Published August 2004, by John Fleming
Bridge-Burner is about New York Jewish writer-performer Andrew J. Lederer’s unerring ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, such as when Warner Bros wanted to use him as a writer, but he managed to embarrass and insult them out of employing him.
When he comes on stage to make people cry, they fall off their chairs laughing. When he wants to make them laugh, they are sympathetic.
Inevitably, when I saw his show, there were only three people in the audience: me, a giggly girl from Sheffield and a man from Liverpool keen to get to the pub. But we all enjoyed his tales and stayed happily to the end and beyond, because Lederer is a bouncing bald ball of extrovert fun. Making up most of his show as he speaks, it matters little whether he performs to 300 people or three. He can tailor his style and content to fit the situation.
Like all great raconteurs, we actively enjoy hearing about his suffering, which becomes our entertainment because his ability to tell enthralling comic stories is innate.
So we had tales of him crossing Brooklyn Bridge in a snowstorm with a hole in both his shoe and his sock; of him living on the continually-open New York Subway system with no money – you only live on the streets if you can’t afford the cost of paying to enter the subway system once. Yet he never hit rock bottom; he never gave up.
On the other hand, he never succeeded either.
He says he spent his adolescence and young adulthood souring relations with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Carrey. He became a comedian in his teens, acted on TV in Family Ties and Fame, wrote and edited for movie magazines and one movie script he wrote was given its very own chapter in the book The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made.
Lederer is a square peg in a world of round holes and, as his audience of three left the auditorium, the twinkle left his eye.
But he is a fascinating man, a superb raconteur, very funny indeed and his 60 minute show flashed by in what seemed like half that time.
Andrew J Lederer – Me and Hitler
Published Friday 12 August 2005 at 16:15, by Nick Awde
As the Brooklyn-born comic cheekily points out from the outset, the title does not necessarily imply any link between Andrew J Lederer and the dictator, merely that at some point he will be talking about himself (extremely funny) and at another he will expand on Hitler (highly insightful).
Such is the zeitgeist this year of things totalitarian that in the audience he discovers the godsend of Dan Tetsell, a fellow comedian whose show Sins of the Grandfathers delves into his family’s Nazi past.
Lederer’s habit of eschewing the stage and roaming the crowd instead means that we had a impromptu double act as he and Tetsell swapped tales over who has the greater kudos – a relative who perished in the death camps (Lederer is Jewish) or a grandfather who was in the SS (those uniforms…).
The fun is in watching Lederer as he gleefully sidetracks and distracts himself over and over again, frequently from audience prompts, halting the proceedings to insert a punchline that would otherwise be wasted from the long abandoned script. The sheer nerve of his hit and miss approach alone makes this an experience worth catching.
Sound of Young America Blog
Andrew J Lederer tonight in New York
Published Sunday 30 July 2006 at 09:04, by Joe Garden (Editor, The Onion)
If you live in New York [and] want to check out a very talented yet criminally underknown comedian, go see Andrew J Lederer run through his show he’s taking to the Fringe Festial next week.
“There’ll be a second and final New York preview of “Anthology” on Sunday afternoon at 5PM at Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E 7 St, Btwn Bowery and 2nd Av. in the East Village. (It’s down a long flight of steps and in a performance space accessible from the rear of the bar.) Come, pay what you wish (no one will scoff it it’s nothing) and help me get comfortable with the material before taking it to Scotland.”
I’ve seen Andrew perform several times, from fluid 10-minute conversations to his epic 60 minute monologue “Me and Hitler” and I am always entertained. I always regret missing “Bridge Burner,” his hour monologue about how worked very hard to get a break and blown nearly every single one of them he’s gotten.
And while he says that there’s no charge, you should put in a few bucks if you can afford it. He needs a little something to eat while he’s in Scotland.
London Evening Standard
Critic’s Choice: Top Five Comedy Shows
Published Thursday 13 Sep 2007, by Bruce Dessau
Top stand-ups Ardal O’Hanlon and Bill Bailey give intimate performances, and Andy Parsons, Mark Watson and Andrew J Lederer are all in town this weekend.
Andrew J Lederer
Etcetera Theatre, NW1
Two different shows from this skilful US comic and inveterate blogger, who has been a regular visitor to London in recent years. The first, more stand-up-orientated gig features special guests Matt Crosby (from Pappy’s Fun Club) and Ray Peacock, the second gig is improvisation-based, with Lederer bantering with the audience. (020 7482 4857). Saturday 15 Sept, 9.30pm; Sunday 16 Sept,
I Need Your Love Andrew J Lederer
Published August 2008, by Geoff Evans
What happens to a ‘show’ doesn’t show for their booked slot, not once but for the entire run. I suppose most spaces would remain vacant for the hour. But then not every venue has a trooper like Andrew J Lederer. Already performing his own show Anthology, to save disappointment of any audience who were planning to see this Free Fringe show, he has taken on the hour and has been writing and developing his own production under the same title.
Lederer is a chappy you cannot help but like. Based in New York but spending more than a little time in the UK he has just got the knack of being an engaging storyteller.
I Need your Love is 40 minutes of this amiable American relating a portion of his life story, and although it was playing to only a handful of people he proceeded as if playing to a full house, talking from the heart and not making excuses for things said and done in this episode.
Although he is a very funny individual, it is his use of words and language that I find appealing, almost addictive as his prose breathes life into the people in the story.
No one knows who was supposed to be performing in this slot, the name Soumaya doesn’t give much of a clue even to the sex, but I’m sure they would have struggled to be a better ambassador for the Fringe or the Free Festival than Andrew J Lederer.
I am not going to award this show stars, not because it is bad, which it wasn’t. Prior to the show Andrew was not keen on even have me review it, however do check it out. He deserves your support, and maybe you deserve to hear his story.
Comedy review: Anthology
Published Sunday 16 August 2009 at 13:51, by Kate Copstick
ANDREW J Lederer, a man with both passion and talent for comedy, opens with a bravura display of warm-up skills. Having ascertained that only five people here have come specifically to see the show, he has an uphill task but, ten minutes into some gloriously downbeat improvising, even the lippy chip-eaters at the back have shut up.
The premise of the show is that each day you get different comics telling you anecdotes from their lives – “just a true story,” says Lederer, “not run through the grinder and turned into comedy sausage.”
Which is not to say the stories aren’t funny. Richard Sandling, telling a tale of sci-fi-based disaster, can’t not be funny, and Rob Heaney’s story of his time as a taxi driver on the Isle of Man is hilarious. You also get the added fun of getting to know these guys just a tiny bit better.
Lederer’s own agonising tale of attempting to save Tiny Toons from Steven Spielberg is riveting, funny and awful. The entire room echoes with a miscellany of noises that all translated as “oh no” at the end. Do go. But don’t take chips.
Free Fringe Guide
Published 10 August 2010, by Emma McAlpine
Spent your entire Edinburgh budget already on your shoebox flat and an overenthusiastic first-night booze-up? Don’t worry, the Spoonfed Comedy team’s got you covered, with our pick of the best Free Fringe shows this year.
Earlier in the hectic morass of comedy offerings that is the pre-Edinburgh lead-up, we at the Spoonfed Comedy desk brought you our pick of the best shows at this year’s Five Pound Fringe. But you know what’s even cheaper than five pounds? Free!
Yes, we know what you must be thinking – if it’s free, there’s a fair chance it’s rubbish. But fear not, cash-strapped comedy lovers. Luckily a loyal band of ethical comedians, led by the tireless Peter-Buckley Hill and the Laughing Horse comedy club, are offering their considerable skills at the bargain price of zero (despite the fact that you’d pay sufficiently more than that to see them in London usually). Among them are Spoonfed favourite Robin Ince, US alternative comedy king Andrew J Lederer and delightfully sardonic Funny Women runner-up Rachel Stubbings. Intrigued? Then put that pesky cash away and read on to discover our top 10 free Fringe recommendations.
Andrew J Lederer – August 9-11, 15-18 and 22-25, 12:05pm, Speakeasy @ Voodoo Rooms
This US cult comedy hero has gone down a treat at Edinburgh in previous years, and his unique storytelling style inspired similar nights on the London circuit including Sarah Bennetto’s Storytellers’ Club. This year Lederer takes to the stage with a story all about how he almost missed 9/11 while living in New York.
For more details of free fun at this year’s Fringe, see the PBH Free Fringe and Laughing Horse Free Fringe websites.
PBH’s Free Fringe — Theatre, Cabaret and Sketch Comedy Top Ten Recommended Shows
Published July 2011
1. Monkey Poet’s Welcome to Afghanistan
2. The Translator’s Dilemma
3. Conference of Strange
4. Hammerpuzzle’s Measure for Measure
5. Tales from a Cabaret
6. Chris Cross is Escaping from Reality
7. Cold Chicken [Andrew J. Lederer]
8. Four Sad Daces – Suddenly
9. Hitch and Mitch: Genisis