Monday, November 29, 2010

NFL Fines Rams BY JEFF KONKLE

New York, NY - The NFL has levied a fine against the Rams for their repeated use of dangerous head to head hits.
 
“We have developed a consistent policy and there is no room for that type of brutality,” said commissioner Roger Goodell.

Prior to the mating season, Rams attempt to establish a dominance hierarchy that determines access to ewes for mating. It is during that period that most of the characteristic horn clashing occurs. Ram's horns can frequently exhibit damage from repeated clashes.

Many people are critical of Goodell’s decision, saying that he is over-stepping his authority.  “It’s not really his call to be telling certain species of animals not to engage in a behavior that they have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years,” explained biologist Leslie Atredies.  “It takes a potent type of vanity to think you have that power.”

Goodell has also extended a warning to the Lions, who frequently attack defenseless prey, and to the Bears for “roughing the salmon.”
 
Asked to comment on the hefty penalty, a Ram said, “Baaaa!

Check out JEFF KONKLE"S WEBSITE!

Jeff Konkle is a stand-up comedian who can currently be seen featuring at the Improv Waterfront, he has opened for national headliners like - Aries Spears (Mad TV), Bill Burr (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Josh Blue, Kevin Brennan, Juston McKinney and Pauley Shore.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Jokes and Sigmund Freud by JEFF KONKLE

I’ve been reading a book by Sigmund Freud called Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious.  In it the Austrian Psychoanalyst attempts to explain and qualify what makes a joke.  Unfortunately, the criteria that make a joke funny are completely subjective.  Some people like Larry the Cable Guy’s jokes, some like David Cross’.  Therefore it is literally impossible to scientifically formulate any equation that will always result in a good joke.  It’d be like trying to prove Pythagorean' Theorem when no one agrees that 2+2=4.


Freud’s analysis is too academic to be useful for a normal comedian.  So I put together my own list of what I think makes a successful joke.

1)  Does it make logical sense?

Have you ever heard a comic tell a joke and your response after he/she hits the punchline is, “Huh?”  A joke should have a logical progression at its core making it possible (not necessarily easy) for the audience to follow along.  From my experience you can expect that the audience will make one leap of logic for you.  They will not make two.  You can find this rule in Mitch Hedberg-type jokes.

Mitch Hedberg: “A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.”

On its surface this makes no sense, but the audience can logically follow the comedian’s train of thought.  Feet go in stockings usually.  We hang stockings for Christmas.  A foot would be a bad Christmas present.  There is only one leap in logic here.  A severed foot being in a Christmas stocking is absurd, but it makes sense.

2)  Does it paint a picture?

If you pay attention to strong comedians, they can tell a story with lots of detail.  Dave Chappelle will describe the scene of the joke with lots of cues about the environment.  This way an audience member won’t get lost.  They all have the same image in their heads.  When the punchline is delivered the whole crowd goes along for the ride.

Make sure that you are painting the picture with the right words.  There are some words that are inherently funnier than others.  For me, the word “slap” is funnier than “strike.”  “Loafer” is funnier than “shoe.”  “Pavement” is funnier than “ground.”  Look at the common thread between those two examples.  The more specific word elicits a better response.  It paints a picture.

Another rule of thumb when selecting words, especially for punchlines, is to use words with a hard consonant sound.  A hard consonant sound is made by completely stopping the flow of air, usually by blocking it with the tongue or lips. The main stops include b,p, t,d, k and g.

You can paint a picture with more than words too.  An image can be established through motions or sounds.  Bill Cosby’s classic bit about going to the dentist wouldn’t be nearly as great if it wasn’t for the sound effects.  He scrapes the microphone with his fingernail to paint a picture of a dental cleaning.  This puts the audience right in the moment with him.   

3)  Is it economical?

Brevity is the soul of wit.  However, not all jokes are meant to be short one-liners.  The joke/story needs to be as economical as possible while still painting an effective picture.  If it takes you 1 minute to set up a joke, only to get a small laugh after the joke’s punchline, then you need to shorten the set-up or strengthen the punch.  There are times where I catch myself giving the audience completely unnecessary information.  It might just be a transition sentence here and there.  Believe it or not, those pauses in the action can make an audience lose focus.  This will dilute your laughs.

4)  Does it shine a flashlight on something?

Jeff Foxworthy once said, “There’s a lot of stuff people see in day to day life that they think is weird.  But they just forget about it after two seconds.  A comedian’s job is to take that obscure thing that nobody really pays attention to and shine a flashlight on it.  Hold it up to the audience and say, ‘Isn’t this weird??’”  It can be something about society or something about you.  But a good joke should take an unnamed thing and name it.  The TV show Seinfeld was great at this.  Shrinkage, close-talker, man-hands.  All of these things are insignificant pieces of minutia that we’ve all seen at some point.  Seinfeld just called it out.

5)  Is it playful?

The heart of laughter is playfulness.  So if a joke comes from a mean or condescending place, then it won’t be received well.  Most of this will be based on the comedian’s stage personality.  I’ve seen vulgar, racist, and offensive jokes work well because the comedian is still being playful about it.  They don’t really want anyone to get hurt.

6)  Is it “you”?

If a joke doesn’t match the comedian performing it, it’s already dead in the water.  I’ve seen people who are very timid in real life try to go on stage and talk about the beating people up.  I’ve seen very nerdy comedians try to talk about how many women they’ve slept with.  It just doesn’t work.  The audience can tell if a person is being “real” with them or not.

Jim Gaffigan used to do a number of sex jokes.  But it wasn’t really him.  “I found that I liked doing jokes about the really mundane.  So if you’re doing sex jokes it’s hard to then talk about bacon or hotel pools.”

I’m no Freud, but I think this is a good checklist to follow for other comics.

------------------------------
Check out JEFF KONKLE"S WEBSITE!

Jeff Konkle is a stand-up comedian who can currently be seen featuring at the Improv Waterfront, he has opened for national headliners like - Aries Spears (Mad TV), Bill Burr (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Josh Blue, Kevin Brennan, Juston McKinney and Pauley Shore.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

UPDATE: "So You Got Jokes?" DEC 4th - Pittsburgh Comedy Contest

Funky Bum Entertainment presents:
"SO YOU GOT JOKES?"
Comedy Show & Contest
Hosted by TY MAC from Def Comedy Jam & BET Comic View

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4th
(not Dec. 3rd)

Sign up NOW!!
15 comics - 5 minutes each - WIN MONEY
Your friends and family, co-workers and girl & boyfriends ALL say your Funny...
"Now Heres Your Shot To Prove-It"
Come show them all u got it!

$5 COVER/$5 TO ENTER CONTEST (due that night)
15 comic's/ 5 minutes each /CASH PRIZE for ONLY
Call 412-969-1114 to get on !! Remember ONLY the first 15 comic's get in!

Comedy in The Big Apple by MO MOZUCH

The first thing you need to accept when you move to NYC to do comedy is that you suck. Fundamentally, on several levels, you suck. You suck as a comic, because not only are you new to the game, you possessed enough arrogance to think you could claw your way through 11,000 people for a slightly bigger piece of B-List celebrity pie (at best).You suck as a person, too.

You’re either not good enough to do anything else and are good enough at being a jerk-off that you think you can go pro. Or, you DO have options, legitimate options involving school loans and diplomas and the hopes and aspirations of parents and mentors and loved ones … but you’re gonna piss all over those for your aforementioned slice of B-list celebrity pie.After your first few shows, you’re going to hate all your material because every weakness in it overcomes your act like a cancer brought about by the radioactive judgment emanating from the blank, laugh-free faces of your peers. All of whom, by the way, think you suck. You suck for not being funny. Or, you suck FOR being funny, and are just another competitor.

You get writer’s block. You apply for food stamps. You feel like un perdedor. You suck.And then, it happens. Some comic you thought had no clue who you were offers you a non-paying gig on a weekday night. And after paying $5 for 5 minute spots for several weeks or months, it’s about the greatest compliment you ever received. And you do the show. And you do well because you’re so geeked to be performing for non-comedians (They laugh at tags! They laugh at set-ups!) that later, on the hour-and-a-half train ride back to your overpriced apartment in the outer boroughs, you think ‘This doesn’t suck. This doesn’t suck at all.'

Mo Mozuch is a Pittsburgh-born comic now living in New York City. 
Be friends with him.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

10 KFC Tweets for the Prize by RON PLACONE

First we had those artery-clogging food bowls, then we had two pieces of fried chicken substituting a bun, it seemed there were no more possible ways for Kentucky Fried Chicken to declare to the world:
 
“Humanity, we think you’re going down the toilet, and we may as well capitalize on it!”
 
But now, KFC is offering a $20,000 scholarship for the student with the best “tweet.”  That’s right, scholarships in the past have been awarded on various merits such as stellar grades for four years, an essay possessing an advanced understanding on a certain topic, music or athletic ability honed from years of hard work and effort, or in some cases being left-handed and wanting to study accounting, but with KFC, all it takes is a sentence. 
One sentence and likely procrastination on a social network.  If that doesn’t encourage scholarly excellence, I don’t know what does.  Still, while I’m not sure if graduate students qualify or not, I could use an extra 20K.  Here’s 10 tweets in an attempt to chase the prize:
 
I ate your macaroni and cheese once, had the squirts for a week but still passed a final #KFCscholar
 
I wore a Colonel Sanders tie to prom #KFCscholar
 
What you call creativity I call playing with your food #KFCscholar
 
Even as a little kid I knew which state you guys started in #KFCscholar
 
Because I happen to collect undernourished chickens that can be yours if…#KFCscholar
 
Because I can taste the difference between you guys and a Hungry Man #KFCscholar
 
Because the combination-Pizza-Hut-Taco-Bell song is always first on my iPod playlist #KFCscholar
 
Because I always remembered to pick up something for the dog, pay it forward! #KFCscholar
 
Because I can write more than 140 characters #KFCscholar
 
Because my dietary choices are well-informed enough to never eat your product #KFCscholar

 --
Ron is a comedian and writer that has returned to Pittsburgh after blowing-up comedy in Seattle, WA.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dutch Comedian, Gerrit De Bremme, visits and makes a documentary.

All the way from Belgium, Dutch comedian, Gerrit De Bremme came thru Pittsburgh this summer during his second US tour - and he filmed it all.

Gerrit has been  seen on the Belgian version of Last Comic Standing, featured in a TV show as a sarcastic news critic, organized one of the first monthly comedy shows in Leuven, Belgium putting the city on the comedy map and did his first US tour in 2009. 

Gerrit's comedy documentary, "DISCOMFORT: Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone," includes clips of his travels, performances & interviews with comedians - including Pittsburgh comedians; Ron Placone, John Pridmore, Mike Wysocki, Danny Palumbo & Aaron Kleiber.

One of the MUST SEE parts of the film: Gerrit does stand-up comedy in the BACKYARD of a ghetto neighborhood party...in Seattle. I could not make that up if I sat with a team of writers all night long.

Here is the trailer:



You can WATCH THE ENTIRE FILM at Gerrit's website
(be sure to click Britain's flag to get the English version):


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Windows 7 Snap TV Commercial Parody - DUSTIN DOWLING & MATT LIGHT

--- from Dustin Dowling, Pittsburgh Comedian/Filmmaker/Vlogger
Directed by DUSTIN DOWLING from Immaturity Crew Productions AND written by/featuring MATT LIGHT





Friday, November 19, 2010

TERRY JONES paraody video of EDDIE MUPRHY'S PARTY ALL THE TIME

Here's another ridiculous paraody video by Pittsburgh comedian and YouTube Hip-Hop Spoof man TERRY JONES:
EDDIE MURPHY'S PARTY ALL THE TIME paraody "TWITTER ALL THE TIME"



Check out Terry's WEBSITE & BLOG!
CONNECT WITH TERRY JONES - FACEBOOK - TWITTER
Videos from Terry on YOUTUBE!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Improv Comedy Club's: "The 5 SPOT" NATIONAL CONTEST

Win A Trip to Hollywood To Perform for the National Booker at the World Famous Hollywood Improv!

From Improv.com:

"We are proud to announce The 5 Spot, our newest platform to help elevate up-and-coming comedians with quality stage time in front of someone who can help take them to the next level.
Besides the flight to L.A., the winning comedian gets something that you can’t put a price on: 5-10 minutes to perform with the undivided attention of the booker of the largest chain of comedy clubs in the nation in front of a packed house.

All you have to do is go to
http://Improv.com/5Spot, sign up and start sending your fans to your profile to become your fan. Whoever get the most new fans by January 1, 2011 wins. It's that simple.
In order to qualify for the contest, you must have an official Improv.com Comedian Profile and you must claim the page directly through us.

Just reach out to us if you have any questions!"

This contest also features challenges every week from Improv.com

Check their website for more details - Improv.com


 Good luck Pittsburgh Comedians! REPRESENT! #pittsburghtakeover 

Laughing Skull Comedy Contest: PITTSBURGH RESULTS!


Last night at the Pittsburgh Improv, 10 comics performed - coming from places like, Boston, Washington, DC, & New York - but only 3 made it thru to compete in the 2011 Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

3rd Place - AARON KLEIBER (Pittsburgh)

2nd Place - TIM MILLER (Washington, DC)

1st Place - DAVID KAYE (Pittsburgh)

Way to represent PITTSBURGH!
 
More about the festival:
Now in the second year, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival seeks to honor and reward the artists that most personify The Art of Comedy.
The brainchild of Marshall Chiles and Steve Hofstetter, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival features a 25-city, two-day first round, followed by a five-day event in Atlanta. Comedy industry from all over the US and Canada will participate to help find, expose, and give work to some of today's top emerging comedians. 
Winners receive cash, prizes, and months of work from comedy clubs, agents, and partner festivals. The festival also has great events like our annual Poker Tournament, post parties, and our Civil War Kickball Game. 
A portion of all proceeds go to the Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation to help build a drug recovery facility called Lenny's House: a place to get healthy mentally, physically and emotionally while learning life skills to be better prepared for reentry into a sober world. With this partnership, we brought in Kitty Bruce, Lenny's daughter, to announce the winners of each show. You can see the official Lenny Bruce website at lennybruceofficial.com. If you would like to donate to Lenny's House, we encourage it. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bill Cosby, Pittsburgh Performance: Review by Terry Jones

Well as you know I recently released a video on my B-day called "Jello Puddin" I took on the form of one of the best ever. That's right I became Bill Cosby and paid homage to The King. I saw Cosby was coming to town, and got so excited!!!!! But I didn't didn't think I would be able to go, my b-day soon came up and my parents offered tickets as a gift. I didn't want to burden them with getting me tickets, I thought it was going to sell out. So I denied the offer, but I felt like my heart broke when I said no. A few years ago George Carlin came to Heinz Hall, another living Legend. And at the time I was starting to get steam and a buzz on my stand up, and had a few shows. I remember my parents offering tickets, but I said I'm booked so NEXT TIME.

So I went on with my shows and my life, thinking "George Carlin will live forever." And shortly after that, George Carlin died, my heart was devastated. Then with comics like, Greg Giraldo, and Robert Schimmel dying, I just kept wondering how much longer does Cosby have left? Too me the three Original Kings Of Comedy are Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill Cosby. I felt like I was gonna regret not seeing Bill Cosby this time, and I felt sad. So I wake up Saturday and my parents make me choose my seats for the show. They didn't want to miss this living piece of black history, who made it possible for me. And I got seats close as hell, if you never seen Heinz Hall it's a huge theater that holds Symphonies. It felt like this was Fate to go see Cosby, I asked 9 people to go with me, getting turned down one by one. And those people were busy so it's all good, but in my mind I'm like this is THE BILL COSBY.


Not Just any comedian, but the man who was Richard Pryor's hero and biggest comedic influence. For Gods sake they have the same voice pitch delivery ( jazz rhythm delivery), Dr. Cosby made it possible so black comedians like myself can even perform mainstream. When Bill Cosby became the biggest comedian in mainstream, they started to take the NEGRO from the front of Black Comedians names. No longer was it Negro Comedian Dick Gregory, it was just Dick Gregory. He single handedly mad people think that blacks could be funny without knowing what race the comic was. Now I hear folks say That Cosby did comedy for whites as a Black man, but this is not true. Pryor said what he wanted, Cosby told stories in his own way.
So with that being said, I turned into a little kid, as a young black comedian this is the biggest thing ever for me. I done worked with people I grew up sneaking to watch on TV, people i grew up wanting to be like, comedic influences. But this topped all of that, its not "Dr. Huxtable", it wasn't "Fat Albert and the Gang", it wasn't "Picture pages", it was the art of stand up that I couldn't wait to see. As I'm driving to the show I can't believe I'm going to see him, this is on my bucket list of life and comedy. I'm Driving and i feel like imma cry in excitement, and I park and head in by myself to see Bill Cosby.

I walk in and see how huge Heinz Hall is, and its amazing that all those seats are gonna fill up. I saw teenagers with parents, I saw young and old, Black and White, I saw everyone of many types. The Crowd size was tremendous, the fact that this man could draw so many people of all ages and color as a black man, was surreal. I sit down and can't wait to finally see the man, jazz music plays until the seats fill up, and it was one of the best comedy show atmospheres I've ever been in. It was odd being a audience member haha, but I went this is goal. The Lights dim down, announcements are made, and here comes THE LEGEND BILL COSBY!

And man, the whole theater filled up with cheers, so many people clapping, and cheering. I stood up too my feet and gave the man the applause that he deserved. Without him there would be no Terry Jones or TeamTerry, and he starts to perform. Now understand Bill Cosby doesn't use openers, so the tone that is set fro the show is BILL COSBY. This man did 3 hours of Material, 3 HOURS!!! I know Dave Chappelle and Dane Cook have the Records, yeah yeah, but understand for 3 Hours Bill Cosby used stories. It wasn't a ton of Improvised fillers, he did Improv some things, but for 3 hours he killed.

It was the greatest Live show I have ever seen, I was blessed to see the man himself. Not many Living legends that paved the way still alive. And I would advise if you ever get a chance to see a living legend live, do it, and don't think that there is a NEXT TIME, because there may not be. SALUTE to the Legend Bill Cosby, thank you Mr. Cosby for making this all possible. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Skydiving Stand-up Comic: BRAD RYAN

If you've never seen this - this is something to see.
Pittsburgh native, BRAD RYAN, is an avid skydiver & a stand-up comedian - why not put them together? Check out his 8TH installment - yea - he's done the stand-up/skydiving thing 8 times BUT he has made almost 300 jumps.



Check out his other episodes on YouTube!

Brad Ryan will be hosting an open mic comedy show on Tuesday, Nov. 16th at the OBEY HOUSE TAVERN, 8PM, NO COVER, 1337 STEUBEN STREET PITTSBURGH, PA 15220

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Co-Creator of THE DAILY SHOW, LIZZ WINSTEAD, in Pittsburgh!

 
As co-creator and former head writer of THE DAILY SHOW and AIR AMERICA RADIO CO-FOUNDER, LIZZ WINSTEAD has helped changed the very landscape of how people get their news.

As a performer, Lizz brought her political wit to The Daily Show as a correspondent and later to the radio waves co-hosting Unfiltered, Air America Radio's mid-morning show, where she brought on board
Hip Hop legend, Chuck D and political big brain Rachel Maddow. 

Recently, Lizz wrote and produced an independent pilot of her Off-Broadway hit, “Wake Up World", a scathing satire about Morning chat shows that Rachel Maddow called, “The funniest thing I have seen in years.”

Known as as one of the top political satirists in America, Winstead is currently touring the country,
bringing her razor sharp insights to the stage selling out shows from LA to NYC. 

Her talents as a comedian and media visionary have been recognized by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly's 100 most Creative People issue and has brought numerous television appearances, including HBO and Comedy Central

Her weekly segments on The Ed Show on MSNBC and HLN's The Joy Behar Show
feature her hilarious spin on breaking news.
 
When Winstead is not on stage, she is blogging regularly at lizzwinstead.com , The Huffington Post and The Top Vlog, as well as working on a book of essays for Riverhead Press due out in 2011.

To see just how up to the minute her comedy is, follow her on twitter @lizzwinstead

See Lizz Saturday, NOVEMBER 20th @ 8PM

August Wilson Center
980 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3746

Click to purchase tickets

LOCAL PITTSBURGH ACTS WILL OPEN THE SHOW!




A Special Writer's Workshop will be conducted on
Sunday, Nov. 21, 12 Noon
One Hope Square, 1901 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA  15219
 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pgh's TOP COMICS compete in LAUGHING SKULL COMEDY FESTIVAL!

The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival NEXT WEDNESDAY, Nov. 17th!

The FIRST ROUND will be held at the IMPROV (Waterfront) on Wednesday, November 17th (November 16th-17th in 25 Cities).
The rest of the competition will take place in ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 6-10th, 2011. Make sure you go & support local comics so they will represent in Atlanta!

You can go check out
some of Pittsburgh's TOP COMICS for $1!
RESERVE TICKETS ONLY $1!!!
(use promo code: pick a comic's last name & add 'VIP' - ex: KleiberVIP )

Pittsburgh Comic Line-up:

John Herr
Tim Miller
Ted Pettingell
Niraj Shah
Chelsea White
Ed Knizhnik
David Kaye
Leo Goodman
Aaron Kleiber
Matt Wohlfarth


More about the festival:
Now in the second year, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival seeks to honor and reward the artists that most personify The Art of Comedy.

The brainchild of Marshall Chiles and Steve Hofstetter, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival features a 25-city, two-day first round, followed by a five-day event in Atlanta. Comedy industry from all over the US and Canada will participate to help find, expose, and give work to some of today's top emerging comedians. 
Winners receive cash, prizes, and months of work from comedy clubs, agents, and partner festivals. The festival also has great events like our annual Poker Tournament, post parties, and our Civil War Kickball Game. 
A portion of all proceeds go to the Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation to help build a drug recovery facility called Lenny's House: a place to get healthy mentally, physically and emotionally while learning life skills to be better prepared for reentry into a sober world. With this partnership, we brought in Kitty Bruce, Lenny's daughter, to announce the winners of each show. You can see the official Lenny Bruce website at lennybruceofficial.com. If you would like to donate to Lenny's House, we encourage it. 

Official Laughing Skull Website HERE

Monday, November 8, 2010

Business Bear by JEFF KONKLE

Business Bear sits patiently in a conference room awaiting his job interview.  The slow economy has affected everyone, even bears.  Business Bear is excited to finally get an opportunity to interview, especially with a great company like GXT.  GXT’s HR Manager, Karen walks into the room to greet Business Bear.  They both stand and exchange hand/paw shakes.
Karen: Hi Business Bear?
BB: Yes that’s me.
Karen: Hi I’m Karen Tudi, the HR Manager here at GXT.  I’m glad to finally meet you.
BB: Hi Karen, the pleasure is entirely mine.  I’ve heard a lot about you from Doug over in Planning and Analysis.  It’s nice to finally put a face with the name.
Karen: Absolutely.  Hopefully Doug didn’t spread too many rumors about me.
They both laugh.
BB: No.  No.  It’s all been very positive.
Karen:  Well why don’t you start by telling me a little bit about yourself?
BB:  OK great.  Well as you can see I am a bear.  

Karen: Uh-huh.

BB: I have been looking for employment ever since I got my MBA from Hofstra last fall.  The job market is pretty slim right now.  That’s why I was so excited to see that GXT is hiring for new Project Managers.  The job description seems to fit very well into my background.
Karen: So you’ve been on the job market for quite some time then?
BB: Yes, well it was a bit difficult coming out of school in the fall because I have to hibernate for 3-4 months depending on the length of the winter.  That brought me out of the loop a little bit and I’ve found it challenging to explain to prospective employers.  They see a 3 month gap in employment and believe it to be a red flag.  Really it was just a span of time where I was living off of my fat reserves and sleeping 23 hours a day. 
Karen:  Understandable.  So this position is going to require a good amount of problem solving skills.  Tell me about a time where you were faced with a challenge and what you did to overcome it.
BB: Sure.  Last Spring was salmon-mating season, obviously.  Pretty routine for the most part.  However this season, another male bear was hunting in the river that I usually hunt in.  I saw him eating the salmon from my territory and I roared at him.  He roared back.  This exchange went on for about 30-45 minutes.  I thought I might have to challenge him for dominance.  Instead I offered him a solution that was mutually beneficial to us both.  I asked him if he wouldn’t mind going downstream to fish and I could remain upstream.  That way, any fish that I didn’t catch in my mouth would be available to him, while I would still get the prime position on top of a waterfall, where the fish were readily available.
Karen: Great.  Describe a time where you had to improvise to find a solution.
BB: Certainly.  During the middle of the summer, I tend to sweat quite a bit, due to my thick fur.  This causes my hide to become irritated and itchy.  Unfortunately, I do not have the flexibility to scratch every area that itches.  Two summers ago, my back was incredibly itchy.  I was tired of having to live with the discomfort.  I brainstormed a bit and was able to find a large Oak tree to rub my back against, soothing the itch.  I continue to use the tree method and actually I have seen it implemented by other bears in the community.
Karen:  So what really motivates you?  Is it money?  Job fulfillment?
BB: Actually, I’d say my number one motivator is honey.  I’ve put myself in some pretty bad predicaments before just to get some honey.
Karen: How do you think you would work in this environment?
BB:  I think I would work well.  There would be some adjustments to make at first.  I would have to switch from a cave to a cubicle.
Karen:  You should see Doug’s cubicle.  It’s like a cave!
BB:  Haha!  I think I would get along well with my human co-workers.  I’m usually more afraid of them then they are of me.  However, there might be some cultural issues to overcome.  If someone smiles at me, shows their teeth, I often mistake that as a sign of aggression.  However, I was able to take some cultural sensitivity classes at Community College that I think has helped me with this issue.
Karen:  Great.  Thank you for the time.   You’ll have our answer in 1-2 weeks.
BB: Fantastic.  Karen, thanks so much for your time as well.  I’m really excited to hear back from you.
Business Bear gets up to leave.
BB: By the way Karen, did you hear what the Dow Jones is doing today?
Karen: No.  What?
BB: It looks like we’re going into a bear market.

Karen:  Ha Ha!

Karen laughs and smiles.  Business Bear takes this as a threat and mauls her to death.


Check out JEFF KONKLE"S WEBSITE!

Jeff Konkle is a stand-up comedian who can currently be seen featuring at the Improv Waterfront, he has opened for national headliners like - Aries Spears (Mad TV), Bill Burr (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Josh Blue, Kevin Brennan, Juston McKinney and Pauley Shore.

Friday, November 5, 2010

FILM PREMIERE: "Roll the Dice" by HUSTLEBOT at 3 Rivers Film Fest!


Hustlebot is a comedy improv group from Pittsburgh - their film, ROLL THE DICE, is premiering at the Three Rivers Film Fest,  Saturday, Nov 6th, 6PM Melwood Screening Room 477 Melwood Ave, Pgh Pa 15210
Check their WEBSITE for more details. 

Here is the TRAILER!

Charlie Muprhy Boo'd Off Stage! - Comments by TERRY JONES


*from Terry Jones' BLOG*


Ok TeamTerry so hopefully you watch this clip, so i don't have to explain the story, but for those that can't watch it. Charlie Murphy got booed off stage at Grambling State University, by over 500 People. He Walked off stage without finishing his performance, but before he did, he gave the money back, said F**k You to the audience and kept on going. Now A lot of people are saying and feel what he did was unprofessional, now from the audience, consumer, and fan view it looks that way, now for my view as a comic. First of all the clip that we see is only 3:00 minutes, meaning he had to have been on stage for a while before anything went down, second of all the person taping probably felt it was gonna get bad and started taping. Now think about something we only see the part when they show him "being disrespectful", but they don't show what the crowd may have done to him.

Now hear me out, I am not a fan of Charlie Murphy, his brother is one of my biggest comedy influences though. Charlie is a good story teller, not a Stand-Up Comic. Now Cosby is a story teller, but does it on a level none of us will ever understand to be on. Now I don't feel Charlie Murphy is a REAL stand up comedian, but he's still a stand-up comic none the less. So I don't find anything funny on this except for him being bad-ass enough to lash back out. Granted its not the crowds fault they didn't get the material, it's our job to make a connection, and if we can't, it's just another loss.


Now let me explain from my personal experiences, we do have boiling points as Comedians. Usually if i have hecklers I can deal with it, I usually deal with it by making hecklers look stupid. But sometimes its not hecklers, sometimes you have a bad set/bad day, and the crowd is just not feeling you. I remember I did a show in Ohio, and had to feature and for 30 minutes no one laughed, I still got paid, but I dealt with it. I have seen fellow comics get booed, and that's always ugly. I have also seen people meltdown completely, those are usually the inexperienced performers. Occasionally you'll have your comedy vets meltdown, which is scary as hell.


Remember when Michael Richards snapped and had a meltdown? Well he's not really a comedian he's a guy who got famous and then decided to do stand up, just like Charlie Murphy. And when pushed he lashed out, whether he said a racist remark or just yelled, he was the bad guy. Yet at the same time, no on looked at the fact these guys heckled him and pushed him to the limit.  Stand up is the hardest and purest form of art or entertainment around. You take something, and create it, and make it your own, and you share it to the world, and it's either hit or miss.This journey for me has been the most difficult, but understand the struggle teaches me too be strong and also teaches me how to handle situations like this. I have done shows where people don't speak english, college students were being rude, hecklers were racist, and even crowds didnt laugh at all.


It happens we have bad days, but sadly to audience members, you have a first impression to leave on people. On weekends when I'm booked as a opener, i have 6 shows at a comedy club. I can do that same set with give or take different things in it, and not all six shows will be the same, overall I'm gonna kill. But there are gonna be shows where I'm off and people will remember me as the dude who was just "ight." Charlie isnt the best by no means, but I will tell you this, im not a fan, but i still respect him. He's a fellow Stand-up, and imma have to also defend this.



Being we only see 3:00 minutes of the video, I don't know what all happened, but its obvious they wasn't feeling him. He is famous, so off his name alone I know he got cheers and people were excited to see him. But the crowd wasn't feeling him, some colleges make you perform pretty clean, maybe he wasn't dirty enough. Which is apparent from what he says via Twitter, so I feel his pain as a comic. You go on stage and its just YOU Vs. THE WORLD, and you gotta build to get Scott Pilgrim powers (Badum Ching boooooo tomato hits face). He knew he did bad, and felt hurt, so he gave back the 22,000 dollar check.


Did he handle it right? No it was wrong and unprofessional, but when these things happen to you as a comic, you can't help but fight back. It's funny when people corner a animal, and it attacks and hurts the people that cornered it. You ever notice the animal is considered the threat, and the people are victims? The true victim is the animal not the ones that cornered it, or invaded its territory, they were malicious. How do you point fingers at a mountain lion, for attacking a man on a mountain? Keyword in mountain lion is mountain dumbass, Charlie Murphy got paid and flown in to perform.


It didn't go well and the crowd lashed out, he could of walked away, kept the schools money but he didn't. He gave it back, and walked off, so what he said F**k you. Look if you don't like a show get up and walk out, Ive seen people do that before, but people rather be assholes. He was at work, people didn't feel him and we move on to the next show, i'm not gonna sit here and clown him, i laugh at him lashing back at the audience more than anything.Good for him, because people think they can destroy others and get away with it. We live in a world, like i said in my last paragraph, where people are quick to scream victim, but the real victim is the bad guy.


How can you bash us and our art form, and have the nerve to be offended when we snap back? Go mess with a rattle snake and see if you don't get bit, its not a smart thing, and you're not a victim. I remember once someone threw a donut at Bill burr at a corporate show, and when Philly booed him, like thousands of people. And he lashed out and it was considered disrespectful on his part. How bout this, how bout I come to your job, and talk about how terrible you are at it. I'll forget your human, I'll forget you might be having a bad day, I'll even forget you are servicing to help me out. Before your stupid insecure self wants to make others feel down because you cry yourself to sleep, think before you do stuff.



You're funnier than Charlie Murphy? Really? But you don't do stand up comedy? How about you try 10 comedy shows, 10, without anyone you know in the crowd, and perform. I bet that you will find out QUICK, how hard it is to be a stand up comic. And maybe only then will you learn through the Hell, pain, and struggle that this is the hardest form of entertainment or art on Earth. We go through Hell hoping with our thoughts and gift hoping you can get a piece of Heaven. Like I said it wasn't handled the best, but when the emotions of you being backed in a corner pop up you never know what someone or something will do to defend themselves.

They will crucify him and spread him getting booed as a joke, because people like train wrecks, because it makes them feel like they're winning, Well guess what you're still a loser. And if any of you don't like this post "F**K YOU" **Drops Mic** HAHAH Just kidding I need you people and your money (Boooooooo). I hope this insight gives you a better understanding, I refuse too see this man crucified, and Grambling State University be treated like Victims. 


*Thanks Terry!*

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Man Embarrassed by Un-Original Costume by JEFF KONKLE

State College, PA  -  Guests at Mike Chaplain’s Halloween party filed out in disgust around 11:45 PM last night.  The cause for the sudden exodus was Tim Trefil’s extremely lame costume.

“A baseball player?” remarked one guest.  “Give me a break.”

When questioned, Trefil responded by turning slightly red and saying, “What?  No good?”

The photos from last year’s party had been posted on Facebook several weeks prior, therefore all guests were well aware of the high standards of a Chaplain-thrown Halloween party. 

“I mean one guy made a Transformers costume that actually transformed into a car!” said Lauren Breverton, who dressed as Cruela DeVille from 101 Dalmatians, complete with real fur coat and vintage cigarette holder.  “Then Tim showed up wearing a Phillies jersey and jeans and tried to say he was ‘Chase Utley.’  That doesn’t count.”

“I don’t see how this isn’t a costume,” said Trefil defending himself from the judgmental looks of other attendants.

Trefil’s case is not a unique one however.  All over State College there were reports of extremely clich├ęd costumes causing mass eye-rolls.  Grant Libera and girlfriend Gina Kennedy’s “Doctor and Sexy Nurse” costumes made friends suspect of their creative abilities.  Paul Calman, Andy Thompson, Malik Jaheer, Mike Boskov, Mike Patterson, Frank Patterson, and John Riggles all dressed as Borat.  It made for an awkward interaction whenever they saw each other on the street. 

Linda Queeg went as “a mouse” donning only a plastic headband with furry ears that she bought for $4.99 at Walgreens.

“Way to go all out on that one,” an anonymous reveler commented. 

Police are still investigating whether charges should be filed.  

Check out JEFF KONKLE"S WEBSITE!

Jeff Konkle is a stand-up comedian who can currently be seen featuring at the Improv Waterfront, he has opened for national headliners like - Aries Spears (Mad TV), Bill Burr (HBO, Comedy Central Presents), Josh Blue, Kevin Brennan, Juston McKinney and Pauley Shore.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Report on the RALLY FOR SANITY by RON PLACONE

The last 48, or wait, has it been 72 hours?  Since Thursday night at around 10:30...it's Sunday now...and I need to find a place to go later so I don't have to give children any candy.  Ok, now that I've established time and place, I had a great time during the Rally for Sanity weekend, I say weekend because there were events the night before, I was lucky enough to be a part of one of them, but, I'll start chronologically.
Thursday night, I came home around 10:30ish to discover that my cat Lucy had been acting odd all day, she used the bathroom in the tub which is very unlike her, and her urine was discolored.  My girlfriend said it was likely a UTI.  Agreeing that this shouldn't wait until after the weekend we took her to a 24-hour Pet Hospital in Castle Shannon.  The Vet was able to see her relatively quickly and we collected a urine sample for him to make diagnosis easier.  We explained our situation that we were heading out of town to DC and would be back Sunday.  She did in fact have a UTI, the Vet gave her a shot and a pill that we had to give her orally.  He told us to give one to her on Friday, then resume the dosage on Sunday when we got back.  He wasn't too thrilled that we'd be skipping a day which made me a bit nervous.  So anyway, Lucy was pretty traumatized as she is not one for vets, she hissed and screamed like a banshee the entire time and was pretty ticked in the car too.  When we got home she was tired and aloof likely due to the shot and all the action she had been through.  I've concluded that Lucy is not a huge fan of authority, she's a loving cat in any situation except Vets and she wasn't a huge fan of airplane security either.  I always thought if she was human she'd be an Audrey Lorde type. 
Anyway, we got home late Thursday night and decided to pack in the morning and were exhausted blah blah blah.
The next evening I performed at the DC Arts Center for a pre-rally Political Comedy show/party.  I had the most fun I've had at a show in awhile.  There was a great line-up including Lizz Winstead (Co-Creator of the Daily Show), John Marshall (Writer for Chris Rock and more), Jeff Kreisler (MSNBC, Bill Hicks' Spirit Award) and a bunch of others that were radio personalities, comedians, and even some pundit professors.  It was inspiring and humbling to share the stage with so many diversely talented and accomplished people that all came together for a pre-rally show!  Crowd was great too, the show went over 2 hours and the energy seldom if ever withered.
Between post-show chatting and traffic I didn't get back to the place I was staying until around 3am, fueled by post-show enthusiasm it took me a bit to get to sleep and a few hours later it was time to get ready for the Rally.  I brushed my teeth, splashed some water on me (GROSS!) and headed out with the group.  We had VIP passes which meant we could get closer to the front and didn't have to be amassed in quite as many people. 
The Rally was packed, with many different groups represented including Marijuana Law Reform activists, Media Matters, Free Press, and people that were just plain fed up with the insanity.  I won't get too far into describing the event because I'm sure the blogosphere is already flooded with reports and I'm sure Faux News already reported accurate accounts of the turnout (there were 20 people there).
I'll point out two things, one not-so-good, and one good.
First, one of the guest performers, described by Stewart as a brilliant song-writer, brilliant performer, he's here to premier a new song, I had to convince him to come here... (Holy shit, this is it, the Boss, right?)
...(Maybe Willie Nelson?)
...Ladies and Gentlemen...(this is gonna be good!)
...please welcome, KID ROCK!
...? What?!?!


If you were watching the event on TV and heard what sounded like a thud at that very moment it was the adrenaline of thousands of enthusiastic rally attendees falling through the floor that were expecting a new political song from Bruce and instead got Kid Rock.  I'm not even pushing my own taste here, because I was far from alone in this sentiment.  Kid Rock got a less-than-enthusiastic response as I personally had to struggle to hear the applause after his song, and what I could make out sounded little more than a courtesy clap from a few that probably felt guilty, considering how many people were there that's not too impressive.  The seven-year-old girl they brought up doubled the response he got, I'm pretty sure a stranger could've went up on stage and farted on a snare drum and would've gotten about the same response as Kid Rock.  In fairness, when people are expecting Bruce Springsteen that's tough too live up to, still, we got Kid Rock.  We were hoping for Filet Mignon, and we didn't even get a Big Mac, we didn't even get a sloppy joe, we got, like, dog food.
Anyway, that was the only disappointment, the other part I'd like to highlight was the very end.
I've often felt, and I could be totally wrong, but one of the reasons Jon Stewart is where he's at, and I'm sure there are many, is because of his ability to break that fourth wall and go from comedian/pundit to citizen, when appropriate.  I've felt that way even before I did comedy, and now that I do comedy I find it that much more impressive.  In the end Stewart crossed that line to an extent I've never seen since Crossfire in 2004.  He even acknowledged it at the beginning, quipping that he knows there's only so far a comedian can go and he'd probably hear about it tomorrow. Like any rally, he summed up the intention of the event, the call to pursue sanity, I personally really enjoyed the simile of the media being like a magnifying glass, it can highlight our problems so we can solve them, or it can burn ants. 
Anyway, that's my two cents I feel is worth sharing, again I could've given a play-by-play, but I'm sure there's plenty of that on the web already and better accounts than I would've been able to give anyway.  After the rally we were exhausted and decided to head back to Pittsburgh early.  Lucy didn't miss a day of medication that way.  Right now, she's pretty much back to herself, though she's not a big fan of the pills, beats a shot I'm sure.  I've got Misfits to listen to, then I've got work to do, then I've got to get depressed about the fact that I used to celebrate Halloween for a month and I haven't even dressed up in three years, then I've got football to watch.

Ron is a comedian and writer that has returned to Pittsburgh after blowing-up comedy in Seattle, WA.