comedy Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 3

Five more quick reviews of new or recent album releases. Today features a couple of the best of the week’s bunch. Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town Nick Curran‘s Reform School Girl was one of the best albums of 2010. JD McPherson‘s Let the Good Times Roll was among the finest releases of 2015. If

Bill Maher: Keeping it Real

“I’ve certainly never been shy about giving my opinion,” says the stand-up comic and host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. “Sometimes people ask me, ‘Are you just trying to get a rise out of people, or play Devil’s advocate?’ And I’ve told them for twenty-three years – since I started on television –

“I Don’t Have Any Other Skills!” The Lizz Winstead Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: I started watching The Daily Show way back when Craig Kilborn was the host. In those days, the show seemed to focus more on pop culture than news; it felt – to me at least – a bit closer to Greg Kinnear‘s Talk Soup and its followup with Joel

“I Don’t Have Any Other Skills!” The Lizz Winstead Interview, Part One

In a change of pace from my generally music-focused interviews, I recently took advantage of the opportunity to interview Lizz Winstead. The satirist has a long and successful history: with Madeleine Smithberg, she created The Daily Show; she was a popular host on (the ultimately ill-fated) Air America radio network (Winstead had discovered her co-host,

Some Long-lost Artist Biographies

Way back in the depths of the Great Recession (2007-2009), one of my former writers (from my time as Editor in Chief of a now-defunct magazine I won’t dignify by naming) put me in touch with the good people at Amoeba Music. The California-based record chain had an ambitious plan: creating artist bios to serve

McQueen’s Pop Culture Mix of Music, Comedy and Multimedia

“Is it comedy?” asks McQueen rhetorically. “Is it music? Is it the weird hybrid cousin of both who is 32 and still sits at the kids’ table during holidays?” The answer to all of those questions is most likely yes. Live dates in cities across the eastern USA in May and June will give audiences

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 10

Over the last nine business days, I’ve surveyed 45 albums of new, reissued, and/or archival music from a wide array of artists in jazz, prog, soul, rock and other genres. Each review has been exactly 100 words. Today I wrap up that series of capsule reviews with a quick look at five video releases. Jack

Musical Parody Gets Into a “Grey” Area: 50 Shades! The Musical Parody

Ever since its 2011 printing, E.L. James‘ erotic romance novel 50 Shades of Grey has been an inescapable presence in pop culture. Though as literature – five hundred pages of dominance, submission, bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism stitched together with little character development – James’ “mommy porn” leaves much to be desired, there’s no doubting

Album Review: Black & Blue – The Laff Records Collection

A new 4CD collection of vintage comedy records, Black & Blue: The Laff Records Collection exemplifies the abbreviation NSFW (“Not Safe for Work”). The low-budget stand-up comedy records (usually but not always recorded in front of raucously appreciative audiences) released on the independent Laff Records label in the 1970s were a sensation in African American

Hundred-word Reviews: Deluxe Packages

Each of these is a multi-disc set collecting archival (and sometimes previously-unreleased) music, but other than that, there’s little to connect these releases in any stylistic fashion: Celtic soul, proto-funk/pop, hard rock, comedy spoken word, and psychedelic post-punk. All have been sitting on my desk awaiting review for far too long. So, here ya go.