Friday, November 11, 2011

Andy Kindler at The Boston Comedy Festival Tonight and Tomorrow

Andy Kindler plays the Boston Comedy Festival
I first saw Andy Kindler live almost a decade ago at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, where he gives his annual State of the Industry Address. In a week’s worth of shows featuring the biggest names in comedy, it was Kindler’s Address that no one wanted to miss, that everyone told me was a must-see. It didn’t disappoint. Kindler was and is brutal. He excoriated comedians, actors, television shows in front of an audience that most probably contained a fair amount of the people he was targeting.

I didn’t escape the week without comment, either. I made the mistake of sitting up front with my arms folded at on of Kindler’s alternative comedy showcases. I was trying to keep my elbows to myself, but it looked like I was sitting their stiff and judging. And so it became a standoff, because once someone makes fun of your posture, you can’t change it, or they win. It should be noted, though, I was laughing.

When I spoke to Kindler the next year at Just For Laughs, he didn’t really remember the incident, but he laughed at my retelling. I told him that I hoped he’d find a venue to play in Boston one of these days. I would loved to have told people about him when I had my weekly column at the Globe. Alas, he is finally here, and that column is gone. But I do have this blog, and I would encourage anyone who enjoys the sarcastic arts to head out to the Charles Playhouse Lounge tonight or the Davis Square Theatre tomorrow to see Kindler finally headline in Boston, as part of the Boston Comedy Festival. And sit with your arms to the side.

For those of you who recognize Kindler from Last Comic Standing or Everybody Loves Raymond but haven’t seen his standup, here’s a clip of him on Letterman from earlier this year. His part starts at about 2:05.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Comedy Is King Tonight at Club Oberon

Lamont Price hosts Comedy Is King   

Lamont Price uses the word "emerging" to describe the group of comics he's hosting tonight at Club Oberon as part of his Comedy Is King showcase. It's worth noting that Price, Tony Moschetto, and Dan Crohn are well-known to avid Boston comedy fans. They are currently staples of the scene. But that doesn't mean all of you reading this know them, or could rattle off your favorite of their jokes. But more of you might be soon.

"The term 'emerging' is basically a good way to let the audience know that the comedians they are seeing are at the forefront of breaking huge and this is a great chance to see them now before they get expensive," says Price. "I mean, Tony Moschetto, Dan Crohn and Mikey Walz on one show? Wont be $15 in a few years!" 

Walz is the other comic on the line-up, and he'll be making his East Coast debut. Price speaks highly of him. "He's a hilarious comedian in a very competitive San Francisco comedy scene and he has Boston roots, so this figured to be a no brainer," he says. "Also, we want this to be a show comedians from all country want to perform at."

There are plans for more editions of Comedy Is King. Price says there will be another one in January, and the hope is to do it every month. "You figure it makes for a great show when you have hilarious comedians that all get along," he says. "I want a carefree environment."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Crimmins Occupies Boston

Barry Crimmins is back in town today for a run of shows, including the Roast of Barry Crimmins, part of the Boston Comedy Festival schedule tonight. A bunch of Crimmins' old friends, and a few newer ones, will be on hand at the Charles Playhouse Lounge for that, including Steven Wright, Steve Sweeney, Jimmy Tingle, Tony V, Dan Wasserman, Mike McDonald, Niki and Lainey of The Steamy Bohemians, Randy Credico, Billy Bob Neck, and John Ennis. Before that, though, he'll be out at Occupy Boston at 4PM to address the crowd.

On Saturday, you'll get to see Crimmins at his best, doing a headlining set at the New England Folk Music Archives in Somerville, at the Arts at the Armory Space on Highland Ave. That show is the official kickoff of Crimmins "Occupation: Occupation" tour. It'll be his first full-length show in Boston since last year's shows with Erin Judge and Dennis Perrin at Mottley's. Billy Bob Neck and Tim Mason are also on that bill.

And if you want to see Crimmins one more time before he heads out of town, he's part of a phenomenal bill for the Friend of Mine: Tribute to Bill Morrissey show at the Somerville Theatre on Thursday, November 17. I'm not sure if this is the complete line-up, but so far that show will include Peter Case, Shawn Colvin, David Johansen, Mark Erelli, John Gorka, Peter Keane, Fred Koller, Cormac McCarthy (the musician), PAtty Larkin, and Pete Nelson. The night will be hosted by Cliff Eberhardt and David Dye. Mr. Morrissey died of heart failure in July. It's easy to see his influence, as a musician and as a friend, just by looking at that list.

We're lucky to have Crimmins for so many shows, and that he's still standing to do them after a recent accident precipitated by his dogs, Lettie and Lu, trying to draw and quarter him on a walk near his Upstate New York home. Here's Crimmins' recounting of that story, and a bit more about the shows, from his blog.