Day: February 28, 2008

Experiment: White on Black Comedy

If there’s such a thing as alt-comedy, then can there also be such a thing as alt-black comedy? Elon James White thinks so. White and fellow New York comedian Baron Vaughn have been trying to educate audiences on the notion that there are many different types of black stand-up comedy, through their Shades of Black shows, their online site, The Black Comedy Project, and this weekend, their first full-on comedy fest, The Black Comedy Experiment. The "Experiment" debuts tonight and runs through Saturday night, with all shows at the two venues in The Tank. Tonight’s mainstage shows are Souled Out (featuring Walli Collins, Rick Younger, Leighann Lord, Dean Edwards, Mike Yard and Marc Theobold) and Desiree Burch’s 52-Man Pickup. Other one-person shows include "The Oreo Kid" by Jordan Carlos (who auditioned last week for Saturday Night Live as a potential Barack Obama), "30 Years in Africa" by Michelle Buteau, Robin Cloud’s "Bag O’ Bitches," "Mystery Up at Negro Creek," by Baron Vaughn, and "2-Faced" by Erica Watson. There’ll be special editions of Chicks and Giggles, Laughing Liberally and Shades of Black. And that’s not all. That SNL just got a lot of buzz over their search for a cast member to play Barack Obama only brought more attention to the plight of black comedians in getting the industry to notice them. "We couldn’t ask for better timing, literally," White...

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Frog vs. Frog vs. Comedy Blog, part two

So…Prof. Dave Saldana sent me an email requesting me to "throttle back on the accusatory tone," because if I were to Google "killing frogs" (they do have Google in Iowa!), I would see (as would you) that no one else was using that term for a comedy blog. Indeed. Point made and scored! And no, Todd Jackson, aka Dead-Frog, "is hardly the sole proprietor of that analogy," as Saldana writes. True. Anyone can use a quote by E.B. White as the basis for a blog and tagline. In fact, two people do. Nothing wrong with that. Everything’s silly about it,...

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The end of Invite Them Up

After six years, and after creating a new home for the so-called "alt-comedy" scene in New York City’s East Village, Invite Them Up called it a night. Hosts Bobby Tisdale and Eugene Mirman will go their separate ways. And who knows what’s next. Let’s take a moment to reflect. Invite Them Up RIPUploaded by thecomicscomic Time of death: 11:51 p.m., Feb. 27. 2008. Of course, all of the comedians who performed, from Tisdale and Mirman to Jim Gaffigan, Mike Birbiglia, Todd Barry, Demetri Martin, Jon Glaser, Jon Benjamin, Chelsea Peretti, Craig Baldo, Kristen Schaal, and everyone who performed Monday and Tuesday, will still be performing around NYC. And Rififi will still be open. But Invite Them Up is done. And comedians, bloggers, photographers and fans packed the joint, feeling a bit nostalgic...

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Frog vs. frog in comedy blog

Dave Saldana teaches journalism at Iowa State University. He also just launched a comedy blog called Killing Frogs. That’s right. Killing Frogs. That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it, Todd Jackson? Do they have Google in Iowa? What would Saldana’s students think? And why must frogs die for comedy to thrive, anyhow? I never understood that. Especially when we still have truckloads of rubber chickens left over from...

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