February 2, 2015
The wind is howling, but inside this coffeehouse on Christian Street, it's cozy, all the windows opaque with steam. One by one, the patrons - millennials who have staked out their tables with laptops - approach Abbi Jacobson to gush about how much they love her show, Broad City . "It's usually not like this," says the Main Line native, flustered by the processional. "Most places, I'm not recognized at all. " She'd better get used to the attention. Her anarchic Comedy Central series with Ilana Glazer is rapidly transitioning from cult favorite to prime-time sensation.
January 30, 2015 |
PARK CITY, Utah - Growing up in Huntingdon Valley in the 1980s, Benson Lee loved the teen comedies of that spirited time, especially John Hughes classics like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles . The music, the style, the "youthful attitude" - those films were, he says, "such a great escape for me. " There was just one problem. Lee, a second-generation Korean American, "hated the depiction of Asian characters," like Sixteen Candles' Long Duk Dong, a buffoonish exchange student whose appearances were introduced with ringing gongs.
October 29, 2014 |
"DEAR White People" is a movie that grew out of a popular Twitter feed, though it's anything but shallow. It's a canny, complex and funny campus comedy movie that views race through the eyes of the millennial generation (its black characters seem equally tired of D.W. Griffith and Tyler Perry) - writer-director Justin Simien based the movie on his experiences as a black man attending a mostly white college. The movie is not part of some mythical post-racial America, by any means, but it's happy to embrace the complexities of racial identity.
October 11, 2014 |
The romantic comedy is turned on its head in Obvious Child , a hilarious and controversial comedy about true love, one-night stands, and abortion. A cross between a Woody Allen farce and a particularly filthy one-woman show by Sarah Silverman, the film features an incredible turn by Saturday Night Live alumna Jenny Slate. She stars as Donna, a stand-up comic approaching 30 who discovers her boyfriend and her galpal have been having an affair for months. Feeling ugly and unlovable, Donna gets carried away one night and has a drunken one-night stand with Max, a sweet graduate student ( The Office 's Jake Lacy)
October 10, 2014
TO A LARGE degree, the story of modern-day comedy has been written primarily in a handful of towns. New York and Los Angeles, obviously, are among them, but two others are just as important: Chicago and Toronto. Both are permanent residences of Second City, the groundbreaking improvisational-comedy troupe that has been the training ground for a mind-boggling number of comedy megastars from Joan Rivers and Robert Klein to John Belushi and Gilda Radner , from Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara to Tina Fey and three current "Saturday Night Live" cast members.
October 3, 2014 |
TWO JEWS go on a website . . . That's not a setup for a joke, it's the backstory for "Old Jews Telling Jokes," which on Wednesday tummels its way into the Penn's Landing Playhouse for a seven-week run. "Old Jews" is the off-Broadway smash inspired by the similarly titled, six-year-old website that, as its name (oldjewstellingjokes.com) suggests, is all about humor, much of it with a Yiddishkeit slant. One of the funniest things about the revue is that it was co-created by a man famous for his knowledge and delineation of serious and important topics.
October 3, 2014 |
WITH ALL the bad news coming from Atlantic City, there isn't much to laugh at down there these days, right? But the truth is, AC is a pretty hilarious place. In fact, Atlantic City could call itself the funniest burg on the East Coast. Not that this is anything new. After all, AC is where an aspiring comic-juggler named W.C. Fields honed his craft at the turn of the 20th century. It's where acts like Bud Abbott (an AyCee native) and Lou Costello , and the Three Stooges were regular headliners in their heyday.
September 10, 2014 |
In Communicating Doors , Alan Ayckbourn has written an almost director-proof play. At least I would have argued that before seeing the Liam Castellan-helmed production currently at the Hedgerow Theatre. We'll start with the brilliantly constructed plot, a Hitchcock-influenced comic thriller with a time-travel twist. In 2034, dominatrix Poopay (Kyra Baker) goes on call to the luxury hotel room of the wealthy Reese (Shaun Yates). Instead of sex, he wants her to witness his confession to a lifetime of business-related crimes and killings.
September 6, 2014 |
Joan Rivers, the transgressive comedian, author, Fashion Police commissioner, filmmaker and QVC pitchwoman, died Thursday. On Aug. 26, the seemingly unstoppable octogenarian was dishing on E!'s Fashion Police about the clothes worn on the red carpet at the Video Music Awards and the Emmy Awards. The next night, she performed her comedy act at a Times Square theater. On Aug. 28, she stopped breathing during outpatient surgery on her vocal cords. Doctors induced a medical coma and put her on life support.