Month: May 2006

Barry Crimmins, on satire and Boston comedy

The political satirist often faces a paradox: The best of times for the satirist may be the worst of times for others. Which brings us to Barry Crimmins. Crimmins — former booker for the legendary Ding Ho comedy club in Cambridge and Stitches in Boston, now writer for Air America Radio — returns to the Boston area for a weekend at Jimmy Tingle’s theater with folk singer Bill Morrissey. "We both have some righteous indignation for how the little guys gets screwed in this world," Crimmins said of Morrissey. "He might not sign off on all of my politics. But I surely will sign off on every piece of music he’s ever written. You’ll see me pitch a semiarticulate fit that’s got some laughs in it, I expect." He said this weekend’s shows felt "like a vacation" compared to writing for a four-hour daily radio program and working on an Air America book. "It’s hitting a real sweet spot for me. Unfortunately, the better things are for me, the worse tings are for a lot of people," Crimmins said. The Bush administration’s $100 rebate proposal to combat sticker shock at the gas pumps was just the most recent example. "Wow! A hundred dollars," he said. "They’d give us all a hundred just so we could fill up our tank once. But just to be fair, they’d give the oil...

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David Sedaris supports future planet of the apes

Yes, really. That’s one thing to take away from last night’s talk by David Sedaris at Symphony Hall. Sure, there were the amusing essay readings. About an hour’s worth of Sedaris. But then…the monkey. (Cue the flashback) The supposedly sold-out appearance by essayist David Sedaris at Boston’s Symphony Hall on Wednesday night — there were a smattering of empty chairs, and yet people stood on the crowded sidewalk outside hoping to find anyone selling tickets. Local satirist Baratunde Thurston, whom I knew had extra tickets thanks to MySpace, met me outside and took my extra ticket, selling off his in the process. But enough about him. Back to Sedaris. The audience clearly loved him, even before he opened his mouth. Then when he did, my mind immediately wandered. First thought: Perhaps Sedaris, with his quirky voice and quirkier nonfiction worldview, is our generation’s Truman Capote. Listen to Sedaris here, thanks to NPR. In Boston, he chose to read his current essay in The New Yorker, two other essays from the magazine (one past, one future) and his yet-to-be-completed graduation speech that he intends to deliver June 4 at Princeton University. "I’m completely Ivy League struck," Sedaris said of accepting the commencement speech request. That kickstarted a few other thoughts in my head. Thought No. 2: What a weird small world it is, Sedaris mentioning Princeton as his first graduation...

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