Spit Take Saturdays: Paul F. Tompkins

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Fans of urbane podcaster and “Mr. Show” veteran Paul F. Tompkins have likely watched his recent Comedy Central special, “Laboring Under Delusions,” which shares much of its material with this audio-only version.

But “Live in Brooklyn” [ASpecialThing Records] also contains 19 more minutes than even the “uncensored” Comedy Central DVD, and since Tompkins is both a gifted storyteller and jaunty improviser, “Live in Brooklyn” is worth the price of admission—at least if you’re dying to hear such elaborately-titled “riff suites” as “Vaudeville Moths – The Great Chandelier Debate – The Organs of the House Skeleton,” which opens the album.

Recorded at Brooklyn’s Bell House, it’s looser than the TV special, which took its name from Tompkins’s stories about odd jobs and general professional embarrassment. Those stories remain in roughly the same order, but their delayed intro blunts the thematic unity when compared to the special. Tompkins’s improv is charming and witty, as usual, but the edited-down version was more presentable to general audiences for a reason.


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BPT at SXSW: Fair Trade Comedy at Esther’s Follies

Get ready Austin, Brown Paper Tickets is coming to SXSW 2012 and we got some great events planned.

One that we’re especially excited about is a comedy showcase organized by our very own Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh. Julie has long been active in the stand-up comedy scene, first as a journalist and then working in PR, booking and production, and in February she launched The Spit Take, a comedy review site that hopes to serve as an honest, unbiased, taste-making entity that helps comedy criticism be taken seriously. 

The “Fair Trade Comedy” showcase will take place this Wednesday, March 14, at Esther’s Follies. Officially presented by Brown Paper Tickets and the Spit Take, the showcase will feature stand-up from headliners Todd Barry and Brendon Walsh, two comedians that have been taking the comedy scene by storm. You may know Todd Barry from his appearances on Bored To Death, Flight of the Conchords, Lucky Louie and Chapelle’s Show. Brendon Walsh calls Austin his hometown and was the winner of the “Funniest Person in Austin” award in 2004. He’s appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live as well as Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. He’ll also be featured in his own half hour comedy special on Comedy Central this spring. The show will also feature Nick Flanagan, Kristine Levine, DC Pierson and will be hosted by Nick Turner.

Here’s a little preview of what you can expect:

Be sure to stop by our table in the foyer of Esther’s Follies and say hi. This is going to be THE comedy event of SXSW, so don’t miss it. We’ll see you there.

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An Interview with Comedian Ryan Stout

You may recognize Ryan Stout from his time as a go-to host on the MTV network or even more recently as a reoccurring guest on Chelsea Lately. Ryan is one of today’s hardest working stand-up comics and this week he will be headlining at the Grit City Comedy Club in Tacoma, Washington starting this Thursday, September 29 and going until Saturday, October 1. Be sure and pick up your tickets here before they’re gone!

Stout recently took some time out of busy schedule to conduct a short interview with Jon Hamilton for the Brown Paper Blog.

You’ve headlined in Kirkland and Tacoma and you have played Seattle while opening for Bob Saget.  Do you have any fond, bizarre or horrible memories of the Pacific Northwest?

I’ve always loved the Pacific Northwest’s ability to sit and focus on the show. It’s not a skill that people have in every part of the country, but one that my performance requires. So, I’m always thrilled to come back.

As a teenager in Northern New Mexico you trained in the great art of drinking with a German student. Did this training benefit your life on the road?

First of all, teenager is a broad term. I was 18, which is deemed adult-age. Second, I didn’t know that drinking with a German student was an art.

Drinking on the road can be a terrible trap.  You can end up getting black-out drunk six days a week, for free, nine weeks in a row.  These days, I might have a drink or two and call it quits.  But, even that amount, every night, is 14 drinks per week.  Most medical insurance providers would take “14 drinks per week” under consideration when developing a policy.
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