October 9, 1990 |
In his opening monologue of the movie "Annie Hall," Woody Allen sets the tone of the film with a joke "usually attributed to Groucho Marx . . . 'I would never want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.' That's the key joke of my adult life in terms of my relationships." Comedian Richard Lewis identified with Groucho's classic "club joke" growing up, in neurotic admiration.
November 20, 1988 |
Sam Kinison would have been a perfect infernal emanation of Dante's most desperate paranoid fantasy, a bellowing sergeant at arms monitoring one of Hell's main gates. After a Kinison concert, silence and the cool night air seem like a benediction. All that heat, that rage, that vengeful filth roaring out of his stumpy torso that resembles a virulent troll whose treasure has been lifted from his cave. But Kinison doesn't belong in any allegory for the ages.
October 22, 1989 |
"What's the delay?" Jay Leno asked his driver speculatively, peering out the back window of the car at the lines of people walking along either side, faster than the car itself. "Does this happen a lot?" The black limousine inched in heavy traffic along the narrow two-lane road leading to the North Tonawanda Melody Fair, where Leno was to appear for a one-night concert, one of 270 hit-and-run performances he plays all over the country each year.
September 9, 2010 |
He's foulmouthed. He's subversive. He has no respect for authority. In a country where an insurgent spirit can land you behind bars, it made Guo Degang rich instead. The stout, moon-faced performer is widely credited with reviving the popularity of cross talk, an ancient Chinese performance art that combines stand-up comedy with puns and poetry. A beloved hero of the working poor, Guo has twanged for years from taxicab speakers all over China. But this summer, after poking snide fun at officialdom for much of his career, Guo has been abruptly silenced.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2002
Harvey Elkin, 70, manager for comedians in New York and later Los Angeles, died Tuesday in St. Joseph's Hospital of pneumonia. Elkin had represented several young comedians when they were just starting their careers, and particularly encouraged minority stand-up artists. Among his clients were Damon Wayans, George Lopez and Paul Rodriguez. Elkin also formed a production partnership with his friend, actor Barry Newman, of such films as "Pretty Boy Floyd" and the television series "Petrocelli."
January 12, 2012
MOVIES For the inaugural Wayne Federman International Film Festival, the eponymous actor and funnyman has enlisted fellow comedians to select, introduce and discuss movies that have inspired them. Participants and their picks include Margaret Cho, "Darling"; Paul F. Tompkins, "Topsy-Turvy"; and Kevin Pollak, "The In-Laws. " The Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 7:30 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Thu. 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Fri. 7:30 p.m. and 10: 30 p.m. Sat. $10-$12 per screening. (323)
October 14, 1990 |
Jack Rollins and Charles Joffe have been close friends and business associates for 38 years. For much of that time they had been part of a comedy management team (with Buddy Morra, Larry Brezner and David Steinberg) that handled, as the saying goes, some of the biggest names in the business. Then the firm broke up. Like the consigliore in "The Godfather," Rollins and Joffe each became content serving a single client.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1994 |
Knock, knock. Who's there? Two-dozen black and Latino comics. Two-dozen black and Latino comics who? Precisely. Chanting "No justice, no jokes!" a cadre of minority comedians gathered outside NBC Studios Friday night, decrying what they called their lack of exposure on "The Tonight Show"--and on television in general. "There are more dinosaurs and extraterrestrials on television than Latinos," said writer and stand-up comic Rick Najera.
November 16, 1987 |
Backstage notes on HBO's Comic Relief: It seemed a bit suspicious the way Billy Crystal and Robin Williams were suggestively diddling around with Whoopi Goldberg on the TV screen Saturday night. But in a short time the indiscretions were explained away: Goldberg wasn't really on the Universal Amphitheatre stage with them. Her image was being beamed in from New York.
April 20, 1993 |
We had Ronnie. We had Dan Quayle. We had George Bush throwing up in Japan. You couldn't ask for anything better. Quayle did something for comics every week. The country went to hell, but it was funny. Stand-up comic John Henton, reminiscing about the good old days As the first 100 days of the Clinton Administration come to a close, comics who wring laughs from the foibles of the Beltway are finally letting go of the last 12 years and sounding eager to tackle the new material at hand.