Spit Take Saturday: Shane Mauss

shane-mauss-mating-season_32817Welcome 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 are comedy festivals, and there is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Just ask Shane Mauss, whose self-spoken intro welcomed his small but amiable audience to “the finest comedy room in a car park in all of the Fringe! He’s been on Conan a bunch of times, Jimmy Kimmel and lots of other American shows you’ve never heard of and don’t care about…”


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Spit Take Saturday: Tom Shillue

51tRQr3VaRL._SL500_AA280_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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Throughout The Spit Take’s coverage of Tom Shillue’s 12 in 12 project, we’ve used the word “experiment” a few times to describe the venture. That word choice is no accident; Shillue’s endeavor to release 12 albums in 12 months is utterly experimental, as even for someone with the utmost confidence in his or her comic ability, it’d be fairly difficult to guarantee success at the outset of such a project. Yet despite perceived high and low marks in the series, Shillue’s experiment must be deemed a success. We are at the three-quarters mark, and with each album that passes it becomes clearer and clearer that Shillue’s melding of sustained quality and prolificness is, frankly, unheard of.


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Spit Take Saturday: Just for Laughs Montreal

colin-quinn-artist-pic-330x251Welcome 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 the top of his 1 p.m. Just for Laughs Keynote Address entitled Losers…I mean Loners in Unity, Colin Quinn marvelled, “Do you know how old you have to be to be the serious person at the comedy convention?”  As always, his gruff, stuttering, defiantly lovable persona was by turns self-effacing and unapologetically aggressive. A typical comedy career is not one that reaches a series of levels, he noted, pointing to his own varying successes with Remote Patrol, Tough Crowd and now one-man show Unconstitutional. There will always be ups and downs. And in order to avoid some of those downs, his advice included the following:

Bookers – Stop trying to edit comics’ sets.

Networks – Stop following “established” plans that do nothing but fail (and don’t test market to 14-year-olds).

Club owners – Stop hiring crowd-pleasing hacks. Respect the joke-writing process. Deal with hecklers.

Open micers – It takes five years to get any good. People doing it five years? It takes ten.

Established talent – Don’t be an a**hole. Say something. And above all, just be funny.


Later at Cinquième Salle, host Aidy Bryant brought out the nine New Faces: Characters performers to showcase three game-show style “chunks,” offering a rapid-fire sampler of sketch-style mayhem. Standouts included the versatile, sharp Samantha Martin (whose bit on Bjork ordering a pizza was the evening’s crowd favorite), the avuncular and rubber-voiced Mark Raterman, and the high-energy physical comedy of John Milhiser. The 50/50 split of genders and SNL-bait audition format was a refreshingly theatrical change from the litany of straight, mostly-dude stand-up sets offered elsewhere.


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Spit Take Saturday: Andy Kaufman

Andy_Kaufman_-_Andy_and_His_Grandmother-330x330Welcome 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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If Andy Kaufman were still alive, and some believe he still may be (Tony Clifton notwithstanding), one can only wonder what he’d make of Andy and His Grandmother. Chicago indie label Drag City is billing it as the first-ever release of an Andy Kaufman record, so on the scale of posthumous releases it easily rates a 10 for rarity (note: all Tupac albums are 1s or 2s).

In true Kaufman style, it’s not a comedy album in either the stand-up sense or the audio-sketch sense. But given his renown for a certain type of conceptual prank that has come to bear the unfortunate moniker of “anti-comedy,” it’s fair to ask if Kaufman would have wanted anything to do with this relatively straightforward, 17-track sampler, since it was culled from a staggering 82 hours of micro-cassette material that Kaufman recorded between 1977 and 1979 (during his Saturday Night Live fame but pre-Taxi and wrestling with ladies).
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Spit Take Saturday: Aisha Tyler

9780062223777_p0_v4_s260x420Welcome 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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“I am not a psychologist,” Aisha Tyler writes, “but I do know some sh*t about people.” In her new book, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation, Tyler uses her own experiences to discuss the human experience at large, writing in great detail about some of the most traumatic events of her life. The caveat, though, is that the 30-something events Tyler discusses are all of her own doing. These self-inflicted wounds, Tyler relates, made her the person she is today—someone who embraces her own failures and shortcomings in order to learn from them. They hurt in the moment, Tyler acknowledges. In fact, they burn “like a mouthful of napalm on an empty stomach.” But they also “forge character. They burnish your edges and make you the person you are.” And for that, it’s imperative they are examined.

What’s always interesting about comedians writing books is that the dynamic between them and their audience shifts greatly: it becomes more direct, less inferential. The stories, themes and ideas comedians previously discussed onstage are now indelibly preserved in black and white, often translating what was a therapeutic art form for themselves into what amounts to a self-help book aimed squarely at the reader.

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Spit Take Saturday: Rick Moranis

09_rick-moranis-my-mothers-brisket-330x330Welcome 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!

Rick Moranis hasn’t been in the limelight much since he retired from acting with 1997’s Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. And though he was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for country music parody album The Agoraphobic Cowboy, few likely associate Moranis with musical comedy, The Great White North and Little Shop of Horrors aside. So My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs, Moranis’s nod to Allan Sherman’s Yiddish-flavored parodies, will come as a surprise to those thinking they’d next see him in a long-rumored Ghostbusters sequel.

Sherman’s influence is heavy; a quick listen to his “The Ballad of Harry Lewis” and “Harvey and Sheila” reveals the blueprint Moranis used to construct these songs. The music is orchestral, the humor broad, many of the melodies are borrowed from jazzy klezmer music, and the references to Jewish culture come fast and furious. Play this album without telling listeners who it is, and they might think it came from Sherman’s vaults.

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Spit Take Saturday: Richard Pryor

RichardPryorOTL_10_8col-330x220Welcome 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!

In trying to pinpoint what made Richard Pryor so compelling, writers and documentarians often steamroll over the man’s visceral gifts. At a gut level, Pryor’s ideas, word choice, delivery and body language were (and many would argue, remain) unmatched in stand-up comedy, not just revolutionary in their power but untouchable in their effortlessness and honesty. As a result, we often get eggheaded treatises on race relations, the poisoned chalice of fame or whatever trend in comedy Pryor’s legacy is currently hitched to.



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Spit Take Saturday: Allan Sherman

sherman-312x470Welcome 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!

Most casual comedy fans know Allan Sherman as the guy who wrote the summer camp parody song “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.” Or at least they’ve heard it somewhere, in a commercial or on the radio, even if they couldn’t identify Sherman by name. In Overweight Sensation, Mark Cohen argues for a much more robust legacy, one that puts Sherman at the forefront of opening up American society to ethnic humor.



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Spit Take Saturday: Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival

moontower-330x439Welcome 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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Any serious comedy fan who’s ever white-knuckled South by Southwest will both note and appreciate Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival‘s comparative laser focus. Instead of an entire downtown clogged with spring breakers throwing elbows between literally hundreds of stages, the second annual Austin event features a dozen venues, with ten located no more than seven blocks apart. Instead of sponsorship capital from Monster Energy, Pepsi and Doritos brand-imaging a war over attendees’ very souls, do-gooder local outfits like Fun Fun Fun Fest and Comedy 102.7 radio hang unobtrusive thought-balloon signs to the side of small stages. (Both SXSW and Moontower happily agree to share IFC for now.) Most essential, instead of all-out debauchery, Moontower is about talent discovery.



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Spit Take Saturday: Tom Shillue

shillue-halfwayWelcome 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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The title “Halfway There refers to both this album’s place in Tom Shillue’s yearlong slate of monthly releases and his status as a popular kid in school. This is album number six, which means Shillue has released something approaching three-and-a-half hours of new material so far. And he’s only halfway through. Impressive in quantity at the very least. And in quality. And consistency.



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