Day: October 23, 2009

Sights and sounds from opening night at the 2009 Bentzen Ball

The Bentzen Ball opened its inaugural comedy festival in our nation's capital last night, and The Comic's Comic was there for what seemed like a flash (because I was only there for about as many hours as I actually spent on the bus back and forth between NYC and DC from yesterday afternoon to this morning). But there I was in the shadows alongside Kyle Kinane, enjoying Rory Scovel's "country bumpkin" act during the Patton Oswalt and Friends show that served as the ball's opening gala at DC's Lincoln Theatre. Did I say country bumpkin? Yes, I did. I'm fairly sure few people in the audience knew what kind of a show they were getting from Scovel, who joked about needing to smoke pot to enjoy this summer's rash of 3D animated movies, about fulfilling the WWJD motto, and at one point, telling the audience: "This is like Christmas, but I'm eating it!" Oswalt may have been the big draw for opening night — and certainly did his part closing with a 50-minute set that touched upon routines from his latest CD/DVD, as well as a few memories about his start in stand-up in D.C. clubs, plus a rant about the Christmas song, "Christmas Shoes." He also encouraged the crowd to check out many of the not-so "famous" comedians performing at this weekend's fest. Not that they had to...

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New York’s Funniest Stand-Up 2009 Semifinalists

The 2009 edition of New York's Funniest Stand-Up contest has compiled its field of 30 semifinalists who'll take part in two groups next week. The semis will be held Oct. 27 at Stand-Up NY and Oct. 28 at Gotham Comedy Club, with the five best from each group moving on to the finals Nov. 3 at Carolines. It's all part of the New York Comedy Festival. Are you on this list? Do you know someone on this list? Congrats! Note: The 30 semifinalists are listed in alphabetical order (by first name)… Adrienne Iapalucci Calise Hawkins Carmen Lynch Dan Soder Dustin Chafin Eric Reynolds Erik Rivera Fariaz Rabbani Geno Bisconte Gerald Kelly Gina Brillon Hailey Boyle Jamie Kilstein Jason Good Joe List Joey Gay Josh Accardo Justin Silver Matt McCarthy Mike Vecchione Myq Kaplan Nate Bargatze Reese Waters Rory Scovel Sean O'Connor Stephanie Holmes Thomas Dale Vidur Kapur Vince August Warren Holstein Yamaneika...

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Nick Thune’s campaign for Daylight Spending Time

It's that time of year again, people. What time is it? Miller Time? Stop. Hammertime?! Nope. Almost time to fall back from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. Comedian Nick Thune has something to say — nay, to sing — about that, and sing he did on last night's episode of The Jay Leno Show. If you visit the site mentioned in Thune's song, Daylight Spending Time, you'll find he has more to the campaign with a few PSAs and a petition for you to sign. Will you "Just Say No" when everyone else in America (outside of Arizona) moves the clocks back an hour early Sunday morning on Nov. 1,...

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RIP: Soupy Sales

I don't know if or how you remember Soupy Sales, but if you do, likely there was an open doorway and a pie to the face involved. Sales died in a New York hospice on Oct. 22, 2009. He was 83. Sales, born Martin Supman, delivered a subversively simple and silly show that played for kids while entertaining the adults as well. Beginning in the 1950s with Lunch with Soupy Sales, and continuing through the 1960s, then returning briefly in the late 1970s with The Soupy Sales Show and a wide variety of guest apperances on other shows, Sales played with puppets, hands and other partially-seen objects. Mostly, though, he kept his attention straight into the camera at you, the viewer, the kid in all of us. And now, for something truly subversive, here's an interview Sales gave to Bill O'Reilly. Related: NYT obituary of Soupy Sales. Furthermore: Highlights from Soupy Sales' interview with the Archive of American...

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