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Friday, October 31, 2008

Nov. 2: Erica Sigurdson

Contrary to popular belief, booking a show on Sundays at 11 p.m. isn't always the easiest thing to do. Most out-of-town comics leave the 'Couve on Sunday afternoons. And, as we found out this week when Kevin Foxx had to cancel due to a corporate gig, even the locals aren't always readily available. But we've been at this for four years and thankfully we usually get ourselves a top-notch guest some way or another. This week is no exception. It's last-minute, but we couldn't be happier. Erica Sigurdson will be making a return appearance to What's So Funny? on Sunday. It's her first solo affair, though. Back in February of '05, Erica guested along with Jen Grant. We've got lots of catching up to do. She is one of the top comics in the whole country and never fails to impress me with her writing. It seems every time I see her she's got new material. And she's a Gemini award winner. Or Leo award. Or both. I don't know. But it's impressive. Or so she tells me. So tune in, woncha?

Hey, I spoke to Louis CK the other day. He's playing the Vogue Theatre on Nov. 14. I'll try to jot something down for you here n the next couple of days about what we talked about. Check out his copious videos on YouTube or his own site if you're not familiar with him. He's one of the top comics working anywhere. But you knew that.

THIS JUST IN: A regular reader informs me that Ms. Sigurdson launched a new website yesterday. Have a look:

Friday, October 24, 2008

October 26: Darren Frost

I don't know how many of you caught last week's two-hour Lenny Bruce extravaganza, but I personally learned something. I learned that I like Lenny Bruce. Not the reputation or the legend or the "importance" of Lenny Bruce, but Lenny Bruce the comedian. Who knew? While not all of his stuff translates to modern ears, much of it does. Thanks to Steve Bowell for putting together a great show.

I saw three former What's So Funny? guests at Yuk Yuk's tonight. Dan Quinn hosted, Darcy Michael featured, and Darren Frost headlined. It was a strong show throughout, I thought. I heard new - and funny - material from all three comics, which is always a plus for someone who sees as much comedy as I do.

The Toronto-based Frost always makes the time to do our little show each time he passes through Vancouver. This week is no exception. And what a fitting follow-up to last week's program because Frost certainly inhabits the spirit of Lenny Bruce. Their styles are nowhere near similar, but Frost, like Bruce, likes to take the audience to places that they maybe don't want to visit. He has progressive views that certainly no one would get offended by, yet he approaches the topics (from Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears to gay bashing and the Greyhound bus beheader) sideways, which occassionally lands him in hot water. Okay, more than occassionally. I think he likes that, though. It gives him one more thing to vent about. We'll ask him all about it on Sunday.

Next week, one of my all-time favourite Vancouver comics, Kevin Foxx. Looking forward to that one.

THIS JUST IN: The Christmas corporate season just stole one of our guests. Kevin Foxx is no longer available next week so we'll reschedule him. Stay posted to this space for further developments.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oct. 19: Lenny Bruce

What do I know about Lenny Bruce? I've got to admit, not much. Although I like the fact that at my advanced age I'm able to use the "he was before my time" line (not that that's any excuse; Socrates was before my time, too, and I love reading about him).

But we're doing a big two-hour special on Lenny Bruce on October 19 beginning at 10 pm. "We" is Steve Bowell and I. It was all Steve's idea. Steve hosts the popular Ragbag show immediately preceding What's So Funny? every Sunday night and he recently got hold of hours and hours of Lenny Bruce. Since he says he has enough for an afternoon's worth of programming, he thought it would be a good idea to do a special to launch the Fall Membership Drive on CFRO. And since it sounded like very little work from my end, I agreed. And I figured I might learn something.

As a youth in the 1980s, I bought a couple Lenny Bruce biographies, which I still own and haven't read, as well as a couple albums, which I listened to quickly and dismissed just as quickly. His humour, to my immature ears, didn't seem to transcend generations. I'm looking forward to being able to prove myself wrong.

Speaking of the Membership Drive, if you're a regular listener to our program, why don't you become a member of the station? It's not like we'll put you to work. The station, being community run and all, could sure use the dough. Where else are you going to hear your favourite comedians talk at length about their craft? Tell you what we'll do. You join up and we'll throw in this blog for nothing! You can sign up right here.

Next week we're back to our regularly scheduled live in-studio guests. And we've got a good one. The always controversial Toronto comic Darren Frost makes a return visit. Don't worry. He's really a pussycat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Erection Fever!

Sorry, I lived in Japan for a year. Old habits die hard. That should read "Election Fever!" I've got it. Today's the day we all vote. Or some of us vote. Who wouldn't vote? That's what I can't figure out. It's like playing the sulkies (not that I've ever played a sulky). Bet on your favourite horse.

So is it going to be a Conservative majority or minority? I betcha if I did a survey and received thousands of responses, the Conservatives would lose badly. That's why you non-voting mo-fos should vote! Every single Conservative in the land is going to vote – and the best they'll probably do is get a minority. Imagine if all the non-voters voted. Not that I'm advocating for any party, understand.

Okay, that's it. I've decided. I'm doing a survey. You guys astounded me with your passion last week. I predicted six responses and got 10. At this rate, we'll own the internet in a couple of millennia.

What's this got to do with comedy, let alone the radio show, you ask? Shut up.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oct. 12: Chris Molineux

Vancouver's a relatively small comedy community. So it's no surprise that I know many of the guests we have on, to varying degrees. Not all, though. Some of my favourite shows are when I literally meet the guest the moment they walk in the studio. I usually find these shows... invigorating?... challenging? I can't think of the word, but I enjoy them. I have to be a little bit sharper, maybe, because I've never met the person before and we don't have a chemistry (whatever it may be) to fall back on. They don't know what to expect and neither do I.

This week we've got Chris Molineux on for his first appearance with us. Prior to a few weeks ago, I had never met the man. I had seen him perform over the years, but never spoken to him. Then, midway through September, a familiar-looking face showed up in my driveway for a garage sale. It took me a second to place him (I'm horrible with out-of-context faces), but I eventually said, "Chris Molineux?" He had no idea who I was, of course. But we talked and agreed that he should come on the show. So this will be the second time we've ever spoken. I'll learn along with you about him. (Listening information is located in the right margin.)

Meanwhile, hey, how well do I know my audience?! Huh? I predicted a whopping six people would partake in the latest survey, Funny/Not Funny. And that's exactly where we are. Now, I realize there are, as of this writing, still two days left of voting, but I have confidence you won't ruin my Nostradamus-like predictions.

In other news, we booked another guest the other day. Darcy Michael will be making his third appearance with us on December 7. Our dance card is filling up... Yes, you heard me: dance card. I'm 96 years old, alright? Now run along, you scallywags. This butter sure ain't gonna churn itself.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Survey Says...

Okay, I'm hooked on this blog thing. I fought it and fought it for years when people were telling me to get a blog. And now look at me. I can't be stopped. See, this is why I don't join the cult of FaceBook. I have just enough self-discipline to not join. If I ever succumbed, I fear I'd never leave the house.

So anyway, there's a new survey. The old one expired today with a grand total of four responses. But I see this thing blowing up sometime soon. I predict at least six replies this week.

When we started the radio show lo these four years ago, we started what was to be a regular segment called Funny/Not Funny. The idea was to rattle off a list of comedians and get the guest to give an opinion on each one. I think we've probably done the segment fewer than ten times total. But I always enjoy it. The answers usually break off into a deeper discussion of comedy. So here's my attempt to renew the format, only in the form of a survey. The only way I could figure out how to do it is to allow you to click on as many of the ones listed as you think are funny. The fewer the votes for a particular comic, the less you think he's funny. Or something like that.

The list is culled from upcoming acts to Vancouver. Steven Wright is playing the River Rock Show Theatre on November 1, Louis CK is at the Vogue on November 14, Dame Edna at the River Rock on November 14 & 15, Cheech & Chong at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 5, and Kathy Griffin at the River Rock on January 10. I didn't include the Just For Laughs tour at the Orpheum on November 14 because chances are you've never heard of anyone performing that night. 'You' in the general sense, of course. I know you, the individual, are hip to everyone.

So vote to your heart's content. It's election season, afterall. This will give you practice.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The people have spoken

You know, when we put this little blog together, we had no idea people would actually read it religiously. In the ocean of blogs on the internet, why should our humble offering stand out? I don't know, but apparently it's hit a bit of a chord with the masses if our survey is any indication. We asked how you, the reader, stumbled across this blog and you answered in spades. A whopping 66 percent of you admitted you followed a link to arrive on our page. Not only that, but 33 percent of you found us after we directed you here. What can we say? We are humbled. To know that 99 percent of you are not only regular readers but took the time to answer our survey, well, I'm tearing up. Look for more surveys in this space (or the space to the right, anyway). You have spoken. It's an awesome responsibility we face knowing so many of you are reading.

The show booked three more comics today. Kevin Foxx will be joining us the first Sunday in November, and Brett Martin on the 9th of November. And Patrick Maliha will be taking a break from CFUN to slum it with us on the 23rd. We had a great conversation with Paul Myrehaug last night. I'll let you know when the podcast gets uploaded in case you missed it. Next week is my Victoria homeboy, and current neighbour, Chris Molineux. Check out some of his videos in our margin and tune in on Sunday.

Hey, who wants to be the first to leave a comment? Don't be shy. It'll be historical. It's up to you whether it's hysterical.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Myrehaug: Oct. 5, 2008

I went to Yuk Yuk's this weekend and caught headliner Paul Myrehaug, who happens to be our guest on the radio show tonight. It wasn't until I checked out Paul's website earlier this week that I knew he had relocated to Vancouver from Toronto. Lucky for us. I should know those things, I suppose. Well, I do now. Paul won the Great Canadian Laugh-Off in 2007. With Graham Clark winning in 2008, doesn't that make Vancouver the comedy capital of Canada? I would think so. Myrehaug also finished second (to Vancouver's Damonde Tschritter) in the Seattle International Comedy Competition. Man, there's a lot of talent in this town.

So tune in tonight. All the info to find us is over there in the margin. I'll ask him what prompted his move from the centre of the universe. No doubt a woman was involved. That's usually how it works. We'll also play some clips from his CD. Meanwhile, check out some of his video clips over there in the right-hand margin.