Day: November 9, 2008

Late night with Dick Gregory and Paul Mooney

You don’t often see a comedy club audience wait outside in the brisk November air for more than an hour after midnight, for a show that doesn’t start until 1:15 a.m. and stretches through to 4:30 a.m., with few of the audience members leaving to go home to bed. Then again, when you have a chance to hear Dick Gregory and Paul Mooney speaking their minds, back to back, just days after the United States has elected its first African-American president in Barack Obama, well, exceptions can, will and should be made. It would be a night and early morning Sunday in which we, the assembled, were told how it was and how it is, an early testimonial that also happened to have plenty of jokes for those who turned out to Carolines for this special New York Comedy Festival double-header (you can also catch them at 10 p.m. tonight, Sunday). I hadn’t seen Gregory since the Aspen festival in 2002, when he received lifetime honors for his comedic work in support of free speech and the First Amendment. Now 76, Gregory has not lost a step. Still very witty, topical and able to dismiss a loud audience member with ease. Gregory took the stage to a standing ovation, and within minutes, was acknowledging an audience member at one of the front tables as 95-year-old Irwin Corey, aka "Professor"...

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From jail to Carnegie Hall, It’s Pimpin’, Pimpin’: A long day’s night in NYC for Katt Williams

So, that happened. What a weird, wild 30 hours for Katt Williams in New York City last week. It began on Wednesday afternoon, when NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien taped its show and never heard from Williams, a scheduled guest for that night’s program. His people told me the next day that Williams, traveling by tour bus, simply got stuck in traffic and never made it into Manhattan in time. Williams and his entourage did arrive later that night, and sometime in the 2 a.m. hour, NYPD searched a car (allegedly lacking a license plate) traveling with said tour bus, found a handgun in the car, and arrested the entire entourage, including Williams. A source close to Williams tried to assure me that he had been detained on charges of "Pimpin." Ha! Either way, the comedian didn’t make bail until 18 hours later, and hurried over to Carnegie Hall, arriving at 8:36 p.m. Considering his stand-up concert was supposed to start at 8 p.m., theater staff and the New York Comedy Festival people were more than a bit anxious awaiting his arrival, and started the show late, plus had opener Wil Sylvince pad his time onstage. Williams emerged to applause at 9:09 p.m. and promptly filled us all in on at least some of the details. He first asked for patience. "I just got out of jail 35...

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