last year I was a constant regular. The show was at the Rififi nightclub (the original home of the party Trash) and Rififi was going to be closing and Invite Them Up decided to get ahead of that and end early. (Brett Gelman and Jon Daly took over Wednesday nights until they escaped to LA.)

To end the run Invite Them Up held three farewell shows so they could invite all their favorite comics to play. And the line up was impressive at the time, but even more so looking back on it. It’s amazing how many people have gone on to huge things. John Oliver, Dimitri Martin, Jon Benjamin, Pete Holmes, Brett Gelman and Seth Herzog all have had their own TV shows since then. Mike Birbiglia turned his hit one man show into a fantastic movie. Zach Galifinakis was a big name at the time but I don’t think anyone would have predicted his post Hangover fame. Todd Barry played all three and did one of best comedy sets I have ever seen just making fun of Rififi off the top of his head. He also played drums with Yo La Tengo. Chelsea Peretti and Kristen Schaal are two of the funniest women on TV and Leo Alan and Jon Glaser seem to be on everything that exists on Comedy Central. Oh yeah and Jim Gaffigan and Michael Showalter performed too… you may have heard of them. Seriously when I found the flyers to these shows in a box recently I couldn’t believe how good the line up was.

Also, just in the crowd shots after the show there are pictures of Reggie Watts, Kumail Nanjiani (probably a year before I actually met him), Jon Daly, Larry Murphy and a bunch of other hilarious humans. And I only photographed two of the days!

At the end of the third show, Eugene and Bobby brought up a time capsule that everyone could put stuff in to be opened five years later in 2013. I wonder if they ever opened it because I am pretty sure that Jon Benjamin put a vile of his urine in it. I don’t even remember what I put in it. Whatever the case I think these photos serve as a pretty good time capsule of the last nights of a legendary comedy show that will never happen again.

Now click here to see photos from the last two Invite Them Up comedy shows in February 2008!

Eugene Mirman & Bobby Tisdale's Invite Them Up

Mike Birbiglia

Zach Galifinakis

Kristen Schaal

Bobby Tisdale & Pete Holmes

Jim Gaffigan

Brett Gelman & John Daly

Jon Benjamin

Todd Barry & Yo La Tengo


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Comments (2)


  1. pOp
    August 18th, 2014 | 6:46 pm

    yeah, Chelsea said it was off the guhrrid!! Oh, for vid of the after after.

  2. Amy Jones
    August 19th, 2014 | 8:49 am

    Oh my god I love these 🙂

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