This upcoming week is an especially promising one for local comedy. All kinds of great events, one of which doesn't even feature Sean Keane.
If you're in Santa Cruz, check out Sean Keane at the Barn Stand-Up Comedy Hoedown, along with Kevin Munroe, host Grant Lyon, and headliner Arthur Gaus, along with some fine student comics from UCSC. Arthur Gaus is quite funny. enjoy his promo reel here:
The show takes place at 10 PM in the Barn Theater at the base of the Santa Cruz campus. In the words of our host, "It is literally a large barn." Admission is free, and it's reportedly one of the best crowds in the whole Bay Area. Many of my readers outside of the San Jose/Santa Cruz area may not be willing to drive down for such a show, but if you live down there, if you're a UCSC student, or if you feel like making a road trip and watching some comedy with Sean Keane, this may be the Friday night event for you. Otherwise, watch this space for some sweet clips from the show.
If you're in San Francisco, check out Sammy Wegent in his one-man show, "Hell to the Chief". Despite the title, this isn't just a Bush-bashing show (though there's a little bit of that). Instead, Sammy talks about the oddness of the presidential election, and the job of president itself, exploring the idea that we could do a lot better. It's funny and thought-provoking, with excellent slides and Photoshop work throughout (courtesy of opening act Justin Lamb). There are also jokes about William Howard Taft, something that warmed my presidential-trivia-loving heart.
Sammy, who used to be the head writer and director for the political sketch troupe Richter Scale, is a great performer, with a stellar Tim Gunn impression to boot. It's a tight show, but Sammy does allow for some banter with the audience, and remained unruffled even when my companion suggested that the presidential election be settled by means of the Aggro-Crag. He even correctly identified the Aggro-Crag as the climactic event from Nickelodeon's GUTS. This week, Sammy also did an interview with SFStandup.com in which he expounded on America and 50's diners:
"I think that politicians are out of touch with the country because the country is out of touch with reality. The best example of this is the fact that every town in America has a diner set in the 1950's. Sure, that was the 'heyday' of America, but it's starting to fuck with our brains. We’re desensitized to what's actually happening. Now we walk past homeless people and newspapers that tell about genocide in Africa to walk into a diner set in the time period after we won World War II and everybody still liked us. 'Hey Jim, wanna go volunteer down at the AIDS clinic?' 'Nah, let's go eat a patty melt, listen to The Big Bopper, and fantasize about fucking Marilyn Monroe.' Only America would ignore its own problems by building time machines that make you fatter."
(Note: James Dean reference might replace Marilyn Monroe line in actual show.)
The show is at The Purple Onion Friday and Saturday at 8. Tickets are $15. Chester A. Arthur never had a vice president. And the Aggro-Crag has eight actuators, and you must activate all of them before reaching the peak, or you will be disqualified.