Day: May 23, 2008

UCB Comedy takes on Sasquatch Festival, and more

I caught up with Upright Citizens Brigade co-founders Matt Besser and Matt Walsh earlier today, or should I say, they caught up with me (thank you, telephones!). Don’t know how you’re spending your Memorial Day weekend, but Messrs. Besser and Walsh will be among the comedian contingent heading for the Gorge in George, Wash., for this weekend’s Sasquatch! Music Festival (the full comedy lineup includes Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Horatio Sanz, Tim Meadows, Jerry Minor, Rich Fulcher, and Sean Conroy / Brian Posehn / Michael Ian Black / Michael Showalter / Eugene Mirman / Morgan Murphy / Marc Maron / Reggie Watts / People’s Republic of Komedy featuring: Andy Haynes, Kevin Hyder, Aziza Diaz, Derek Sheen, and Andy Peters / Seattle School featuring: Mike Min, Korby Sears, and Liza Keckler). The Gorge routinely wins honors as the best natural outdoor amphitheater from industry watchers such as Pollstar, and for good reason: The main stage has the Columbia River gorge and the setting sun as its backdrop. Been there and done that. Good times. But I hadn’t seen comedy there before. Sasquatch has a separate comedy tent at the top of the hill. Enough with the logistics, though. Let’s get to my interviews with Matt Besser and Matt Walsh about this weekend’s festival, their still relatively new UCB Comedy website, and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Del Close Marathon...

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Last Comic Standing 6: New York City and Tempe

So we begin the sixth season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, and already it’s clear they’re still playing from the American Idol of Comedy playbook, what with host Bill Bellamy delivering the introduction…wait for it…turn on the lights…to a large audience! Get it? This is big, people. Anyhow. We’re going to endure plenty of people plucked from the lines for the sole purpose of mocking them because they’re willing to be mocked to get on TV, plus hundreds more who now will be billed in comedy clubs as "as seen on Last Comic Standing," even though you never saw their names and perhaps never heard them deliver a funny joke on the program. The opening montage, already leaked to the Internets weeks ago, includes Eddie Pepitone, Michelle Buteau, Dwayne Perkins and a bunch of fools. Celebrity judges get billed as NBC talent, even if you’d never link them to NBC. Although Dave Foley delivers a funny line we’ll hear again later this season, after Richard Kind says "Dreams, just crushed," retorting: "You know, then we can make dream juice, and that’s refreshing in the morning." Yes, we will suffer, too, watching the parade of audition rejects before we can get to the actual professional comedians, and yes, just as with Idol, producers will select several acts merely for casting a TV show than for their talents as a comedian....

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