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: 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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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!

________________________

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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