Humor

Literally Underground Comedy

The Business is Awesome, And it's Moving Again

 

You’ve got a few last chances to catch a really funny and interesting show in the best little comedy basement in the city.

Underground comedy institution, The Business, is relocating yet again come September 18th, from Lost Weekend Video, to the Hemlock tavern. They moved earlier this year from their long-time home, The Dark Room, when it temporarily closed because those Spamalot dicks sent a cease and desist letter.

The reason for September’s move? Business regular Jules Posner says that they saw an opportunity to expand: “The Hemlock just happened to have Friday nights open up in the near future, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to step up to a higher capacity venue in a primetime slot.”

The venue is bigger and louder, but he promises the format won’t change, which is good news. The two big reasons I love this show: it’s got an incredibly loose format (something like The Benson Interruption where there is a second comic around to butt in whenever they feel like) and it gives the talented mainstays a unique opportunity to practice longer sets on a regular basis, so they can take their craft to the next level. Since there is another comic around to shoot the shit with, comedians can test weirder, newer material without getting marooned or losing step.

It’s a format that’s helping comics evolve. Former Business SF comics Sean Keane, Caitlin Gill, Chris Garcia, Chris Thayer, and Anna Seregina are establishing roots down south via The Business LA. The franchise has even extended to the East Coast. Original Business SF member Alex Koll (along with Jared Logan, Kara Klenk, and Michelle Wolff) launched The Business-NYC, which appears twice-monthly at The Stand.

Expansion is great for the comics, but the intimate, quasi-conversational style is perfectly suited for Lost Weekend’s tiny basement.

Catch it there while you can. Mondays at 8pm. The show is only five bucks.

Laughing and Crawling

The 2nd Annual SF Comedy Crawl is Tonight

 

The Bay Area has some top notch underground comedic talent, and the 2nd Annual SF Comedy Crawl is showcasing a bunch of it tonight. In contrast to your normal open mic rollercoaster of pretty good to so-shitty-it-borders-on-art, the Crawl is going to showcase over 20 seasoned local comics, most of which you probably haven’t seen, and all of them funny. Best of all, all three shows are free.

The whole thing starts at 6:00 PM at The Grotto, which is the fancy name for the actual basement of Sports Basement (on Bryant Street). Big plus: free beer and wine to start the night. At 8:00 PM, it’ll move down the block to the SOMA Streat Food Park at 428 11th street. The night rounds out at Il Pirata, hosted by none other than the Godfather of SF Comedy, Tony Sparks. Check out their facebook page for more info.

Keep an eye out for David Gborie and Kaseem Bentley, among others. These are the type of dudes that could get too big for this town in no time.

True Hustle Producer Anthony Medina will be hosting The Grotto set, and he’s been very busy lately putting up shows like this one. He’s passionate about fostering talent, and making sure people see it. For him, these shows aren’t just about making the audience laugh—they’re about giving local comics another platform.

“In my opinion, the Bay Area comedy scene is as good if not better than any other scene out there. We just want to put [comedians] in the position to get quality stage time, and get paid when they can.”

San Francisco is constantly losing comedians to LA, and The Crawl is one of those shows where you can catch a lot of great talent while it’s still around. Hell, if nothing else, show up for the free booze and see where the night takes you.

[Photo: Jay Austin Graham Photography]

Love in the Time of Tinder

The Mission’s Got a Live Dating Game Show

Of course the city that recently ranked #1 on Rent.com’s list of best cities for singles (39% single adults?!? Are you fucking kidding me?!!) has a live dating game show. The updated take on the saccharine, hetero-normative classic has been playing at Z Space for the better part of a year now. The creatively named ‘Z Dating Game’ is set up like the old show: 1 single person interviews 3 others in front of a crowd of strangers. Features that make this version particularly San Francisco:

  • Gay and Lesbian Rounds
  • Interpretive dance of people’s embarrassing sex stories
  • The venue is an old warehouse, repurposed as a theater/art gallery, because of course it is
  • From what I can tell, everyone is drunk
  • The press release is ironic: “Remember, the path to true love is always easier with hundreds of strangers vocally questioning your every step.”

This shameless exploitation of horny singles happens every couple of months. Z Dating Game is this Saturday, 8pm at Z Space (450 Florida St.). Advanced tickets can be purchased for $10 here, and are $20 at the door.

Maps Maps Maps

Judgmental Map Of San Francisco Shows You How to Avoid Harvard Grads, Find Hobo Blowjobs

San Francisco has no shortage of maps to tell us who belongs where, but the Judgmental Maps project has finally tackled our fine city and it’s surprisingly funny. From the worst supermarkets, to where to find the best dogs and drag races, this serves as a pretty spot on analysis of SF’s cultural landscape.  And if you’re feeling curious, do check out the rest of Judgmental Maps for other cities you might’ve heard of but will never visit, like Chattanooga and Dayton!

[Map by Dan Steiner, via Judgmental Maps]

Creepshot Queen

Google Glass Hate Crime Casualty Accused of "Surreptitiously Recording" Neighbors in 2012

Sarah Slocum embarrassed her way into the national spotlight late last month, telling her questionable story of being assaulted for sporting Google Glass in Molotov’s to any reporter needing to fill airtime.  The fallout was swift: bars banned the tech, bars banned the victim, an employee for Molotov’s was fired, and the tech community walked away with another black eye they didn’t ask for and didn’t deserve.

But Sarah Slocum continues to grandstand, asking Google for free tickets to SXSW and racking up tens of Twitter followers.  So imagine our surprise to learn that two years ago, a judge granted Sarah Slocum’s neighbors a restraining order on the wearable warrior for “surreptitiously recording them with her smartphone.”

The LA Times reports:

In an interview with The Times, Jessie Lilley Campbell said she was sitting with her husband and their landlord in the living room of their Aptos, Calif., home on the evening of May 15, 2012, when she noticed that someone was holding up a smartphone to record the conversation through an open window.

Campbell said she opened the front door and spotted Slocum, who at the time lived in a cabin on the property. She confronted Slocum, who denied recording the conversation.

The next morning, Campbell filed for a restraining order. Campbell said Slocum later admitted in court she recorded the conversation but said Campbell had no expectation of privacy.

“I didn’t surreptitiously record anyone,” she reiterated in regards to the Molotov’s incident. “I only started recording after they threatened me. And I told them the second I started recording them.”  Of course, her own video contradicts that statement.  Whatever.  Pass the popcorn, because this unmitigated disaster keeps getting better and better.

[Photo: shimshang]

Laugh to Keep from Crying

San Francisco Comedians Stand Up Against Ellis Act Evictions

The usually sombre proceedings of the SF Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Economic Development Committee meeting were livened up today by some of our favorite local comedians, who came to support a proposal requiring landlords to subsidize rents of evicted tenants for two years.

In the packed meeting room, The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project’s Erin McElroy presented some frightening numbers, including that of a survey of 171 people displaced by Ellis evictions, finding only 40 had managed to remain in the city. Later, the legendary humorist Marga Gomez spoke on behalf of the proposal. “I have been a renter since 1982. It’s my longest relationship.”

As for the headline set, Nato Green spoke on behalf of fellow small-time landlords, along with comedian renters Kate Willet, Matt Lieb, Nicole Calasich, Juan Medina and Sean Keane. “I can’t believe I have to follow that,” laughed the Tenants Union’s Ted Gullicksen, who took the microphone after Keane to reiterate the impact of evict-and-flip speculators.

Supervisor Jane Kim expressed her desire to see more comedians at meetings, since public comment offers everyone the opportunity to “wait a long time to speak for two minutes. And of course you won’t get paid.” Zing!

The committee will vote to send the bill to the full Board next week.

You can watch all the comments from the comedians below (be sure to catch Matt Lieb’s at 5:40 and Sean Keane’s at 10:00):

[Photo: Nato Green]

Herd of Ironic Fauxtesters to March Against Marches on Friday

Proving that irony can still be found in the Mission despite the turbulent times, the second annual SF Fauxtest aims to amuse and bewilder with a protest designed to air petty annoyances, chant against chanting, and generally tease protest culture.  Maybe they'll even stuff flowers in the exhaust pipes of Google buses.

Things kick off in Dolores Park at 5:15pm on Friday, followed by a march down Valencia.  Should you want to participate, there are plenty of fine photos from last year's Fauxtest to comb through for inspiration, but we're partial to this set of semi-serious signage:

[Facebook]

Things About SF Food Because the Only Thing People Agree is Still Good in SF is Food

The Pain of Living Without El Farolito

In honor of SF Sketchfest kicking off this weekend, SF Weekly put out a comedy issue this week, featuring a grip of essays from local comedians celebrating the Bay.  They’re all worth a read, but Moshe Kasher’s piece, which swings from sarcastic to wistful, was among the best:

The Bay Area is special. We have something that no one else does: the highest rent in the universe. But also other stuff! I live in L.A. now (release the hounds!), so I know all too acutely the pain of living without El Farolito. I know the suffering that comes when, upon awakening, the stark reality of a cup of Philz being more than six hours away hits your brain with more disruptive force than a Google bus displacing your grandparents from their neighborhood.

This is the nightmare I live through. Having tasted the manna of the Bay, I now trudge through the stark reality of “life” in Los Angeles. I am barely able to get up most mornings and make it to my numerous television call times and constant high-powered Hollywood lunch meetings. What’s the point?

But I come back to my home — the place I grew up, the place I started doing comedy. The place I learned the difference between farm-to-table tomato foam and farm-to-table tomato water.

Read on.

(And if you want to see Moshe sling jokes, he’s performing tonight at Cobb’s and the Mission’s own Verdi Club as part of Sketchfest.)

[Photo by Tamara Mann]

One More "One Less" Sticker

Cyclists have long had a grip of “one less” stickers to adorn their bikes with—everything from the “One Less Car” classic to the post-hip “One Less Fixie.”  Now Lil Tuffy has made a crop of “One Less Techbus” stickers for some top tube levity in these boomtown times.

You can score some for yourself Sunday afternoon at Pop's (noon-5pm), and Tuffy plans to drop a few off at Bender's.  Word is they're going fast, but he's accepting donations so he can print another run of them.

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