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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dec. 26: No show

What day is it? Sunday? Let me double-check that... Yep, Sunday. I lost track of time. Not only did we hop on a plane on Christmas afternoon, fly 60 minutes and – presto! – white Christmas, but we're stuck in a house with no wi-fi! Can you believe it in this day and age? Barbaric. So I'm lost, basically. Blinded by the snow.

Normally this is show day. But not this week. Nor next. If you tune in, you'll get the second hour of the show that usually precedes ours. We're nowhere to be found. But we deserve a break, don't we? Here's a rundown of all our guests in 2010:
Ian Boothby
Jane Stanton
Sean Proudlove
Peter Kelamis
Paul Provenza
Daniel Packard
Charlie Demers
Ian Bagg
Carter Hortie
Jy Harris
Allyson Smith
Sean Kent
Steve Patterson
Vince Fluek
Sugar Sammy
Lars Callieou
Phil Hanley
Tom Segura
Kevin Foxx
Damonde Tschritter
Graham Clark
Ryan Beil
Dave Shumka
Todd Graham
Doug Stanhope
Neil Hamburger
Tyler Fortin
Shauna Johannesen
Will Davis
Nathan Clark
Toby Berner
Brian Anderson
Dan Quinn
Leena Manro
Munish Sharma
Iliza Shlesinger
Matt Kirshen
Art Factora
Matt Billon
Tetsuro Shigematsu
Michelle Shaughnessy
Shlomo McPeakowitz
Paul F. Tompkins
Andrew Carr
Paul Bae
Not a bad list at all. A big thanks to all of them. And there'll be lots more in 2011.

Oh, and don't forget to tune in to Global tonight at 10 to see the Vancouver comedy festival in action. One night of it, anyway.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Global Comedians

I got a sneak peak at Global Comedians the other night. This is a special that will air across Canada on Boxing Day (check local listings but I'm pretty sure it'll be on at 10 pm). It seems every other comedy festival in the country has a TV special, so it's about time Vancouver's got some air time.

It stands out from the others, too. Not only is it gorgeously shot, but it's also way more intimate. No glossy big stage here. They shot this at the Cultch, which isn't big to begin with, and it looks like it could have been in a tiny little club somewhere. That's not a bad thing. Interspersed between acts are clips of the individual comics on a photo shoot and seated together on a Last Supper-type meal. It's nice seeing them tell each other stories, although that's not why we're watching. Any show featuring stand-up comics rises or falls with the actual stand-up comedy.

Hosted by Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall and Newsradio fame, the special features Britain's Matt Kirshen (and one-time What's So Funny? guest), Australia's James Smith, USA's Maria Bamford, Canada's Mae Martin, and TV's Jon Dore (and one-time What's So Funny? guest). Not a bad line-up at all. Not your usual suspects so a wider audience might get to see a face or two they're not familiar with. It would have been nice to have a Vancouver comic on the show. They're good enough to make the other festivals' TV galas, so why not in their hometown?

But I'm not here to critique what isn't. The show looks fantastic and the comics are funny. That's good enough for me. It's a shame they felt the need to bleep every curse word, though, when I recall the Sopranos airing in prime time on CTV. Hell, I remember the Kids in the Hall getting away with the odd curse word at 8 pm on CBC in the 1980s. But whatever.

I developed quite a crush on Mae Martin when I was at the show. Seeing her on TV had me scratching my head trying to figure out who she reminded me of as she was singing her ode to showers and Alanis Morissette. It was driving me nuts until it hit me – Bob Saget! She doesn't have the rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness that Saget does, but her little asides and quick laughs on her own lyrics remind me totally of him. And in a good way, I should point out.

I don't imagine Boxing Day at 10 pm is the greatest time slot, but it'll probably be repeated at some point I would imagine. Hopefully it'll get enough people watching that they'll get to do it all over again next September. And who knows, maybe a Vancouver comic might get a shot then.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dec. 19: Paul Bae

Boys and girls, class is in session. Tonight, playing the part of Scrooge in our weekly radio show is stand-up comic/TV personality/high school teacher Paul Bae, who will no doubt spread a little Christmas cheer in our last episode of the year. Paul is the answer to the trivia question, Who was the very first guest on What's So Funny? in April of 2004? That was our pilot episode. Because of his good job guesting along with Dana Alexander that night, the show was picked up and we've been going strong(ish) ever since. He came back on his own one year later but that was the last we've seen of him, so we've got lots of catching up to do.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Podcast episode 213ish: Paul F. Tompkins

Who isn't a fan of P. Francis Tompkins? In this interview with the comedic savant and podcast legend, you'll learn many things, among them that's he's used his middle initial most of his life, that he wants to give improv comedy a shot, and that we may already be at the saturation point for podcasts. We're lucky to have gotten him as a guest before the bust. So listen in, won't you? Here, on iTunes or at a podcast server near you. We're everywhere.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dec. 12: Andrew Carr

Tonight's show was a long time in the making. I've been trying to get Andrew Carr as a guest for years. Well, I tried a few years ago then gave up. He's a busy guy, being one of the main writers for Corner Gas and Hiccups. I believe he's even written for Muslim Corner Gas, aka Little Mosque on the Prairie. But I thought I'd give it another shot and damned if he wasn't available! I remember seeing Andrew back when he was a stand-up comic. We'll find out tonight if he has plans to ever return to the stage or if he's happier just writing the jokes other people get credit for. And hopefully I won't hack up a lung. I'm on the tail end of a winter cold so my voice is deep and sexy but the damn cough gives it away. I'll do my best because the show must go on.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dec. 5: Paul F. Tompkins

With the glut of comedy podcasts on the free market, I have one rule of thumb in sorting through the multitudinous ersatz broadcasts: Is Paul F. Tompkins a guest? If so, I'm there. He is without peer as a guest when he sits down with his fellow comics and shoots the breeze. I talked about it a bit in a feature I did on Tompkins for the Georgia Straight a few weeks ago. So without repeating myself, you can follow the link and read all about it.

Tonight's show features a half-hour phone interview I did with Tompkins prior to his visit here. It's unlike anything you've ever heard from Tompkins before. Because he's not being funny. Probably because 1) he doesn't know me, and b) I'm not a fellow comic. So don't expect laughs. There are a few titters, but it's largely informational. But where else are you going to get his actual take on subjects near and dear to his heart? Nowhere, I tells ya! You'll hear him talk about his last trip here where he riffed a whole set to drunken yahoos at Yuk Yuk's, as well as podcasts in general, his Pod F. Tompcast in specific, his take on alternative comedy, and a few other nuggets. I'll sandwich the interview between some clips from his comedy albums so he will make you laugh at other points during the hour. So tune in. Tonight at 11. All the info for radio and live streaming is over there in the right-hand panel.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Podcast episode 211ish: Shlomo McPeakowitz

I went toe to toe with the great heavyweight chumpion Shlomo McPeakowitz recently. Shlomo revealed his Rocky prophesy which will see him taking on one of the renowned Klitchko brothers in Moscow on Christmas Day. Of 2010. Yeah, I'm thinking it's not going to happen, either, but you gotta dream big, kid. It was a fun episode, I thought. And I think you will think that, too, if you listen. So why don't you? It's right here. And when you're done, you can check out some in our backlog over at the Comedy Couch. Or download them at iTunes. What else are you going to do this holiday season?