Day: August 20, 2007

Will Durst, off-Broadway

After six years, comedians don’t even have to write jokes about President George W. Bush.To them, Bush seems to write his own punchlines into the daily headlines.Which makes being a satirist tougher than ever.“You can’t parody a parody,” Will Durst tells me.“I actually had a Republican come up to me and say I’m really disappointed in you. Bush is low-hanging fruit right now.”Durst has brought his one-man show Off-Broadway to the New World Stages complex. It’s called “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing,” but it’s really a summation of this San Franciscan satirist’s career. After all, a clips package precedes his entrance onstage, highlighting Durst’s TV appearances dating back to the 1988 campaigns. Then Durst appears, wearing a light summer suit and seated among stacks of newspapers; a pair of boxing gloves to one side, a large Starbucks cup on the other.“This is about me and my abandonment issues,” he says.He claims his show is about questioning how and why politicians have gone to polarizing extremes, abandoning the political center. “We’re all purple people,” he says.Most of his barbs come at the expense of the current Republican administration, and after a preview show, he tells me that his act is a culmination of “the last six and a half years bubbling up — that’s what it is, because it’s fermented, and the cork is going to pop pretty soon.”He...

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Rob Riggle goes to Iraq, for laughs this time

At this summer’s Del Close Marathon, Rob Riggle and the Daily Show/Colbert Report improv jam received the suggestion: Iraq. Someone joked that Riggle would be heading there soon. Riggle groaned. Little did we know Riggle was heading to Iraq. He got back late Saturday from a USO tour with fellow Del Close Marathoners, UCB players (and among other TV and film credits) Horatio Sanz, Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel. Riggle’s reports for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart begin airing tonight. No green screens here. This is Rob Riggle in Iraq last week. Rob Riggle was in combat in Afghanistan after 9/11 as a Marine Corps major during Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned to another battlefield last week, but to make laughs, not war. Their USO tour was called Operation Feel the Heat. Riggle said: "Forward Operating Base McHenry it was 140 degrees. They might have just said that, though. They pushed the show back to 8 o’clock for it, I think it got back to 125 for that." As a Marine Corps Major, did you give the other guys advice about how to perform for troops in combat?"We as a group talked about some of the sketches, some of the bits you wanted to do, but as always, you play for your audience. They’re all professionals and they’re all savvy and they’re all established improvisers. So I had...

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