Tag: Comedy

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Every Laugh Is a Little Miracle


Reflect for a moment about all that is required for a comedian to get a laugh onstage.

It begins offstage with a barely-conscious “blip” passing through the comic’s mind: an inchoate connection between two things not normally thought connected. Recorded then promptly forgotten, the comedian’s subconscious begins to work its special brand of magic determining if there’s any “there” there. (The comedian usually needn’t check back with her subconscious as her subconscious will, when the time is right, check back with her.)


David Deeble Returns! The Fire Inside


With the recent political news, on this week’s Whiskey Politics we take time for a drink, to breathe and exhale while focusing on what’s really important… friends, family, and laughter. We welcome back @DavidDeeble who talks about comedy in the age of Trump, Jimmy Fallon, crazy travel locations, his wife’s naturalization and “tax cut porn” (we do get a little political about the Republican health care plan). David also shares how he reinvented himself after a tragedy that impacted both his career and life; A lesson showing how our fire inside can propel us forward when facing monumental challenges. You have seen David on the Tonight Show, The Late Show with James Cordon, America’s Got Talent, Last Comic Standing, CBS This Morning and also appears regularly at The Comedy & Magic Club, emcees the Magic Castle and is a popular writer at Ricochet.com. Follow David at DavidDeeble.comFacebook and Twitter.

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Technology + Comedy = Machiavelli


In my other haunt, over at The Federalist, I’ve been writing about “Silicon Valley,” the laughingest comedy on TV. I’m talking about Mike Judge, the creator of “Silicon Valley,” and Peter Thiel, the mysterious prophet-billionaire. Well, I’ve got more things to say! I’m moving here from writing on spectacles in the direction of political philosophy–to put some suggestions to that secret teaching I have made into my title.

Everyone knows, the biggest new enterprises are in Silicon Valley. The names of America’s founder-CEOs, princes of our technological future, are household names. But who are these people? Almost nobody knows, although we all vaguely expect that, if there’s any future, that’s where it is going to be made. Views of the future abound at the movies, on TV, and in books, and they are almost always depressive, if not apocalyptic. How about the people by whom the future is supposed to come? Who will give us a good look at them? There’s hardly anything to mention on that subject, let alone something worth mentioning. There’s no Tom Wolfe novel about Silicon Valley.

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Why I Quit College Comedy Shows


“I got married “old school” — to a woman.” It was my first college show and I didn’t want it to be my last. I had heard the war stories from my fellow comedians: preternaturally sensitive college students, indoctrinated by academic and administrative lifers who are liable to faint at the sight of a sombrero. American colleges, it seemed, comprised a continent-wide archipelago of young people with the kind of ideological fealty to authority one associates with North Koreans.

I got lucky, though, in that my college debut was at West Chester University’s Freshmen Orientation Day. Instead of being surrounded by note-taking faculty, these freshmen were seated with their parents and siblings, lending the show a relative air of fun and freedom. Everything, it seemed, has been turned upside down. Gone are the days when you monitored what you laugh at in the presence of your parents: Thanks to the fevered political climate that prevails on American campuses, the presence of parents was actually liberating.


Is Political Talk Radio Dead? w/ Michael Graham


What’s the future of talk radio and how can Conservatives counter-balance biased media while attracting the next generation of voters? The loquacious and hilarious Michael Graham’s background was in stand-up comedy, he coordinated several Republican campaigns including Pat Buchanan’s 1992 Presidential run, and was a talk radio host with millions of listeners in New England on WTKK and Washington DC on WMAL. Graham has appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox & Friends, and the Dr. Phil ShowMichael is now a writer at Washington Examiner and Creative Director at The Weekly Standard where he writes and hosts several podcasts.


Accidentally Conservative


Serenity was written by a flaming hippie. Yet the ultimate conflict is pitch perfect for tyrannical governments trying to remake human nature. Sure, the film is blemished by a preacher who doesn’t care about God, but there’s a nugget of good sense even in that scene.

“You don’t know what it’s like to work in the private sector. They expect results.” This was from a star of Saturday Night Live, for crying out loud! If you don’t recognize the quote, I will forgive you … eventually.


Jumping the Snark


reallyThe internet features lots of snark, but precious little wit. Spend any time on social media, and you’ll find that most confuse the two.

Wit is defined as “the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.” Snark is “to be critical in a rude or sarcastic way.” Of course, sarcasm and rudeness can be funny, but the problem with most snark is its purely negative intent. Don Rickles is obnoxiously rude but everyone knows he doesn’t mean it. And funny sarcasm contains a wink to the recipient that it’s all in good fun. But snark holds the subject in contempt and the goal is harm and virtue-signaling to the cool kids.


Celebrate “Freedom Day” with a Free Speech Documentary!


Can-We-Take-a-JokeI am pleased to announce that the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia will be holding an advance screening of the FIRE-supported documentary Can We Take a Joke? to celebrate “Freedom Day” on April 13! Can We Take a Joke? is a documentary about the threats outrage culture poses to comedy and free speech, and features interviews with famous comedians including Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Lisa Lampanelli, Heather McDonald, Penn Jillette, and more.

If you are from the Philadelphia area (or plan on being in Philadelphia on April 13) and would like to attend the screening, please email Haley Hudler at haley@thefire.org. To learn more about Can We Take a Joke?, visit the film’s Facebook page, follow its Twitter account, and sign up for email updates at its website. You can also check out an exclusive outtake of Penn Jillette’s interview from the film below.