‘Comedy’ Category

Lisick and Jepsen bring Bay Area sketch comedy to Sin City

December 11th, 2008
We don't know what to think, either.

We don't know what to think, either.

San Francisco writers Beth Lisick and Tara Jepsen have been performing together on and off since both appearing on the 1999 Sister Spit tour. This weekend, they’re unveiling their comedic alter egos in Las Vegas once again with a sketch-comedy show called “Getting on the Ground Floor and Staying There” at Beauty Bar (517 Fremont St.) tomorrow night, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. In case you’ve been living under a culture-less rock and aren’t aware of these two incredible authors, here’s the righteous skinny:

Lisick has penned two critically acclaimed popular alt-memoirs — Everyone into the Pool: True Tales and Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone. She also spent eight years writing a nightlife column called “Buzz Town” for the San Francisco Chronicle and co-founded the Porchlight Storytelling Series (which has featured Las Vegas’ own spoken-word maestro and NPR commentator Dayvid Figler).

Jepsen, on the other hand, orchestrates the queer slam-poetry night, “K’vetch,” and helped create one of the more notorious rock bands in S.F. called Lesbians. Her work has been published in landmark anthologies such as Pills, Thrills, Chills and Heartache and It’s So You.

VEGASinsight had a chance to speak with Lisick recently, to get the lowdown on what we can expect from her and Jepsen’s Las Vegas appearance.

VEGASinsight: So what’s “Getting on the Ground Floor and Staying There” all about anyway?

Beth Lisick: The show is a tribute that Tara [Jepsen] and I are throwing for ourselves after working together for 10 years. Carole and Mitzi are lady comediennes who never quite get around to telling their jokes, because they’re easily sidetracked about topics such as what defines one as a lesbian, and how much their tub of pancake mix is going to cost them, and how dirty the steam room at the gay men’s bath house was the other night. They are the janitors there on the night shift, you see.

VI: Wow.

BL: Oh, we’ll also present Cricket and Jinx, two ladies well past 40 who are obsessed with being “rock ’n’ roll” and “edgy.” And also Don and Phil, a couple of gay silver foxes who have been together for more than 30 years and like to kindly educate their audience about art and architecture.

VI: Isn’t there a movie component? We heard there was a film of Tara’s and yours to be screened.

BL: Yes, we will also show our short film Diving for Pearls, which played gay film fests internationally. [Note: Lisick doesn’t like to brag. The film won the “Most Innovative Short” award at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 2005 and was selected for the “Best of Newfest” screening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.]

VI: You’ve been a comedian for 10 years! What does comedy mean to you?

BL: Well, I don’t consider myself a true comedian, though my character Carole Murphy is certainly one.

VI: So I guess you could say you only play a comedian onstage. Does comedy scratch a different itch for you than the one you scratch with the Porchlight series?

BL: Porchlight is a storytelling series that I curate, but don’t perform at. I just emcee the event with my partner Arline Klatte.

VI: You’ve done everything in Vegas — poetry readings, book festival appearances, dressed up like a banana for promotions, performed music — except for one thing: You’ve never worked in a casino. When can we expect that to happen?

BL: We will work in a casino this weekend if anyone wants to hire us!

Tracy Morgan Laffs it up in Vegas for The Comedy Festival

October 16th, 2008

Life must be pretty easy for comedian Tracy Morgan. The man gets paid to essentially play himself on the hit NBC comedy 30 Rock — a role that looks a hell of a lot more fun than we’ve ever played in our lives (even compared to the part of “Tree 2” in the fifth grade class play). And he can go out in public, on live TV, obviously inebriated, make an ass of himself, and somehow still come out on top:

Oh, like you ever get tired of seeing that clip.

Well, the unpredictable Morgan is hosting the Laffapalooza! showcase during The Comedy Festival on Saturday, Nov. 22 in the Palace Ballroom at Caesars Palace. The funny-as-hell lineup for the show includes Mark Curry, Sheryl Underwood, Earthquake, Corey Holcomb and Lavell Crawford. This is the first time the Atlanta staple is being included as part of The Comedy Festival — and the first time it’s being taped for TBS, which will broadcast the show on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 11 p.m.

No word on whether or not Morgan will be sober or keep his shirt on. We kind of hope neither happens.

Have no fear: It’s all laughs when Nick Thune kicks off new comedy series downtown

April 10th, 2008

Nick Thune
Nick Thune thought it would be funny to have himself photographed smoking a pipe in front of fabric. We hope his stand-up is much better.

I know we’re usually so serious around here, reporting on stuff like art and charity and film and … Soulja Boy’s tour getting canceled … so here at VEGASinsight, we figured it was time to lighten up and have a few laughs. Thankfully, local comic Bryan Bruner and journalist/comedy junkie Julie Seabaugh have teamed up to bring the bimonthly “Fear and Laughing in Las Vegas” to The Canyon Club inside the Four Queens (202 Fremont St.).

The hilarity kicks off this Saturday, April 12, with headliner Nick Thune and featured comic Brandon Muller, with Bruner hosting, at 9 p.m. Seattle native and Los Angeles resident Thune has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Central and is working with ABC in developing a sitcom.

Tickets are $15 in advance via Ticketmaster or $20 at the door the night of show. Look for some magic dragon high-jinks the following week when “Fear and Laughing” hosts “ExtravaGANJA: A Medical Marijuana Event” on April 19. Looks like “ExtravaGANJA” is canceled, according to publicists for the show. Damn potheads.