January 2008 Archives

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.

As usual, Cementhorizon is ahead of the journalism curve, but it's good to see that the Chronicle has caught up. Nearly four months after my hard-hitting exposé of the great deals and amazing selection of items at Treehouse Green Gifts, the Chronicle has finally recognized the newsworthiness and shopworthiness of this fine store.

Check out this glowing review of both the Treehouse and its lovely and talented proprieter, Ms. Maureen O'Neil, complete with a photo gallery of alluring Treehouse items. Congratulations to Ms. O'Neil, but more importantly, congratulations to the Chronicle for displaying some good old-fashioned journalistic moxie.


Video games are wonderful, but despite their advanced graphics and realistic simulations, they are often no substitute for real-life adventures. At my apartment, we've informally created our own live-action versions of popular video games. Here's the first in what promises to be a slew of new releases.


Setting: The kitchen sink

Object: To stack dishes inside the kitchen sink so they rise well above the level of the counter, using as few dishes as possible. Use unrinsed plates, spatulas, and large pots half-full of water and uneaten food to create an inpenetrable barricade against the addition of more dishes, or any use of the faucet whatsoever.

You win when: One of your roommates breaks down and loads the dishwasher for you.

Bonus game: After completing a round, leave the apartment for 4-5 days. Turn off your cell phone.

Analogue to real Tetris: Take the skinny line block, and place it right in the middle. Take the next skinny line block and place it perpendicular to the first. Then, keep your Nintendo running, and leave the apartment for 4-5 days.


Coming soon!

Yoshi's Kitchen Island
Mega Man's Mega-Stack of Junk Mail
Veggie Burger Time

sean keane @ iron comic, 2-nite!



Due to Randall Park's illness, I will be making my Punchline debut battling in the joke arena at Iron Comic. Wild 'n Out fans' loss is Sean Keane enthusiasts' gain! Will my routine reign supreme? Come by at 8:00 and see!

SF Sketchfest Presents...
Nato Green's Iron Comic®
Tuesday, January 22, 2007 at 8pm (doors at 7)
The Punchline Comedy Club at 444 Battery St. at Clay, SF, CA
$10 w/2 drink minimum
age 18+
Whose routine reigns supreme?

Iron Comic® is a live gameshow where 5 comedians rush to write a routine in 10 minutes from topics suggested by the audience. At the end of the night, an Iron Comic® will be chosen. Inspired by Iron Chef, each comic is forced to craft jokes while the clock is ticking.

Hosted by Nato Green, creator of Iron Comic & Laughing Liberally Local 415.

Battling in Joke Arena will include:
• Reggie Steele's charismatic comedy is featured at every club in the Bay.
• Joe Klocek is the host of Get It?! and has appeared on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham.
• Debi Durst of legendary comedy duo Deb & Mike, SF Comedy Day, the Big Fat Year-End Kiss Off, and providing voices for "Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas."
Randall Park has appeared on Reno 911 and MTV's Wild N Out
• Nico Santos is a regular at clubs, theaters, conventions, and bars everywhere.

even unsexier descriptions of sex


I thought I came up with some good unsexy descriptions of sex, but it's nothing compared to pillow talk about black-footed ferrets. From Shadow Bear:

Shadow Bear: What I have observed of them, myself, is that these tiny animals breed in early spring when the males roam the night in search of females...Mothers typically give birth to three kits in early summer and raise their young alone in abandoned prairie dog burrows.

Shiona (the white heroine): I read that ferrets stalk and kill prairie dogs during the night. Using their keen sense of smell and whiskers to guide them through pitch-black burrows, ferrets suffocate the sleeping prey, an impressive feat considering the two species are about the same weight.

Shadow Bear: In turn, coyotes, badgers, and owls prey on ferrets, whose life span in the wild is often less than two winters … They have a short, quick life.

That awkward post-coital chat was inexplicably plagiarized from a scientific article about black-footed ferrets. The author probably did it for the realism. We all know how pioneer women struggled to survive on their own, waging a constant battle against enemies and the elements, with barely enough time to kick back and do some light reading about South Dakota's prairie mammals.

Here are some other books from Shadow Bear's author, Cassie Edwards. As you can see from the titles, her romance novels are clearly sensitive and respectful to Native Americans and their history:

Savage Beloved
Savage Bliss
Savage Courage
Savage Dance
Savage Destiny
Savage Devotion
Savage Dream
Savage Eden
Savage Embers
Savage Fires
Savage Glory
Savage Grace
Savage Heart
Savage Heat
Savage Hero
Savage Honor
Savage Hope
Savage Illusion
Savage Innocence
Savage Intrigue
Savage Joy
Savage Longings
Savage Love
Savage Mists
Savage Moon
Savage Nights
Savage Obsession
Savage Paradise
Savage Passions
Savage Persuasion
Savage Pride
Savage Promise
Savage Quest
Savage Rage
Savage Secrets
Savage Shadows
Savage Skies
Savage Spirit
Savage Splendor
Savage Storm
Savage Sunrise
Savage Surrender
Savage Tears
Savage Tempest
Savage Thunder
Savage Torment
Savage Touch
Savage Trust
Savage Vision
Savage Whispers
Savage Wind
Savage Wonder


stay-free sunday with sean keane


If you're disenchanted with the football games this afternoon, if you're afternoon is going to consist of wandering aimlessly around the Mission anyway, or if you just like drinking beer at free events, come see Stay Free Sunday. There's beer, there's music, there's Chris Garcia, there's Kevin O'Shea, and there's probably going to be a bunch of people wearing Chuck Taylors. I believe the comedy will get started around 4.

As the official promo says, "[Our] anecdotes will be the total antidote to the end of the weekend".

going hungry

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I like to research my comedic premises thoroughly, ever since I wrote half a comedy FAQ, then Googled the premise to find a much better version of the same idea. Recently, I've been talking about Eddie Vedder on stage, so I would be remiss if I didn't do my homework about the man. And in doing so, I came across this gem.

There is so much wonderful stuff happening in this video. A few observations:

1. Chris Cornell has borrowed his facial hair from Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.

2. The band is at the beach for this video. There's a lighthouse. Eddie Vedder is singing from behind some tall grass. Stone Gossard is playing in front of what might be the same tall grass, wearing a hat from 1992's Blossom For Men collection. They cut back to Eddie, and the cameraman can barely find him. He looks like he's hiding in a Christmas tree farm. So does Jeff Ament. Everyone else gets to play out on the beach, or at least in front of the bushes, but Eddie's face is totally obscured.

In a way, that makes the lyrics more believable. Yes, you're hiding in the underbrush like a tramp, or a highwayman, Eddie. Obviously, you don't mind stealing bread from anyone's mouth.

3. This demonstrates the early-90s video trend of bands playing electric guitar in wet areas, in the rain, or in this case, next to the ocean. Eric Clapton in "Pretending", Slash in every video Guns n' Roses made from 1991-3, all setting a poor example, safety-wise.

(EDIT: Slash doesn't play in the rain in "November Rain"; he just wails on an unplugged acoustic guitar outside a church, in the middle of a dust storm. He jams in a similar desert landscape in "Don't Cry", after he intentionally drives her car off a cliff to spite his nagging girlfriend.)

4. Flannel shirts: 1/6

Long hair: 5/6

Slap bracelets and Hypercolor t-shirts: Undetermined


5. The climactic shot of the fire brings it all together for me.

6. "I'm going hungry" count: 17.

why six feet or taller?

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When I was growing up and playing baseball, I wore the number 21 nearly every year. Twenty-one has a lot going for it: Blackjack, legal drinking age, seven times three, the century that means the future, and Roberto Clemente's jersey. I started to think 21 was pretty cool, and that my coaches must have realized my affection for that number. Not so. Our numbers only went from 21 to 34, and 21 was the smallest available. My number didn't mean Blackjack

I come from a short family as well. My parents remodeled the kitchen to set up hobbit-level shelves that even my 4'11" mother can reach, but she's still in constant danger of singing her arms trying to reach the top of the stove. My dad had to sell his first motorcycle because his legs were so short, he couldn't stop on even the slightest uphill slope. If a Keane is riding in the back, it's a near-guarantee you'll hear the phrase, "You can move that seat back. I got plenty of leg room."

My performing career was not without its height-related adventures as well. When I did musical theater, my height was a constant punchline. At age 12, and at 4 foot 9, I played "Sir Studly" in Once Upon a Mattress. In that musical, and indeed in nearly every musical I did as a teenager, there was a height-based joke at my expense. Here's the scene:

Choreographer: And at the end, the girls will all fall into the guys' arms.
Director: Hold on. What if we switch partners here, and put Sean with the tallest girl in the cast...
Choreographer: ...And then Sean falls into HER arms.
Director: Because he's so short!
Choreographer: He's the height of a girl!
Director: In fact, you can say Sean becomes a girl here.
Choreographer: He is completely emasculated right now.
Director: It's gonna be hilarious. OK, let's try this.
Choreographer: And one, and two, and three, and...
Director: Hold up right there. Sean, keep your knees together when you fall backwards. You look like a tramp up there.

It left a mark. And that's why I created The Six Feet or Taller Show, taking place tonight, January 8th, at 9PM, at 12 Galaxies. All tall comedians, and me. I'll be hosting, enjoying the stellar comedic stylings, and falling into Marcella's arms at the end of the night. Because I'm so short!

12 Galaxies
2565 Mission Street (at 22nd)
San Francisco, CA
21+, $8

Reggie Steele
Sal Calanni
Kevin Munroe
Brendan Lynch
Marcella Arguello
Caitlin Gill

cleaning out the fridge


Omar and I cleaned the refrigerator on Sunday afternoon. The fridge has three drawers and many shelves, all removable, so the architecture of the fridge lends itself to the occasional hidden food scrap or ingering odor. At one point I was scrubbing the back wall and felt like one of the dwarves of Khazad-dum, mining deeper into the layers of Moria. I scrubbed hard and a mysterious odor emerged. I half-expected a refrigerator Balrog to come out because we'd cleaned too deep. I'd be forced to confront him, wielding my paper towel like a staff. "Go back to the shadow! Your expiration date is nigh, Flame of Udun!"

At one point I did open a jar of ranch dip to check its freshness, and upon smelling it, I muttered, "You shall not pass." and tossed it in the trash.

One thing we noticed was an unusual amount of expired mustard. This was odd because neither of us were mustard eaters, nor were the other girls people who kept food in that fridge. As far as I remembered, our previous roommate didn't seem to eat an unusual quantity of mustard either. And yet we had jar upon jar, some never opened, all long-unused, nearing or past their "best when used by" date, in all types and varieties of mustard. There was honey mustard, dijon mustard, deli mustard, hot sweet mustard, and cranberry mustard, all uneaten, unremembered, and unloved.

Preliminary surveys suggest this is not a phenomenon unique to our house. At least two friends report having mysterious mustard jars in the house that they never use, and can't remember ever acquiring. In the days when my Noe Street apartment often had no refrigerated food at all, we still had at least three mustards on our condiment shelf. Why does everyone have too much mustard??

There are a few possibilities. One is that mustard goes bad so slowly that it lasts for years, without getting visibly rotten or literally poisonous. It might lose a lot of flavor, but it will not get moldy and it will not kill you. Thus, absent a conscious effort to cull the condiment herd, mustard will survive indefinitely. Often, mustard will go along when a person moves to a new apartment, like pollen stuck to a bee's leg. Some people even argue that mustard never spoils:

ive used mustard from the 70's and nothings ever happen.

Another possibility is that fancy mustards are a common gift at the holidays, for people you either don't know well, or for whom you are making very little effort to shop. A three-pack of gourmet mustard is on sale at Hickory Farms, and you buy it on impulse, and wrap it up. You figure the recipient doesn't already have a lot of mustard, because you never see them use any. And the cycle of mustard continues.

Possibility 3: Rally Mustard.

Possibility 4: Waiting to replace their condiments until the development of Mayostard:

The Six Feet or Taller Show
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
12 Galaxies
2565 Mission Street (at 22nd)
San Francisco, CA
21+, $8


The Six Feet or Taller Show showcases SF's funniest - and tallest - comics in a night of gigantic laughs. The diminutive Sean Keane (5' 7 1/2") hosts a lineup of sky-high comics with towering talent. Reggie Steele headlines, with featured performances by Sal Calanni, Kevin Munroe, Brendan Lynch, Marcella Arguello, and Caitlin Gill. It's a hilarious assortment of comedic talents that would also make a highly-effective volleyball team. Expect tall tales and highbrow comedy, but be aware that some of the jokes might go over your head. $8 at the door.

Headliner Reggie Steele (6'4") has a laid-back, storytelling style that has made him a favorite at clubs in the Bay Area, and all over the state. He won the 2003 Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Competition and was a Finalist in the San Jose Improv's Battle of the Bay. Reggie has worked with some of comedy's brightest stars, including Dave Chappelle, Arj Barker, Damon Wayans, Wanda Sykes and many more. Mr. Steele has also played basketball professionally in Latvia.

Sal Calanni (6'3") is a stellar comedian from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. He has performed over the Bay Area, including the Punchline, Cobb's Comedy Club, the San Jose Improv. In addition to his standup career, Mr. Calanni is a member of the sketch group Tossing Alice and plays guitar for punk band The Hacks.

Kevin Munroe (6'6") is the founder of the popular showcase "Ebony & Irony", and the Bay Area's funniest Trinidadian comic.

Brendan Lynch (6'5") is a Santa Cruz native, who wows audiences with his dry, understated comedy. Mr. Lynch will be headlining Ben Feldman's Laugh Orgy in North Beach on January 9th.

Marcella Arguello (6'2") is a rising comedy star, and Modesto's toughest export since Sonny Barger. Ms. Arguello has performed all over the Bay Area, including Speech Therapy, Blake's on Telegraph, and Edinburgh Castle.

Caitlin Gill (6'0") has won over audiences with her unique style, and occasionally, delicious desserts. Since escaping her hometown of Napa, Ms. Gill has performed at "Ben Feldman's Laugh Orgy", "Comedy, Darling" at Edinburgh Castle, and recently became part of the Five Funny Females Tour.

Sean Keane was recently profiled in the East Bay Express, and despite his height, he can pretty much ride roller coasters anywhere.

Bonus videos! Reggie Steele discusses the first black president:

Sal Calanni performs as part of the Death Metal Barbershop Quartet:

gary busey? or nick nolte?

It's easy to confuse Nick Nolte and Gary Busey - especially when they're both present in one individual. (Courtesy Chris Garcia.)

The Eternal Question from Chris Garcia on Vimeo.

sean-the-keane and the blustery day

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It was a terribly blustery day in the Bay Area last Friday. Streets were closed due to flooding, trucks flipped over on the Richmond Bridge, and more importantly, a dumpster got blown into a fence next to my office, temporarily frightening me. Also, the wind blew a hole in our wall:


We looked around on Friday night and saw no sign of damage in the yard, save one uprooted tree. We missed the storm damage because no one regularly goes down the back stairs, and because the torn-off boards were tossed into the backyard of a neighbor who lives two houses away. This is why I must grudgingly admit that my idea to install gargoyles all over the exterior of the home was indeed ill-advised.


I assume that it was the wind that did the damage behind the back stairs, though we obviously cannot rule out the involvement of the Big Bad Wolf.

If you're going down to the garage from the kitchen, watch out for that last step - it's a doozy!


The hole will be covered by plastic sheeting soon, or maybe a trash bag duct taped to the wall, or at worst, some old newspapers held onto the wall by old chewing gum. What I'm saying is, home repair is not exactly my forte.

On the Blustery Day in the Hundred-Acre Wood, Owl lost his home, and Eeyore was dispatched to find a replacement residence for him. He eventually found a new house for Owl - Piglet's. Luckily, no such housing crisis was precipitated by this storm, but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised if an owl flew into our house and took up residence in the rec room downstairs. I believe that a heffalump wouldn't fit through the gap, but I will be keeping my eyes peeled for woozles.

tedford, throughout history

After a season marked by poor play and disastrous fourth-quarter passing, Cal coach Jeff Tedford finally replaced incumbent quarterback Nate Longshore with backup Kevin Riley, down 21-0 to Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. The result was a 42-36 comeback victory, but fans wondered why the change happened so late in the year, after Cal had already lost six of seven games. What would Jeff Tedford have been like in other historical situations?

Fire Inspector Tedford
October 12th, 1871
Chicago, IL

"Now that the fire has finally been put out, Mrs. O'Leary, I'm going to have to shoot your cow."

Admiral Tedford
December 8th, 1941
Pearl Harbor

"You know what? Let's get a lookout up there, to let us know if any planes are coming. That is, after we rebuild that tower that the Japanese planes blew up."

National Guard Captain Tedford
Kent State University
May 6, 1970

"Let's give the Guardsmen rubber bullets before the next protest."

Zookeeper Tedford
December 27th, 2007
San Francisco, CA

"Tomorrow, we build a taller wall outside the tiger enclosure."

My Father Tedford
September 21st, 1978

"Sharon, I've been doing some reading, and it turns out that the Rhythm Method is not nearly as reliable as we thought. I'm buying you a diaphragm."

il n'est pas chris garcia

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My friend Chris Garcia claims that this photo, which is not of Chris Garcia at all, is on Page 17 of the Google image search results for Chris Garcia:

Not Chris Garcia.

I can't independently verify it, but man, what a photo! Just looking at it makes me want to start stammering about my love of Apple computers, and then make sweet sweet love to Geena Davis in 1989. Chris Garcia wants to push this photo to the front page of the Chris Garcia results, though it's obviously not of Chris Garcia at all.

I can't tell why it came up, since Jeff Goldblum has never played a character named Chris, nor a character named Garcia. He's never acted along with any of the four Chris Garcia-named actors on IMDB, nor has he worked with Christo Garcia or director Christo Garcia, or make-up artist Chris Garcia or even camera and electrical department Chris Garcia. He did appear in Christmas in Tinseltown, however.

Is there a photo of the real Chris Garcia that's receiving insufficient Google Image search love? Yes, yes there is. The Chris Garcia page on Tarnival (that's Tobacco Education Through Art & Science), has a beautiful Chris Garcia photo:

Some people were born to dance, others were born to run, Chris Garcia was born to rock!

In conclusion, Chris Garcia is trying to scam the internet, and I for one am not going to stand for for this kind of chicanery from this or any other Chris Garcia.

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