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Humor

NEWS
December 9, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Phillips Simkin, 69, a Philadelphia artist who created installations using his humor and off-the-wall artistic vision, died Tuesday, Nov. 26, of congestive heart failure at his home. In his artist's statement, Mr. Simkin wrote that he regarded his art activities as pseudo-enterprises "often laced with a dose of sardonic wit and humor, parody and puns. " He hewed to that vision. He was most renowned for casting and copyrighting the crack in the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park, which he did after receiving permission from the National Park Service.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2013 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
Back in 2011, the country-noir electronic music artist known as Daughn Gibson, who headlines Johnny Brenda's on Friday in support of his album, Me Moan , was playing drums in the heavy rock band Pearls & Brass and finishing up work on a history degree at Temple University. "I was living in South Philly and was messing around, using a computer to make songs and sounds," says the 33-year-old Nazareth, Pa., native, talking on the phone as he drives between tour stops in Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.
NEWS
May 24, 2013
THERE ARE MANY kinds of desperation, as many as the stars above and the souls beneath them. The death of a child, the disintegration of a marriage, homes lost to floodwaters and whirlwinds, all of these things can drive you to - and beyond - the point of suicide. And yet, there are sources of strength as varied as the sorrow. For one man, that source was found in unwritten words, tapped out on prison walls and shared with his captured brothers in Vietnam. Major Gen. John Borling, a 6 1/2-year "guest" at the infamous Hanoi Hilton is, like Joyce Kilmer and Wilfred Own, a soldier-poet.
SPORTS
March 29, 2013 | BY BOB COONEY, Daily News Staff Writer cooneyb@phillynews.com
LOS ANGELES - The day starts out light for the La Salle Explorers as coach John Giannini knows the value of rest, especially at this time of the season. The team isn't required to be anywhere until a 10 a.m. breakfast in the basement of their hotel. While a lot of food does get consumed, the session primarily consists of laughter. Tyrone Garland, owner of the now-famous Southwest Philly Floater, cracks everyone up with some witty - and secretive - one-liners. His main audience is Ramon Galloway, who stands up to laugh loudly after a Garland quip.
NEWS
March 22, 2013 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
To succeed, every story needs to find its readers. Unfortunately, "the biggest problem with being a writer is that all your readers are human beings. " If that sort of barb-laced quip appeals, keep reading. Theresa Rebeck's smart, sharp Seminar , presented by Philadelphia Theatre Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, shows four aspiring novelists enrolled in the private weekly workshops of rock-star literary editor Leonard (Rufus Collins). During these sessions, Leonard tears through their manuscripts with overt insults, undisguised flirting, and vague compliments.
NEWS
March 12, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
YOU HAD TO STEP pretty quickly to keep up with Charlene Rubin Menkin. She set a brisk pace despite having limited use of her limbs from a childhood bout with polio. But whether being helped along with a cane or, later, with a motorized scooter, Charlene wasn't about to restrict herself in any way. She taught high school, traveled extensively and was the life of any party. "When she would come into any room, people just flocked to her," said her daughter-in-law, Darlynne Menkin.
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
YOU HAD TO STEP pretty quickly to keep up with Charlene Rubin Menkin. She set a brisk pace despite having limited use of her limbs from a childhood bout with polio. But whether being helped along with a cane or, later, with a motorized scooter, Charlene wasn't about to restrict herself in any way. She taught high school, traveled extensively and was the life of any party. "When she would come into any room, people just flocked to her," said her daughter-in-law, Darlynne Menkin.
NEWS
February 11, 2013 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Hedgerow Theatre serves up the world premiere of Larry McKenna's Strictly Platonic , a cute, chocolate-covered cherry of a romantic comedy. McKenna's 11-scene, 90-minute script wastes no time setting up its well-worn premise: It poses the life-altering question, "Do you ever look for meaningful relationships?" The recipient of that question invariably is a self-centered, shallow playboy, in this case, real estate agent Tim (Brendan Cataldo). We meet him in the first scene as he rides home on the train from a night of bar hopping - and phone-number scoring - with his best friend, Josh (Jamie Goldman)
NEWS
December 28, 2012 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Hypocrites never mind a mirror that flatters. This alone explains the theme, if not the success, of Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse's musical Jekyll & Hyde . Bricusse's book turns Robert Louis Stevenson's Jekyll (Constantine Maroulis) into a do-gooder doctor seeking to cure his criminally insane father and liberate humanity from its evil nature. Hypocritical authority figures (priest, dowager, general, politician, judge) stand in Jekyll's way, each protecting his or her vices by impeding the doctor's work.
NEWS
December 10, 2012 | By Kathleen Tinney, Inquirer Staff Writer
"Money doesn't make you happy. "But it sure buys you a better class of misery. " That joke, and thousands more, came from the mouths of top-drawer comics. But they were hatched in the overactive, irrepressibly silly, charmingly warped, and unfailingly funny mind of Sol Weinstein. A once-destitute Jersey boy who honed his gift for gags while banging out obituaries at the Trentonian, he rode a wave of laughs all the way to Hollywood. From the late 1950s into the '80s, he spun shtick for such legendary comedians as Joe E. Lewis and Bob Hope; wrote for The Love Boat , The Jeffersons , Three's Company , and Maude ; composed a signature song for Bobby Darin; and fathered James Bonds' Yiddish alter ego, Israel Bond, filling four popular books with the exploits of Agent Oy-Oy-7.
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