Comedian and actor Todd Barry will be in Dallas April 25 at the Sons of Hermann Hall to promote his Louis C.K.-produced "Todd Barry: The Crowd Work Tour." It won't be the typical guy-stands-before-crowd-and-tells-jokes show. Instead, it's complete improv and his main source of material is you, the audience.
Chances are if you haven't heard back from Conan O'Brien's people about tickets to one of his live tapings at The Majestic Theater next week, then you aren't getting one. So stop crying and using an eyedropper full of food coloring to make sure you cry orange tears to fully express your pain. Stop praying to the altar of St. Richter and sacrificing things in his holy name, mostly because we're sure he doesn't want to be considered an accessory to some kind of animal cruelty felony. Stop believing that a miracle will come and bless you with a free ticket just because that stupid book The Secret told you it would happen if you believe or clap hard enough or something. Just get over it and move on already.
You may have even tried to subdue your sorrow by purchasing a ticket to the Dallas Comedy House's special writers show on Tuesday, April 1 only to be stung with the bad news that every seat in the house is gone, causing you to fall further into an emotional, orange hued death spiral. The good news is there are plenty of other shows featuring the writers of Conan going on during the week he's in town, so you don't have to spend your evenings crying into a giant orange pillow.More »
If you haven't heard the news by now because you've been out of town, in a coma or some kind of bizarre parallel dimension that doesn't have a good Wifi connection, Conan O'Brien is bringing his Conan show to town to tape a week's worth of episodes at The Majestic Theater starting March 31. That means he's also bringing a bunch of celebrity guests like Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler, his Basic Cable Band and hopefully even some of his famous imaginary friends like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (seriously, if Triumph doesn't come to Dallas, the DPD might want to think about putting their SWAT teams on riot duty).
That means he'll also be bringing his staff of writers to DFW to help knock out four hour-long shows for TBS. The Dallas Comedy House announced earlier today on their blog that six of Conan's regular writers will perform a live comedy show on their Deep Ellum stage at 8:30 pm. Tuesday, April 1.More »
The Dallas comedy scene has grown up so much so fast that among our evolving flock of chuckle monkeys, we now have "young comedians," which in show business terms is somewhere in between the "neurula" and "tadpole" stages of comedy stardom.
Courtesy of Stand Up! Records
Late night talk show host Conan O'Brien is already in town running around and doing God-knows-what to our beloved city probably while wearing a ridiculous, oversized cowboy hat. That's not a crack about his giant head. That's just what we assume they hand out to out-of-towners as soon as they get off the plane because no one we know here wears those things.
Some of O'Brien's best TV moments didn't involve vomiting puppets or torturing his producer Jordan Schlansky as a weird form of "pre-justice" because he clearly exhibits the creepy demeanor of a serial killer. Conan always works best when his show sets him loose in some unfamiliar setting like the world's most famous toy store, FAQ Schwarz, the American Girl doll store or an 1864 style baseball league. We're sure he's already started filming some remotes for his block of Dallas shows (some nice people in Cleburne tipped us off that he's doing some kind of "Deputy for a Day" piece with the local sheriff's office) but we thought one of these places deserved at least a quick visit.More »
Via Whataburger's Facebook Page The late night beast walks among us.
We're trying not to go all TMZ here with updates about celebrities doing things that us normals do everyday like stopping for a burger, buying toilet paper in bulk and berating an intern for bringing us the wrong kind of coffee by giving them third-degree burns with it so they'll learn an important lesson. However, this is Conan O'Frickin' Brien, the man who blew up our blog a few weeks back with the small announcement that he would tape a week of shows at the end of the month at The Majestic for his late night show on TBS.
So forgive our gleeful, almost schoolgirl-like excitement upon learning the news that we're now officially sharing a state with the man, his sidekick Andy Richter and (most exciting of all) Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.More »
The last thing a writer feels like doing on a day when it seems that everything is just out of his reach is bask in the glory of another writer who actually made it. Sometimes the days can consist of getting your ego beaten as if it owed someone money. Standing in the holy light of someone who made it makes the jealousy gland puff up like a spiny blowfish.
My day was one that felt like the last link in a long chain of serious ego beatings. A magazine editor rejected a whole batch of story pitches. Another was making my day even more frustrating.
The only project that did get an OK from my gaggle of editors was a review of writer and actor BJ Novak's live book reading and talk at the Dallas Museum of Art about his new collection of short stories called One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories.
The people in charge of the fifth annual Dallas Comedy Festival are doing things a bit differently this year. "We really wanted to be diverse with our headliners this year," says festival Co-Executive Producer, Sarah Adams. "Booking Rory (Scovel) to open the festival is a new concept for us. We typically have headliners and bigger names at the end of the festival, but we decided to spread the wealth of comedy gold throughout the week. It's going to be insane."
Dallas Comedy Festival
Which is exactly what five days of comedy should be. Local favorites and comedians from around the U.S., including stand up acts and improv groups, will take over the Dallas Comedy House (2645 Commerce Street in Dallas) in the heart of Deep Ellum. With a full bar and sweet location, DCH is the perfect spot for five nights of comedy debauchery. Comedians from all over the nation submit to the festival each year, but only a few are chosen by the selection committee. The schedule is jam packed and pretty killer.
Tuesday, March 18
Headliner RORY SCOVEL
Wednesday, March 19
7 p.m. Stand up: Christian Hughes, Saffy Herndon, Jason Salmon, Clifton Hall, Jeffrey Jay, Aaron Aryanpur
9:30 p.m. Stand up: Andrew Hamer, Tom Devenport, Grant Redmond, Nick Sahoyah, Chris Darden, Rob Christensen, Paul Varghese
Thursday, March 20
7 p.m. Stand up: Kevin Hall, Dan Pearlman, Mac Blake, Brian Moody, Chris Tellez, Dave Little
9 p.m. Improv: Dairy Based, Photobomb, Opposites
10:30 p.m. Improv: Radio! Radio!, Work Spouse, Zoom!
Friday, March 21
7 p.m. Improv: Heel Turn, Manick, Stag Comedy
9 p.m. Improv: Clearance Shelf, Pavlov's Dogs
10:30 p.m. Improv: The Jeff Show
Saturday, March 22
5:30 p.m. Improv: Samurai Drunk, Night Rhymers, F.A.C.E.
7 p.m. Improv: Executive Branch, David & Terry, Choke On It
9 p.m. Improv: Local Honey, APB, Virginia Slims
10:30 p.m. Improv: Roadside Couch, Headliners MESSING WITH DUFFY
Fancy yourself (potentially) funny? Several comedy workshops are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Check out the full list here and make sure to buy a ticket soon -- they're on track to sell out soon.
Tickets to each event are available online in advance or at the door, with the online (advance) tickets being a bit cheaper. Or you can go balls to the wall and get an all-access pass, which includes VIP seating and a cool swag bag.
Stand-up and improvisational comedians seem like they should be mortal enemies -- two opposing camps with incompatible views on how to make audiences laugh. They're the Hatfields and McCoys of funny, with punch-line flingers on one side and scene-building tacticians on the other battling for your admiration and attention, both ready to launch waves of dick joke missiles and character assassination at each other until one comic is left standing.
Jennifer Brandon This is either an improv class or a really bad crowd at a stand-up comedy show.
In fact, it's not quite dramatic. The feud isn't bloody -- at least not until society breaks down a la The Warriors and improvisors and stand-ups degenerate into roving gangs of chuckle boppers. Stand-up Clint Werth likens the rivalry to the one between clowns and mimes in the Bobcat Goldthwait movie Shakes the Clown.
"It's mostly on the stand-ups' part where we kind of roll our eyes, whereas the improvisers are fairly nice," Werth says. "We're just kind of dicks, is how it works out."
Stand-ups pride themselves on facing the fear that only a harsh, judgmental and sometimes drunk audience can generate, though improv troupes face an even more frightening prospect: standing before the same crowds and turning some control of their material over to the audience and fellow cast members.
"You might have to pretend to be a baby onstage once in a while," comedian Grant Redmond says. "Stand-ups are sort of into their own characters."More »