Cornell Reid & Chris Fairbanks at “Picture This” for the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. “Picture This” is a unique and inventive show that combines stand-up and illustration.
Live shows recorded weekly. From “A Special Thing” Records with cameronesposito.
On October 15th 2013, in a black box theater in Chicago, Trevor Martin from the sketch group “Oh Theodora” did a 9-minute set of longform improv with a dog. Trevor is maybe the most naturally funny guy I’ve ever met. By that I mean he’s very funny in person, and I think this video is a good display of that. Please check this out.
Many of you who are fans of so many comedy podcasts were unable to attend even though you probably, as our readers, live within in Los Angeles County (we get it-you have stuff to do and it’s on the Westside).
Well, we went all weekend long and recapped all of what we saw and heard at Nerdist for those that didn’t want to make the drive. By the way, some people came from London, Sydney, and Washington D.C. for this.
Also, if you want a more visceral recap, please check out the hilarious Andy Peters' Wandertown, a podcast that interview podcasters at a podcast festival and/or the livestreams from Dailymotion of several the live podcast tapings.
As you can tell from @shawnpearlman in the BG we just started @comedypalaceLA, still time to come an check out a great show for FREE! 2112 Hillhurst
Matt Dwyer recording sesh. Good things.
John Mulaney wrote for SNL for 5 seasons,wrote many sketches,co-wrote many sketches and is part responsible for one of the most popular characters in recent SNL history,hell all of SNL history,Stefon
Here’s his sketches he wrote/co-wrote, lots of ones he wrote with others
The hilarious Bill Kottkamp at the award winning Echoes Under Sunset Open Mic.
Brother’s Brothers Band at the Silverlake Lounge, September 20th 2013
Hannah Gansen performs “Creutzfeldt- Jakob Disease” at the Good Luck Show.
Short song from Cossbysweater at Sleepaway Camp.
Sleepaway Camp runs every Tuesday at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Lee closing out the late night Open Mic at Jake’s In Pasadena.
UCB-LA | Characters of Comedy | 08.04.12
Alana Johnston shows us her Cookie Monster Diet.
Today’s recap comes to us from Chicago comedian Andrew Smreker
You can read the discussion that ensued with some coming to Chappelles defense by following the link in the title, which will take you to Andrew’s original note on Facebook.
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The last time I saw Dave Chappelle live was close to a decade ago. It was in the height of Chappelle’s Show (Season 2 had just aired), and I was in High School. I had basically been waiting to see him again for the duration of that decade, it was always in the back of my mind somewhere “When’s he gonna come back?” Through the Africa stuff, his return to clubs, rumors of crazy four hour sets, and clips that showed up on YouTube, I was really excited to ever get a chance to see him again. I finally got my chance last night and when he first came on stage I was so excited I just about weeped-openly. Despite the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of his, I was undeniably dissappointed with the show. I had tickets to both shows and did not stay for the second one, I ran into friends in line for the second show and did not want to talk to them because I didn’t want to rob them of their excitement. What ruined the experience was three polarities that were all contributing to each other (so i have to jump around for the explanation), ultimately resulting in plummeting the show further and further downward.
1.) The House of Blues is an infuriating venue, they completely mis-managed this show.
Here’s how the process broke down. You bought a ticket, and you either got General Admission floor, or General Admission balcony. At the end of the day, that’s just General Admission period, but it implemented a completely arbitrary system that put some people on the floor, and some people in the balcony, regardless of how long they waited in line outside the show. What this resulted in was floor seats that were not filled (literally for the whole show, empty seats down front, like noticeable amounts of them), and very annoyed people up in the balcony who can’t see anything and can’t stop talking about how they can’t see anything.
In addition to that, there were some reserved seats both on the balcony that didn’t look reserved at all, literally reserved bar stools. If you tried to sit in them you got yelled at, but guess what? There was no one sitting in them until maybe halfway through the show, when some annoying fucking bouncer had to cut through the standing people with their loud fucking radio to put some entitled asshole in their seat that they somehow mysteriously obtained. My guess is the people who got seats had some dumbass connection or knew some guy or something, so they felt entitled, and you do not want entitled people at a comedy show, which brings me to my next point.
2.) Chappelle’s Mega-Fame attracts the worst assholes to his shows.
Despite the MC’s blatant warning against heckling, it took about ten minutes into Chappelle’s set for people to start yelling dumbass shit. Guess where the yells were coming from? The reserved balcony seats (primarily), why?
a.)Because entitled people think they’ve earned the right to “participate” in the show, and b.)Because awful people come to these shows thinking “My television can finally hear me now! I’m going to yell a non-sequitur at my TV and force it to react to me! At last, I am truly alive!”
And despite the very clear warning against heckling, the House of Blues did zero policing. ZERO. Before you know it, the show has spiraled into a $60.00 Q&A session about Half Baked and Chappelle’s Show. People, fucking let it go, you’re pathetic. It was forever ago. Your fixation on a thing that is so over is making it impossible for Dave to move on because he can’t go anywhere without someone wanting to talk to him about it. Again, arriving me at my next point.
3.) (The Big Heartbreaker) Chappelle clearly does not care anymore.
Again, I had been waiting almost ten years, hearing these rumors about secret shows, following the whole narrative of it, and I thought this was going to be the great return, covering all new territory, and instead it was him doing a little new material, but mostly just shuffling around, riffing, engaging the heckles, even opening it to the audience for heckles and topics to riff on, all the basic things a great comedian does when they don’t have their shit together. Don’t get me wrong, he said funny shit and had funny riffs, but he wasn’t there to deliver an act. He even said it himself at one point after a long silence “…I feel like you guys are waiting for me to say something, but I don’t know what it is…” In a way I think he didn’t even realize how much he hit the nail on the head. People don’t just love his comedy, they’re invested in his narrative, and I think we all thought we were gonna get some raw point of view, akin to his Inside the Actor’s Studio (which is incredible if you haven’t seen it).
It seems like he’s stuck between being sick of talking about what he’s been through, but not being able to move on from it. At the end of the show, he closed the show by basically saying that he regretted taking the stand he took, which is the very thing that secured him a special place in all our hearts. I’m paraphrasing, but what he basically put forth was whether or not respect was worth it. Now look, he’s being honest and I can respect that, but if that’s how you feel, then let the next guy on. This is true of all comics regardless of their status or ability, if you don’t have something to say or something to prove, don’t step on stage, either until you find it, or for the rest of your life, whichever comes first. I can understand wanting to be real and get it off your chest, but don’t charge people money to knowingly let them down.
I respect his ability and his career, but I don’t like the mentality of “I’ve been doing this 26 years, what is there left for me to do?” That’s like saying, “I’ve been alive for 40 years, what is there left for me to do?” EVERYTHING MOTHERFUCKER! YOU’LL NEVER DO IT ALL! If it matters to you, find a way to stay interested, and if it doesn’t matter to you, don’t ask me for fifty dollars plus dumbass fees. I wanna see the fangs man, the fire, the bark, the hunger. Chappelle absolutely knows how to rip the roof off of a show, so if he’s not doing it, that’s a decision, a surrender to whatever obstacles, everyone has their own.
I’m not saying he lost it, or that he’s not funny anymore, he just wasn’t motivated. He’s got all the talent, all the experience, and all the status in the world, and he’s just sitting on it. Simple as that.
It’s tough to say who fired the first shot, the infuriating venue, the dumbass audience, or the apathetic comedian, but if you’re interested in seeing something real, don’t wait until someone is a huge star to go see them. I can name you ten comedians off the top of my head who consistently rip it harder than Dave did last night. Invest in artists when they’re no one, that’s when they need your help, and that’s when they’ll work for you. The adverse effect of that, is that the proven heavy hitters will have to keep proving it, just like when they were sixteen and nobody knew who they were. Celebrity doesn’t matter, the voice matters. Figure out who’s hungry, that’s how you’re going to see a great show.
If Dave somehow reads this (it’s the internet after all).
Dude, I still believe in you. I know how great you are. I can’t put myself in your shoes and I can’t go through what you’ve been through. It must be maddening to have fans who bark at you and make it damn near impossible to do the thing you love to do more than anything else in the world, but I’m gonna be honest with you man, speaking as a true fan, you let me down. As many people that there are barking at you, there’s still tons of people who want to listen, speak to those people. You’re sitting on every weapon you need to be great again, you just have to wield them. You’re a fuckin’ gladiator man, a true people’s champion. Maybe that’s a lot of pressure, maybe it’s too much, but if it is too much, just bow out. And if you do bow out, I still have endless respect for what you’ve done, but I’ll always hope that the fire does ignite again, and those things you have to say force themselves out of your mouth. When that happens, I’ll be the guy laughing my ass off from the balcony.
“Tragedy + time = comedy. But I don’t have the benefit of time. So I’m just going to tell you the tragedy and know that everything is going to be okay.”
So began Tig Notaro’s set last night at her show “Tig and friends” at the Largo.
Actually, that wasn’t the beginning of her set. It began when Ed Helms welcomed her to the stage and she crossed over, took the microphone, and said “Thank you, thank you, I have cancer, thank you, I have cancer, really, thank you.”
Applause gave way to reticent laughter as she explained how she had planned a set about bees flying alongside her car on the 405, but that she couldn’t possibly do her “silly jokes” when all this was going on. And that’s when she told us that 3 days ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, in both breasts.
But she didn’t just have cancer. She went on to explain that in some manic twist of fate, while her career is at an all-time high — she is moving to New York to work on Amy Schumer’s new television show, she was on This American Life — concurrently, all these terrible circumstances have befallen her over the past 3 months: pneumonia made way for a debilitating bacterial infection in her digestive tract for which she was hospitalized and lost 30 pounds off of her already small frame, days after being released from the hospital, her young mother died suddenly and tragically (fell, hit her head, died), then she and her girlfriend broke up, and then, now, cancer. In both breasts. (“You have a lump.” “No, doctor, that’s my breast.” — one of her most renowned bits is about someone remarking upon her small breasts)
For the first half of her set, even though she was telling the story in perfect grace and humor, I couldn’t laugh. For the second half, for the first time in my life, as far as I can recall, I genuinely laughed and cried at the exact same time, bewildered at the tragedy and the remarkably calm, clever prism through which she assessed her terrible set of circumstances.
While telling us anecdotes from these personal tragedies, all along the way, she assured the audience “it’s okay, I’m going to be okay.” At one part, when she reached a dark place wherein most of the audience could not find the will to laugh, she said “maybe I’ll just go back to telling jokes about bees. Should I do that?” there were several “NOs” and one insistent loud male voice who cried out
“NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. THIS IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE.”
She looked genuinely taken aback, and relieved. She’d managed to make the tragic not only palatable but overwhelmingly engaging. She’d done it.
Tig’s been one of my favorite comedians for a couple of years now. I told her how much I loved her work after a set at UCB one night, and she received my words so kindly that she came towards me and gave me a hug. I’ve gone downtown to bars by myself and sat for hours alone, just waiting to see her headlining set.
At the end of her routine last night, everyone in the audience gave her a standing ovation, for me her wowed, grateful, happy face blurry with my own salty eyes. She’d released her horrific story into the hearts of her fans. I’m sure we all felt like I did; we were made witness to a truly historical moment in comedy, by one of the industry of comedy’s absolute greatest.
Bill Burr followed her set, inexplicably able to make the whole audience uproarious with laughter by the end. Bill Burr then brought on Louis C.K., the surprise guest of the night, which was a shock - it was my first time ever seeing him live - but it was very difficult to give him my enrapt attention after Tig’s on-stage confessions.
My head is still swimming around what happened last night. We all saw the ultimate embodiment of what comedy is supposed to do: deeply personal tragedies somehow transformed, with the enormous, necessary power of an open-hearted audience, into brilliantly-written truths that we’ll all take home with us and keep with us as long as we’ll have a sound-enough mind to remember that show. If schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others, we all shuffled into another corner last night, schadenfreude’s cousin; we’re not laughing at you, we’re crying with you but trying very hard to accept this avalanche of misfortune through the more edible prism of humor.
I’m so grateful I could bear witness to what happened last night, and more than that I’m grateful to comedy and to Tig Notaro for being not only courageous enough and not only spirited enough but for being so endlessly, achingly HONEST with all of us, the stunned, mouth-breathing strangers in the dark.
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