Are Math Jokes Taboo?

A lot of people hate math. People hate math so much that our word for “complete and utter destruction” is “aftermath.” That’s pretty bad. Like, what’s left after a bomb – we compare that…to multiplication tables.

That’s a joke I wrote that pretty much sums up how 50% of people feel about mathematics: it’s the absolute worst thing in the world. Physical torture cannot compare to the mundaneness of arithmetic nor the frustration of solving a system of equations. And yet, there are some crazy, weird people who actually like math.

What?! Who?! Well, I’m one of them! And so is San Francisco/Los Angeles based comedian Sammy Obeid. And if you’re a comedian who likes math, sometimes that can work against you.

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The Sam Kinison Collection

“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!

Yesterday’s Weather 1/19/16

You just got back into town from a long business trip. And you’re like, “Hey! No one is talking about what the weather was like yesterday! I wonder what I missed! Even if it was a pretty regular day I’d just like to know about it, you know? Just to ease my mind. Like, the weather channel only ever talks about the weather for today and the future! Unless there was an avalanche or Sharknado yesterday, no one is ever chatting about yesterday! I wanna know about the past, man! I wanna know what I missed!” You talk to yourself a lot.

Or, maybe you’re just forgetful.

Either way, my new segment, Yesterday’s Weather, is a perfect fit for you. I’m no meteorologist, but you will find out whatever yesterday’s weather was like wherever I was. The weather channel is always wrong. Get ready for the only weather report that’s 100% guaranteed…it’s time for Yesterday’s Weather.

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Great Comedians You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Week: Day 7

Day Seven: Phil Hanley

Okay this is the guy you’re most likely to have heard of, but I’m still pretty darn sure you haven’t. Hanley is a huge name in New York, performing regularly at the biggest clubs like The Cellar and Caroline’s. I’ve seen him a bunch of times and every time he’s one of my favorites. He’s kind of a lovable asshole. And he’s from Canada. And he used to be a male model. Still a male, not a model anymore.

Anyways, he’s swell. Is it a coincidence that pretty much every one of these comics has performed on Ferguson’s show? I don’t think so. Ferguson and I have good taste.

If you like his work, Hanley’s Comedy Central “The Half Hour” came out this past November. Check it out.

Great Comedians You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Week: Day 6

Day Six: Joe Pera

Yes, I know! I missed a day! It’s all ruined!

Sorry I was busy yesterday, but no fear…today you’ll get double the dose of Great Comedians You Haven’t Heard Of Week as I’ll be sending out the last one a bit later…

Day five is Joe Pera and he’s probably the one you’re least likely to have heard of. I’m not sure he’s even been on late night yet, but he’s been around the biggest clubs in New York. He has a charm about him that you’ll just have to see for yourself. He showed up to an open mic I was at and it really does sound like he’s doing stand up for the very first time…every single time…in a good way.

If you like him, check out his MTV miniseries project, Pancake Breakfast Critic on YouTube. He makes the very bland very funny. I enjoy it. But I can see a lot of people not being on board. Pera also does stand up in the subway, apparently. Which is pretty cool. I’d like to try that.

Great Comedians You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Week: Day 5

Day Five: Esther Povitsky

Povitsky also came through the Just For Laughs Festival a couple years ago and has been a big name in the LA comedy scene. Yay! Not a New York person!

She’s been on late night a few times and you might have also seen her appear on @midnight or Parks and Recreation. She’s also from Skokie, Illinois. Illinois! Like me!

Povitsky also goes by Little Esther and hosts a podcast called Weird Adults, where she talks to other comedians about what makes them weird. Whoopie! This is how I conclude paragraphs now!

Great Comedians You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Week: Day 3

Day Three: Cam Newton

(jk it’s Carmen Lynch)

Carmen Lynch is very funny comedian who’s big in New York. When she isn’t doing the best shows in the city, she’s traveling around the country headlining clubs.

She’s also a writer on Inside Amy Schumer and has appeared on late night several times. I picked this video because I loved Ferguson’s show. Any comedian he has on is usually a little weird or different from what you’re used to seeing – and you know it’s going to be an interesting set. This is a fun one!

Great Comedians You Probably Haven’t Heard Of Week: Day 2

Day Two: Joe List

To New York City comedians, Joe List is a name you gotta know. He’s been around the best clubs in the city for a little while now and he’s starting to make his way onto TV. He was on last season of Last Comic Standing and made it pretty darn far. He’s also performed on late night several times over the past couple of years.

This article paints List as “the comedy underdog,” a guy who’s been around the New York comedy scene for forever, but has never quite gotten his big break. If you like him, check out the podcast he co-hosts with Mark Normand (also hilarious), Tuesdays With Stories.