Day: April 18, 2009

Raspberry Brothers and the many spawn of MST3K

Jerm Pollet had a successful multi-year run making fun of movies before a live audience in Austin, Texas, and now that he's spending more time in New York City, he has recruited and launched a new group of comedians here called Raspberry Brothers. This is their debut weekend at the Chelsea Cinemas, with midnight mockings of Dirty Dancing on Fridays and Saturdays through May 2, with future films to follow. Of course, the Raspberry Brothers aren't the first nor the last to take a cult movie (good but usually horrible) and riff their own commentaries about it onscreen for the delight of others. They all owe something to Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K (some might also argue for a very specific situation involving Rocky Horror Picture Show). In fact, Joel Hodgson and the original crew may be off the air, but they have resumed their activities, now under the name Cinematic Titanic. And you can see them on a live tour, with upcoming weekend dates in Atlanta, Phoenix, Portland (Ore.), Dallas and Philadelphia. When they're in Atlanta, they'll run into the folks of Cineprov who perform on Fridays at the Relapse Theatre. In Springfield, Mo., a group has the moxie to name themselves Moxie Skinny Theater 3000. Over in Kansas City, CounterClockwise Comedy roasts movies. Riff Raff Theater in Iowa City has worked with MST3K's Mike Nelson on...

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Advice for new stand-ups, via John Heffron

Beginning and aspiring stand-up comedians always want to ask veteran headliners for advice on how to become better at the art and craft of comedy. I know I felt that way back when I performed. Some of the big name guys and gals were more patient than others in handling all of these queries. That's still true. The easiest, shortest answer is "Get onstage as much as possible." It's in the doing that you'll find your way, or learn that you should not be a stand-up comedian. John Heffron, who won the second season of NBC's Last Comic Standing, recently gave an even shorter piece of advice to a newbie: "Don't suck." Upon further reflection, Heffron has offered up 10 tips that any beginning comedian should consider when taking to the stage in front of a live audience. Some of it is specific to comedy clubs, some of it is remembering to take into account what audience members are thinking, and some of it is just about being patient. But it's all pretty good...

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