Comedy

5:46am

Sat June 8, 2013
Arts & Life

Box Set Showcases Richard Pryor's Difficult, Spontaneous, Hilarious Life

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 3:39 am

In this 1982 performance, comedian Richard Pryor makes fun of his well-known difficulties with cocaine.
The Kobal Collection

Richard Pryor occupies his own special category in comedy. He played Las Vegas and made popular movies, and performed routines that were almost short stories — searing, profane and moving.

Pryor grew up in his grandmother's brothel in Peoria, Ill.; she beat him, too. He was expelled from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, but spent much of his military stint in prison. And with a special fever of genius — torched by drugs, fueled by grief and enlivened by exhilaration — he created unforgettable depictions of what it's like to feel left out of American life.

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3:28pm

Mon May 20, 2013
Performing Arts

At L.A.'s UnCabaret, 25 Years Of Letting It All Hang Out

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 7:07 pm

Beth Lapides (with music director-producer Mitch Kaplan) is the founder and ringmaster at UnCabaret, a Los Angeles comedy institution that's marking its 25th anniversary this year.
UnCabaret

A lot of the stand-up comedy that gets done in Los Angeles is really just comics auditioning for parts in TV or movies.

Not at UnCabaret: For 25 years, it's been a place to hear unvarnished, rough-edged ideas being tried out — mostly for the first and possibly only time.

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5:20am

Wed April 24, 2013
World

Egypt's Jon Stewart Says He Won't Back Down Amid Charges

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:19 pm

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef waves to his supporters as he enters Egypt's state prosecutor general's office in Cairo on March 31 to face charges of allegedly insulting Islam and the country's leader.
Amr Nabil AP

It's 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and Bassem Youssef's show is on TV screens at cafes throughout downtown Cairo.

It's the Egyptian political satirist's first show since he was summoned to the prosecutor general's office to answer questions about the jokes he makes on TV. After the interrogation, he was released on about $2,200 bail.

On this night, the show opens with a joke about Youssef himself.

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11:28am

Fri April 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Funny Man Jonathan Winters Dies

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Jonathan Winters on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1969.
CBS /Landov

Jonathan Winters, known to one generation for his 1960s comedy albums, frequent Tonight Show with Johnny Carson appearances and comic movie characters, and to another generation as Robin Williams' baby on Mork & Mindy, has died. The news is coming from The Associated Press, TMZ, the NPR Arts Desk and other news outlets.

Winters was 87. TMZ says he died Thursday night "of natural causes in Montecito, Calif. ... surrounded by friends and family.

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6:55am

Sat April 6, 2013
Books

'It's Pat' Creator Muses On Motherhood And Family Life

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Julia Sweeney is a comedienne, writer and performer. She lives outside of Chicago.
Lauren Topel Simon & Schuster

Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.

So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.

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