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Comedy Stories

57 stories found. Showing page 1 of 2.

Mike Birbiglia: Putting punch lines to sleep

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 9/23/2009

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Around this time last year, I was headed up to Michigan wine country with an iPod full of This American Life episodes. No, I wasn't driving a faux-wood-paneled station wagon sipping Earl Grey, but I might as well have been. Have a laugh. Anyway, if you have yet to tune into TAL (Sundays at 11 a.m. o...[MORE]

It ain't anger!: The infuriated Lewis Black is only telling the truth. Just ask him.

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 7/22/2009

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

First Lenny Bruce, then George Carlin and now Lewis Black — America continues to rely on comedians to cut through heaps of steaming bullshit (much of which is spouted from our nation's capital). If a comedian's agenda is truth and they can circumvent the cheap transfer of pop-cult baggage, the...[MORE]

Serious comedy: Ferndale improvisers ditch the script and just go with it

By Corey Hall

Published: 12/3/2008

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Need a chuckle? As the state, the region and the nation tiptoe 'round the rim of a deep financial abyss, a merry band of rebels in downtown Ferndale is staring down the darkness and thumbing their noses at it. The spanking new Go Comedy! Improv Theater is a full-time professional comedy venue...[MORE]

Black days

By Corey Hall

Published: 11/21/2007

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Lewis Black is having a bad day. For a legendarily surly comedian whose fame was largely built from exasperated "Back in Black" flameouts on the Daily Show, it doesn't take much to topple him over the edge. A number of annoyances are plaguing Black on the morning we catch up. He's talking from "a...[MORE]

Torch Song: Detroit’s one-of-a-kind circus sideshow vaudeville burlesque variety revue

By Michael Jackman

Published: 11/14/2007

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Grace Detroit sashays onto the stage at Cliff Bell's wearing a flowing green number that sports wings and antennae. The bug-woman costume isn't her usual wardrobe as hostess and emcee of Torch with a Twist, the cabaret event that takes over the downtown bar once a month. "Torch night" has become...[MORE]

King of comedy

By Bill Holdship

Published: 10/10/2007

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

D.L. Hughley is one of the funniest men in America right now. Making his name as one of the Kings of Comedy, as captured by Spike Lee in the film of the same name, Hughley's star has only continued to rise with frequent appearances on Real Time with Bill Maher, his new HBO special, Unapologetic,...[MORE]

Momentary madness: Second City-Detroit continues a tradition of on-the-spot, spot-on satire.

By Paula Farmer

Published: 5/12/1999

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

"Something wonderful right away." This, from the title of a book written by Jeffrey Sweet about the Second City, describes the improvisational theater’s creative draw on audiences in Chicago, Toronto and Detroit. Combining ensemble acting ...[MORE]

Making it big: CoCo, Detroit's own first lady of comedy, is super-sizing the laughs.

By Curtrise Garner

Published: 10/14/1998

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Looking like Aretha Franklin back in her blond days, the comedian peers out at the Dempsey's Place Amateur Night audience and asks all the big girls to show some love. There are a few timid titters, but no one really responds. She steps clo...[MORE]

Exterminator of hypocrisy: Bipartisan smart-ass goes where

By Peter Werbe

Published: 10/28/1998

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Funnyman Will Durst, who is probably best known to Metro Times readers through his frequently appearing column, was born in Milwaukee. He left for San Francisco in the early 1970s, claiming "comedy was illegal" in his hometown. He...[MORE]

Channeler surfing: The Lizard of Fun meets the Swami of Steve.

By Alisa Gordaneer

Published: 3/3/1999

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

The Lizard of Fun has donned a saffron robe and is sitting cross-legged on a woven grass mat. Looking blissfully spiritual, it’s chanting something that sounds like "Detroit-techno-eats-bananas-Detroit-techno-eats-bananas." My nose twitches, ...[MORE]

Zach attack

By Corey Hall

Published: 3/28/2007

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

In just a few hectic years the bearded face and unwieldy moniker of comedian Zach Galifianakis has appeared in such cinema classics as Bubble Boy and Corky Romano; on TV in Fox’s Tru Calling, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, his own VH1 series Late World with Zach, and lip synching in the memorable Fiona A...[MORE]

Danza in the dark

By Corey Hall

Published: 2/21/2007

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Sometimes in the lull between auto shows and Super Bowls, or when not squabbling over stadium and casino construction sites, Detroiters tend to forget that our dowdy rust-bucket metropolis has a cultural life as rich and deep as a three-tiered German chocolate cake. And much of that richness h...[MORE]

Make like a tree and laugh

By Corey Hall

Published: 2/14/2007

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

To moviegoers of a certain age, he will forever be Biff Tannen, the looming jarhead bully who menaced Marty McFly through three Back to the Future movies and multiple time frames. To others, he's known as the gruff-but-well-meaning Coach Fredricks, the lovable gym teacher, who — despite h...[MORE]

Dreams come true

By Corey Hall

Published: 11/1/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Ypsilanti's Dreamland Theater is constantly evolving. Billed as "a small theater, gallery and curiosity shop," it's an art space where seemingly incongruous creative elements can get together and mingle. In November alone, the theater will host two separate art exhibitions, puppet shows, comed...[MORE]

Bet on Black to Showhalter: Michael Ian Black and Michael Showhalter come to town

By Corey Hall

Published: 10/11/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Michael Ian Black may just be the perfect new millennium celebrity, famous for everything and nothing at once. A staggeringly prolific entertainer and a near ubiquitous presence on television, Black nimbly zips from project to project like a kid with ADD. He's been a network series regular (NB...[MORE]

Comedy climber

By Corey Hall

Published: 9/13/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

In nearly two decades of furious Hollywood social climbing, Jamie Kennedy has had his share of peaks and valleys; he earned two Golden Raspberry nominations for 2005's stink-bomb flick Son of the Mask, and he also had the somewhat dubious distinction of having the top-selling hip-hop album in ...[MORE]

Quack up

By Corey Hall

Published: 8/23/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Gilbert Gottfried lives a double life. By day he's a popular voice-over actor for commercials and children's cartoons, by night he's a hilarious, foul-mouthed comedian. Since 2000 he's been the voice of the AFLAC duck, he's spent more than a decade as host of the USA Networks' Up All Night, an...[MORE]

Lipp service

By Corey Hall

Published: 8/9/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

As the legendarily acerbic newspaper man H.L. Mencken once said, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." That's a maxim clearly taken to heart with equal vigor by both politicos and entertainers. Mencken also famously noted, "No...[MORE]

Rock the laughs

By Chris Handyside

Published: 4/19/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

For years, wait a minute, decades, the comedy market has been so saturated with sitcom-aspiring white dudes with mullets and black guys with the name Wayans somewhere on their CV, that it's easy to forget that going out for a night of stand-up comedy should be a reality-shifting experience. Th...[MORE]

Broad appeal

By Corey Hall

Published: 3/29/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

You could say that Lisa Lampanelli has a mouth like a sailor, though there has likely never been a sailor on the seven seas as funny, rude or delightfully obscene. In fact, most sailors would get a motherly mouth-swabbing for the stuff she spouts on stage. A self-described insult comedian, Lampane...[MORE]

A gay old time

By Corey Hall

Published: 3/8/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

To poor souls who think Jay Leno's nightly monologue is the state of the art, it may come as a bit of a shock to find there's more to "gay comedy" than Brokeback Mountain jokes. Though there have long been gay comedians on the scene, for decades they were confined by an informal closet, an und...[MORE]

Man hunt

By Monica Price

Published: 11/16/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Stand-up comedian Jason Stuart is looking for Mr. Right.So far, he says, he’s met “Mr. Right Now,” “Mr. Maybe,” and even “Mr. Mom.” But he’s hoping a visit to the Motor City will change all that. “I love Detroit men,” Stuart gushes over the pho...[MORE]

Subversive laughs

By Michael Jackman

Published: 11/2/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

If going to see a 258-year-old Italian comedy sounds boring, you haven’t seen commedia dell’arte. This robust physical comedy, considered the mother of modern slapstick, has more in common with Abbot & Costello than The Two Gentlemen from Verona. In it, masked actors must express...[MORE]

Dead can dance

By Corey Hall

Published: 10/19/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

George A. Romero’s horror classic about the undead, rising from the grave to dine on the flesh of the living, has been terrifying audiences for decades. But, apparently, what it really needed all along was a few toe-tapping musical numbers. So now, a magical night of singing, dancing and ...[MORE]

Tumor humor

By Michael Jackman

Published: 9/28/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Only a generation ago, the medical field was held in high esteem. From Sinclair Lewis’ Arrowsmith to the wacky but noble savages of M.A.S.H., doctors and researchers have enjoyed stellar reputations. But in the age of HMOs and pharmaceutical giants, it seems that this longstanding good wi...[MORE]

A show about nothing

By Johnny Loftus

Published: 9/21/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

For the last several years, sitcoms have been a plateau in heaven for stand-up comedians. You log a few years on the road, start surfacing here and there on basic cable, and before you can say “Norm McDonald,” you have your own show. But a milquetoast half-hour of safe-mode laughter p...[MORE]

Second base

By Ellen C. Sawyer

Published: 8/24/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Unlike its former theater-style downtown location, Second City’s new digs are in a strip mall, upstairs from an Andiamo restaurant. Let’s be honest, the move from Detroit to Novi has knocked the comedy club down a few notches on the “urban cred” scale. (It’s not just u...[MORE]

Media Blackout

By Jeffrey Morgan

Published: 8/17/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

MB44 ... it’s about having fun, but it’s no joke! • Lenny Bruce — Thank You Mask Man (Fantasy) :: No, thank you. • Andrew Dice Clay — The Diceman Cometh (American) :: Now, more than ever. • Vaughn Meader — The First Family (Cadence) :: He looked like JFK...[MORE]

Laughs and crafts

By Corey Hall

Published: 7/20/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

Behold Richard Jeni: the world’s most famous unknown comedian. Maybe you’ve heard his name before but you can’t place his face. He’s not flashy, lewd or loud. And he’s highly unlikely to disappear and turn up in a South African rehab center. Where you’ll find Jeni ...[MORE]

The dry guy

By Corey Hall

Published: 6/15/2005

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Comedy

The average Steven Wright joke goes something like this: "Everywhere is walking distance if you have time." Lines like that — a staple of Bartlett's and the "senior quote" section of high school yearbooks — have made Wright a very famous guy. His wit lends itself almost equally to lau...[MORE]

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