Spit Take Saturday: Women Aren’t Funny

WomenArentFunnyPoster-194x300Welcome 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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There is a certain dumb thesis that keeps rearing its cretinous head, even though there’ve never been more funny women working in the entertainment industry. While it’s hard to take the argument even remotely seriously (Tina Fey is funnier than the five funniest men on this planet put together), its persistence does demand a rebuke of sorts, which comedian Bonnie McFarlane provides in debut documentary “Women Aren’t Funny.”

McFarlane treats the titular insult with the respect it deserves: none at all. She strikes a playfully annoyed tone throughout, and never for a second doubts the worth of her fellow female comedians. Instead she devotes herself to finding the source of the bias and examines the effect of institutional sexism in the entertainment industry. She interviews Opie and Anthony, Artie Lange and the late Patrice O’Neal, who are all too willing to argue how funny women aren’t. (It should be pointed out that O&A make their living being contrary jerks, and O’Neal was known for leveling crowds with shocking opinions he didn’t take seriously; it’s hard to tell to what extent they feel women aren’t funny and to what extent they are goading a colleague. To be fair, O’Neal concedes that Margaret Cho is “one funny b*tch.”)
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Spit Take Saturday: Harland Williams

harlandWelcome 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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Silence is the worst thing a comedian can hear. A heckler can at least give them something to work through on stage or let them know that their audience hasn’t suffered a simultaneous brain hemorrhage during their act. Silence, however, feels like you’re trying to make Death itself laugh followed by his cold hand slapping across your face.

Harland Williams conducts a similar, interesting and sometimes entertaining experiment with his latest DVD special, “A Force of Nature.” Where Maria Bamford entertained a familial audience of two for her recent “the special special special!”, he has literally no one to bounce his material off of for his 53 minutes of stage time. The entire performance takes place on a flat hilltop in the Mojave Desert with nothing between him and those watching at home except for a couple of cameras, a constant wind and the occasional crow.


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Spit Take Saturday: Gary Gulman

gary-gulman-inthiseconomy

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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Despite the title of his latest Comedy Central special, “In This Economy,” Gary Gulman doesn’t really have much to say about the financial state of our country. Money is very much on his mind throughout the special, but his jokes are more microeconomic than macroeconomic, focused primarily on his own one-man financial system. He starts out with a seemingly dated rant against Blockbuster Video, but that soon segues into an amusing bit about Netflix, which cleverly encapsulates the absurd minutiae of the video-streaming service. “In this economy, if you’re not watching a movie, you’re losing money,” Gulman says to explain his obsession with getting the most out of his monthly subscription fee, and he’s certainly not the only person to feel this way.


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Spit Take Saturday: Darryl Lenox

Darryl-Lenox-Blind-Ambition1-e1352836209244

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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As a visually impaired, African-American expatriate, Darryl Lenox’s unique life experiences are the kind of built-in fodder for stand-up premises that many comedians would, under slightly different circumstances, typically envy. Fortunately his comedy extends beyond merely his unorthodox situation, and his personal history colors his viewpoints on a wide range of subjects.

Blind Ambition was recorded at the Vogue Theatre in Lenox’s adopted hometown of Vancouver, Canada, and vast stretches of material reference our neighbors to the North. He opens with “What I Learned In Canada,” subsequently touching on hockey, borders, healthcare and politeness throughout his set. Though he may hit on the clichéd subjects most Americans associate with Canada, Lenox possesses a frank honesty that allows the audience to get to know him beyond a cursory level, that honesty illustrating how life has allowed him to develop distinct observations on otherwise mundane topics.


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Spit Take Saturday: Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer

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!

________________________

Live Review: Nikki & Sara & Friends at the NY Comedy Festival, Liberty Hall at the Ace Hotel – November 10, 2012

As hosts of the weekly podcast “You Had To Be There,” Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer have an obvious rapport—one that earned them their own show on MTV, which debuts early next year. As part of the New York Comedy Festival, Glaser and Schaefer hosted “Nikki & Sara & Friends” at Liberty Hall—quite possibly the most awkwardly arranged venue in the city’s storied comedy history—with Gary Gulman, Pete Holmes, Dan Soder, Kyle Dunnigan and Bonnie McFarlane.

Glaser and Schaefer opened the show with a 10-minute set, the highlight of which was a discussion of Schaefer’s experience as part of a foursome. “Basically it was just me and another girl watching them have sex,” Schaefer said. Glaser segued into an anecdote about how two guys propositioned her for a threesome, which she found odd because not only were they probably gay, but “Who has a threesome on a Wednesday?”

The duo works well together: they don’t step on each other’s toes, their timing is admirable and they unquestionably elevate each other’s work. Glaser and Schaefer each performed a solo set between comedians, but it would have been nice to see them in action together more. With five comedians in tow, it’s hard to blame them for limiting their joint stage time, but considering how smoothly they work together, it would have only enhanced the show.


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