• Reggie Watts: Master of the absurd

    Nobody’s quite sure what to make of Reggie Watts— not even Reggie Watts. This happens when you’ve never done the same show twice. Watts, the New York-via-Seattle absurdist-via-music, is doing what hardly anybody dares in the world of stand-up comedy — making it all up as he goes. Armed with a loop machine and a willingness to let his mind wander far from the dock, Watts creates sprawling, ear-tickling songs

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    From the archives… Doug Stanhope: I’m Happy as Shit

    photo by Chris Saunders This interview was originally posted on Punchline Magazine on Nov. 30, 2009 Doug Stanhope’s newly released album From Across the Street is exactly what you’d expect– that is, if you’re a sick and twisted human being. How many comics today could get away with comparing themselves to the 9/11 hijackers? How many could ask an audience if love would still exist without monogamy, then let the

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    W. Kamau Bell: Face Full of Flour

    “I don’t mind the crowd dividing up,” W. Kamau Bell says after a collective should-we-laugh? moment early on his debut album, Face Full of Flour. “That’s when we’re getting to shit.” Bell gets to a lot of shit in a hurry here, proving himself one of our country’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit and a willingness to say what you quickly realize you’ve always thought. He is

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    Natasha Leggero: Funny, with pants or without

    Natasha Leggero just keeps turning heads. A prolific stand-up performer whose intelligent musings earned her a regular seat on Chelsea Lately, she’ll appear on Comedy Central’s new post-apocalyptic series Ugly Americans premiering March 17. She also has a starring role in an upcoming NBC pilot, The Strip, written by Reno 911! creators Tom Lennon and Ben Garant. If history proves anything, pants will be optional. How much do you get

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    Doug Stanhope: “I’m Happy as Shit.”

    photo by Chris Saunders Doug Stanhope’s newly released album From Across the Street is exactly what you’d expect– that is, if you’re a sick and twisted human being. How many comics today could get away with comparing themselves to the 9/11 hijackers? How many could ask an audience if love would still exist without monogamy, then let the silence linger for a few deafening seconds before bringing the house down?

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    Matt Braunger: Soak up the laughs

    Matt Braunger has had the deep respect of his LA and Chicago comedy scene contemporaries for years. But thankfully, with a powerful, albeit brief stint on MadTV, a new album on Comedy Central Records and a robust tour schedule, the Oregon native has become a national hit. Go ahead, try not to laugh at Matt Braunger. We dare you. Watch his rubber face bend around the room and back again,

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    Pat Dixon: Goodbye Forever, Fatty

    If you didn’t know better, you might mistake the title of Pat Dixon’s newest comedy CD, Goodbye Forever, Fatty, as Dixon suggesting he’s grown up from an awkward, pudgy former version of himself. You’d have taken the hook. When, seconds into the album, you find out it’s actually the thing he always says after a good blowjob, you’ve been properly briefed for a mischievously hilarious set that keeps the audience

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    Al Madrigal: Half Breed

    “Always get the name of the dog.” That’s a common refrain among journalists, a reminder that the beauty of any story is in the details. On Half Breed, Al Madrigal’s latest comedy album, the master storyteller gives you the dog’s name, address, favorite color and Social Security number. The veteran comic’s jokes unfold less like set-up-beat-punch line and more like exquisitely conjured scenes from a novel. Consider the real-life pictures

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    Aziz Ansari: Downtown comedy for the masses

    photo by Seth Olenick

    In the past few years, Aziz Ansari has gone from well-respected downtown New York City comedian to high-profile star of MTVs Human Giant, NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and now one of the star’s of Adam Sandler’s upcoming flick Funny People– not to mention a guy that has the blessing of Kanye West. For such a likable guy, Aziz Ansari has become pretty

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    Ron White: The Scotch-soaked legend of comedy

    Sold out theater shows, a national tour, a new CD, DVD and Comedy Central special. This is just another average year for comedian Ron White. You can easily envision Ron White kicking through a saloon door before he takes the stage, hear the spurs jangle as he saunters to the mic, pulls from his cigar and puts another crowd on notice that he’s the only law in this town. The

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    Jim Gaffigan: The biggest baby in comedy

    Jim Gaffigan is a monster in the world of stand-up comedy. Few other contemporary comedians have the drawing power and versatility of the former Midwesterner. The premiere and release of his new comedy special/DVD King Baby will only further cement his place among stand-up royalty. Jim Gaffigan is fucking brilliant, not that he would ever say it on stage. You might get that trademark inner voice of his to admit a

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    Greg Behrendt: A bookish comedian dude

    As a best-selling relationship book author, a devoted husband and father and host of a SOAPnet dating advice show, comedian Greg Behrendt’s touchy-feely side is a huge asset. But don’t be fooled. Behrendt’s a total dude. And a funny one at that. A lot of people are really into Greg Behrendt these days. Long one of the most recognizable faces in stand-up circles, he has recorded an HBO special (Mantastic),

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