Comedian and writer Eddie Sarfaty has appeared on The Today Show, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, Logo’s Wisecrack, The Joy Behar Show and is one of the subjects of the documentary, Laughing Matters.
Eddie’s appeared at clubs and colleges across the country, and has entertained at corporate conferences, on cruise ships, and at a variety of special events.
He’s been featured at numerous comedy festivals including the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and The Toyota Comedy Festival in New York.
Life on the Funny Side: A Conversation With Eddie Sarfaty
Eddie Sarfaty is a comic, author, teacher and TV producer in the making. His 2009 book of autobiographical essays, Mental: Funny in the Head, was a critical success. Sarfaty, known for his acerbic wit and cultural insights, will perform in Eddie Sarfaty's F&%king Show! Saturday, Nov. 2, at New York's Metropolitan Room beginning at 7 p.m. Here he talks about his journey to becoming a comic, who makes him laugh and how he handles remarks about his hot good looks.
Tracey J. Smith: How did you get started in comedy?
Eddie Sarfaty: I thought I wanted to be an actor when I was a kid, but when I was a theater major in college, I discovered that I didn't like acting as much as I thought I did. I liked being in a show and being creative, but I didn't really love the nuts and bolts of everything. While studying at the National Theater Institute, I was telling a story, and this woman in my class said, "You should be a stand-up comic." That's the first time I thought of it, but it took me years before I ever got the nerve to do it.
Eddie Sarfaty's Mental -- Funny in the Head -- and Everywhere Else
Eddie Sarfaty makes me cry. He also makes his grandmother cry.
To be fair, my tears were caused by hilarity. Grandma cries because she's unhappy for Eddie that he's gay until she reads the classic Now That You Know, which Eddie cynically refers to as Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Homosexuality but Were Afraid to Hear. Two weeks later they have the following exchange:
"Hey, Granny, did you read that book?"
The crochet hook stops, she looks up and says point-blank, "Yes, and it's disgusting!"
My heart sinks and my guard goes up. "Disgusting?"
"Yes, it's disgusting! It says that some of the parents don't love their children anymore."
Eddie's grandma makes him cry, too.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said, “The whole object of comedy is to be yourself and the closer you get to that, the funnier you will be.” If this is true, no one can get closer to comedy than comedian and writer Eddie Sarfaty. This man knows funny and he knows it well. After years of performing stand-up at countless comedy festivals, on national television, cruise ships and regular gigs in P-Town and the New York City comedy club circuit—not to mention teaching comedy writing courses at the Theatre Lab in D.C. and NYU—Sarfaty has recently released is first book Mental: Funny in the Head (Kensington). This hilarious collection of stories offers an insight into his world filled with terrifying cats, delinquent ex-boyfriends, tragic bar queens, and unstable yet loveable parents. With Mental, Sarfaty proves that comedy isn’t necessarily cruel. It simply comes from the absurdity of living in a cruel world. And it reminds me how grateful I am that comedians like him live among us.
Comic Eddie Sarfaty goes Mental (really, he does)
T.P.: I heard comedian Bob Smith actually nudged you in the direction of becoming an author. Did you have any reservations about putting pen to paper?
E.S.: "I had HUGE reservations! HUGE! Aside from stand-up material, I hadn’t written anything longer than a grocery list since college. I have the attention span of a Yorkshire terrier and the idea that I would actually sit down and focus long enough to write a few hundred pages seemed impossible to me. My friend, comedian Bob Smith, was asked by an editor to submit an anecdote for a collection he was putting together. Bob suggested that he also approach me to write something. I really didn’t want to be bothered, but Bob kept hounding me until finally I sat down and grudgingly wrote "Second-guessing Grandma." The story struck a chord with a lot of people and was not only included in the collection, "When I Knew," but was made into a short film starring Tony-nominee Kathleen Chalfant. My self-esteem is not always where it should be, and if the story hadn’t gotten such a positive response, I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to write more. Luckily, it did, and "Second-guessing Grandma" became the first story in Mental.
MENTAL Funny in the head
A stand-up performer pens a comic memoir about the vicissitudes of modern gay life.
Comedy-writing teacher Sarfaty opens with a piece about the process of coming out to his beloved Jewish grandmother and follows it with plenty of family humor—with the addition of drag queens and sexy hustlers. Mom has wiseacre chutzpah, Dad has mute dementia and the author has a fraught love life coupled with the talent to write about it engagingly. His humorous set pieces cover the ill-fated adoption of a stinky, fat feline; a trip to Paris and London with the balking parents; and the necessary evils required to maintain a performer’s life—waiting tables, teaching aerobics, taking a gig as stage manager for a third-rate touring musical.