Monday, March 31, 2008

VIDEO: Animosity Pierre

Plundering The Archives: Animosity Pierre rappin' at the January edition of Die, Actor, Die at The Khyber. Totally Not Safe For Work.


Doug Stanhope to play The October

When Doug Stanhope said that he'd be touring the same areas he did last year around the same time, he wasn't lying. According to his Myspace page, he'll be in Philadelphia at The Troc on October 18th. Sez the man, profanely:

I know its early but Philly always sells out so I’m giving you plenty of advance notice. Get that shit now, motherfucker. And pass word along to any Philly fuckers you know.

Our not-so-well-written recap of his show last October at the North Star Bar.

Worth repeating- a Doug Stanhope blog post about setting up comedy shows.

We added a bunch of shows to the listing on the right. Know of any we missed? Send us an email at comicvsaudience AT gmail DOT com.

Friday, March 28, 2008

This Week's Sponsors

Comic Vs. Audience would like to thank this week's sponsors that have made all of this possible:

- Coca-Cola - "Now in plastic bottles!"
- The John and Ethel McKeen Fund (we don't ask where their money comes from, we just take it)
- Dell - "Because you wouldn't even be reading this shit without us."
- The University of Iowa Class of 1942 [no website provided]
- The U.S. Department of Transportation

"Money piles high as my nieces" - Clipse

The Weekly Chuckler Round-up, brought to you by The Coca-Cola Company

A New York Times profile on Jackie Mason's last show on Broadway. Related: Andy Kindler doing Jackie Mason

Andrew "Dice" Clay is back and he'll be at the Keswick Theatre next Thursday: "before Chappelle and before South Park, there was "DICE" - with a scathing street style all his own, his battles to present obscenity and vulgarity as entertainment made him a comedy legend - truly one of the most original and controversial comics since Lenny Bruce!" Can someone puuhhleeze get us tickets? We don't want to actually pay. Let's hope he does his "what time is it?" joke about Philly!

Michael Ian Black interviewed on Ain't It Cool News.

Mike Schmidt, comedian and third chair for the first season of Jimmy Pardo's "Never Not Funny", is back with a podcast of his own: "40-Year-Old-Boy".

Finally a reason to watch the Hallmark Channel: Bob Newhart will star in 'Herb's Murders': "Newhart, 78, will play a Los Angeles detective who investigates a publisher's killing. It's a race against time: Herb has to solve the crime before dying of old age." Also, the Hallmark Channel is going to be airing 'The Golden Girls' episodes, so we're all set!

The Flight of the Conchords album will be released April 22nd. Mostly songs from the show, but still definitely worth picking up.

Jim Gaffigan is going out on a sexy tour, but won't be in Philadelphia. Boo.

Members of local improv group Tongue and Groove (amongst many other things) were interviewed live on the radio show Radio Times. Depending on the day that you read this, you may have to navigate to Thursday the 27th's show.

Brody Stevens and other doing comedy in a backyard. Brody's got big laminated versions of his photographs! "It's about energy!"

An interview with the best aspect of the Season 6 of Curb Your Enthusiasm: JB Smoove

is taping a new HBO special this weekend in California. He surely can't still be riding off of Church Lady and Garth, right? Right?!

Awesome collection of Charlie Rose interviews with comedians.

An interesting British documentary "Laughing With Hitler". Sez "Comedians deny their jokes have any power, but the fear oppressive regimes have of them shows that dictators certainly don’t believe that."

Thursday, March 27, 2008


During last year's Comedians of Comedy show at The TLA, Eugene Mirman did a bit making fun of a ska/reggae band that had messaged him on Myspace. He played one of their songs and as a way to insult them, said that it is what he thinks about when he wants to hold out in the middle of the dirty dance in the sack. "Sorry, baseball," he concluded.

A reference to a Woody Allen joke? Maybe, maybe not. And did the audience laugh because they got the reference? Maybe, maybe not.

Nevertheless, here is Woody Allen performing that bit. It's part of the track "Second Marriage" and was recorded in San Francisco in 1968 for debut album, Woody Allen, which was re-packaged on a two LP set The Nightclub Years 1964-1968 in 1972 by United Artists Records and then as part of a single CD, Standup Comic, by Rhino Records in 1999. This is only a portion of the specific track and you should really buy the CD if you want all 25 tracks.

Woody Allen's stand-up demeanor was very much like in his films: the ultimate neurotic and completely self-conscious. Always talking about himself, he seems vulnerable but always in control. In the 1960s, he was a unique stand-up character, according to Gerald Nachman in his book Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s:

The waiflike Allen's mere presence on a nightclub stage in the early 1960s was in itself funny, even startling. He exuded what one writer termed a "wistful futility"; critics referred to his "lemur-like" visage. Apart from Wally Cox, there had never been anybody in nightclubs who remotely resembled Allen, a pipsqueak with the chutzpah to invade the territory that had for decades been the province of brassy guys in tuxes. Even Mort Sahl, who altered the stand-up dress code and elevated the intelligence quotient, was brash and frenzied. Woody Allen was none of that. He looked like a bookworm in a green corduroy suit who, blinking at the light, seemed to have just crawled out from the library stacks, unprepared to meet the world.

Yet something unlemur-like happened when Allen stumbled onstage and began to talk. People paid attention, if only out of curiosity. Audiences took pity on him. Anyone who saw Allen in those first weeks at the tiny room upstairs in a Greenwich Village club called the Duplex must have thought, There seems to be some mistake, and wondered what time the real comedian came on. He wasn't a wuss, like Cox and Jackie Vernon, who traded on meekness. If you felt sorry for him, it was only because he was so uneasy onstage. But the strenth of his jokes sustained him over those first shaky months, when Ralph J. Gleason wrote warily, "Woody Allen might be worth hearing more than once."
RELATED: Woody Allen performing another classic, "The Moose" on English television in 1965.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

VIDEO: Comedy at an Art Show

What happens when four comics try to do comedy at an art show? Last month Doogie Horner, Andy Nolan, Chip Chantry and Steve Gerben performed at "Yummy", an art show about food during First Friday at the Nexus Gallery in Philadelphia.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

OUT TODAY: ASSSSCAT Renegade Improv Comedy DVD

Filmed not even a month ago at the UCB-LA and aired last Friday on Comedy Central, ASSSSCAT has a new DVD out today:

ASSSSCAT comes to DVD March 25th from the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). ASSSSCAT features the original UCB four: Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Matt Besser and Amy Poehler and special guests: Will Arnet (Arrested Development), Chad Carter (UCB), Sean Conroy (The Swarm), Andrew Daily (UCB), Ed Helms (The Office), Jen Kirkman (UCB), Tom Lennon, Horatio Sans (Saturday Night Live), Paul F. Tompkins, Kate Walsh (UCB).

We caught some of it on Comedy Central last week (and DVRed the rest!) and what we saw was funny and well filmed. And PFT and Jen Kirkman doing the monologues!

Here's a video that isn't on the DVD from the recent SF Sketchfest with Neil Patrick Harris and others:


Monday, March 24, 2008

TONIGHT: Die, Actor, Die at The Khyber

DIE ACTOR DIE - It's a comedy show!

Hosted by Don Montrey

Chip Chantry
Doogie Horner
Pat Kelly (the other one)
Meg and Rob
and Rowan & Hastings

The Khyber (56 S. 2nd Street), 8PM, 5

Doogie Horner takes Literary Adventures.
Two videos of Meg and Rob.
Chip Chantry on falling in love with movies all over again.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Paul F. Tompkins at SXSW


Friday, March 21, 2008

You Read It Here First (unless you saw it somewhere else previously)

Eddie Izzard is working on a new stand-up show.

And Janeane Garofalo will be filming a new DVD soon.

Details on the new Bob and David HBO show are emerging. It's called 'David's Situation' and:

Odenkirk and Cross co-wrote the project, which will star Cross as himself. He leaves Hollywood to move into a suburban, gated community where he has two roommates, a right-wing conservative and a liberal hippie.

Local bears and liberals beware, The Stephen Colbert Report is coming to Philadelphia and you'll have to sit there and watch it on TV.

Todd Barry edits his own interview with The Onion's AV Club:

AVC: You consider anything fair game for comedy, but what wouldn't you put in your act?

TB: There are certain things that are probably too mean. I don't particularly like fat jokes. Those kind of bother me. But I guess what I was trying to say is, if I said I would never laugh at this, you could probably dig around and find a situation where I did laugh. I try not to be a hypocrite with that one. I find when there's a controversy about someone saying something offensive, I usually take the angle of, "Well, I don't know if that was offensive; it just wasn't funny." I generally don't gasp, "Oh my God!" I think people have been getting raked over the coals lately.

[An incredibly controversial answer. The kind of answer that will get picked up by various wire services and take both of us to the next level. LA-I.]

The Comic's Comic reviews HBO's Sixth Annual Young Comedians Show from 1981 with hosts The Smothers Brothers.

The cast of the This Side of the Truth is ridiculous. Written, directed and starring Gervais, it includes John Hodgman, Tina Fey, Christopher Guest, Jeffrey Tambor, Louis CK, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, and Jennifer Garner. According to Gervais:
"My character works in the film industry, where actors are really readers who tell completely factual stories," Gervais said. "My character's a loser who's about to lose his job, and who's lumbering through the 1300s. All he's got to work with is the Black Death. But once he lies and pretends he's found lost stories, he becomes the greatest storyteller in the world."

Plenty of recaps of The State show at the UCB-LA. Go ahead and tour already?

We can't resist linking to all things Gallagher. Here's footage of him heckling an opener and scolding the audience at the recent show in New York City.

Mike Birbiglia's secret public journals are being made into a TV pilot and hopefully a whole show. According to Birbigs:

Maybe it was the 93 comments you wrote after my last entry or Ted Kennedy’s endorsement, but they’ve decided to let me and my friend Andy Secunda make a show about a guy who does comedy, writes a journal, and kills polar bears for sport (not true). CBS has also assured me that if the show is a success, they will also green-light television shows based on all of your blogs and all of your friends’ blogs, even this one.

Richard Zoglin's Comedy at the Edge may be made into a documentary. The sub headline is "Documentary may feature Martin, Pryor." Well, that would be a good idea.

A.D. Miles and Zach Galifianakis star in Speed Freaks for Comedy Central, directed by Michael Blieden.

Kids in the Hall tour preview video.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

NEWS: April Rumblings

Don't look now, but April looks to be a big month for comedy in Philadelphia. In addition to the regular monthly shows such as Die, Actor, Die:

- Stand-up comic Doogie Horner (and frequent C Vs. A contributor) has a new monthly show at Fergie's Pub starting on April 30th called THE MINISTRY OF SECRET JOKES. It'll be mostly stand-up but with some sketch and other fun stuff. "Don't come to the show thinking you're going to get any information about the Secret Jokes though," Horner says. "They are secured in a locked attache which I keep handcuffed to my wrist. There will be plenty of non-classified jokes though, which are almost as funny." And it's all free!

- You saw the video earlier this week for the sketch comedy show WELCOME TO THE TERRORDOME at The M Room on April 18th. Set to perform are Secret Pants, Meg & Rob, Animosity Pierre, The Sixth Borough and Rowan & Hastings. "The Philly Sketch scene is fully prepared to bust out, and we want this show to prove that," says Bryce of Secret Pants

- Speaking of Secret Pants, they'll be hosting/judging the COLLEGE COMEDY COMPETITION at the Helium Comedy Club on April 16th. According to Megan Dinan of Helium, the stand-up slots are all filled up, but there's still room for three more sketch groups. If interested, you can contact her at 215-496-9001 or Only one of the members of your group has to be in college to enter.

- And of course there's another installment of BEDTIME STORIES on April 2nd. This time the topic is hipsters. Why hipsters? "I wrote some sketches about Fugazi, and this is the only opportunity I have to perform them," says host Gregg Gethard. Usually the show contains just comedy, but given the topic there had to be music. So, Gregg got local hip hop group Sgt. Sass to headline. And, he'll be announcing the very special guest for the May addition.

- Also during the Philly Improv Theater's week at the Shubin Theater (April 2nd-6th): Tybrus, improv comedy from the UCB in New York along with Holmes/Maughan, made up of Matt Holmes of Rare Bird Show and Greg Maughan, founder of PHIT and member of Industrial.

- April 18th marks the first official show of the stand-up comedy group PEOPLE WERE OUTRAGED, made up of Brendan Kennedy, Benny Michaels and Mike Rainey at the Walking Fish Theatre in Fishtown.

- Improv at the library? On April 2nd, that's just the case as Whipsuit, Angry People Building Things and The Throng perform at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Free!

Also, the national acts in town include Tim & Eric, Joe Rogan, Louis CK (with Todd Barry), John Witherspoon, Steve Harvey and Kids in the Hall!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

INTERVIEW: The Great Holtzie

Adam Holtz, better known as The Great Holtzie, believes that he is the only comedian for kids in the United States. While there are funny magicians and guys with puppets, as he puts it, "they're just funny magicians and guys with puppets."

Instead, Holtz, for the most part, plays off of his audience of children. Like when he says that he's going to eat some McDonald's real quick, but instead of fries he puts rubber worms in his mouth. The crowd of 3-10 year-olds scream and shout in delight and horror at the same time as Holtz pretends that he doesn't understand. Or when the kids squeal as a toy gorilla makes fun of Holtz for being bald.

As an alternative to clowns, Holtz doesn't dress up in any costumes and if he does shtick such as balloon animals, it's usually mocking the tired concept. When snakes fly out of a can like the old trick, he comments "someday when you get older you'll go to Spencer Gifts and realize how lame this really is." This gets a laugh from the parents, whom Holtz tries to include too.

Overall, the idea is taking off. It hasn't even been a year since his first performance but it's quickly grown to summer shows at XPN's Kids Corner, Saturday afternoons at the Helium Comedy Club and this summer at the Keswick Theatre, a 1,300-seat theater.

How did you come up with the idea?
I kind of came up with it because I’ve got a five year-old step daughter and I’ve got nieces and nephews and I’m always the pied-piper and the party planner entertaining kids. And I just felt that there was a need, everything was lame, all creepy clowns and weird magicians and I never understood why people had to wear costumes. And they’re all condescending, they’re the kind of people like “hold him here, let’s go check his hard drive”, like they’re going to show up in a kitchen on Dateline. So why not do a cool show for kids, take an adult stand-up kind of approach to it and be a little evil, not all nicey nice to them.

Where do you get the bits from?

It’s shtick that I’ve been doing for nieces and nephews [interview interrupted by mother that’s interested in booking the show]

Yeah, I just come up with whatever, sometimes I’ll go to Toys ‘R Us and walk around the aisles, that’s how I came up with the See ‘N Say idea. I’ll walk around looking for different ideas. And different things that I had around my house, like the didgeridoo thing and that’s usually funnier, she [the young audience member he brought on stage] didn’t react. And the Darth Vader thing, I collect Star Wars stuff, so that’s in. It just comes from everywhere. Things that make my kid laugh, things that make my nieces and nephews laugh.

So you test stuff out that way?

Yeah, it’s like a little laboratory at my house.

Does some stuff not work and you take it out?

Totally some stuff doesn’t work. But the good thing about it is that I do so many shows that I can throw one thing in there and my instincts are good enough that someone’s going to laugh, that it doesn’t totally bomb. I have the luxury of weaving things in, even if I’m getting paid for it.

Is it hard to get kids’ attention?

No, its short little segments so it captivates them, for a forty-five minute show I have them unless they are really young. But the kids are great, I’m lucky that for what I do, just the animation and the running around- I try to give kids what they want, but not what parents or adults think they want. Like the fart jokes and the burp jokes, I try to make it in the concept where it’s funny. Like some of these lame kids movies will throw in an obligatory thing in there and it’s not funny, so I try to put it into a context.

Is it important to have little jokes for parents too?

That’s just my thing, that’s what I want to do. It’s like a good Pixar movie or a ‘Simpsons' episode or something- that’s why I do the thing like talking to the bookie or some of the dry jokes, like the wink-nudge things for them because I want it to be entertaining for them as well. And actually be a real family thing instead of something that the parents have to suffer through. I want it be cool, I want it to be definitely straddle the fence.

It seems like when you get a little thing out there for the adults, the kids wouldn’t even notice.

Right, and I throw in stuff that is safe, not like double-entendre sex stuff- they’re not getting it but it’s still creepy that you are still doing it- like talking to a bookie. Or when a give the kid steak knives. The kids freak out, the kids get it but the parents do as well. I think my biggest source of inspiration over the past year was when I read the Steve Martin autobiography. It’s just such an amazing book and as a kid I wanted to be him. My mom bought me an aluminum arrow and I cut it in half with a hacksaw and took a coat hanger and that’s what I wanted to do, but I never had the balls to follow that dream to go after comedy. And as a kid I would do little shows for my friends.

And he did a lot of magic and goofy stuff-
Yeah and that’s what I would say was my biggest influence that I want because it was just so absurd and weird and that’s what I want this to be.

I haven’t seen a clown in a while, what kind of stuff would a clown do?

They do balloons, the same stuff that they always do. Just bad dimestore magic, just creepy. And these people do a good job and I guess they’re nice people, but I try not to see them either.

Do you think there are parents that are sick of that clown stuff too?

Oh, absolutely. People can’t stand them.

Do you know of anyone else doing what you are doing?
No one. I’ve searched high and low on the internet and I search and I ask and I make phone calls to people who are established comedy magicians and people that would know and no one is. There’s a guy in England and he tells crazy stories, really an amazing talent. But as far as what I’m doing and the approach that I’m taking, I don’t think there’s anyone. And that’s the crazy thing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Comic Vs. Audience is proud to present, once again, a scintillating bi-weekly column, Literary Adventure, written by bookish gadabout Doogie Horner.

The room spun around me. I watched in astonishment as lifeless objects became animated. The tiny cactus on my writing desk sprouted flowers. The ham sandwich under the bookshelf grew mold and dissolved. My sea monkeys grew up, went to college, met a girl, started a family, worked ‘till 65, got their gold watch, wondered what the point had been, and then died as they had been born—helpless and bewildered. The sun rose and set, rose and set, a dozen times in as many seconds.

I pulled back on the crystal-topped lever and the spinning slowed, then stopped. I hopped out of my machine, a little dizzy, and surveyed my surroundings.

I was three weeks in the future.

I checked my voicemail: no new messages. Literary Adventuring is a lonely life. Maybe I should take a yoga class, I bet that’s a good way to meet people.

Why did I build a time machine? Not to glean valuable gambling information from the future, or ensure my parents meet and procreate in the past. No, my reasons were purely academic. I always wanted to know what inspired H.G. Wells to write The Time Machine, and this was the most ironic way to find out—to actually travel back in time and ask him myself. I love irony. I eat bacon and cheese veggie burgers all the time.

The time machine I built was an exact replica of the one described in H.G. Wells’ sci-fi classic, except mine also had a phonograph player with kickin’ speakers and one of those big, dumb bass boxes laying in the hatchback. It took me almost two whole days to build. However the beautiful thing is that I was able to go back in time and get those two days back. I watched my past self (so fat) toil on the machine while I read the complete boxed set of A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Three weeks into the future had just been a test drive. Now my ship was ready to commence it’s real mission. I hopped back into the velvet cushioned seat. I ideally wanted to catch Wells at the initial moment of inspiration, so I set the controls for 1894. I put Bitches Brew on the turntable, threw the lever forward as dramatically as I could, yelled “hyah!”, and hurtled backwards through time.

Since I was traveling further this time, the spinning was much faster, and almost immediately I grew nauseas. This is the crucial flaw in Wells’ “spinny” time-traveling technology, as opposed to the later “streaky tunnel” or “sudden, lightning laced explosion with flaming tire tracks” methods favored by later travelers. I had no Dramamine, no peppermints to suck on, and Miles Davis’s off-key noodling on the title track of Bitches Brew wasn’t helping. Only steely reserve held me together, as onward I tore through time!

My machine stopped with a lurch and I threw up into my top hat. Did I mention I was wearing a top hat? I was. Now it was full of barf. I had outfitted myself in Victorian clothes, so as not to draw attention to myself. But if I had known I was going to throw up into my hat, I wouldn’t have even bought it. I could’ve just worn a bucket on my head and saved some money. If only I had a time machine and could . . . Nah, not worth it.

I looked around and saw my machine sat in the middle of a small farmer’s field. The small farmer was nowhere to be seen, but I could see his tiny footprints in the dirt. There was a white farmhouse in the distance, and beyond it a town. I turned around and saw woods, and beyond them the mast of a ship. A bird flew over the blissfully silent fields. If you ever want to know what the past is like, I can sum it up for you in one word: fuckingboring. I covered the machine with some twigs and walked towards the farm.

I found the small farmer sitting on a full-size porch swing. His stumpy legs dangled a foot from the floor, and kicked lustily as he played O-Suzannah on the Jew’s harp. I was careful not to startle him.

“Excuse me, does H.G. Wells live nearby?”

The farmer stopped playing the harp. He peered at me, his eyes two black stones stuck in a shriveled apple.

“Youse a funny looking fella. Where’s your hat?”

“I’m looking for H.G. Wells.”

“Don’t got a well for the likes of you, you fucking dandy.”

“I don’t want candy, I’m looking for H.G. Wells.”


My journey was going to be a long one. “Look, just tell me which way it is to London.”

“Ah, I see.” That seemed to explain everything. “Well, jes git on one of them boats over yonder,” he pointed to the mast beyond the trees, “and tell ‘em ‘I wanna’ see tha Queen.’ You’ll be there in about—” he plucked a single note on the harp, “—in about a month er so. Ya fucking limey.”

Oh. Right. I had traveled in time, but not space. I was still in America.



Doogie will be performing at Die, Actor, Die at The Khyber (56 S. 2nd St.) on March 24th, 8PM, $5

It's Coming...


Monday, March 17, 2008

INTERVIEW: Gallagher

Ladies and Gentleman, Gallagher-mania is sweeping the nation once again. First The Apiary had an amazing interview and then The Comic's Comic saw him live. We unfortunately missed our chance as Gallagher was in Jim Thorpe, PA last Saturday. Jim Thorpe! We suppose he played the Jim Thorpe Coliseum, a 20,000-seater, right?

So it is in this Gallagher-spirit that we publish this interview that Bedtime Stories host Gregg Gethard wrote in 2004 for a Plymouth, Massachusetts newspaper where Gallagher was set to perform:

As a newspaper reporter, I spent most of my post-college years waiting for the stars to align themselves in a way that would allow me to catch my big break in journalism. That never did happen, since I'm now 30 and unemployed. But I was lucky enough one day to have the opportunity to interview Gallagher -- the legendary watermelon-smashing prop comic. Enjoy!

Some of these lines are so unbelievable that we figured Gregg was pulling a Scott Templeton, but he swears that it's all true ("everything he said is in my notes!").

A man, a mission, a mellon
Political prop comic comes to Plymouth.

PLYMOUTH-- “I think we’re all pawns in a great, big game,” Gallagher, a little-known presidential candidate and very famous stand-up comic, said.

Best known for using the “Sledge-O-Matic” to pepper tarp-wearing audiences with watermelons and other assorted food items he smashes at the end of his shows, Gallagher will perform Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.And he’s dead serious about running for president. His biggest gripe is with NAFTA, which he blames for job losses throughout the country.

“I said this in one of my videotapes. Never Allow Foreigners To Achieve. That’s what NAFTA really stands for,” Gallagher said. “It’s treason to export jobs out of the country because we’re a team. America is a team. If your neighbor loses his job, you’re not unaffected. It can cause a lack of taxes, a lack of services, crime.”
Gallagher has other views outside the mainstream of American politics.

On the war on terror: “I think the war on terror is about insurance. Insurance companies didn’t know how much to charge for a building that might be blown up. They told the president’s father to say something to his son and get him to do something.”

On American foreign policy: “They want a tighter involvement with India, China and Malaysia. They’re allowing companies to hire them so they get involved and tied in with us. They’re using the economy for foreign policy. I think that’s what’s going on.”

On American morality: “We’re losing our definition of morality. Why be upset about Janet Jackson when most girls walk around without a bra on anyway? Why be upset with Kobe Bryant when the president has sex with an intern? You can’t figure America out. That’s why Arabs attacked the World Trade Center. No one seemed upset that our embassies got bombed in Africa or they attacked a ship tied up in Yemen. We give out mixed signals or no signals at all.”

On parents: “It all goes back to parents being afraid to say anything. Kids today have tattoos or purple hair or holes in their body. The things kids do, if their parents did it ten years ago, they would have lost custody of the kid. Or it would be done to get prisoners of war to talk. Of course, piercing someone’s tongue to get them to talk doesn’t make much sense.”

Gallagher started in politics last year when he ran for governor of California.During his gubenatorial campaign, Gallagher ended up in Iowa and Illinois where he discovered a Maytag factory closing in the small town of Galesburg, Ill. The factory jobs moved elsewhere.

Gallagher says he attempted to drum up interest about the factory in the local media, then inundated with Iowa primary news. Desperate to get someone to notice the plight of a small, middle-American town, Gallagher thought up a stunt for attention.

“I couldn’t get anyone’s attention,” Gallagher said. “The media wants a story that is happening quick that has a pitch to it. I said to the guys at a labor union, ‘let’s blow up a bomb in the town square for Labor Day.’ They’ll come cover it, and we’ll tell the story of what Maytag is doing. But the fire marshal hated it, the police hated the idea and finally, I said, ‘what am I doing here?’ I can’t get the media interested in this story. The local authorities don’t want me to help the people here. Instead, they had a Labor Day parade, kind of celebrating the fact that they do not have any more labor in town. It was almost like a comedy routine, some sort of ironic stupid story that doesn’t make sense.”

Gallagher returned to California, surrounded by the wealthy and the fabulous.“No one seems to care,” he said. “I can’t continue to believe the world is so stupid.”

He also realizes the struggling economy affects his business.
“The reason you’re talking to me is that I am not selling that many tickets in Plymouth,” Gallagher said. “It all gets down to economics. I rent the theater. I buy the ads. I pick the ticket price but people who do not have jobs can’t come to a comedy show. I can’t really stand by and watch America be mismanaged and misled. But I don’t know what to do about it. I put my ideas on the Internet. I've mentioned them in interviews but people don’t jump on them. People don’t talk them up and change things.”

And without change, Gallagher thinks his career could come to an end.

“I’m in a desperate battle to save my way of life as a touring comedian,” Gallagher said. “I’m being threatened. As my market is losing its money, we’re losing facilities and the audience is taking over my job of being outrageous. Everything is wrong with my business.”

Gallagher said he continues to fight on, slightly edgier than before. He said he does his own promotion and has no interest in land a role on a sit-com or working as a talk show host.

“I’m just like Lenny Bruce,” Gallagher said. “I’m saying and doing things nobody else is. I don’t have a network. I don’t have a national sponsor. I’m what people are fighting for, the freedom of speech. Everybody else is compromised and not going to speak freely.”

Gallagher said he’s changed the way he performs over the years. Instead of merely just telling jokes and smashing watermelons, Gallagher now brings people up on stage with him and incorporates the audience into his bits.

“You have to stay ahead of the audience,” he said. “I still am giving them more than they thought and they’re having more fun then they thought.”

Gallagher also took credit for interactivity between performers and an audience.

“I was talking to my friend about Universal (amusement park),” he said. “They have so many things that splash you. They owe that to me. They would be too chicken to splash people on their own if I didn’t show them the way. The Blue Man Group. The Insane Clown Posse. There are now innumerable acts that are coming off of the stage and involving the audience.”

“I think the mosh pit is due to me,” he added. “What I’m showing people is that the audience wanted to do more than just sit in their chair.”

However, while Gallagher takes credit for that kind of interaction, he freely admits that his popularity has waned from his peak period.

He is, perhaps, a pawn in a great, big game that no longer sees him in control.

“People say to me, I’ve watched you my whole life,” Gallagher. “I started cable. Cable was the only place a person could speak freely in America. I started Showtime. Showtime should be there for me now. They should be offering me new specials and my own talk show instead of sticking all the old shows on Comedy Central and having no interest in me. You just get thrown away in America for what’s the next, new thing.”

Gallagher's website,, has a lot of great stuff, including some audio interviews on the right: "Do you believe in reincarnation? I believe I was a comedian in a previous life." Gallagher also has a podcast with complete sets, but there's no link on his website so you'll have to type "Gallagher" into iTunes.
- Gallagher was recently on The Howard Stern Show

Kids In The Hall tour, will play Philadelphia

Via The Sound of Young America blog:

From the press release:

The 2008 tour, titled “Live As We’ll Ever Be”, represents a new era in the troupe’s collaboration, and is comprised of completely fresh material which simultaneously reflects who they are now and their patently off-kilter take on ordinary life. Favorite characters from the television series appear in entirely new situations, sharing the stage with new KITH personas which are destined for the same level of cult adoration. In a world where most entertainment tries to play it safe, “The Kids in the Hall” steadfastly refuse to follow the trend, preferring instead to slaughter sacred cows and look at the world – and each other – with refreshing honesty.

Join The Kathies, Headcrusher, the Sales Guys, Buddy Cole, and people you’ve never met before (but somehow recognize from your everyday life) on an adventure into the bizarre and side-splittingly funny.

Tour Dates as of March 7, 2008:

April 2008
4th – Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theatre
5th – Milwaukee, WI Riverside
6th – Columbus, OH Mershon
9th – Austin, TX Paramount
10th – Austin, TX Paramount
17th – Boston, MA Wang Centre
18th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
19th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
20th – New York, NY Nokia Theatre
22nd – Houston, TX Verizon Theatre
23rd – Dallas, TX Nokia Theatre
24th - Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
25th – Omaha, NE Civic Music Hall
30th – Philadelphia, PA Keswick Theatre

May 2008
1st – Providence, RI Providence PAC
2nd – Niagara Falls, NY Seneca Casino
4th – Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House
8th – Anaheim, CA The Grove
9th – Los Angeles, CA The Orpheum
10th – San Francisco, CA War Memorial
11th – Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer
15th – Seattle, WA WaMu Theatre
16th – Vancouver, BC Boulevard Casino
20th – St. Louis, MO The Pageant
21st – Nashville, TN Ryman TPAC
22nd – Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
23rd – Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
24th – Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Center
25th – Charleston, SC North Charleston PAC
30th – Detroit Royal Oak
31st – Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square

June 2008
1st – Green Bay, WI Weidner Center

Saturday, March 15, 2008

You're On The Internet Too Much

- After 25 years, Jeff Garlin is quitting stand-up with a new special directed by Bob Odenkirk at the end of this month.
- Comedy Central releases their 2008-2009 Development schedule and takes a moment to pat themselves on the back: "the all-comedy network could be excused if it sat back and laughed along with its viewers for a spell."
- Hulu launches with full-length movies and TV shows, including a lot of great past shows like Who's The Boss?, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Dana Carvey Show
- The Wire spinoff ideas with sexy/hilarious results!
- Speaking of The Wire (which we do all the time), what's next for creator David Simon? Comedies!
- Is Columbus, Ohio a new hub for stand-up comedy? Well, it looks like they at least have a few open mics.
- Bob and David (you know, those Mr. Show guys that people keep telling me about) are going to be filming a pilot of their new show for HBO.
- A very interesting article on the nature of laughter.
- We know this is really old (over a month!), but Bob Newhart was on the rock and roll talk show Sound Opinions to talk about the two Grammys he won for The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart. Furthermore, that debut along with his second album, The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back!, held the number one and two spots on the Billboard charts for eight months. After the interview, stick around for a conversation with Girl Talk, who is pretty great.
- Local comic and host of Die, Actor, Die (amongst many other things) Don Montrey liveblogs his latte at a fancy cafe downtown.
- And speaking of Don Montrey, there's a new interview with him on Uwishunu.
- While googling Paul Mooney, who is at Helium this week, we came across this clip of him on Fox News.
- Amazing two part interview with Gallagher on The Apiary

Friday, March 14, 2008

THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL: "Because I'm Not F***ing Dumb!"

Comedy Central just released their 2008-2009 schedule of new programs and some of them look exciting, but they've already got a winner in the Lewis Black hosted "Root of All Evil". The show pits two comics against each other in a courtroom setting making their case as to why something is more evil than the other. Like some other shows in the channel's past, it's another forum for stand-up comics to do material without a microphone in their hand on stage.

The first episode aired this past Wednesday and it put Greg Giraldo against Paul F. Tompkins. Giraldo was great, but PFT KILLED. He stressed that Oprah was "also fat of heart" and pointed out that she's on the cover of every issue of her magazine. "Nobody else, ever?" he wondered. "Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice? Like no other lady has risen past rank of talk show host?"

It's doubtful that a comic like PFT would have over five minutes of material bashing Oprah, which makes if fun. They can be topical without it feeling forced. The comics had to write material and maybe film a segment for this show. Did they even test this material in front of audiences beforehand?

At the end of the episode, Lewis Black ruled in Tompkins favor, but it appears its the viewers' votes that matter in the end (cheesly done by text message like it was American Idol). The winner of this vote goes on to the next show and the viewers voted that the Catholic Church was more evil than Oprah. So it doesn't look like we'll see more PFT in the near future. Oh if only the vote was for who was funnier!

According to the Comedy Central website, the first eight shows include Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Andrew Daly, Greg Giraldo, Andy Kindler (!), and Kathleen Madigan.

An interview with Lewis Black for
A report from the pilot taping
The Comic's Comic's take

Thursday, March 13, 2008

HOLLYWOULDA, COULDA, SHOULDA: A Guide to Falling Back in Love with Movies" by Chip Chantry

Chip Chantry is a Philadelphia stand-up comedian that opened up for Paul Mooney at Helium Comedy Club last night and will be at Die, Actor, Die on Monday March 24th

It was roughly 2pm when my ear, nose and throat doctor and I showed up to Ewing Elementary's annual school carnival. We were both pretty high, so I don't remember much, other than the fact that it was a crystal clear day, and some of the moms became verbally abusive when Dr. Steve refused to leave the moonbounce when his turn was up.

It wasn't the water ice, face painting, or the DJ repeatedly playing Kelly Clarkson tunes that stuck out in my head. It was something that Dr. Steve said as he stared vacantly into what was left of his funnel cake. "I'd go to the movies now, but there ain't nothin' to see."

I was shocked. First, I couldn't believe that someone who was a medical professional would use a double-negative (even if he was baked out of his mind surrounded by 200 nine-year-olds and a clown that did balloon animals named Jason. And what kind of clown name is "Jason" anyway? He was a pretty shitty clown; he wore khakis, and a golf shirt, and kept yelling at the kids to "knock off the horse-play". But damn, could he twist you up a flamingo.)

The second thing that shocked me about Dr. Steve's lamentation was the realization that I, too, had not seen a good movie in literally years. Hollywood has run out of ideas, and they are simply reheating the old ones. If I see another American Pie sequal, I will vomit. (And not the appealing, sexy kind of "2 Girls, One Cup" vomit either- the gross kind). By my calculations, there will be a United 93 spoof starring Leslie Neilson and the blonde girl with the receding hairline from MAD TV by Thanksgiving of '09.

I can't watch new movies. They're horrible. So I am forced to view the old classics again. You may ask me, "Chip, don't they get stale?" Much like Wawa chocolate milk, NO, they do not. They are as fresh as the first time I watched them. Because now, when I watch movies, I add my own little twist to the viewing experience.

You too can fall in love with your old favorites again, in a brand-new way. You just have to be a little creative. Here are some movie ideas for "Spicing up the Classics".

BIG: As you watch this light-hearted comedy, pretend that Tom Hanks has AIDS, just like in Philadelphia. It's soooo sad that way; a totally different story. You will cry like a baby through the giant keyboard scene.

ET: This is a family favorite- watch it with some youngsters for the first time. When ET dies and the flower wilts toward the end of the film, turn it off. THE END. Those brats don't need to see the last ten minutes.

MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS: Turn this into a drinking game. Do a shot of Jager every time Mr. Holland resents his son for being deaf.

ANNIE: Throughout the whole movie, nervously anticipate the "rape scene". When it doesn't actually happen, you will feel richer than Daddy Warbucks.

TURNER AND HOOCH: Invite a bunch of buddies over to watch this film on mute, while playing Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl album. It doesn't sync up, and your buddies will be PISSED for sitting through it. Score!

THE FULL MONTY: Watch this movie with your grandmother and some aunts. Every ten minutes throughout the film, proclaim to the room that you "Wanna see some COCK!"

THE SANDLOT: Watch this movie with Nana and the aunts a few days later. Again, let 'em know that you "Wanna see some COCK!"

GOONIES: Just watch this movie over and over. It never gets old.

Sometimes, watching a movie the conventional way is boring. Try watching some classic movies backward. Set the DVD to the end, and hit rewind. The plots change completely:

JAWS: This Peter Benchley classic, while viewed backward, tells the sad tale of a bulimic shark.

LA BAMBA: Watch this in reverse, and you will see the story of a young man who is in a plane crash, and it turns him MEXICAN!!

WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S: Backward, you watch a Jew and some spaz who dated Molly Ringwald bring a guy back to life by humorlessly schlepping him around town for a couple of days.

WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S II: Same Jew, same spaz. He's still dead at the end though.

MY DINNER WITH ANDRE: Those crazy fuckers have dessert first!

DUMB AND DUMBER: Harry and Lloyd prove that they truly are idiots, because they leave Aspen for Rhode fucking Island.

Movies, no matter how old, can be brought back to life with a little imagination, creativity, and personal flair. I hope the same can be said about Patrick Swayze.

*Look out for Chip's next column when he attends the annual Sadie Hawkins Dance, sponsored by Bucks County's Malignant Tumor Society.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

VIDEO: Kent Haines and Aaron Hertzog

Kent Haines (left) and Aaron Hertzog (right) talk about life on the street at Bedtime Stories' "Way Down in the Hole: A Comedy Tribute to 'The Wire'".


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"When Comedy Goes Bad" by Pat House

File Under the At Least You Got A Good Story Dept., from Pat House's Myspace:

Last night I performed at The Townehouse in Media, PA for Riots Comedy. It's a fantastic room with great crowds and a great staff. I've had very good shows there, and I was excited to return.

There was a couple seated up front who were extremely talkative. I had friends and family seated around them, and several of them had told me how loud and distracting they were.

I was the third comedian to go on, and as soon as I get on stage, they're talking. Loudly. I did my opening joke to feel the crowd out, hoping their conversation would by over be the time it was done. It wasn't.

I was polite, (but stern) and I asked them what the chatter was about. "French fries" was the answer. I said "OK, well I'm glad to know that my set is interesting enough that you guys are discussing food during it..." in the hopes to get a few laughs.

I told them they were being distracting and that it's not fair to the crowd because they paid to see a good show and they're making it difficult for me to give them that show.

The husband shoots me this how DARE you look and has the audacity to say to me "Look, it's been a long week..." My blood pressure skyrocketed at the fact that he was justifying them being disruptive and I fired back "I don't fucking care. Eighty people paid to see this show, no one paid to hear you..." To which the crowd applauded, which was great, because they were on my side.

The wife said something to the effect of "We're here every week, we bring people everytime..." I cut her off with weak retort, but I was so heated I didn't even know what to say, and I blurted out "They don't even have shows here every week so you're either high or stupid."

She then picks up the three beer bottles that are in front of her (I think two of them were full) and launches them at right fucking at me, completely covering me in beer. It's all over my shirt, jeans, face, glasses, the wall - everywhere. So I did what I'm sure other people in that situation would do. I immediately pointed directly at her and said:




Her husband rushes the stage, half pushes me/half punches me in the face, I fly backwards, off the stage, praying to God that I don't go through the window that's behind me. After a little more screaming, they left.

Let me tell you how awkward this makes a comedy show. I tried to make a few jokes about it, to basically re-start the entire show, and somehow after all of that, I still had a pretty decent set.

I think half the crowd were totally turned-off and appalled, thinking that this is how comedy shows are. But I appreciate the other half - the people that hopped back on board and allowed me to carry on.

All in all I don't even know what to think. Maybe I was out of line calling her a cunt, I don't know. But it seems like the appropraite response for when someone hurls glass bottles at you from six feet away. What I do know is that ALL of this stemmed from two people who could not keep their mouths shut during a comedy show.

One thing that was great were the people who came up to me afterwards and said it was 'great' and 'fucking awesome.' One of the waitresses thanked me for getting them to leave. It's great to know that people were on my side for this. I woke up this morning to about 20 emails and myspace messages from audience members and other comedians, so I thank them for that as well.

Who knew that telling jokes and trying to contain an audience would make someone the bad guy?

Oh, and lastly, no, I did not have a joke about a riot and Riots Comedy. I thought of that on the car ride home.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Comic Vs. Audience is Social Networking!

Our applications have finally gone through and we are social networking! Please become our friends on:

Comedy Space

Please do so not only because we need the affirmation, but we want to get to know you a little better: who you are, where you're from, and what your favorite books are. Call it market research, but don't think we are creeps or nothin'.

And once you're there, become acquainted (if you aren't already) with all of the great comedians we are "friends" with!

And thanks again for even reading this thing. We couldn't do it without you. Well, we could, but there wouldn't be any point.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


From "Meg and Rob's new show "These Modern Worlds"

Do you like to laugh? Got a funny bone that needs tickled? Need something entertaining to help you forget how much you hate your job and how you wish you never had to go back there again? Well, luckily there are a bunch of comedy shows this weekend, just for you!

(Know of a show that isn't on here? E-mail us at comicvsaudience AT gmail DOT com)

- Meg and Rob (picture above) with improv group Traffic Jelly opening at the Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge St.), $10.
In "These Modern Worlds" Meg and Rob sell dystopian compilation CDs, take a misguided tour of Philadelphia (complete with venison cheesesteaks), help clueless couples fornicate, and more, all with hilarious results. And here's an interview!
- Then at 10, Improv from Cajones and BWP. Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge St.), $10.
- Stand-up comic Robert Kelly is at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom S.t) for two shows, 8 and 10:30, $25.
- The Northeast Comedy Cabaret (11580 Roosevelt Blvd.) has Chris Schlotterer amongst many other comics, 9PM, $15.
- H.B. Sanders at the Laff House, 8:30 and 10:45, $15.
- The N Group have their weekly improv show at the Actors Center (257 N 3rd St.), 8PM, $10.
- Tim Grill, GeorgAnne, and Kent Haines (hosting) at the Chaplins Music Cafein Spring City, 9:30PM, $12.

- Got kids? The Great Holtzie can entertain your child(ren) with stand-up comedy instead of a clown that will terrify them at Helium Comedy Club, 3PM, $10.
At the Shubin, Cajones with BWP at 8 and then Meg and Rob with Traffic Jelly. at 10.
- Robert Kelly closes his week at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom St.) with two shows, 8 and 10:30, $25.
- If you're looking to get out of the city, Paula Poundstone is at the Dennis Flyer Memorial Theatre in Blackwood, Jersey, 8PM, $27.
- Tim Grill and others are at the Chuckles Comedy Club in Audubon, 9PM, $13
- Lisa Lampanelli is back again, this time at the Tower Theatre, 8PM, $32.50.
- - H.B. Sanders at the Laff House doing three shows (!), 8, 10 and midnight, $15.

- The Parade of A-Holes: A Benefit Auction for Project H.O.M.E at the Shubin Theatre, 7PM, free & BYOB!
Part comedy show, part benefit auction, The Parade of A-holes will take you on a hilarious trip through your bad dating decisions. In the style of a charity bachelor auction, these eligible and annoying singles (played by a selection of Philly's favorite improvisers and sketch comedians) will be "auctioned" alongside fabulous prize packages. The winning bidder goes home with the prize, not the a-hole, and everyone gets a chance to laugh at some characters everyone's dated but nobody likes. Bonus: It's all for charity! The Parade of A-Holes: Laugh! Bid! WIN!

- And to close it out, Walking Fish Comedy at the Walking Fish Theatre (2509 Frankford Avenue) in Fishtown/New Kensington. Don Montrey, Nolan Gilbride, John Kensil, David James, Jose Vega, and Doogie Horner perform, 8PM, $10 (gets you in and two drink tickets).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Doug Benson's "I Love Movies" is back!

This time with moving pictures (seems like the perfect fit)!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Just For Laughs showcase at Helium

The Male Half of Shecky Magazine was in the Just for Laughs showcase at Helium this Tuesday and we're bummed to have missed it. A lot of good comics on that bill...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

TONIGHT: Bedtime Stories – "Way Down in the Hole: A Comedy Tribute To ‘THE WIRE’"

The time has finally come. Tonight at the Shubin Theatre, the Philly Improv Theater presents the Bedtime Stories tribute to ‘The Wire’, which is a benefit for Project H.O.M.E. And then, four days later, ‘The Wire’, the greatest artistic achievement in the history of mankind, ends its five season run.

UPDATE: The show is sold out.

Count us in to the growing group of people that are completely obsessed with the show and prioritize it over more than we probably should in our lives. So to help celebrate this event tonight and the conclusion of this great show, we’ve collected an extensive list of articles, interviews, videos and other stuff to help you get caught up or perhaps to delve deeper into its Baltimore world. NOTE: There are some slight spoilers here depending on how many episodes of this season you’ve seen.

- Our interview with Bedtime Stories’ host Gregg Gethard Part I and II
- Our Bedtime Stories archive

- Is Bill Marimow Playing Jedi Mind Games With The Wire Creator? Or Does He Simply Have No Sense Of Irony?
- New Mayor Mike Nutter loves the show and he wants some Philly citizens to watch the finale with him at City Hall. And Bunk is going to be there!
- Bodie listening to ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ in Philadelphia

- The first scene of every season encapsulates the themes for that year. Remember how this season began? “The bigger the lie, the more they believe.”
- Series creator David Simon loves newspapers and it’s the reason why he’s slamming them now.
- A very in-depth profile in The New Yorker
- Clark Johnson’s been a great director and really great as Gus this year
- FREAKONOMICS: What Do Real Thugs think of The Wire?
- A real life story that influenced the show: “I don’t have many heroes left,” said David Simon, a former reporter for The Baltimore Sun who co-wrote ‘The Corner’ and created ‘The Wire.’ “Woody Guthrie and Fran, I guess — and I’m not so sure about Woody.”
- The Wire as a movie?
- The Wire’s Suppressed Final Scene
- Can you really wiretap a reporter’s phone?
- Heaven and Here has had some great analysis throughout the season.
- ‘The Wire’ is Barack Obama’s favorite TV show!

- Sportswriters Bill Simmons and Jason Whitlock discuss the show
- The infamous "Fuck The Average Reader" interview with Nick Hornsby for The Believer
- A Wire podcast series!
- Michael K. Williams on, well, some things about Omar
- David Simon explains the homeless murders angle and a few other things
- Amy Ryan briefly discusses her role on the show.
- Andre Royo and Wendell Pierce in The Sound of Young America’s Jesse Thorn’s house!
- Michael Ian Black guest hosted Fair Game and interviewed Andre Royo
- Terry Gross, the host of Fresh Air, is a big fan of the show and has interviewed Michael K. Williams, Clark Johnson and Ed Burns
- Will Rawls Find Love? - the “kinky shit” line in episode 9 was pure gold.


- The Wire with a Laugh Track
- The Real Colicchio (Baltimore’s Finest) - “Are you from the County or sumthin?”
- A radio interview with a certain young man that does something to a certain well-loved character

- Michael K. Williams on the second season of Human Giant!
- Roommating: Episode 6 – The Wire
- Fan of HBO's 'The Wire' Drops Dead After Forced To Stop Talking About Show by Aaron Hertzog
- Something doesn't matter until The Onion writes about it: TV Critics Admit To Never Having Watched 'The Wire'

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Apparently, it’s time for Chris Rock to conquer stand-up comedy again. It’s been four years since his last HBO special “Never Scared” and for about the last year he’s been working on new material for another tour (dubbed “No Apologies”) and another run on HBO. Last week he was at the classy Academy of Music in Philadelphia for three shows.

Comic Mario Joyner started out the evening with a serviceable 20 minutes before pointing out the two turntables behind him and introducing…DJ Jazzy Jeff! Jazzy’s set with MC Skillz got the crowd amped up until Joyner returned to report, “ok, we’re going to take a 20 minute intermission now.”

The end of Jazzy’s set seemed like the perfect time to bring out Rock, but I’m going to assume he knows what he’s doing. And when he came out after a looooong twenty minutes break with his green “CR” logo on the screen, the crowd was again excited and on their feet. After all, it was Chris Rock.

Undoubtedly the audience was familiar with his stage persona: the pacing back and forth with the microphone in one hand and his other hand guiding the cord. And the sermon-like delivery that gets louder and faster as he gets his point across. But he’s not one to ride on reputation. As he told The New York Times recently, “Maybe for about three minutes after I walk onstage, they’re into my résumé. But after that it’s like, ‘What’s he got?’…”

So he makes sure he has good stuff and comes out right with it. He started out by talking about the upcoming election and quickly went through the candidates: John McCain (“Wasn’t McCain too old 10 years ago? I don’t want a president with a bucket list”), Hillary Clinton (“America is ready for a female president. But does it have to be that woman?), Barack Obama (“He’s cool, he doesn’t play up the black thing. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like he realizes that he’s the black candidate. He thinks he can win this thing fair and square”).

From there he went on to big ideas, broad themes and new rules that were relevant and unforced. Like the idea that there’s a difference between a job and a career, and the people with careers need to shut up about it to the people with jobs. Or on the only time that it’s ok for white people to say The N Word, which is destined to be a classic bit. There are plenty of comics that talk about race and gender relations and Rock is the best of them, but it’s his material on class that was most interesting. Like the rule that “the people with the most shit, get to say the least shit. And the people with the least shit get to say the most shit.” He also had some material about Walmart that was a change of pace for him.

While Rock can talk about broad themes, it’s the details that matter and make him funny. He’s got his delivery and timing perfected and not a word is wasted. His material can be silly when you least expect. And even when he talks about tired topics like steroids, Don Imus and prescription drugs, often he’s got a better take than any other comedian out there. He can do it all and he doesn’t overdo any of it.

He did an hour and a half, which will probably be around the length of next HBO special, and by the end the crowd was tired and satisfied. And even though he doesn’t quite manically prowl the stage in front of a 2900-seat theatre as he would for the Madison Square Garden, he puts on a great show. And he can still be powerful even if he doesn’t throw down the mic at the end like he used to.


TODAY: How to Spend Your (Dirty, Dirty) Money

In which the exchange of monetary sums for entertainment isn't quite what it used to be:

- First, the old-fashioned method of retail. We've said it before and we'll probably say it again: Todd Barry's new album comes out today! Cop it (legally)!

- WFMU is currently in the second week of their annual two-week marathon, and Henry from Chunklet has a surprise for anyone that pledges during The Best Show on WFMU:

As many of you will know, WFMU is without a doubt one of the best radio stations on the planet. We feel so strongly about it that we're releasing an exclusive Patton Oswalt CD-EP entitled "Frankensteins And Gumdrops" which will only be available to people that donate during The Best Show on WFMU either last Tuesday or tomorrow night [Tuesday night] between 8 and 11.

Also! Patton will be appearing on the show tomorrow night to help with the pledge drive along with Ted Leo (of his own Pharmacists fame) and Ben Gibbard (from Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service). We couldn't even fathom a more legendary collection of folks for Tom's show.

Again, this CD-EP will only be available if you call in and donate during the show, so we can't think of a better incentive to be donating to this incredible listener supported radio station.
- Jimmy Pardo and producer Matt Belknap are making Never Not Funny a paid subscription service. The next season will cost $20 for 26 hour and twenty minute episodes. And for the cheapskates, you can still listen to the first twenty hours for free. We've been listening since the beginning of the second season and are constantly amazed by how funny the two same guys (plus a guest) can be without any format at all.

: Pitchforkmedia's got coverage of the Best Show festivities. We pledged $75 to get the fun pack with the comment that we support the podcast and 'The Wire', so listen out for it!

Monday, March 3, 2008

THIS WEEK: Philly Improv Theater at the Shubin

The Philly Improv Theater's March performances are a fundraiser for Project H.O.M.E., a charity working to end homelessness in Philadelphia.

All performances take place at the Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St., Philadelphia, PA 19147. For tickets, visit the Philly Improv Theater's website.

Monday, March 3
7 p.m. – Tongue & Groove with Illegal Refill. $5.

Wednesday, March 5
8 p.m. – Bedtime Stories: Way Down in the Hole (A Tribute to The Wire). $5.

"It’s time for the funny to start. Hole—a fundraiser for Project H.O.M.E.—is a collection of sketches, videos and improv bits dedicated to the most depressing television show of our time. It’s going to be tough. The drug trade, corruption and murdered kids aren’t the most obvious topics for comedy. But The Wire has a lot of hard-wrought tough-guy dialogue and political demagoguery. In the hands of comedy troupes like the Sixth Borough, Secret Pants and Meg and Rob, it might be pure gold." [PW]

Thursday, March 6
8 p.m. – Theatresports: DCT North vs. Philly. $5.
10 p.m. – CAGEMATCH: Holmes vs. Holmes vs. Homelessness. $5.

Two teams of improvisers take the stage to vie for the audiences affection and the right to return. Given only 25-minutes and a single suggestion from the audience, each group of performers creates an entire show off the top of their heads, before the audience passes judgement via secret ballot.

Friday, March 7
8 p.m. – Meg and Rob with Traffic Jelly. $10.
10 p.m. – Cajones with BWP. $10.

In "These Modern Worlds" Meg and Rob sell dystopian compilation CDs, take a misguided tour of Philadelphia (complete with venison cheesesteaks), help clueless couples fornicate, and more, all with hilarious results.

Saturday, March 8
8 p.m. – Cajones with BWP. $10.
10 p.m. – Meg and Rob with Traffic Jelly. $10.

Sunday, March 9
7 p.m. – The Parade of A-Holes: A Benefit Auction for Project H.O.M.E. Free & BYOB!

Part comedy show, part benefit auction, The Parade of A-holes will take you on a hilarious trip through your bad dating decisions. In the style of a charity bachelor auction, these eligible and annoying singles (played by a selection of Philly's favorite improvisers and sketch comedians) will be "auctioned" alongside fabulous prize packages. The winning bidder goes home with the prize, not the a-hole, and everyone gets a chance to laugh at some characters everyone's dated but nobody likes. Bonus: It's all for charity! The Parade of A-Holes: Laugh! Bid! WIN!


LITERARY ADVENTURE: Memoirs of a Geisha

Comic Vs. Audience is proud to present, once again, a scintillating bi-weekly column, Literary Adventure, written by bookish gadabout Doogie Horner. Everything written in Literary Adventure has been vigorously fact-checked by a team of ten graduate students, so don't second guess any of the outrageous claims made within.

Arthur Golden's debut novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, made a huge splash upon its publication in 1997, and was made into a crappy film in 2005. (Don't worry, you're not the only person who didn't see it.) The book presents the fictional confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geishas.

Western readers were enthralled by the strange, foreign tapestry which the memoirs wove. Demure housewives liked it because they got to read about prostitution--but classy, quaint prostitution filled with tea ceremonies. This wasn't really prostitution, because . . . well this was in Japan, and the women wore white face powder and put their hair in buns and wore little silk kimonos. And there were tea ceromonies--oh how there were tea ceremonies!

So where is America's Memoirs of a Geisha?

Is it Jenna Jameson's autobiography, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star? No. Geishas are different than porn stars or hookers. Geishas don't stand in front of boarded up tenaments at three in the morning and yell obscenities as you drive past with the doors locked. Geishas stand in the corner with their head bowed until you ask for more green tea, then pad over quietly on their little wooden sandals. Hell, they even bow to you! They're equal parts servant and sexual objects, and spend more time entertaining visitors at teahouses than doing the dirty mambo.

Could this country duplicate such a combination of class and ass?

I wracked my mind for an answer but found none. I was hungry. I needed some brain food, and nothing makes me feel more smarterer than Jalapeno Poppers. I called up a friend and he dragged me to Hooters. I have never been to a Hooters before because I hate bad, tacky restaurants, and haven't associated breasts with food since I was an infant.

Once inside though, my defenses were quickly breached.

Like a gorilla from the mist, our waitress emerged from a cloud of menthol cigarettes wafting from the smoking section. Her tight white tube top hugged her bulging twin peaks. Her orange running shorts shimmered like a sun dappled pond filled with goldfish who talk in the tongues of men. She also wore weird flesh-colored stockings, which almost ruined the experience.

I was spellbound by the arcane rituals she followed in the ancient "water pouring ceremony" which followed. She decanted the water from my left hand side, using her right hand. There were exactly 25 ice cubes in the glass. A slice of lemon was placed at precisely 3 oclock on the rim of the glass with her left hand. She then retreated two steps, gave a shallow bow, and asked if I was ready to order. I was speechless. I finally said no, and she retreated to the kitchen.

It was then I realized that Hooters waitresses were the spiritual heirs to the Geisha.

I now knew what I had to do.

First I had to find a Hooters waitress and become personally acquainted with her. Then I had to find out if she kept a diary. Then I had to sneak a peek at it long enough to read the entire thing and transcribe relevant sections. And then if there was time left over, I had to give her bodacious boobies a quick squeeze to see if they were ripe.

A daunting task. Luckily I was able to pull off the entire daredevil stunt in one whirlwind weekend. I bumped into a chic with humungo gazangas in the produce section of Whole Foods the very next day and asked her out on a date. At the time I didnt even know she worked at Hooters! Serendipity. (Thank you lucky Gaelic wishing stone!)

Her name was Carmel, and let me tell you, she was as sweet and sticky as her namesake.

We had a dinner date that night at Chilis, where I primed her with enough Daquaries to swamp a lifeboat. She babbled drunkenly that she was a freshman at UPENN, worked at the Cherry Hill Hooters, liked horses, and liked to have fun. I asked her if she enjoyed reading, and she rolled her eyes and said, "Uh, hellooo! I said I like to have fun!"

When we retired to her charming dorm room, I began slyly probing for information on whether she kept a diary, where said diary might be located, and the price of her virginity. She actually leapt up and brought her diary over to me! She was completely shitfaced. She stumbled on her way back to the beanbag chairs, smacked her head on the bottom bunk bed and passed out. As the diary fell from her salsa stained hands and hit the floor, its heart-shaped lock sprung open. Serendipity squared! (Thank you mummified Egyptian monkey paw!)

After lifting her shirt up to make sure she didn't have any abdominal bruises, I left with the diary.

What I found inside was shocking. Reprinted here are excerpts from Carmel's diary that show what love, life, and the elusive quest for happiness is like for these women:

- - -

Tommy iz such a jerk. I hate him sooo much. Sometimes I wish he wuz dead! Sometimes I wish I wuz dead. Sometimes I wish I wuz pregnant with his baby. Sometimes I wish I wuz a bird, and could fly far away. If I was a bird and had his baby it would come out of an egg!

- - -

I heard Sheila talking to Jane at work 2day and she said that she was going to the beach this weekend with Tommy. She was wearing big hoop earrings that make her look like a total whore (cuz she is!), and I grabbed one and ripped it right out of her ear. She screamed and bled all over a five wing flappertizer and I did not give a shit.

Then I went and found Tommy at school, and wuz going to yell at him 2 and maybe kick him in the nutz, but then he turned around and he was crying and I fell in love with him all over again and I luv him soooo much!

- - -

At Hooterz today one of my teacher's (Mr. Mentzl) came in and sat at one of my tables. He is totally old and gross, and he stares at me in class. He said he liked me shirt and then he totally stared at my boobs! Yuck! He asked what wuz good on the menu and I said i don't know I never eat the shit here, it's all fried. But what I really wanted to yell was Stop looking at my Boobs! But I wanted to get a good tip so I told him to try the Hallapeno Poppers they're okay.

Afterwords I went in the back and told Holly what happened because she knows him too because she had him for Biology and she was like OH MY GOD NO WAY! But way, he totally did.

- - -

Tommy walked by in the hall today and grabbed my boob and made a honking sound. I told him to stop, but really I wanted to tell him to keep going. But there were people watching.

- - -

I hope Tommy gets attacked by a big angry dog and it bites his nutz off. And I hope all his dumb friends DIE in a car crash.

Tommy came to the restarant tonite to visit me. He was there with his buddies and they got a booth. He asked if he could get some free chicken fingers and I said well I don't know I'll try. Then Mike (his big dumb friend who's got a Hummer. I hope it explodes in flames and flies of a cliff and he gets burned alive) he asked if he could get a Beaver Burger, and I said I don't think that's on the menu, and they all started laughing at me. And then his other friend (the ugly fat one) asked if he could get some Poontang Poppers, and I said we don't have any of them. They started laughing at me again, and I thought maybe there was ketchup on my shirt, so I said Is there something on my shirt? And they said Yeah a big pair of Sweater Muffins, and I got angry and walked away and I don't know what they were laughing about but I bet they thought they were pretty funny.

I locked myself in the girls room and cried.

I came out and went back to the kitchen to get ice from the walk in freezer to put under my eyes, and Tommy was making out with Sheila on top of the frozen french fries and he totally had his tongue way down her throat! And she iz such a skank! I punched her in the face and he said he loved me but I don't believe him.

I wish I wuz the bird on the Hooter's sign. I think it's an eagle. I wish I wuz a bird and could fly away.