Filed Under Stand-Up Comedy
Patton Oswalt at his nerdiest, performing at last weekend’s Blizzcon with jokes about Spider-Man, the suicide of the second Terminator robot and his defense for the wasted lives of World of Warcraft players.
Two more segments in video after the jump includes paralleling John McCain’s life story to comic book super villains and more non-nerd friendly material like Yoshinoya Beef Bowl as a criminal front.
The new site Daily Beast recently presented a video that collect comedy about Black Presidents by black comics. They’ll soon have another segment to cut into the montage, from “Katt Williams: It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’” which after showcasing a couple of minutes of material on Hillary, talks about Obama.
I think it’s interesting here that even with Obama, that Williams describes himself as confused about the election the whole time. Below, that video from Daily Beast.
“Katt Williams: It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’” will get released on November 11th, not only on DVD but also on Blu-Ray (for those who really need to see the comic nuance in Katt’s facial expressions).
This is an incomplete transcript. More to come later today. Also later today, the premiere of Louis C.K.‘s new comedy special “Chewed Up” at 11PM on Showtime.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been thinking about the economy lately. You’ve kind of cultivated an audience of parents with kids who are probably worried about this as well. Does this put a little bit more pressure on you to give the people who come to the theater a good show because this is probably a big night out for them?
There’s no doubt about that. I feel way more pressure when they pay that kind of money. And in a theater, the pressure is all on you. There’s no alternate. If they go to a club, they’ve drank. They’ve probably ate.
You’re a part of the show, but when they come to a theater they’re just sitting in these chairs facing you. It’s a whole lot more pressure. You really got to make them feel like that was their night for them. You are their evening.
People come out to see you. It’s one thing if they come out to see whoever’s at the club that night. Then they’re just happy if it worked out. If not, they’re like, “that guy wasn’t as good as other times we’ve been there.”
It’s very disappointing to see somebody who you’re a fan of and have the show be mediocre.
I heard you talk about Shameless and how you look back at the guy differently. Have you already had that experience with Chewed Up?
My life has changed a lot since “Chewed Up” and yes, I have looked back on it and gone, “Ugh, that’s what he was like.”
So each is like a chapter in your life.
In a way. Each one has a different stage in maturity. And each one has a different stage in how I look at things in the world too. I’m obviously I’m still the same person. So there’s continuity there.
I used to see a therapist. And I thought about seeing one again, but then I think, “What am I not saying to my audience?” The process of clearing out my brain of the most upsetting and most real thoughts is how I come up with material. So what would I need to do that with a therapist for?
A while back I wondered how Adam Sandler would be constructing an act for “Funny People”, Judd Apatow’s upcoming film about stand-ups. Specifically, I wondered if his stand-up would be based in a character different from himself and how he could workshop that material. This quick summation in Entertainment Weekly gives an answer:
Adam Sandler’s ran longest and came with a disclaimer: Jokes about being single were based on his character and not Sandler’s real life (though the distinction was less clear with later rants about fame, the paparazzi, and living large).
So it was: Just tell people. Of course, this is at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles - a venue full of comedy nerds, making is pretty performer friendly. You can say to folks like that: “Hey, I’m not me, I’m somebody else and the jokes are from that vantage point.” And they’ll follow that flow. I’m a little curious if Sandler did (or would do) this if/when he did a drop by at the Improv or the Laugh Factory.
Of course, that doesn’t matter much now as they’re starting to shoot soon. In fact, they’ve begun looking for paid extras to be audience members. If you’re in Los Angeles and are curious, the info is after the jump.
Filed Under Stand-Up Comedy
Chris Rock’s latest special “Kill the Messenger” is coming up in an hour and a half on HBO (specifically 9PM EST). I haven’t seen it yet, it looks like it might be a little different than your standard comedy special, mixing in documentary footage to give insight into the art form of stand-up. Here’s a couple of clips from it.
The first has Chris talking about why he never headlined until he got on Saturday Night Live (with a guest appearance by good friend Mario Joyner).
And this clip has Chris talking after a show in Edinburgh about the difference between performing in a theater and a comedy club.
Update: Or maybe it doesn’t have any documentary stuff? We’ll see.
Filed Under Stand-Up Comedy
While researching older stand-up showcases for addition to the Stand-Up Comedy Database, I found this from Comedy Central’s mid 90s alt comic showcase “Comedy Product” with Mary Lynn Rajskub. I can’t really imagine anything like it airing on Comedy Central today. Some would definitely call it more akin to performance art. She seems so sincere here that it grounds it enough to make it funny.
Also, at the beginning, in case you didn’t get the reference, Garofalo is talking about Comedy Condos, residences owned by clubs to put up traveling road comics. And judging from the promo at the end, with “Exit 57” as a lead-in, that block was like a government mandated hour for comedy nerds.
In an attempt to keep this site from becoming Snopes for joke stealing, I recently ignored a little allegation that Dane Cook was performing an abortion joke from Doug Stanhope’s act. Stanhope himself shared the claim in a MySpace blog post. A fan by the name of Jenny told Doug:
“I went to a show at the Melrose Improv last night, and this surprise guest comic gets onstage and starts doing this long bit about how he had to take this girl to get an abortion and how ridiculous the experience was, and then started talking about going to Heaven, and how he’d be so happy to see his grandma in Heaven, but when he got to Heaven, there was this little pissed off guy giving him shit and it was his abortion, furious at him.
And the comic was fucking Dane Cook.”
Anybody can type up an email and say they saw this comic performing some other comic’s bit. No credibility here. And Stanhope doesn’t really give it much credit either, judging for his response:
Good work, Dane.
I’m glad someone remembers how my bits go.
There’s nothing indignant about it. He uses it as a setup for a joke about his own performing style. He’s completely flippant.
But folks who really hate Dane love any more evidence they can find that he is the thief. Even the most tenuous of accusations get treated as gospel. Nevermind that joking about taking a girl to get an abortion is completely outside the wheelhouse of Dane Cook’s comedy. The same comedy that a lot of these detractors would define as frat-friendly or toothless. You can’t have it both ways.
I didn’t want to bother with this until I saw a comment on one of my previous joke stealing posts that stated this as a fact. It’s not a fact. It’s just words someone put on the Internet.
Need more proof that these arguments are getting to be bullshit?
Listen to Doug Stanhope from his “Just For Spite” show from earlier this year in Montreal. My good friend Julie Seabaugh happened to tape the show. Doug went off on an extended riff about why these arguments have gotten dumb (at one point mentioning that just because someone else does a joke about abortion, doesn’t mean they’re stealing). Then in a more self-damming way, replies to an audience member query about why Dane Cook sucks.
(Note: God damn, that’s a good Dave Attell impression)
Update: A reliable source at that Melrose Improv show tells me that Dane Cook did perform a joke around abortion. A recent “Danecast” does mention that he’s got a new approach - working out material coming from “dark times” and “personal, family issues.” And there’s a little gossip out there (I don’t link to that stuff, but it’s easy to find if you type the right words into Google) to suggest that Cook’s personal experiences would make this joke fair game. If you lived it, it’s yours.