Eli Sairs is a great comedian in NYC and I see him at The Creek and the Cave all the time. He wrote this funny piece for the TheInterrobang about how you can get people to compliment you after you have a monster set. I like it.
As he says, “New York comic Eli Sairs runs a free comedy show called Wildcats with Joel Walkowski and Jeff Wesselschmidt every second Friday of the month at 8 pm at The Creek and The Cave (10-93 Jackson Ave, Queens). The Wildcats are a street gang that surprises audiences by invading a respectable event or charity and using it as a playground for their offensive comedy anarchy, like a punk rock 3 Stooges.”
Here’s an article that talks about a bunch of reactions to Schumer’s accusations and kind of puts a lot of the hype all in one place for you to digest. I also listened to the Joe Rogan Podcast the other day with Hannibal Buress on as a guest. They’re both friends with Amy and think she wouldn’t steal a joke. Rogan thinks there is, however a serious “creativity problem” on the part of someone who is involved with her writing for TV, or else this many issues wouldn’t come up. TV writers are under a lot of stress to come up with new material on the daily. That would explain some things. Just one opinion out there.
“It was really unclear at first what was even happening. Because, you know, it is an open mic and it’s a performance,” the shop’s co-owner Rhonda Ealy told local television station KTVZ. “People at first thought it was some sort of theatre.”
This is an Atlantic piece from 2012, which, as you might know, was about four years ago. It’s interesting to see how this piece has a lot of relevance today and might have even garnered more attention today. In fact, it reminds me of another very similar Atlantic piece, Plight of the Funny Female, which came out this fall and I think even comments on some of the same research. I wrote an article about that one, which you can find here.
I think this one is subtly different, but it’s equally as interesting. Throughout the history of comedy, women have been putting themselves down in various ways. Physically making themselves appear less pretty is just one of them. One thing I will point out, that I don’t think the article addressed is that, pretty obviously, men comics put themselves down too. So many times I’ve heard a female comic get up on stage and say, “Wow there are a lot of good-looking guys here!” (referring to other comics) and then a guy will get up and say something like, “I look like a rapist! Haaaa! I’m gross!”
My point isn’t to de-emphasize how women comics have unfortunately had to put themselves down over the years in an attempt to seem funnier. It’s just to show that self-deprecation is a common tool in comedy that women have used to break their way into a formerly male-dominated profession. If people don’t identify with you, you can always make fun of yourself. It’s fascinating how easily people will get on board when you’re pointing your finger at yourself and going, “Look at me, I’m an idiot!” Sometimes it’s even a little unnerving.
“His gigs were part strip show, part heavy-metal concert, all primal-scream therapy.”
If you’re young and don’t know anything like me, you might never have heard of Sam Kinison. I heard about him once when I started comedy and now I have one of his comedy records and we get along just swell. Kinison is up there with the greatest comedians of all time. Why? I actually don’t know. I actually don’t find him very funny. But I do think he’s unlike anyone I’ve ever seen and if I was friends with him I know I’d think he was hilarious. That’s why I like listening to him so much.
I know my mom wouldn’t like him because he screams and yells all the time in his stand up, something he might have picked up as a short-lived Pentecostal preacher. Kinison was a weird, crazy guy and he died too young and too suddenly.
He did a lot of stand up. And something I didn’t know until reading this article was that apparently every one of his sets was different. That’s insane. He told different jokes every time he was on stage. So, a lot of his material has been lost over the years, especially since not everything was video recorded in the 80’s (that’s why you can’t find too much of his stand up online and why I’ve gone to albums).
Comedy Dynamics is coming out with The Sam Kinison Comedy Collection, which will pull together all his “lost” specials. Apparently there will be a bunch of stuff that hasn’t really been seen before. How do they do that? I don’t know. But it sounds cool and I’ll be looking forward to it.
Here’s some of his stuff. By the way…sorry if you’re like, “Duh! I KNOW who Sam Kinison is!” But it’s better for me to pretend you don’t than to pretend you do. And hey, you get to see a little more of him! Lucky you!
And it’s probably true. Comedians are super weird people, so it’s not a huge stretch to say they might have psychotic tendencies, too.
So these British scientists took a bunch of comedians and compared them to actors and a control group and found that “comedians scored significantly higher on all four types of psychotic personality traits compared to the general group.” Comedians scored especially high in impulsive non-conformity and introverted personality traits, which, well…yeah.
I found this article about it pretty funny. There are some great quotes in the article like,
“The creative elements needed to produce humor are strikingly similar to those characterizing the cognitive style of people with psychosis – both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”
That’s really nice, scientists. But you really don’t have to use online questionnaires to discover comedians are crazy. Just go to an open mic at 1AM and listen to everybody talk about killing themselves as the audience stares, blankly, half asleep.
One of my comedian friends just taught me how to pee on the street in the middle of Midtown, Manhattan in broad daylight without anyone noticing. He was like a magician. And he was beaming the whole time: the proudest I’ve ever seen a person. I think my anecdotal evidence might trump your numbers. You’re late to the party, science.
My buddy Patrick posted this list on his blog a few weeks back and I’m remembering it again. It’s a fantastic list of things to remember when you’re running your own mic, and I think it’s especially applicable to New York City.
Patrick runs one of the best mics in the city at The Creek and the Cave in Long Island City on Thursday nights. Check out his blog! He’s a really funny dude.