Nothing goes better on Cinco De Mayo than an ex-hedonist of legendary proportions drinking virgin margaritas, right? Right. Naturally, then, hilarious British hair model/recovering cupcake-breast-addict Russell Brand is coming to San Francisco that very day for a live comedy performance at newish Mission venue the Chapel. He won't be drinking, but that doesn't mean you can't.
by Emilie Mutert
Comedian Brian Posehn looks like that guy from your local comic shop or from the last metal show you went to (where you might have conceivably seen him) but you'd probably actually recognize him from his television appearances. He's an alum of Mr. Show, and he stretched himself to play Sarah Silverman's friend "Brian" on The Sarah Silverman Program.
If nothing else, 2013 is the Year of Maron. After a long career as a journeyman stand-up comic who moved from Boston to San Francisco to New York and finally to Los Angeles, Marc Maron has surged forward in the last three years, in large part due to the success of his unique and popular podcast, WTF. In extended, wide-ranging conversations, Maron interviews comedians, writers, musicians, and other creative artists, discussing their career arcs, the nature of creative work, and the meaning of success and failure. The podcast has revived his stand-up career, and in the next month alone, Maron is releasing a book of essays (Attempting Normal, out April 30) and a semi-autobiographical TV series debuts on IFC (simply titled Maron; the first episode airs May 3). In the midst of all this and more, Maron is stopping here in San Francisco on Saturday, April 13, for a performance at the Palace of Fine Arts, just a few days ahead of the New York City taping of his Netflix-exclusive stand-up special.
Maron recently spoke to us by phone about the whirlwind his life has become, and we started the discussion by dissecting a recent episode of WTF, taped live at SXSW, at which guest James Franco took umbrage at a remark Maron made near the close of the interview: Franco, referring to his Freaks and Geeks days, said, "I took myself pretty seriously then," to which Maron rejoined, "Not now, though, which is good." It was said in good-natured jest, but Franco, apparently, was not having it.
Comedian Nato Green is no stranger to these pages: in 2010, he was named "Best Comedian," and he was profiled in a 2011 cover story as well. As one third of the comedy trio Laughter Against the Machine, Green (along with fellow Machinists W. Kamau Bell and Janine Brito) highlighted the political and social inequalities that presently define this country. Now, after spending several months in New York writing for Bell's FX series, Totally Biased, Green is back in San Francisco with a couple of major new additions to his CV.
Just before The Business's founding member Alex Koll relocated to New York last month, Nato joined San Francisco's much-lauded weekly stand-up show -- and he's joining at a time of growth for the troupe, which performs every Wednesday at The Dark Room. Not only is the original S.F. chapter going through a partial changing of the guard, but the recently-established Los Angeles chapter is also taking off with weekly shows at the Lyric-Hyperion Theater, and Koll plans to set up a New York outpost in the near future.
Nato's latest video for JCCSF.
By Emilie Mutert
The Hella Gay Comedy Show is normally a once-a-month event featuring LGBT comics, but this month the tables are turning and straight comics are performing gay comedy. Plenty of straight actors play gay guys on television and in movies and porn, and now straight comedians are going to play gay comedians on stage, too.
By Emilie Mutert
Stephen Lynch is a talented musical comedian. His songs are well-constructed, like maybe you think it's going to be a Third Eye Blind song or something. But then you hear the words Lynch is singing, about how his girlfriend is a hermaphrodite ("she's my little girl, she's my little guy/when I try to please her I get poked in the eye") or how his wife is divorcing him because he likes rubbing up against young boys on the bus.
Erikka Innes embodies the spirit of nerdiness in her sophomore album, Smells Like Nerd Spirit. From an opener that wonders why female superheroes are required to have big boobs to a slew of self-deprecating ponderings and stories, Innes finds a contradictory line between a self-loathing, single anti-socialite and a proud, forward-thinking feminist. See also: Top Bay Area Comedians to Follow on Twitter
The event promoters known as The BitchSlap are behind many a female-centric comedy showcase in San Francisco, but "Tough Titties" actually supports boobs, albeit slightly indirectly. The event is a benefit for Spark, a local non-profit working on a statewide women's health pilot program, and includes door prizes for extra fundraising. Shanti Charan, who is SF Weekly's reigning Best Stand-Up on the Way Up, leads the night with comedy from the perspective of an adult whose mother still babies her and wants to keep her in the womb, while Leslie Small offers inappropriate humor in an unexpectedly sweet package. Meanwhile, Gabby Poccia pokes fun at religion, death, losing "boob weight," and social media, and somehow finds a way to positively spin traumatic Muni experiences for an audience's enjoyment.