comedy

Exit Stage Right

Aug 30, 2013
Matias3000 (Flickr Creative Commons)

Hartford's Comcast Theatre seemed like an odd venue for the Oddball Comedy Tour.

Well, the night ended oddly enough when David Chappelle walked off after a few minutes. Unfortunately for him, audiences now obsess with recording everything (see this NSFW Louis CK bit), and there is lots of crummy cell-phone footage circulating from the performance.

Compared to some of the other stories in the world right now, this isn't a big deal. But it got us talking about something other than the VMAs.

Baseball All-Star Game Special: Abby and Costello

Jul 3, 2013
CPBN Media Lab

Just in time for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game festivities, the CPBN Media Lab Radio Theatre proudly presents Erin "Abby" Connolly and Tyler "Costello" Salomon in this homage to the great Abbott & Costelllo and their classic Who's on First?

Follow along below with this transcript courtesy of the Baseball-Almanac.com

Chion Wolf

Chion Wolf

Some time in the late 1980s, when my main job was writing allegedly funny newspapers and magazine pieces and books  I was visiting a friend who worked in the offices of "Late Night with David Letterman." I think she was an assistant to Dave's assistant or something. Anyway, she introduced me to the show's head writer Steve O'Donnell and she must have mentioned me before because he said, "Oh yes. The humorist."

Flickr Creative Commons, Free Grunge Textures

Today, in order to watch a Lenny Bruce monologue on YouTube, I had to sit through a Starbucks commercial. This feels like proof that some kind of fundamental battle has been lost, right? The Internet is free, but not really.

Connecticut launches it's first barn trail complete with an iPhone app. Helen Higgins, from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, walks us through the process of how the barns are chosen and what the trail has to offer.

Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for the Health of Your Childby Nina L. Shapiro

Flickr Creative Commons, david_shankbone

A romantic comedy about a substitute teacher recently discharged from a mental hospital after eight months of not necessarily complete treatment for bipolar disorder.  His potential object of affection? A woman whose own experience of psychic trauma has led her into a spree of promiscuous behavior that results in the loss of her job. 

Comedy Central

I grew up in an era when the "political humorist" was a segregated specialty. 

Mort Sahl, Pat Paulsen, Mark Russell. These guys weren't part of the pack of regular comedians. It was the humor equivalent of a semi-obscure edical specialty. One saw them only occasionally. Like your dentist. Maybe twice a year. 

Chion Wolf

Today's edition of The Nose is an occasionally tense conversation about a series of issues all of which swirl around the issue of free speech. Chick-fil-A, a sandwich chain, sends millions of dollars in corporate profits to vehemently anti-gay groups, including ones that practice “gay-to-straight” conversion therapy. Its CEO went public this week with his anti-gay-marriage views. 

Flickr Creative Commons, nahtanoj

Tomorrow night I'll be appearing with the comedy troupe Sea Tea Improv in a format requiring me to do little monologues based on prompts from the audience. The Sea Tea troupe will then improvise sketches based on my monologue.

Puns!

May 30, 2012
Ecstatic Mark, Flickr Creative Commons

Puns are terrible, right? But then why do we love Groucho? When Mrs. Teasdale tells him: "This is a gala day for you," he says: "Well, a gal a day is enough for me." He also tells her:
"You can leave in a taxi If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. "

These are puns, right? But instead of being agonizing they're part of the Rosetta Stone for the greatest manic American comedy.

Courtesy Photo

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to talk to comedian Mike Birbiglia. Birbiglia will perform his latest show, "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend," in Harford Friday, May, 4, at the Bushnell. He'll also perform in Stamford on Thursday, May 3, and Northhampton, Mass. on Saturday, May 5.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

Bill Griffith

True story ... last week, the Connecticut legislature's Environment Committee's public hearing agenda included, on the same day, An Act Permitting the Possession of Reindeer Year Round and An Act Concerning the Hunting of Deer with a Pistol.

This is why I don't celebrate April Fool's Day. Life is like this every day. Break that story apart into separate scenes, and your mind is flooded with images of a man plugging a deer with a Saturday night special or a young couple walking their reindeer on a leash.

'The Changing Landscape Of TV Comedy'

Jan 5, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, Jessica.Tam

Why do we watch television comedies?

Flickr Creative Commons, makelessnoise

Have you noticed that nothing is ever quite funny enough?

Last night I was reading a story in the New Yorker and glancing at the cartoons and kind of gasping at how not funny they were. Hey, this is the New Yorker! It's not like there's some place else for all the better cartoons to go.

Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Beckett's plays are the little black dress of modernist literature. They go with anything.

Flickr Creative Commons, :mrMark:

What will big business head honchos learn from the fall of CL&P's Jeff Butler? Maybe they'll learn not to be the face of the company during a big disaster.

Somebody talked Butler into handling CL&P's press briefings personally, even though the company has a whole staff of mouthpieces on call to do just that.

takomabibelot, Flickr Creative Commons

Unconventional Shakespeare

Jul 26, 2011
Chion Wolf

How influential is Shakespeare?

Bernard Levin writes:

Summertime TV

Jul 1, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, Jonas B

Back in the days of three, maybe four, networks, summer television was an odd wasteland, mostly re-runs with occasionally odd oases. Ray Stevens hosted a summer replacement series which offered the first full exposure to the dadaist comedy of a young unknown named Steve Martin. 

Colin Quinn

Jun 16, 2011
92YTribeca/Flickr creative commons

In Colin Quinn Long Story Short, Quinn focuses his articulate brand of comedy on the demise of empires, including our own. More than standup comedy, Long Story Short is a hilarious blend of incisive observation, sharp commentary, and Colin’s channeling of the personalities of the past. From Socrates to Snooki, Quinn is at his satirical best, taking on the attitudes, appetites and bad habits that toppled the world’s most powerful nations. Colin Quinn Long Story Short proves that throughout human history, the joke has always been on us.

Zach Klein

Today, conversation  with three creative minds. Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond, who's won audiences over for years with his dead-on impersonations of various celebrities and political figures. And violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman talks about his life, teaching and performing. Plus, Kendall Cromstrom, Editor in Chief of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens. Cromstrom is a veteran editor holding key editorial posts at Elle, Decor, House Beautiful, In Style and Real Simple.

Chion Wolf

Garrison Keillor has announced that he'll retire in 2013.

Chion Wolf

I'm not even sure the comedy sub-species "impressionist" really exists any more.

Wikimedia Commons

I started writing humor -- or trying, anyway, -- when my column launched in the Hartford Courant in 1982. 

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