Category: Live Events

Sasquatch Comedy Tent, Part 1

Filed Under Improv, Live Events, Stand-Up Comedy

My good friend Julie Seabaugh, who I’ve taken more than a couple of cues from as far writing about comedy, attended the music fest Sasquatch. But instead of the music, sheengorged herself on the offerings from the comedy tent, a welcome new addition to the fest. Here’s her report.

Though it’s the seventh go-round for the rural Washington-state music gathering known as Sasquatch!, 2008 was the first year the hairy-palmed hootenanny hosted a Comedy Tent. And while David Cross/Aziz Ansari/Nick Kroll’s first-and-only rendition of “You Might Be a Deadneck If…” at Bonnaroo 2007 set the bar impossibly high for all future festival lineups, the Sasquatch names, considering the Tent’s infancy, were impressive in their own right. Among the high- and lowlights:

UCB at Sasquatch
Saturday, March 24

  • Best Group Effort: UCB Presents ASSSSCAT, featuring Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Horatio Sanz, Tim Meadows, Sean Conroy, Jerry Minor and Rich Fulcher. The Brigade ushered in the first day with a brain-blowing four afternoon/early evening performances.
  • Healthiest Sign of Life I: Prior to ASSSSCAT, the line stretched from the Comedy Tent gate, up the hill, and past the VIP Zone, the wooden statue of a bear playing the guitar, the Mike Patton-fronted Crudo opening their Wookie Stage set with “Running with the Devil,” and beyond.
  • Best Cross-Promotion: Besser to a female audience member: “Would you have sex with the members of Flight of the Conchords?” Female audience member: “I want to have sex with their manager.”
  • Hairiest Reoccurrence: Reggie Watt’s prodigious ‘fro. At media check-in. Strolling by the Wookie Stage. By the rear sound board before ASSSSCAT. Distributing bottled water to the front row 20 minutes before his own Sunday performance. Hiding beneath a tie-dyed tee near the tent’s picnic tables after.
  • Celebrity Most Desperate for Street Cred: Office-mate Rainn Wilson, at the festival promoting upcoming feature The Rocker, glad-handling drunken fans in the back of the room during ASSSSCAT’s 6:30 p.m. slot.

Sunday, March 25Morgan Murphy at Sasquatch

  • Healthiest Sign of Life II: At noon, a group of four was already first in line for the People’s Republic of Komedy show featuring Andy Haynes, Kevin Hyder, Aziza Diaz, Derek Sheen and Andy Peters…which began at 3 p.m.
  • Oddest Item Spied on Comedy Tent Floor: Post-Reggie Watts’ blistering 45 minutes of music-looping wizardry, sexual innuendo, mobius-like wordplay and spot-on M.I.A. impression: a used condom.
  • Healthiest Sign of Life III: Comedy geeks who didn’t leave the tent all afternoon – and why would they need to, when drinks/porta-potties were right there on the premises? – gradually inching forward with each performance, into the 30 folding chairs at stage front and remaining in their staked territory for upwards of five hours.
  • Best Context-Driven Banter: Two slurring women in the back questioning dark ‘n’ deadpan Morgan Murphy’s complaints about the hour-plus line for campground showers: “Why would you shower?” Murphy: Because yesterday like eight guys came on my face…Did I tell them they could? No, but R.E.M. was that good.” And Murphy, minutes later, referring to the current indie band sound-bleeding into the tent: “Ah Jesus, who’s playin’ now? Somebody sad.”
  • Recipient of the Sarah Silverman Award for Distinguished Achievement in Really, Really Needing to Write New Shit: Cuddling with wife? Mouth baby? Dennis Rodman? Samurai sword? Puppy time? You look like you like to bend sluts over and pound their assholes? That overdone “Hairless Yeti” yelp? We salute you, Brian Posehn.

Morgan Murphy at Sasquatch
Lines to get into the comedy tent. Always an encouraging sign…

Another report (and more photos) to come later from Julie on the rest of the doings at the Sasquatch comedy tent.

Posted by Todd Jackson at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

Stand-Uppity Tour

Filed Under Live Events, Stand-Up Comedy

It just started last night in Kentucky, but midwest and west coast comedy nerds should check out the Stand Uppity Tour, which features Marc Maron, Andy Kindler and Eugene Mirman. Produced by the Huffington Post’s humor site 236, it’s got an appropriately liberal elitist tag line: “Comedy That Makes You Feel Better About Yourself, and Superior To Others.” Or as Kindler told a Minnesota paper: “It’s the anti-Robin Williams show. If you don’t think you’ll enjoy Robin Williams, you’ll enjoy this show.”

Here’s the remaining dates:

  • May 12 Lake Shore Theater, Chicago, IL - 9:00 PM Get tickets
  • May 13, 2008 Turf Club, St. Paul, MN - 7:00 PM Get tickets
  • May 14, 2008 The Aquarium @ Dempseys, Fargo, ND - 7:00 PM Get tickets
  • May 17, 2008 Neurolux, Boise, ID - 7:00 PM Get tickets
  • May 18, 2008 Bagdad Theater, Portland, OR - 8:00 PM Get tickets
  • May 20, 2008 Mezzanine, San Francisco, CA -  8:00 PM Get tickets
  • May 22, 2008  Echo Plex, Los Angeles, CA - 7:00 PM Get tickets
  • May 26, 2008 Sasquatch Music Festival Comedy Tent, George, WA (No Andy, just Marc & Eugene) Get tickets
Posted by Todd Jackson at 01:08 PM | Comments (1)

Fabrice Fabrice at Bonnaroo

Filed Under Live Events, Stand-Up Comedy

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.

Posted by Todd Jackson at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

Who Threw a Bottle at Lewis Black? And Why? The Bonnaroo Conspiracy

Filed Under Live Events, Stand-Up Comedy

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.

 

Posted by Todd Jackson at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

CIMBY: Comedy, In My Backyard

Filed Under Live Events, Stand-Up Comedy

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?

Posted by Todd Jackson at 04:04 PM | Comments (4)

More Stand-Up on TBS?

Filed Under Live Events, Stand-Up Comedy

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.

and

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.

Posted by Todd Jackson at 06:03 PM | Comments (1)

Jewno and the Purim Party

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.

Posted by Todd Jackson at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)