Dear Dead Comics

Posted Posted in comedy, Curious Comedy, portland

There’s a show opening this weekend that has been a big topic of conversation amongst the local comics for a couple of weeks.  Like musical tribute shows, we’re doing a cover show of our favorite dead or retired comedians all July, as a paean to the form and as tribute to some of our heroes.  I think it’ll be really interesting.

Pros:

1.  We’ll have the opportunity to share some older work that we care about with a new audience, which is always cool.

2. Like singing your favorite band at karaoke, there’s a certain satisfaction in posing as someone you respect, stepping into their skin for a minute.  When I re-made some of Leigh Bowery’s costumes and wore them around, I really felt like I was understanding things about Leigh’s tendency towards invention over craft, his willingness to be uncomfortable, and his desire to be a spectacle.  I am hoping to come away from this show with a similar perspective.

3. I am hoping to learn something from behind the act, by trying to impersonate the timing and cadence of my favorite comedian.  Will I get laughs in the same places?  Also: will I get laughs at all?

4.  My comic is a perfect fit for me, we’re both black-clad Texans with a perverse streak a mile wide.

5. Apprentice painters from the renaissance period forward have cut their teeth by copying the masters.  This is much the same.

Cons:

1. Comedy, above all other arts, doesn’t have a rep for aging well.  Will older material translate?

2. Will our comics be able to communicate what’s funny about this stuff?  Everyone knows comedy is not  just in the material, but also in the performance.  Well, not everyone.  Most people.  There was an incident recently where a comic from Davenport, Iowa reproduced Patton Oswalt’s act uncredited, but did not get Patton’s laughs, because he’s not Patton and doesn’t bring his timing, voice, face, etc. to the show.

3.  In a medium that values creativity over all other things, is this a worthwhile exercise?

What do you think?

These and other questions will be answered at 8 PM this Friday at the Curious Comedy Theatre at 5225 NE MLK!

Sock It To Me!

Posted Posted in comedy, Curious Comedy, dance, portland

This Spring, come time-travel to a mutant 60’s variety show, SOCK IT TO ME, where sketch, stand-up, dance, and aerial artistry collide!

Featuring local comedy favorites Virginia Jones and Gabe Dinger! Famous Mysterious Actor troupe members Josh Fisher and Wally Fessler! Curious Comedy founders Bob Ladewig and Stacey Hallal! Comic actors Scott Rogers and Katie Behrens! With dance and aerials from Daniela Steiner, Kyoko Uchida, Stephanie Seaman and Stephanie Cordell!

Famous Mysterious Actor!

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in comedy, Curious Comedy, portland

HILARIOUS POSTSCRIPT TIME:

I love the Famous Mysterious Actor show, and I genuinely had a great time appearing on the show, but my set went a little short.

Before the show, the suave and talented producer, J.D., took me aside and told me that I would have five minutes, and that he would light me when my time was up. When a comic has an alotted time, an emcee or producer will raise a flashlight or wave a phone to indicate that it’s time to wrap things up.

I was onstage, and I did a little shucking-and-jiving with Famous before I started telling jokes, and I was in medias res when I saw an amber light. It seemed soon, but it was more important to me that the show run smoothly than for me to do every single joke that I had planned on. I start going into my final joke, as I have been programmed to do. A few lines in, I get the light again. I nod at it, to indicate that I understand it’s time for me to get offstage, and I finish my joke to some applause, and I sit on the couch to do panel.

I get the light again.

Peering into the darkness, I see that a woman is using a camera that, instead of flashing a white light, points an amber light at the performers onstage. This means that 1.) I have gone short on my time for no reason and that 2.) At some point onstage, I nodded knowingly at a woman who was taking my photograph, whom I now dislike.

Yaaayy! Later, J.D. slipped on Ethiopian food and fell off the stage. Serves him right.