Day: January 7, 2011

Things you might not see on HBO in March: Notes from Pee-wee Herman’s grand Broadway finale

At least one review of Pee-wee Herman's Broadway run this winter complained that his show was, in essence, preaching to a choir of lifelong fans. If you loved Pee-wee then, you'd love him now. But any critic who didn't love "The Pee-wee Herman Show" on Broadway simply had no love to give. The joy of seeing Pee-wee wasn't predicated upon seeing the rest of the original gang back together again — although, to be certain, audience members cheered upon seeing the original Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart), Mailman Mike (John Moody) and Jambi (John Paragon) take the stage. Anyone could have a blast at this show. All you had to do was remember the child-like wonder and exuberance you felt when you were a child. I know that was true for myself last night at Pee-wee's Broadway finale, because I didn't grow up watching Pee-wee. I didn't watch Saturday morning TV when his show was on. I didn't watch his movies in the cinema. My experience with Pee-wee was seeing him make late-night appearances on talk shows, or even on HBO with occasional rebroadcasts of his original 1981 stage production. Three decades later, "The Pee-Herman Show" is an ambitious and creatively inspired update to the original play, incorporating multiple characters and topical jokes for boys and girls of all ages to enjoy. HBO taped last night's Broadway finale and...

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NASCAR’s Michael Waltrip will try to be “funny on purpose” in Comedy Garage stand-up tour dates

If you watch any NASCAR, then you know that driver/owner/analyst Michael Waltrip is a goof. That's not the same thing as being a stand-up comedian, but Waltrip is giving it a shot, anyhow. Waltrip, who has a book out next month, will debut the Michael Waltrip's Comedy Garage on Jan. 21 at a casino in Kansas City, then take the act to casinos in Canada (Jan. 22) and Las Vegas (March 4-5). Though his name is in the title, Waltrip won't have to headline the shows. Instead, stand-ups Henry Cho and Jon Reep will do the heavy comedic lifting. And Waltrip seems to know his place on the bill, giving this quote: ‚ÄúThis is something totally different from what I am used to. In a race car I am in my element and I‚Äôm comfortable. When you give me a microphone and tell me I have to stand up in front of a lot of people and be funny on purpose, that makes me nervous. I‚Äôm funny accidentally. The definition of stand-up comedy is being funny on purpose. It‚Äôs a great challenge and something that is a lot of fun. The people that do it for a living sure have my respect. I hope everyone will come out and give us a chance to entertain them.‚Äù If you want to see Waltrip's accidental brand of comedy, well here's a clip!...

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