Day: May 11, 2008

Notes from AltCom, part two

The second and final night of AltCom saw a packed crowd of enthusiastic comedy fans at the Somerville Theatre on Saturday night. Certainly more of a buzz in the air. Then again, in comedy clubs across the country, 8 p.m. Saturday is considered the sweet spot for audiences, because those customers tend to have circled the date on their calendars, get all dolled up and are more than ready to laugh. So it was this night, too. More than a few in the crowd appeared to have arrived specifically to see headliner Patton Oswalt. Boston-based comedians Myq Kaplan and Micah Sherman again opened with their warmly received rendition of the "Comedians National Anthem." But Saturday’s show certainly had an unusual flow to it in terms of energy and material. The Walsh Brothers, raised in nearby Charlestown but recently relocated to Los Angeles, got things going with an early gag on a seating upgrade for the fan with the worst seat in the house (Q-16?), inviting a young lady named Denise to come downstairs — not to the front row, but to a chair Dave and Chris Walsh put onstage next to them. (Spoiler alert: Denise actually was local comedian and friend of the Walshes, Renata Tutko) The brothers then began by talking about their new neighborhood in Los Angeles, remarking on all the men who happened to be really...

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On TV: PBS explores Muslim-American comedy

A new episode of the PBS series, America at a Crossroads, premieres tonight (May 11) with a comedic bent, "Stand Up: Muslim American Comics Come of Age." The episode focuses on five stand-ups: Ahmed Ahmed, Tissa Hami, Dean Obeidallah, Azhar Usman and Maysoon Zayid. Four clips on the site, and the preview looks as though it was shot mostly in NYC. Check your local listings for air...

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SNL with Shia LaBeouf, My Morning Jacket

(The full recap, with videos!) After a couple of weeks off, Saturday Night Live returned last night with a new episode and a seemingly old theme for its cold open: The return of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, set up by the narrator as a message from "the next president of the United States." Before you could finish that long sigh, however, we thought, wow, this looks as if SNL is desperately clinging to its Clinton (Amy Poehler) character as much as the senator herself is desperately clinging to her presidential bid. Which, as it turns out, makes for good comedy. And SNL proved up to the task early on, with Clinton’s main reasons for why she should still get the pick over Barack Obama being, 1) "I am a sore loser," 2) "My supporters are racist," and 3) "I have no ethical standards." Thankfully, this sketch also wasn’t twice as long (make that overlong) as previous SNL cold opens. No Obama tonight?! This leads me, you and everyone else to believe he won’t make another appearance until the fall, when they’ll likely either find someone new to take on the impersonation or not have to worry about it so much. Host Shia LaBeouf, hardly old enough to drink adult beverages and yet here he stands onstage, hosting SNL for his second straight May sweeps. His monologue took the traditional...

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