"There are plenty of reasons to recover from addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma....But comedians are perverse people who often don't care about any of those things. So maybe this will convince them, and maybe this will convince me: get better — so you can get funny."
In a frank, personal, and revealing article, essayist Jaime Lutz interviews comedians Marc Maron
, Eddie Pepitone
, Paul Gilmartin
, and Anthony Atamanuik
about the uneasy relationship between mental illness and comedy.
posted by scarylarry
on Dec 14, 2012 -
Monica Potts on Louis CK and privilege:
"For the most part, people of color are the ones who initiate serious discussions about race and privilege in the public sphere -- and in the world of comedy ... Some white comedians, like Sarah Silverman, tend to joke about
racism, making fun of white people and their ignorance in ways that shock and offend. ... But Louis' comedy is about being a white man -- and about how others view white men. He doesn't accept ignorance as a point of view. Moreover, this isn't the occasional stand-up bit; a significant number of his jokes are about race, class, and gender." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk
on Oct 15, 2010 -
Can a stand-up comedian's performance be objectively evaluated and ranked? In the recent documentary I Am Comic [imdb | clips]
, Steve Roye
demonstrates his product, the Comedy Evaluator Pro
. A "Positive Audience Response" (PAR) score is the percentage of PAR during the time the comedian is on the stage (not taking into account other factors such as venue size, etc.). Of course, this method stirs controversy
about the art vs. science of stand-up. Ritch Shydner
, the protagonist of I Am Comic
, thinks that booking agents shouldn't rely on PAR scores
to choose who gets to be on stage, while the director of I Am Comic
, Jordan Brady, disagrees, seeing PAR as a way to elevate the quality of stand-up
. So, drum roll, please: Who is the world's funniest comedian?
According to PAR score, it's J.R. Redwater, during this bit at the Pow Wow Comedy Jam. [agree | disagree]
posted by not_on_display
on Aug 19, 2010 -
Life as a Comic
is series of short videos by Rob Paravonian (famous for The Pachelbel Rant) about what it's like to be a working stand-up comic. It has recently started up again after a long break. Here's the first episode
which is about doing gigs at venues which aren't full-time comedy clubs. Direct links to the rest of the episodes, all of which are in quicktime-format, below the cut. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 19, 2010 -
"For a lot of comics, it's OK to talk about raping women now. That's the new black on the comedy circuit." "One false move, and I'm Jim Davidson." "Don't go thinking I'm the new Bernard Manning. I'm being postmodern and ironic. I understand that what I'm saying is unacceptable." The new offenders of standup comedy
posted by permafrost
on Jul 28, 2009 -
Billy At 65: I owe it all to Glasgow
But Glasgow and Scots in general owe Billy Connolly
for all the laughs at our own expense...Tourism
(Rampant YouTubery: All links potentially offensive and NSFW) [more inside]
posted by brautigan
on Dec 3, 2007 -
Lost in translation.
British Comedian Stewart Lee explores comedy in Germany and finds it stymied by the peculiarities of language and sentence construction. Mark Liberman at Language Log disagrees
. And an extended essay by Josh Schonwald explores in greater depth how the German comedy scene is transitioning
(PDF) from the more traditional kabernett to a burgeoning stand-up comedy scene, which is characterized by one observer as being in "the Bob Hope phase of comedy."
posted by madamjujujive
on May 26, 2006 -
Cake or Death?
The spectacularly funny British comic Eddie Izzard
, currently on Broadway in A Day In The Death of Joe Egg has revamped his web site (warning: irritating flash animation & audio), and annouced that he is coming on tour, starting Down Under
and continuing throughout Canada & The U.S.
For those NY mefites, check out Joe Egg while you can, it is depressing but simultaneously funny, and anyone who hasn't seen Eddie either live or on HBO, do yourself a favor and catch a show, it's good stuff.
posted by jonson
on May 27, 2003 -
Give It Up For The Axis Of Evil Tour
Ahmed Ahmed travels a lot. Just the other day, says the heavily bearded Egyptian, he was at the airport. An older couple waiting for a flight came over and asked him where he was headed.
"I told them, 'I have a one-way ticket to Paradise,' " he says. Pause for laughter.
Yup, he says, airports are tough for him right now. They are for everyone, he adds. Nobody likes having to get there an extra hour early or being delayed by all the extra security. But just to make sure, he says, "I get there a month and a half early."
posted by turbanhead
on Feb 21, 2003 -
Laughter capital of the world?
"Declining audiences, dull material, complacent comics: a crisis is looming ....London suddenly appears to be in the grip of a recession for the first time since the alternative comedy boom took off at the beginning of the 1980s." From a nation exporting Bill Bailey
(live in NYC this week) ,Eddie Izzard
, Ali G
, can this really be happening? (BTW I always thought Canada
tried to lay a claim to this crown?)
posted by Voyageman
on Dec 16, 2002 -
Prompted by the Paula Poundstone thread, I decided to start a new conversation. Perhaps you've not been exposed to some of the amazingly funny women out there. The linked site is run by some friends of mine in New York.
posted by acridrabbit
on Jun 28, 2001 -
Tonight, I found a bevy of Bill Hicks mp3s. God, he was hilarious. He was more a truth-teller than a comedian. Luckily, there's still people out there that dig him too, including the great site at BillHicks.com
. Among the many cool things at that site is a huge archive of audio clips
of his standup and interviews.
posted by mathowie
on Nov 19, 1999 -