Morning Debriefing 12/15/10

1) It’s the nature of any comedy scene that shows come and go, but it’s a real tragedy to see a show put on by great people shut down.  In the past week, two such shows, Sweet and Sour Comedy and The Akaaba Presents, reached their end of their runs due to the unfortunate circumstance that the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area is overrun with comedy shows as you can see in the “The Greater LA Comedy Landscape” Map.  Abbey Londer (Sweet and Sour Comedy), Jeremy Paul & Joe Braza (The Akaaba Presents) are some of the funniest and best, most decent people I have come to know in LA comedy, but, most venues don’t really care about the intangibles of comedy so much as they care about turning a profit off of a show whether it’s well-produced and truly funny OR abusively-run and hacky.  With a city overpopulated with live comedy shows/venues and the predominant perception of live comedy being loud-mouthed, rude, and completely uncouth that relies more on shock and x-rated content than any sort of comedic artistry, getting the average “real” person to a comedy show in LA is almost a miracle.  To have things change in LA Comedy, and to even suggest this in times like these requires a serious lack of sanity, is to change people’s perceptions of what comedy really is or at least broaden their idea of it to include smart, insightful humor from incredibly hard-working and talented folks that perform night in and night out mostly for free.  Most people aren’t even aware that “we”, (in case you are a real person that hasn’t met me personally, I’m one of “those” comics too) exist and I try to remedy that problem as much as I can through this blog and The Ultimate Free & Cheap LA Comedy List, but really, I’m only one guy with a laptop, a camera, an iPhone, and some decent material.  Perhaps, in the coming year, the Comedy Bureau will grow to a big enough proportion where change can be affected through one fell swoop of me typing so I won’t have to worry about trying to see damn hilarious people like Abbey, Jeremy, and Joe live because their shows ended permanently.  Check back here for progress on that front.

2) This entire week’s COMEDY CRAWL is seemingly jam packed before most shows go into hibernation for the holidays, so make sure you catch all the comedy you can before you stuck with a season of a TV show you didn’t want on DVD.  Start with Merrillwood Live @ Paul G Gleason Theatre 7PM FREE, then Comedy on the Rocks @ Red Rock Bar & Eatery 7:30PM $5, then “If This Doesn’t Work I’m Moving Home” A Variety Hour Christmas Special @ Harlem Place Cafe 8PM FREE, then The Nerdist Presents “Comics You Should Know” @ Meltdown Comics 8:30PM $8, then Fix-Up Show @ ACME Comedy Theatre 8PM $15, then The Long Shot Podcast Season 2 Finale @ The Fake Gallery 8:30PM $5, then Ed Galvez’s Punk House @ Westside Comedy Theatre 9PM $8, then Beer in the Shower @ Whitehorse Cocktail Lounge Inn 9:30PM FREE, and finish with Anna Lee Lawson Comedy Hour @ Next Stage Theatre 11PM $5.

3) OPEN MIC RUN: CAFE ON 2ND 7 S. 2nd St., Alhambra, CA/Sign-up 7PM/Starts 7:30PM/$3 cover/10 min., THE SPOT CAFE 4455 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA/Sign-up (lottery) 7PM/Starts 7:30PM, THE BASEMENT 149 Linden Ave., Long Beach, CA/7PM to 8:30PM, LIBRARY A COFFEE HOUSE 3418 E. Broadway, Long Beach, CA/Sign-up 7:30PM/Starts 8PM, MARTY’S/THE OPEN MIC 7351 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA/5PM to 11PM/$5/multiple sets allowed

4) Paul F Tompkins DVD “You Should Have Told Me” officially dropped yesterday on AST Records and, yes, you should have picked it up yesterday, but, now, you can make up for that by picking it up today.

5) The Comedy Bureau “Tips Its Hat” today to MATT CHAMPAGNE-Matt on his daily blog wrote his idea of what happens when saying “No” when asked for donations-
CASHIER: Would you like to give to St. Jude’s today?
CUSTOMER: No, actually I—
CASHIER: Oh really?  All right.  (Flips a switch, the sound of a fog horn is heard.)  Folks, looks like we got a Grinch in our midst!
(The other employees of the store stop their tasks and stare at the customer.  They rest their arms at their side and slowly point at him while emitting a low, rumbling hum from the pits of their stomachs.)
CUSTOMER: Wait…hold on…
(A large door opens up in the ceiling and a big disgusting giant bat flies out with hair like big black pipe cleaners and eyes that never blink and a mouth looking for something to bite.  The store goes crazy.  The lights go out, people are screaming, flames start to erupt from under the floor, a large Rottweiler is set loose from a cage near-by and starts biting another customer’s leg, a hooded executioner runs through the store swinging his axe at people, shots are fired, someone gets maced, a woman starts screaming: “My baby!  My baby!”,  the floor opens up and people start falling in.)
CASHIER: See what you’ve done! 
CUSTOMER:  I was gonna say: “No, actually, I wanna give to the March of Dimes.”
Matt Champagne is simultaneously witty and insightful and then incredibly animated when he takes the stage, which is why he is a favorite of many rooms in LA.  You can catch him live tomorrow at A Pint of Funny @ O’Brien’s Pub (2941 Main St., Santa Monica, CA) 8PM and you should never miss his daily thoughts in word form on his blog I Remain Champagne.

6) From the “You Should Have Been There” Lagoon: Norm MacDonald’s Final Appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien

7) I already made a plug for donations above, so…. I’ll just do it again here.

8) An elderly woman a few nights ago softly clasped my forearm and said, “I’m looking for a young Steven Wright.”  I did walk away and was shocked by the, at least, 40 years age difference AND the fact she obviously never listened to anything I said because I don’t do one-liners.

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