Stand-up contest at inaugural Palm Springs comedy fest includes cash prize and Step1 special

The inaugural Palm Springs International Comedy Festival (PSICF) www.PalmSpringsComedyFest.com continues to come together nicely, a month before kick off. The festival already announced that it’ll present Kathy Griffin with the “Comedian of the Year” Award, and Illeana Douglas the “Pioneer in Comedy Award.” That’s in the first weekend, Nov. 9-11. In the second weekend, Nov. 16-18, the fest will […]

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The Janelle James Comedy Festival will replace annual Eugene Mirman fest in Brooklyn

Eugene Mirman has long flown the coop from Park Slope, and now, so too has his eponymous comedy festival. But he has bequeathed the Brooklyn comedy party to Janelle James. So, behold, the inaugural Janelle James Comedy Festival will take place Dec. 4-6 at The Bell House. “I am thrilled to be part of the […]

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Comedians threaten boycott of New Yorker Fest over invite to Steve Bannon; magazine rescinds invite

And how was your Labor Day? The New Yorker Fest announced its star-studded list of attendees for one-on-one talks Oct. 5-7, 2018, and one name stopped several of the stars from attending. Steve Bannon, the co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, the data-mining firm that helped Donald Trump win the White House while also deceiving Facebook (and […]

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Race is still a touchy subject at the Edinburgh fringe

As the only brown person in the room at The Glang Show, I couldn’t shake a sense of otherness when a quip turned sour

I’m a few months into a new career as a standup comedian. I’ve had some lovely gigs, some horrific gigs and I have started to get paid for being funny. The path to comic glory is long and the only place to be in August is the Edinburgh fringe.

In the past, I have covered the festival as a theatre critic; this year I went purely to hustle for five- and 10-minute spots on live shows. On my penultimate night, I went to see The Glang Show at the Hive. It defies any sort of description, but if you picture Vic Reeves Big Night Out in a bouncy castle, on acid, you’ll be close. It is joyful, wonderful fun.

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Joke’s over: why standups should refresh the tired ‘Edinburgh show’

The classic Edinburgh comedy show lasts an hour, with a strong narrative component and an inevitable ‘sad bit’. But this rigid template is stifling creativity

The late Sean Hughes had a reasonable claim to inventing what we now know as the “Edinburgh show”. Before 1990, wannabe comics went to the Edinburgh fringe and performed their best standup material. Hughes came along with something different: a funny monologue, set in his bedsit and containing a narrative to go with the gags. Comedy with a hint of theatre, in other words.

It worked: A One Night Stand not only won the Edinburgh comedy award (then called the Perrier), it got Hughes a Channel 4 series. And 28 years later, Hughes’s template for a 60-minute show still dominates the fringe.

So common is the ‘sad bit’ now that not only is it a cliche in comedy circles, it’s also become a cliche for standups to knowingly point it out

Related: Edinburgh award champ Rose Matafeo’s Horndog is a comedy smash

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Sarah Keyworth: Dark Horse review – tomboy tales and top-notch jokes

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
The LGBTQ+ standup twists gender into new shapes in a fringe debut that feels like a great intro to a fresh comic personality

Should we be disowning words like “boys” and “girls” – or broadening what those words are allowed to mean? Sarah Keyworth is in an interesting position to discuss the question. She’s LGBTQ+, even if she seldom lingers beyond the first letter. As a solo-show debutante, nominated for best newcomer at the Comedy awards, she’s part of generation pulling gender into new shapes. And her adolescence was blighted by bullying because she didn’t conform to stereotypes of what a girl should be.

Such is the stuff of Dark Horse – a maiden fringe hour that (as per convention) sets out Keyworth’s stall, but without a hint of navel-gazing. For that, we’ve got Roly to thank – he’s one of two well-heeled children she’s nannied for the last four years. Latterly, Roly emerges as the show’s subject and star, as Keyworth sees her mafia levels of infant confidence eroded by the pressure never to be “bossy”, far less a “slut”. Like Cora Bissett’s What Girls Are Made Of, Dark Horse is determined to let girls fearlessly be girls. Keyworth risks overarticulating the point, and there’s no need: her show could scarcely be better constructed to express it.

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Dazzling drama: the unmissable theatre, dance and comedy of autumn 2018

Gender-swapped classics, Hans Christian Andersen’s closet secrets, two giants of US comedy sharing a stage, plus Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as rulers in love

Twenty years after they made their names, the individual members of The League of Gentlemen are riding as high as ever – with Inside No 9 a cult smash on BBC2, and Mark Gatiss prominent in practically everything on TV. But they’ve carved out time – after a screen revival last Christmas – to return to their sinister Royston Vasey-based sketch comedy for an autumn tour (their first since 2005). Gatiss promises “some old favourites, some new stuff and some sort of sequels” to the three recent Christmas specials.
At SEC Armadillo, Glasgow, 28-29 August, then touring

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Rose Matafeo wins Edinburgh best comedy show award

New Zealander’s show about sex and modern social mores scoops top comedy gong

New Zealander Rose Matafeo has won the coveted best comedy show award at the Edinburgh fringe festival.

Steve Coogan, one of Matafeo’s comic heroes, presented her with the £10,000 prize at a ceremony in Edinburgh on Saturday.

Related: Young women are smashing it at Edinburgh as the #MeToo legacy kicks in | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Related: Edinburgh award champ Rose Matafeo’s Horndog is a comedy smash

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Rose Matafeo wins Edinburgh best comedy show award

New Zealander’s show about sex and modern social mores scoops top comedy gong

New Zealander Rose Matafeo has won the coveted best comedy show award at the Edinburgh fringe festival.

Steve Coogan, one of Matafeo’s comic heroes, presented her with the £10,000 prize at a ceremony in Edinburgh on Saturday.

Related: Young women are smashing it at Edinburgh as the #MeToo legacy kicks in | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Related: Edinburgh award champ Rose Matafeo’s Horndog is a comedy smash

Continue reading…

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