• Yannis Pappas talks Maurica, Mr. Panos and his journey back to comedy (Laughspin Interview)

    When I first started doing stand-up in college, I used to produce dorm shows at NYU to create stagetime and would be somewhat frugal in who I put on my shows, only wanting the funniest. A comic I booked asked if I would put his friend Yannis up, who I still didn’t know at the time having only been doing comedy for maybe a year. I said, “Sure. I can

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 14)

    Edinburgh — “You cannot leave the Fringe until you’ve seen Simon Munnery.” Munnery is a staple of the Edinburgh Fringe, this year taking to the stage at The Stand Comedy Club through the run. With his effortless ability to wax poetic in intricate rants and clever prose, Munnery is the prototype for intellectual British stand-up. There was no angle to Hats Off For The 101ers, and Other Material, which he

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 13)

    Edinburgh — What a difference a day makes. Being the last day of the Fringe for half the shows, there is a weight lifted off many a shoulders. The healed eyes of Chris Coxen are looking more alive, updating that he “feels like Tim Robbins when he breaks out of prison in The Shawshank Redemption knowing I don’t have to flyer anymore.” On-stage, Keith Farnan, Phill Jupitus and Co, Marcel

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 12)

    EDINBURGH — When you’re a comedian watching another comedian’s show, what do you say when you get “crowd-worked?” I’m genuinely rooting for whoever is on stage so I don’t want to be combative or vague or clever when asked a question. So when I reluctantly wound up in the front row of London-based comedian Matt Green’s show, I had to take a beat to consider my response when asked “what

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 11)

    EDINBURGH — “Are you good, are you well? Are you having a good Fringe?” Apparently it is mandatory for every comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to open their set with that inane line of questioning. A London comedian to remain nameless carried on for nearly three minutes at the top of his set, confirming that people in the audience were “good” and asking what their names were. It was

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 10)

    EDINBURGH — I’m destroying myself and having a blast doing it. Last night, I went to bed at 7:30 am after a late-night after-party chocked full of the festival’s finest comedians. Fortunately, there is too much comedy to take part in for a mere hangover to kill my energy and spirits. Too many shows, too little time. Imagine trying to catch every brilliant show happening in New York, Los Angeles,

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 9)

    EDINBURGH — Todd Barry knows his food. He has a whole “food chunk” in his act. His quest for food has created awkward exchanges on Twitter with the Kansas City Airport and followers from Los Angeles. Yet, when I ask him what’s good to eat here in Edinburgh, he recommends “great Thai and Indian food. Nothing local that I know of.” Here we are, two comedians from America, eating food

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 8)

    Edinburgh — Let’s talk about the c-word. The c-bomb. The country without a tree. She-who-must-not-be-named. When “bitch” isn’t doing the trick. We know the word. A word I once vowed to never utter – until I met one. It’s strong, it’s vulgar, it’s a game-changer in America. And yet, I have heard the word used more times by Brits, Scots, Irish, and Aussie’s alike in the past week than most

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 7)

    EDINBURGH — Ask yourself an important question: do you have a “Disney STD?” Or worse, a “Disney STD-VD?” Before you check for Sebastian in your crotch, let me translate that a Disney “STD-VD” is Thom Tuck’s acronym for the “Straight To DVD” movies that Disney has unleashed upon the World. In his show of that name, Thom finds brilliant comedy in the garbage throwaways from Mickey’s vault. The devout reader

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 6)

    EDINBURGH — “We’re artists. We shouldn’t have to prostitute ourselves.” That battle cry came wafting over the high-walls of The Pear Tree’s outside courtyard. On-stage is The Anti-Poet, Paul Eccentric on clever beat-poetry vocals and Ian Newman keeping the upright bass beat flowing. It’s 4 pm on a Sunday afternoon and they are performing to about 100 lager-draining audience members with their humor-bent songs. It was a struggle to label

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 5)

    EDINBURGH — Nazis are hilarious! That statement might be a tough sell but dare I say Frank Sinazi has pulled it off. Crooning hits such as “Third Reich” (That’s Life), “Gestapo” (Chicago), or “Strangers on my Plane” (Stranger in the Night), Sinazi has the packed hangar-like room in complete submission. Let me spell it out: he is Frank Sinatra and Adolph Hitler blended into a smoothly offensive lounge act. Sinazi

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 4)

    “I’m highly intelligent and very funny.” Steve Hughes is staying right on stage at the Fringe festival’s staple late-night show Spank! At this point, the bold, unapologetic Australian “comic’s-comic” has walked about a third of the audience. Mind you, it’s 2:45 am and Spank! has been running since 10 PM. Leon, one of the show’s hosts, shouts at Steve from the side of the stage “are you fucking with me?”

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 3)

    EDINBURGH — Much time has past since my days of barking the Upper West Side of Manhattan to promote a comedy show. Standing out in the cold for two to three hours shouting “hey folks, comedy tonight! Comedians seen on comedycentralhbolastcomicstandingshowtimethetonightshowletterman” (yes, it came out as one multi-syllabic word). The only thing separating me from an ambling homeless man was flyers. Well, I’ve come full-circle as I embarked on a

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    Laughspin’s look inside comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part 1)

    EDINBURGH — The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been going for two weeks now and the city has the vibe of a raging party around 4 am when half the bodies still moving are residually intoxicated and/or deliriously over-tired. Maybe that’s just Scotland. Ironically, it seems the eldest local Scots are the most chipper and spry right now. There is no doubt the Fringe owns this city for the month of

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    Paul Provenza and friends bring improvised stand-up comedy to Montreal, Edinburgh

    Improvised stand-up? Have you ever heard of such a thing? Or, maybe you think you’ve seen that go down when some stand-up has nowhere to go with their material. Actually, a new live show produced by comedians Troy Conrad and Paul Provenza, Set List, further refines the idea of “improvised stand-up” into a hilarious showcase of some of stand-up comedy’s best minds working– like Dana Gould (former producer on the

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