Category: Live Events
Bonnaroo is coming up June 12 to the 15th with performances by lots of Dead-Frog fave comics including Cross, Galifianakis and Garofalo. But with Fabrcie Fabrice’s doppelganger Nick Kroll not on the bill, who will handle the craft services for all these funny folks?
Here’s a vid from last year’s fest which shows how good Fabrice Fabrice is at getting those soggy vegetable plates to stand-ups.
Lewis Black had a water bottle throw at him during the 2007 Bonnaroo Music Festival. At the time it appeared to be the act of one stupid audience member. But was it something more? This video looks into the truth behind what a bit of seemingly innocent asshole-ry.
Hmm… many questions were raised, but very few answers. Will more be revealed in the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Fest? Probably not.
But hopefully nobody will conspire against this year’s comedy lineup at Bonnaroo, which includes David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Zach Galifianakis, Jim Norton, Brian Posehn, Mike Birbiglia, John Mulaney and Michelle Buteau. Plus, Chris Rock will make a one hour performance on the main stage. Bonnaroo takes place from June 12th to the 15th.
I mentioned that The Comedy Festival in Vegas lacked more low-fi shows. Besides the Garage Comedy show I attended, another alternative show going on at the time was a Backyard Comedy Show that I missed. But some footage of it just made the web. Here’s the video featuring Brody Stevens and Morgan Murphy, as well as the show’s founder Brandt Tobler.
Obviously, a little bit of this is had to be there stuff. But I dig the idea a lot. People getting together, probably mostly the comics and the comedy nerds, bringing a lawn chair (yep, it’s BYO Seat) and laughing. This show is something I can really see working over the web. So much of stand-up is presented cleanly - too cleanly. Seeing stand-up performed intimately, emphasizing the communal nature of laughter by making the show like a get together between friends. And then, if you’re going to share it with the world on the web, make it like that same group filmed it with handheld cameras, cell phone cameras, etc. all cut together.
Of course, some people’s backyards are bigger than others. The last show in February, which featured Doug Stanhope had 250 people at it, according to Backyard Comedy’s myspace page. How big is too big for something intimate?
With TBS now holding two comedy festivals, they need somebody to handle the production of them. Hence this listing. A couple of interesting passages from the job description:
Collaborate with Los Angeles-based originals group to develop and produce television programming for national network, VOD, broadband and wireless.
Create and lead business development plan to expand revenue sources for these properties (example scenarios: DVD sales, tours).
Which suggests to me that my earlier suggestion that TBS plans to compete with Comedy Central in stand-up might be accurate. It certainly says that TBS sees this fest closer to the business than Comedy Central currently does with its South Beach festival, which, to my knowledge, has not produced any programming or DVDs.
Couple this with Just For Laughs, which is co-producing the Chicago Very Funny Festival, stating frankly that they want to be on American TV. Add in that many stand-up specials are now independently produced and then marketed to networks (primarily Comedy Central, but also Showtime). A lot of these comics may now have another player, an apparently ambitious one, bidding for them.
My only question: how much have network execs learned from the 80s boom, where stand-up became comically ubiquitous at the expense of quality? Good to have a new player. Let’s hope they’re a smart one.
Filed Under Live Events
Daily Show writer Rob Kutner for the past six years has put on “Purim Party” with the 92nd Street Y. This year’s event features Aasif Mandvi and Lewis Black and will be held this Saturday, March 22 (two shows). Here’s their promotional parody trailer called “Jewno.”
You vant tickets? Here’s where you buy them.
Filed Under Live Events
Time Out Chicago blogger Steve Heisler makes an interesting point about the recent announcement of two new comedy festival in the Chicago area (one being the co-production of TBS and Just For Laughs). Though he sees the fest could be great for infrequently scouted Chicago talent, he pointed describes the fest as akin to the Olympics, meaning they will be “making a lot of noise, then leaving a mess for us to clean up.”
By Steve’s estimation, non-comedy nerds go to comedy shows once every six months and when they do go, they go to the big stuff, putting money into known entities like Second City or big name stand-up talent. So while these Chicagoans will attend shows at these fest, they’ll only go to the big events and use up their comedy budget, making it unlikely for the local scene to gain any traction or a new audience.
It’s an interesting thought. Though it was home to the biggest U.S. industry fest for more than ten years, Aspen has had trouble since the fest left sustaining a comedy club. Of course, the Aspen fest was never really about exposing local talents and is certainly not a major metropolitan area like Chicago.
My personal experience after going to comedy fesitval is that I a week detox from live performances, at least. But my case is a little exceptional - I see almost everything I can, with my press access allowing me to take in three to four shows a night. I doubt many attendees are keeping my schedule, but if some rare big names or events are happening, it’s likely you might try and see two or more shows over the course of a fest, which for non-comedy-nerds can be pretty draining to the funny bone as well as the wallet.
So are comedy festivals not necessarily great for the local talent after the shows close? What’s Montreal’s comedy scene like a few months after Just For Laughs? Does comedy go into remission in SanFran after it’s increasingly popular Sketchfest? Can any locals attest to seeing increasing attendance at their shows in the weeks after a comedy festival?
Last week the question of who will play Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live was the cause of much speculation. It’s ultimate answer being the part-Venezulean, part-Japanese, non-African-American Fred Armisen has caused a little controversy. Some argue that there must be one African American comic out there who would be a great fit for the role.
Though my questions are more about the problems with anyone making a funny Obama impression right now, I can see why some might be disappointed. SNL currently has one African American cast member, and no matter how good Kenan Thompson might be, there’s a lot of the African American experience that just naturally won’t make it to air with only one representative of color.
For those in New York City bothered by SNL’s decision and looking for an alternative, tonight is the last night of The Black Comedy Experiment, a festival of African American comics which is committed to reflect the diversity within that community. A lot of talented young comics are performing, a reflection of that there’s as many ways to be funny and black as there are being funny and white (or any race for that matter). Among the shows tonight:
- “Mystery Up at Negro Creek” - a one man show by Baron Vaughn of Best Week Ever and Shoot the Messneger. 7PM
- “Laughing Liberally” - featuring comics with progressive politics and hosted by Baratunde Thurston of The Onion at 8:30PM
- “Shades of Black” featuring the aforementioned Vaughn, Michelle Buteau, Jordan Carlos and Black Comedy Experiment founder Elon James White at 10PM.
All of the shows take place at The Tank at Collective Unconscious.