September 14, 2016 |
It's fitting that comedian Bill Engvall is gigging this weekend at a gaming hall. After all, by his own admission, he's playing with house money. "In this business, it's real easy to get caught up in what you're not doing. And you tend to forget about the things you have accomplished," said the 59-year-old Galveston, Texas, native, who will headline Friday at SugarHouse Casino . "I've pretty much done everything I set out to do. I say that not egotistically, but if I quit tomorrow, no one's going to look at me and go, 'Ooh, you almost made it.' " Not that anyone could conceivably think that was the case.
August 25, 2016 |
T HIRTY OR so years later, Jim Schwartz remembers his former Georgetown teammate as being "really serious, someone who worked hard. " That isn't exactly the persona comedian Jim Gaffigan portrays today. Gaffigan, who announced Monday that his TV Land show won't have a third season, by his choice, has made a career of playing a certain type of white-bread, mid-American schlub; there's a line of dad-comedy-style car commercials, and a vaguely creepy portrayal of Colonel Sanders on behalf of KFC. "I saw him just this summer" in Maryland, said Schwartz, who is from Baltimore and has a shore house near there.
July 23, 2016 |
It's hard to beat a political convention for comedy. Even professional comedians have struggled this week to keep up with the Republicans in Cleveland, who gave us Melania Trump feeding Michelle Obama lines to a cheering crowd, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rounding up angry villagers for jury duty and Dr. Ben Carson playing Six Degrees of Satan with Hillary Clinton. Carson, apparently unaware that conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch owns a network that just gave a second season to, yes, Lucifer , proved almost beyond the reach of parody.
June 25, 2016 |
Are you ready for this country? "My goal was to make the best country album of the year and make it completely unplayable. So I achieved my goal," Wheeler Walker Jr. says. "It's a pretty dumb goal. " Speaking from a van headed to New Orleans from Dallas, the singer, who plays the Foundry at the Fillmore Saturday, is discussing his deeply country - and outrageously filthy - debut album, Redneck S - . The album gets no radio play. You can't buy it at Walmart, and you won't see Walker on TV - nearly all the song titles are unprintable here.
May 5, 2016 |
Brian Regan is a road warrior, a stand-up comedian who has built a dedicated fan base by touring rather than starring in a sitcom or movie. He likes performing live so much, his latest stand-up special, Brian Regan: Live From Radio City Music Hall , was shown in real time on Comedy Central last year. Listen to his stand-up, and his appeal is readily apparent. He's funny, self-deprecating, and enormously clever, taking observational humor in different directions. We talked with Regan in advance of his Saturday show at the Merriam Theater.
April 14, 2016 |
Veteran stand-up Dave Attell, 51, claims he is close to retiring. "I'm way too old to keep doing this," he said. "The travel sucks, and I'm out of touch. I just saw a bunch of kids with selfie sticks, and I make fun of them. I don't even know how to use them. I'm pretty ancient. " By stand-up standards, Attell, who will perform Friday at Bethlehem's Musikfest Cafe, is fairly young. Don Rickles, who is approaching 90, is on tour. George Carlin once said comedy was something a comedian could do until he died.
December 2, 2015 |
Dan Soder finally feels like a comic, which is probably a good thing because that's how he has made his living for more than a decade. Soder is a stand-up, the cohost of The Bonfire on SiriusXM's Comedy Central Radio with Philadelphia's own Big Jay Oakerson, and a frequent guest on the Opie with Jim Norton show. In January, he'll go dramatic for Showtime's Billions starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, playing a minion of Lewis' hedge-funder. ("It makes sense why they had a comedian do it - I take a lot of abuse," Soder said.)
October 29, 2015 |
ANYBODY CAN MAKE funny faces, but to do it and get paid for it is an art. It was an art mastered by Joe Talbot, who made audiences laugh with his comic antics at some of the best-known venues in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey for four decades. And after a stroke interrupted his professional career, Joe continued to perform for smaller audiences, at retirement homes and parties. The seniors loved him. He didn't want to quit; getting laughs was the tonic that made Joe's life worth living.
October 6, 2015 |
A PHILLY COMEDIAN who booked gigs for other comics and also sold spicy pickles was stabbed in the neck during a robbery Saturday night in Frankford, a law-enforcement source said. Steven Slutsky, 64, who appears onstage as "Steve the Pickle Man," was listed in good condition last night at Hahnemann University Hospital. The source said that Slutsky was in his car on Aramingo Avenue near Bermuda Street about 10:50 p.m. when two men approached him. One man reached into the vehicle and took the car keys.
August 2, 2015 |
One of Jon Stewart's great assets as a TV interviewer is his ability to play dumb. That may seem counterintuitive for a guy who has gotten to talk to a sitting president on numerous occasions, not to mention various other political figures of note. That doesn't mean he throws softballs or refuses to challenge those he interviews. To the contrary, he has avoided the former and is quite good at the latter. When answers from interviewees became too high-minded, or too combative Stewart cuts in with the perfect quip about how he was lesser than the interviewee.