Day: September 12, 2008

2008 SF Comedy Competition (Week One)

The 2008 San Francisco Comedy Competition began the first of two preliminary weeks on Wednesday. Comedians begin in groups, performing six shows in six cities across Northern California in five nights! Each comic gets 5-7 minutes in the prelims. The top five of 16 in each group advance to a week of semis (where they get 10-12 minutes), and the top five from there get another week of final competition (sets up to 15-20 minutes), with a winner crowned Oct. 4 (see schedule). The folks at SFstandup will be keeping track in their forums. Brent Weinbach has won the first two nights of preliminary action. Anyone surprised at all by this? Anyone? Expect to see him in California for the rest of the month. Week One contestants: Tyler Boeh, Boston; Boone, San Francisco; Rick D’Elia, Reno; Jason Downs, San Francisco; Peter Greyy, Seattle; Kyle Harbert, Portland; Dax Jordan, Portland; Chris Karney, San Francisco; Tracey MacDonald, Los Angeles; Jason Resler, Sacramento; Christian Reyes, Reno; Andrew Santino, Los Angeles; Jose Sarduy, Miami; Murv Seymour, Tampa; Bethany Therese, Los Angeles; Brent Weinbach, San...

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Dr. Phil drags America through debate on racist slurring

Today on Dr. Phil, the good TV doctor dragged America and anyone unfortunate enough to have a TV to watch an hour of debate over using "the N-word," with racist racists saying they can say what they want, and other people pointing out that that’s kinda racist. Comedians Paul Mooney and Sheryl Underwood yelled at people. The Rev. Al Sharpton was on a satellite monitor, for his protection or ours? And all I could think about was Louis CK’s brilliant bit explaining how racist it is to even think we’re making an improvement by saying "the N-word," with this clip from his upcoming Showtime special (do I need to remind you this is...

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Review: Tony Clifton, live!

Is America ready for a fully realized Tony Clifton performance? I’m not sure. Because what I witnessed earlier this week in New York City completely blew my mind away. Three and a half hours. Twenty-two songs! Really. Let me tell you upfront that this is not the Tony Clifton you remember. For historical purposes, consider the record: That legendary comedian Andy Kaufman "discovered" Clifton and forced TV executives to give him an appearance on Taxi, that Kaufman and Bob Zmuda turned Clifton into a performance artist as much as a comedian or a parody of a lounge singer, who delighted in horrifying audiences. This summer and fall, Tony Clifton is on tour with the "Katrina Kiss My Ass Orchestra," and the performer who showed up Wednesday night at B.B. King Blues Bar in New York City’s Times Square was a wholly different production in many respects. Not that you’d know that by the way the show began. Awkwardly. A younger, in shape Clifton roamed the back of the room. A video highlight package got interrupted first by a shouty audience member, then by an annoucement that "Mr. Clifton" was not yet ready to perform. A guy at the back bar led chants of "Tony" and "Zmuda." But within a few minutes, the show could truly begin. And what a show it was. Clifton provided some banter upfront that proved...

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