• Punching the Clown: Henry Phillips film shows uncomfortable side of comedy

    Henry Phillips in Punching the Clown

    When I went to watch Punching the Clown, a new film from folk musician, comedian Henry Phillips, there was plenty to distract me from enjoying the it. The theater was fairly old with a whiff of mold and bed bugs, and I was largely unfamiliar with Henry Phillips’ work—plus I’m typically a bit skeptical of musical comedy acts. Moreover, I

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    Comedian Rob Delaney bares his soul, talks suicide, depression and laughter

    Vice magazine is currently running its “Larfs Issue,” which for those of you with proper kinds of grammar, means it’s all comedy. This month the publication, available in select cities in print and for free online, features humor articles and articles about humor from Bob Odenkirk, Chelsea Peretti, and Bret Gelman, as well features on Buck Henry, Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny) and the cast of Eastbound & Down. The

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    Jim David: Notorious F.A.G.

    Jim David is a comedian. Clearly. The man has the confidence, charm and control that mark a veteran of the field; he’s polished from years of experience. But to say he is clearly a comedian is also a critique. Under all of the experience lie jokes that while skillfully delivered are often too obvious and too clearly set up to effectively hide the strings. Nevertheless, Notorious F.A.G. still delivers some

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    Hannibal Buress: My Name is Hannibal.

    Hannibal Buress can easily be admired for many things; but what holds his consistently funny act together is persistence. Persistence is the trademark of a skilled comic who can seamlessly move beyond observation and then delve into the furthest logical conclusion a situation has to offer. This Chicago native and current Saturday Night Live staff writer doesn’t just tell jokes; he doesn’t dart into a concept, drop a pun and

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    Chris Fairbanks: Fairbanks!

    A misconception of stand-up is that it has to be about jokes. The set-ups, punch lines, bait and switch; but Chris Fairbanks moves beyond this. That’s not to say he doesn’t deliver some hilarious turns and jokes, it’s rather the real meat of his comedy comes more from something else: seemingly stream of consciousness comedic rambling. He’s a master of a nervous, almost jazz-like spontaneous prose, so free-flowing yet forward-moving

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    Tina Fey to be presented with comedy award; Cosby, Carlin, Pryor are past honorees

    Tina Fey has recently been announced to be the 2010 recipient of the highly prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor; making her the youngest recipient ever for the award. She’s set to receive the prize Nov. 9 in Washington D.C., in a ceremony that in the past has seen appearances from some of the most prestigious faces in comedy, including David Letterman, Bob Newhart and Robin Williams. In reference

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    Laughing can reduce cases of heart disease, diabetes, says study

    We recently posted an item about a comedy benefit for children with HIV/AIDS, where performers like Ray Romano are set to raise money for the cause on May 1. It appears, however, that using comedy to fight disease can occur at an even more fundamental level. A recent study by scientists in California, as reported in The Age, has now linked laughter to reduction of heart disease, diabetes and promoted

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    Aqua Teen Hunger Force celebrates 100th episode with live tour

    Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the Adult Swim refuge for the weird, high, and college-aged, is breaking free of its traditional television constraints –that’s right, they’re going on tour. Show co-creator Dave Willis (voicing Meatwad) and Dana Snyder (Master Shake) have been touring nationally throughout with a revue consisting of live music, never-before-seen TV show clips, special guests, and their trademark surrealism. [caption id=”attachment_10486″ align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Aqua Teen Hunger and Force's

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    Ray Romano, Kevin Nealon, more join to help children affected by AIDS

    Ray Romano will again be helping people laugh at AIDS– in a way that is considered largely appropriate. On Saturday May 1, Romano will be headlining A Night of Comedy VIII, a fundraising event for the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation. The event, hosted by Doris Roberts (also of Everybody Loves Raymond), will star Kevin Nealon, Jeffrey Ross, Fred Willard and Dov Davidoff. Both Romano and Roberts have been involved

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    Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers to host ESPYs

    Saturday Night Live head writer and “Weekend Update” newsman Seth Meyers will host the 18th annual ESPY Awards, airing July 14th on ESPN. This is set to be the first time since the 2003 ESPYs that the ceremony will be broadcast live, making Meyers an even more ideal host given his experience with live television. This is a step up for the SNL castmember, who co-hosted last year’s ceremonies with

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    Lakeshore Theater, forerunner in comedy, set to close April 10

    It’s amazing what a good venue can do. In the 1970’s, venues like the Comedy Store and the Improv inspired a comedy boom, brought public attention to the now legendary Andy Kaufman, David Letterman and Richard Lewis, and helped change what it meant to be a comedian. Chicago’s Lakeshore Theater was one such venue –committed to embracing new comedy and furthering the exploration of what it firmly believed to be

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    Pete Lee becomes CMT, Rooftop Comedy’s ‘Next Big Comic’

    Congratulations are in order for comedian Pete Lee, the winner of CMT (that’s right, Country Music Television) and Rooftop Comedy’s search for the Next Big Comic. Having survived through five weeks of stiff competition based on online voting, Lee earned himself a spot in the upcoming Aspen Comedy Festival, his second time in as many years that he’ll to perform there. The competition started back in February when 12 comics

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    Nick Thune and Kool Keith combine powers for Dick Towel video

    Sometimes the universe lines up in a special kind of way. At least, that is the only explanation I have for the video I just watched, appropriately titled “Dick Towel” – a music video that combines the FX show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the hilarious Nick Thune, and the legendary concept rapper Kool Keith. Inspired by the Dick Towel, a product that appeared on It’s Always Sunny that prominently

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    Maria Bamford headlines Women in Comedy Festival

    Coming up March 24 – 28, ImprovBoston will be hosting the second annual Women in Comedy Festival, a festival dedicated to showcasing female comedy in stand-up, sketch and storytelling. Headlined by Maria Bamford and featuring Jackie Kashian and Bonnie McFarlane, the festival is proudly and intentionally a predominantly lady-centric event, but this is not to say it will be purely a woman’s affair. As explained by festival co-director Maria Ciampa:

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    Shane Mauss: Jokes to Make My Parents Proud

    Sometimes, being juvenile can be a good thing. While often associated with being crass, on the other hand, when done right, there can be a childlike charm that proves good-natured and simultaneously devious. Shane Mauss is all of those things. On Jokes to Make My Parents Proud (Comedy Central Records), Mauss exhibits a very kid-like humor; he’s full of pranks, sarcasm, and  has no reservations about referencing butts, farts and

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