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Spit Take Saturday: 2012 Comedy Gift Guide


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!


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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Comedy >

Beebo Brinker’s Coming to Seattle!

Starting this Thursday, September 15, Cherry Manhattan Presents is bringing the stage adaptation of Ann Bannon‘s iconic lesbian pulp fiction novels,  The Beebo Brinker Chronicles to the Re-Bar‘s stage for a four-week run. This is the Seattle premier of the Chronicles, but the play enjoyed a sold-out off-Broadway debut in 2008 (with none other than Lily Tomlin co-producing) and won the 2008 GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award.

Who is this Beebo Brinker you ask? Beebo made her debut in Ann Bannon’s 1959 pulp-novel ‘I Am A Woman‘ which finds main character Laura London, having to choose between a bi-curious straight woman and Beebo. Beebo was the embodiment of the “butch” lesbian – tall, handsome, smart, with an impressive physique. Beebo was also a treasured creation of Bannon’s. She said, “I put Beebo together just as I wanted her, in my heart and mind…She was just, quite literally, the butch of my dreams.”

Ann Bannon wrote the Chronicles from 1957 to 1962 as a young American housewife who was coming to terms with her own sexuality.  She was 22 when she wrote her first novel and early lesbian fiction such as ‘The Well of Loneliness‘ by Radclyffe Hall and Vin Packer‘s 1952 novel ‘Spring Fire‘, had a deep impact on her. She said, “Both books obsessed me for the better part of two years” and she found that they struck a chord with her, despite being newly married and soon to be a mother of two children.
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Arts >