Here’s a topic guaranteed to get a big laugh…the Constitution.
The national tour of comedian Colin Quinn Unconstitutional, is stopping at The Colonial Theater in Keene this Friday. Quinn, after all, made the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal funny as anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, and has now condensed the Constitution’s history into a witty 75-minute one-man play. His new show finds the humor in how the right and the left argue over the meanings and interpretations of the Constitution.
Richard Pryor changed stand-up. He created comedy with no jokes. Instead, he unleashed a parade of street characters rarely glimpsed by white people and mortifying to middle class African Americans. Pryor wrote that the neighbors, whores and winos he saw growing up around his family’s bars and brothels inspired a lifetime of comedic material.
Pryor’s stand-up was outrageously blunt, fearlessly black and openly angry. His talent ran in tandem with episodes of self-destructive, violent, behavior -- often triggered by drug use – which jeopardized his career and endangered his life. Yet, in movies, Grammy-winning albums, and even a short-lived TV special, Richard Pryor’s unapologetically irreverent comedy crossed over to capture a huge American audience; Brothers Dave and Joe Henry among them. Dave is a screenwriter, Joe is a singer and songwriter and together they’ve written Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him.
Long before he was pushing the boundaries on television’s Politically Incorrect or hosting Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher was a stand-up comedian. He still does about 50 shows a year, in venues all over the country, and he’s coming to the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord next Saturday, October 5th. Some love him, some hate him, but his biting wit has made him one of the leading satirists in America today.
For many public radio listeners, the weekend begins with NPR’s oddly informative, extremely funny program Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Comedian Paula Poundstone is a frequent panelist on Wait Wait, and she’ll be performing at the Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem, New Hampshire this Thursday. Paula spoke with Virginia Prescott last year about what it’s like to be in the business of comedy.
Sam Kinison, the comedian known for screaming politically incorrect rants with the passion of a preacher, became on of the biggest comedy acts of the 1980's. He died in 1992, just shy of his 40th birthday.
Chris Canibano has helped turn the life of Kinison, whom many regard as a comedic genius, into a comic book called, simply, "Sam Kinison."
We spoke with beatboxer, comedian, musician, and kinda TV talk show host Reggie Watts about his music and other ongoing projects. Reggie takes suggestions submitted via Youtube and turns them into original songs which have never before been performed, and may never be performed again. It’s all part of his online comedy collective called Jash with comedians Sarah Silverman, Tim and Eric, and actor Michael Cera. In addition to his online performances, Reggie has also been playing shows and festivals around the country. He’ll be at the Portsmouth Music Hall in the fall.
Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO hit series Girls, recently signed 3.5 million dollar book contact for a memoir. When published, Dunham’s book will share shelf space with bestsellers like Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir and Heather McDonald’s My Inapropriate Life: Some Material Not Suitable For Small Children, Nuns Or Mature Adults. Part humor, part memoir, books in this category are almost always written by women and openly explore sex, drinking and even mental illness in a brazen and unrepentant manner. And readers, especially those that are not offended easily, are snapping them up.
Jean Railla, a writer and cultural observer is here to tell us more.
Related: Gawker's viral blog about Lena Dunham's book deal.
Back in November, “The Best Used Car Ad in Craigslist History” was brought to my attention through a Facebook post. I hit the "contact" button and got in touch with its author, New Hampshire’s own Tim McLaughlin. It's kind hard to describe…so I'll bring it to life for you. First, you'll hear Tim tell you what he's trying to sell. (A note to listeners: the Craigslist ad was a tad saucy…so I’ve added plenty of bleeps.)
2012 has been a fantastic year for funny ladies on television. Comedians Chelsea Handler, Whitney Cummings, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler and Joan Rivers all star in their own shows. A number of lesser known laugh-out-loud women are reaching new audiences with self-produced podcasts, and networks are paying attention.
Jean Railla, a writer and cultural observer based in New York City tells us more.
New Hampshire is better known for a tradition of community theater than for comedy. Still, there is something of a comedy scene here…if you’re willing to look for it. Producer Adam McCunehappens to be a regular at one of Manchester’s regular open-mic events, and brings us along in search of a laugh.
According to New York Times Comedy Reviewer Jason Zinoman, comedian James Adomian could very well be the first openly gay male comedy star. One question comes to mind...why hasn't there been one before?