Spit Take Saturday: Bill Cosby

cosby far from finishedWelcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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Comedy Central is a curious network. In its apparent effort to saturate the airwaves with as much stand up as possible, the comedy behemoth often puts up comics who aren’t TV-ready—comics whose sets either lack originality or are just plain unfunny. But every now and then the network makes a savvy decision, as it did in giving hour-long specials to underappreciated veterans like Kyle Kinane and the late Patrice O’Neal. Even in those moves, though, Comedy Central aimed for its target demographic: young men. So dedicating time to a 76-year-old who doesn’t curse and is best known to millennials for other people’s impersonations of him, rather than his actual comedy, could be considered a risky proposition.


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Spit Take Saturday: Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley

momsmabley05Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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Whoopi Goldberg clearly has a lot of affection for pioneering African-American comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley, and that affection comes across in her HBO documentary Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley. Goldberg’s enthusiasm and ability to pull in big-name interviewees (including Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy and Joan Rivers) are the movie’s greatest strengths, but Goldberg isn’t much of a filmmaker, and she certainly isn’t a journalist, which makes her portrait of Mabley a little sketchy and incomplete.



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Spit Take Saturday: Bill Cosby

cosbyWelcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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At 75 years old, Bill Cosby comes across sort of like a crotchety grandfather, but while he may have sometimes acted befuddled and hesitant, there was never a moment during his 90-minute show at Treasure Island in Las Vegas when he didn’t know exactly what he was doing. He took the stage wearing a flannel shirt (not a sweater, alas) and loose-fitting cargo pants, on a set that looked like it was lifted from his living room (a rug, a chair with a sweatshirt draped over it, an end table with bottled water and a box of tissues, even a trash can).

Cosby is more of a sit-down comic than a stand-up comic these days, but the fact that he delivered nearly his entire performance seated in that chair didn’t make it any less engaging. Instead, it felt like an evening with a particularly cantankerous family member, one who’d never let you get a word in edgewise and would never consider the possibility that someone else’s opinion was valid. Cosby did engage with the audience – he even seemed overly sensitive at times, stopping at the sound of someone dropping a bottle and when a child started making noise. But in both cases he used the disruption as a chance for a comedic tangent; in response to the fussy child, he detoured into some of his most well-known subject matter, talking about the indignities of the childbirth process.
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Spit Take Saturday: 2012 Comedy Gift Guide

lenny

Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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Each sense of humor is a little different, but who doesn’t love to laugh? With that in mind, we’ve got comedy both naughty and nice, memoirs and one-person shows, the classics, British comedy, alternative and musical. That should cover just about everyone, and some people two or three times.

Some of the newer releases reviewed on The Spit Take are here, and we tried to keep it fairly current while still choosing the best stuff in each category. Some choices would fit multiple categories, but we didn’t repeat artists or selections. Everything here is also fairly easy to find, at least online (that kept Belle Barth and Pearl Williams, whose work is mainly available on vinyl, out of the “Blue Christmas” section). Lists are in no particular order; feel free to leave your own suggestions for releases we neglected to cover below.”

 

Blue Christmas (Adult Material)

Lenny Bruce – “To Is a Preposition; Come Is a Verb”  There are better Bruce albums, but this collection ought to please fans of his more scatological side.

Robert Schimmel – “Unprotected”  Schimmel spoke frankly and explicitly about sex and his health, and could make you laugh describing a sigmoidoscopy.

Andrew Dice Clay – “The Day the Laughter Died”  Clay can be hard to take, but several contemporaries who work blue still cite him as an influence, and this is his best work.

Patrice O’Neal – “Mr. P”  Released after his untimely demise, this is just a sample of O’Neal’s brutal brilliance.

Redd Foxx – “Very Best of Redd Foxx: Fugg It!”  Foxx was a pioneer of the party album, “adult” comedy records that shops kept under the counter.

 

Santa’s Good List (Clean Comedy)

Jim Gaffigan – “Beyond the Pale”  Sing it with me, Pale Force Nation: “Hooot pockets!” Gaffigan has fun with a very accessible, food-obsessed “dumb guy” philosophy, but he’s a smart writer.

Mike Birbiglia – “Sleepwalk With Me Live”  Birbiglia is very easy to root for, and though he is not always the good guy in this story (which eventually became a book and a movie), he sees that. Remember, he’s in the future also.

Jerry Seinfeld – “I’m Telling You For the Last Time”  The premise of this album was that Seinfeld was retiring his best bits. No politics, no profanity stronger than “hell” or “damn,” just Seinfeld’s reliable observational humor.

Ray Romano – “Live at Carnegie Hall”  Romano drops the f-bomb early on, but it’s bleeped, and it’s clean—and funny—from then on.

Brian Regan – “The Epitome of Hyperbole”  It’s hard to resist Regan’s affable Everyman. He has a very specific cadence, one that can easily get stuck in your head, and a wonderful physicality. This special can be played for just about anyone.


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What Was the First Thing You Bought Tickets For?

What was the first thing you ever bought tickets for? We posed this question to attendees at the open house for our new offices last Thursday and got some great responses. Here’s an easier to read, summary of what people wrote:


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