Friday, March 11, 2011
I was beginning to think that the comedy potential of June was about as murky as a deep sea oil spill.
And then, I’m suddenly faced with a double whammy of shows.
Call it a “Laugh More Tour” Within a “Laugh More Tour.”
You could look at it as a “Spend-More Tour,” too, but, hey, what’s $15 bucks, really.
I don’t know what it is, but usually these shows happen to coincide with some aspect of my life, that’s just the way it seems to work out. Take this for example. Last night, I go ahead and get a ticket for this weekend at Harvey’s, the comedy club in Portland. I apparently waited too long for the Aziz Ansari show at the Aladdin on the 23rd, because the dang thing is sold out. Ansari is supposed to be the next big comedy deal, but since I don’t watch a whole bunch of TV, it’s not like I know a whole bunch about him.
The next day, I do like I usually do (and I admit to being a creature of habit) I grab the “How We Live” section of the Oregonian and head to lunch. You see, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been reading the comics. And I mean, every day. It’s become second nature.
In fact, when I go to the library, out of all the books, magazines, and periodicals (wait, aren’t magazines and periodicals the same thing? Oh, no, wait, that’s right, a periodical is that thing that I work for, a NEWSPAPER. Oh, wait, is that right? What was the phrase: books, magazines, newspapers AND periodicals? NOW I CAN’T REMEMBER. SEE, THIS IS THE BASIC KIND OF INFORMATION THAT SOCIETY WILL LOSE WHEN THE LIBRARY CLOSES)
Anyway, when I’m at the library, I’ll grab some non-internet based reading material, namely the Sunday Comics, and lament that there’s several comic strips that should be in all papers, but that’s another story.
So, anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, lunch. I’m about to read the comics, and there on the front page is a preview of an upcoming show.
An upcoming comedy show.
Like, this weekend, as in tomorrow.
So I read the title of the group that’s doing the show. Hmmm. Sounds kinda familiar, but I can’t quite place it.
And then I read the first few paragraphs. And a phrase stands out like a sore thumb.
“Don’t Crush the Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers.”
My brain reels. I immediately think of something.
The album cover is Orange.
By now, you know me well enough to know that I’ve got a few hundred records. And it turns out that, of course, that I’ve got this album, strangely titled: “Don’t Crush the Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers."
But, you know, since I dug this relic out the thrift store a few months ago, I haven’t even had time to place it on my state-of-the-art turntable.
But that’s OK, because if I just wait just two more days, I’ll be able to say:
“Man, I saw those guys before I even listened to their 40-year-old album.”
Firesign Theater group
June 11, 2010
Winningstad Theater, Portland
Not Worth Mentioning
I’ve got to interject here – and tell you that I wrote what you just read a few days before this show. You see, I was expecting to go to this show, have a great time, and come back and fill in the rest.
Well, I did go. But the show, was terrible.
I mean, to me, it flat-out wasn’t funny. And for the $50 they charged, it made it all the less funny.
What was even more disappointing, was that these 4 guys stood in front of mics with notebooks in their hands, and read material that they had been doing supposedly for something like 40 years. And one guy kept losing his place. The microphones weren’t even at the same volume.
The “material” ranged from unfunny game shows, to a pair of strange high school colleagues that discover that their high school has disappeared. To top off the evening, we were treated to a “lost work” of Shakespeare, that tried to touch on recent world political events.
According to the article in the Oregonian, this troupe was supposed to lay the groundwork for Saturday Night Live and long-form comedy records, and all that.
Well, I really can’t see that connection. At all. What a joke.
So in a last-ditch effort, I went home, found the album that caused me to go to this thing, and gave it a listen.
And it was the exact same crappy thing. I mean, they must have covered ¾ of the “material” on this record, but I think, although I didn’t think this was possible, that the album was worse!
In the paraphrased words of a famous band: “The progress of this so-called comedy troupe cannot be charted.”
And I hereby recommend avoiding them, at all costs.
So, we’ve got a real turkey here. What to do. As I mentioned in the beginning, thankfully, I had a ticket to Harvey’s, for the next night.
And for $15, I saw 2 comedians that kept me in stitches for probably 90 minutes. I mean, upbeat show, topical, great sound, a room full of people totally enjoying, the works. Above all – truly funny. So, thanks, Roger Rodd and Leslie Henning, for saving my comedy butt. Their material will be mentioned here, unlike some other so-called comedy troupe’s material.
Roger Rodd/Leslie Henning
Harvey’s Comedy Club Portland
June 12, 2010
Roger Rodd (You might say he was topical)
Opening joke: I know what you’re thinking. It looks like Bon Jovi and Bruce Jenner got together and had a baby.
Halloween in LA
I’m tired of being Politically Correct
Why Rhianna really wears Make up
K. Reeves can act?
Black people don’t even watch ER
Golf is not a sport
Elvis is alive?
Heaven has a recording studio
“These are some of the jokes keeping me off the tonight show”
Mexican Radio stations are the strongest
My dad had to change his name
Women in LA
You’re surprised I’m Single?
Blind Dates – they’re like a get well card from a Funeral Home.
We don’t need any more White Rappers
What Women Want
What Men should do
OJ Simpson Reality Show
Public Service announcements
50 is the new 30
Dress Your Age
Politically Incorrect Questions
Stand Up Comedy is the Second hardest job in the universe. The first has to be being a sketch artist for the Hong Kong police department.
Let’s End Racial Profiling
The family reunion. You can’t have enough booze.
6 yr olds are a buzz kill.
Where babies come from.
My son shops at the $1 store
The first thing you notice about getting older.
Difference between men’s and women’s bikes.
I lost my sense of smell in an accident.
Making Telemarketers hang up
Can I manage a High Speed Copier?
Receptionist at a sperm bank
I bought a car, but the horn isn’t too good. When I use it, it sounds like I ran over a sheep.
A new service at Jiffy Lube
What to wear at the OBGYN
5th grade special film subject revealed
Mammogram’s Don’t arrive in the mail
A Man invented the Bra
Carhart’s is coming out with a Thong
Special CD Bonus. Since you’re such a special audience, all proceeds from my CD will go to me.
Natural childbirth isn’t the way to go.
I’m divorced, can’t you tell?
Portland Sun. Last time I was here, the sun didn’t come out for 5 days. My skin was getting so bad, I thought I was getting yeast infection. Turns out it was just mold.
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Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell. Enlarge