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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Comedy Preview: F is for Family Creator Bill Burr Makes His Dreams Come True

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Bill Burr Thursday, Sept. 15–Saturday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m., $42–$60 The Carolina Theatre, Durham Stand-up comedian Bill Burr has recently garnered attention for his animated Netflix series, F is for Family, where his credits include co-creator, voice actor, writer, and co-producer. For nearly a decade, his Monday Morning Podcast has stood on its own without relying on pretentious intro music, stock sponsors—Burr humorously riffs when reading advertisements—or guests (he has just a handful each year). Now the second season of F is for Family is in post-production, the recording of Burr’s new comedy special is coming up, and he...

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Geeking out with John Hodgman at the Carolina Theatre

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 2:03 PM

John Hodgman Carolina Theatre, Durham Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 You got me: I was being a little cheeky about my dislike of John Hodgman in my preview for the INDY. I’m a fan. Yes, he’s something of an epicure and clothes horse, a blue-blooded New Englander. Yes, he plays ukulele and sings in a lovely tenor voice. And yes, he has a permanent twinkle in his eye. But he’s also a huge nerd, and this is where my affection for him begins. In his Carolina Theatre show, Vacationland, Hodgman revealed that he grew up watching Doctor Who. He admitted a...

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Live review: Filmmaker John Waters looks for new ways to be bad in Durham

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 1:40 PM

John Waters: "This Filthy World" The Carolina Theatre, Durham Friday, Feb. 6 At 68, there are still many things that filmmaker John Waters (see the INDY's recent interview) wants to do with his life. He wants to be a snobby GPS narrator—turn left, asshole—and he wants to open a bar with emergency room-style lighting and a claw machine game with expired prescriptions as prizes. He wants to be in one of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies (and he’s working on it). He wants to open a movie theater called “Sinema One” that doesn’t show movies but instead offers an all-you-can-eat...

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Interview: A resurgent Paul Reiser on life after Mad About You

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 11:23 AM

Paul Reiser The Carolina Theatre, Durham Saturday, Jan. 31, 8 p.m. Even Paul Reiser admits that he’ll probably always be most remembered for his Emmy-winning 1990s sitcom Mad About You, but the veteran actor, writer and comedian has enjoyed a renewed profile recently, including a supporting turn in Best Picture Oscar nominee Whiplash as well as roles on the FX series Married and Amazon’s Red Oaks—and now, a new stand-up comedy tour, coming to the Carolina Theatre this weekend. We recently spoke with Reiser about the surprise success of a small film, the changing entertainment business and whether he’s ready...

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Comedy preview: Neil Hamburger brings his anti-comic style to Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Neil Hamburger Saturday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m. Neptunes Parlour So you’re about to talk to a comedian who plays a comedian on stage: a bitter, offensive, gross-looking, not-that-funny-but-still-funny-in-a-weird-pitiful-is-this-really-happening kind of way. Then, a thought flashes into your head mere minutes before the interview: Will you be talking to the character or the guy playing him?  The character in question is Neil Hamburger, a comic persona created by 46-year-old, Australian-born Gregg Turkington. On stage, Turkington (as Hamburger) rocks a tuxedo, gigantic glasses, a hideous comb-over and a spiteful scowl, often cradling a trio of drinks that get spilled on him and the...

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Zach Ward returns to full-time role at DSI Comedy Theater

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeZach Ward in Carrboro, 2010 DSI Comedy Theater’s founder, owner and executive producer Zach Ward returns to Carrboro and DSI this month. Last week, the theater announced his return, following a two-year stint at ImprovBoston in Cambridge, Mass. In a telephone interview, Ward says that returning to North Carolina was always part of his plan when he decided to go to Boston in 2011 and cites raising his 1-year-old son as a key reason for making the move back to his hometown. “When I left, I knew what I wanted to accomplish in five years,...

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Embrace your inner goddess: 50 Shades of musical kink

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Photo by Michael BrosilowUnless you live under a rock, you’ve likely heard of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic romance series Fifty Shades of Grey. The trilogy had less than illustrious origins: The first book began as a piece of self-published online Twilight fan fiction. But the series—known as “mommy porn” by some—catapulted to fame thanks to the power of word-of-mouth and the thrill of the transgressive. For many readers, the tale of the sadomasochistic relationship between young Anastasia Steele and sexy millionaire Christian Grey was their first foray into smutty literature. To date, the Fifty Shades series has sold more than...

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Kevin Allison and the risks he takes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 8:58 AM

About 20 or so years ago, Kevin Allison was mostly known as that ginger dude from the MTV sketch-comedy crew The State, mostly serving as the straight guy for the other players’ more wacked-out characters. These days, Allison is less about playing roles and more about telling stories, mainly on his podcast, RISK!. Sort of a more uninhibited version of public-radio shows like The Moth and This American Life, host Allison usually corrals many funny people (to name a few, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, his former castmates in The State) to tell stories that are brutally...

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Friday, September 28, 2012

A conversation with Joe Rogan, the podcasting, joke-thief slayer

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Photo by Brian FriedmanJOE ROGAN@Memorial Auditorium7:30 p.m. When it comes right down to it, Joe Rogan will always be a stand-up. He may have served as a electrician of the '90s cult sitcom Newsradio, a replacement host for The Man Show, a UFC commentator and, most infamously, the host of the extreme reality show Fear Factor. But the man still takes pleasure performing his wild-eyed, button-pushing brand of stand-up. And when he isn't standing up riffing and ranting, he's sitting down, still riffing and ranting, as host of the podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan, 45, talked to the Indy...

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Too-live crew: Neil Hamburger, Todd Barry and the hazards of live comedy

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Photo by Danny Norton/ Creative CommonsNeil HamburgerNeil Hamburger/ Todd BarryKings BarcadeAug. 17 In this age of comedians getting raked over the coals for being comedians—the slightly-est offensive, work-in-progress joke getting laid out in a comedy-club setting only to be regurgitated (usually very badly) by some online prude, pitifully looking for other people to join along in the I-can’t-believe-he-said-that circus—a writer could feel conflicted while reviewing a stand-up comedy show. Even if I do like the jokes the comics dispense, I still won’t do them a kindness reciting their material in print. For many comics, especially the trio of comics I...

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Chris Gethard talks about weirdness, New Jersey and tonight's show at Cat's Cradle

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Wikimedia CommonsIf you have no idea who Chris Gethard is, then you obviously haven’t been watching The Chris Gethard Show, quite possibly the most quietly addictive show on the Internet. Simultaneously broadcasted on Wednesday nights on Manhattan public access and Ustream (the episodes are also archived on iTunes and Blip.tv), the show features Gethard and a peanut gallery of sidekicks, including ornery best friend Shannon O’Neill, various people in costumes, an old lady who constantly hula-hoops and Human Fish, a man who’s mainly covered in swim trunks, flippers and an unbelievable amount of body hair. With their assistance, Gethard has...

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Birbiglia, Emo and Brill: Zach Ward discusses returning to North Carolina to oversee NC Comedy Arts Festival

Through Feb. 19

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 2:09 PM

NC Comedy Arts FestivalZach Ward (right), performing with Emo Philips at last year's NCCAFZach Ward is currently making it his thing to be at two places at once. The former Chapel Hill resident and current DSI Comedy Theater owner and executive producer has been making Boston his home as of late, running the ImprovBoston theater in Cambridge, Mass. However, he’s still very much an integral, behind-the-scenes member of his pride and joy, the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, which began yesterday with shows at the DSI Comedy Theater. We spoke to Ward about what to expect at this year’s festival,...

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fortune rising: One-time Peace College student returns to Raleigh for Goodnights gig

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Fortune FeimsterYou hate to be the asshole who points out that it’s a good thing Fortune Feimster has that first name, since a lot of that has been coming her way as of late. But it’s true. The 31-year-old stand-up comic and Belmont, N.C. native has gotten herself the sweetest of gigs, as a writer for Chelsea Lately. Feimster says there were many people angling to be on Chelsea Handler’s popular, late-night bitchfest. Luckily, her appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing led to Handler and her staff taking a chance on her. “They had about 400 people apply and I...

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interview: The areas of John Hodgman's expertise; tonight at Durham Armory

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Photo by Bradley GutierrezWriter John Hodgman has become an international symbol of geekery since he began appearing on Comedy Central's The Daily Show in 2005 to promote his book of fake trivia, The Areas of My Expertise. Since then, he's become a regular on The Daily Show, appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, developed an enormous Internet following and, of course, appeared as the oft-upstaged personification of the personal computer in the "Mac vs. PC" TV advertisements. Now, Hodgman has completed his continuously paginated saga of false knowledge with That is All (Dutton, $25), a massive compilation of made-up...

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Now clean and sober, Steve-O doesn't "have to hurt himself anymore"

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 11:01 AM

steveo.comThere are many dumb things Steve-O regrets. Taking a leap from a plane without a parachute into an ocean is one of them. There was also that time he got an unemployed registered nurse to intravenously fill him with five ounces of vodka. And, of course, there was that rap album. But now that he’s 36 years old and three years sober, the Jackass crew’s rowdiest, most extreme daredevil has became more serene and cautious these days. (Viewers of the last, cinematic Jackass outing, Jackass 3D, may have noticed how he sat out the more dangerous stunts, but still took...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"The storytelling animal": Salman Rushdie at Duke

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Salman Rushdie's lecture Tuesday night, at Duke University's Page Auditorium, was technically "sold out," although tickets were free. So it seemed appropriate that Rushdie began his engaging and witty talk, "Public Events, Private Lives: Literature and Politics in the Modern World," the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute's Distinguished Lecture, by talking about Charles Dickens. As Rushdie recounted for the audience, Dickens was probably the first really famous novelist. In his travels to America, he "perform greatest hits from his works"—spicing up the act by adopting the different voices of his characters—for packed houses, and was chased down the street...

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Emo Philips keeps it old school at NC Comedy Arts Festival

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Photo by Andy HollingworthComedians are often friendly and thoughtful people in interviews, but rarely are they actually funny. But Emo Philips proves the exception to the rule, rambling off sometimes a dozen hilarious one-liners in the course of a single sentence. Here, for example, is his explanation as to why he’s playing the NC Comedy Arts Festival at Cat’s Cradle: “Well, about two years ago, I played Charlie Goodnight’s in Raleigh, and (festival creator) Zach Ward came up to me afterwards, and asked, ‘Would you like to play this festival?’ And I thought, ‘Boy, it’d be nice to play a...

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Bobcat Goldthwait: More than just a "Grover voice" at Goodnight's

Posted By on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM

For a generation of comedy fans, Bobcat Goldthwait is known as that guy with the weird, grating, man-child voice—one he used to great effect alongside Bill Murray in Scrooged, John Cusack in One Crazy Summer and multiple Police Academy films as reformed gang leader Zed. But in recent years, the once larger-than-life Goldthwait is keeping it small. He’s gone from the guy who once set The Tonight Show guest chair on fire to the acclaimed writer-director of the small-scale, ribald and pitch-black comedies Sleeping Dogs Lie and World’s Greatest Dad. Still, his wild-man reputation persists. Not that Goldthwait—whose weekend gig...

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting mocked by Tracy Morgan is the new black

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 9:23 AM

D.L. AndersonTracy Morgan during his set Sunday nightThe sign outside the main room at Goodnight’s Comedy Club on Hillsborough St. borrows the movie industry’s ratings system used to assess the kid-friendliness of each performer. Tonight’s sold-out show, featuring 30 Rock star, movie lead and Saturday Night Live veteran Tracy Morgan is rated X. In our jaded times, rating something X for language might seem like a bit of overkill. Not tonight. Months ago, when this show was announced, I bought a ticket and reserved a dinner table at Goodnight’s Comedy Club. It turned out to be a smart move—not only...

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jennifer Coolidge: More than just a MILF

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 3:42 PM

[caption id="attachment_1674" align="alignleft" width="204" caption="Jennifer Coolidge in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans, which plays its final Triangle engagement Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. (Photo courtesy of First Look Pictures)"] It took one simple acronym to put Jennifer Coolidge in the public eye: "MILF." Since her appearance as the teen-deflowering Stifler's mom in 1999's American Pie, the actress says she's been inundated with scripts for "horny mother and trophy wife" roles. But she looks back on the part with fondness: "It's gotten me a lot of dates." Coolidge will appear at Goodnight's for a stand-up...

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

(Very) new playwright wins 2009 ArtsCenter Play Slam

Posted By on Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 12:34 AM

"I'd never written a play before this spring. Since then, I've written nine of them." The surprising words belong to nacent playwright Debbie Barrett, who apparently won the 2009 ArtsCenter Play Slam on Saturday night in Carrboro based on 22% of her total lifetime dramatic output -- to date, at any rate. Under rules similar to those used in poetry slams, a boisterous crowd of over 200 voted her tender, comic three-minute play Conception as one of the top five plays in the first round of competition. Then A Commitment in Ink sealed the deal in round two, garnering the...

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Friday, October 9, 2009

“Larry the Cable Guy” to David Cross: Get ’er done

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Indy contributor Danny Hooley wrote this preview of David Cross' performance in Durham Wednesday night. He then went to the show and found that the show started before the patrons even entered Fletcher Hall. Poor "Larry the Cable Guy." He thought he was going to a Jeff Foxworthy show. Instead, he found out that the ticket he purchased for the Carolina Theatre Wednesday night was for his old nemesis, David Cross. When he discovered his boneheaded mistake, he tried the only thing he could think of: scalping. "Git 'er donnnne! Y'all need tickets?" There he was, in all his...

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