comedy Archive

Comics Drawn to the Magnetic

Comedy is serious business. Developing a stand-up routine that feels spontaneous takes a great deal of effort, and when a performer is onstage with little more than a microphone and a spotlight, there’s nowhere to hide. Four accomplished comics – two from Western North Carolina and two based in Colorado – bravely brought their humorous

Video Roundup 2018

Covering DVDs and Blu-Rays takes more time than reviewing albums; I have to set up in my living room, with a recliner, a couple of cats and (generally) a good Scotch In order to do so. So with a general yet heartfelt apology for the delayed nature thereof, here’s my take on five titles released

Album Review: Mel Henke — 77 Sunset Strip-per

For a lot of Americans in the late 1950s and ‘60s, jazz wasn’t something they went to clubs to hear. If they heard it at all, jazz was often presented in the context of television and film theme music. The brash, hard-swinging sounds of big band jazz lent an exuberant (and wordlessly carefree) vibe to

Album Review: Pocket Fishrmen – The Greatest Story Ever Told

Wow; here’s a weird one. Imagine, if you will, that Dead Kennedys were a comedy band. One from Austin, Texas. Now imagine that they stayed together for three decades, making bratty songs with provocative titles (“Amy Carter,” “Mommanatrix,” “”Flaccid is the Night,” “Priapus Power,” “Go Go Saddam Hussein” … you get the idea. Now imagine

Best of 2016: Interviews

In 2016 alone, I’ve interviewed more than 140 artists; that’s nearly half the number I interviewed in the decade prior to this year. I hope 2017 will be at least as busy; I find my conversations with creatives extremely rewarding. I’ve learned a few things along the way, and one of the most important realizations

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