All posts by Leon Wagner

Can Comedy Defeat ISIS?

ISIS had better watch out because a new weapon might soon be deployed that it will really hate. No, not a new fighter jet or bomb. I’m talking “Borat.” And maybe even Chris Rock and Amy Schumer.

At least that’s what U2 frontman Bono told a Senate subcommittee last week, citing Sacha Baron Cohen, Rock and Schumer by name as he told the senators, “I think comedy should be deployed” in the fight versus ISIS.

— CNN opinion contributor Dean Obeidallah.

Read the full article on CNN.


Photo: When Elayne Boosler arrived on the stage in the ’80s, it seemed she’d been sworn in to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. With a crystal-clear voice and a rapid-fire delivery, Boosler was an eviscerating cultural and political commentator who knew how to land a joke. Condoms, crime, Republicans — you could get all of that and more in one sitting. In 1985, she pulled her own funds together to craft “Party of One,” making her the first woman to get her own hour-long TV comedy special.

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The David Feldman Show — March 18, 2016

Had the most fun doing David Feldman’s podcast in New York. Lots of never before heard stories. A great listen.

Comedian/writer/animal activist Elayne Boosler is best known for her thoughtful and feisty political humor, and her love of baseball and animals, all sharing a big part of her act. For forty years, she seemingly has appeared on every talk show ever on TV, has produced and written five one-hour Showtime comedy specials, written and directed two movies for Cinemax, appeared on Comic Relief for years, on Politically Incorrect over thirty times, and has hosted specials, series, and events. She has done lots of baseball color commentary, and sung the National Anthem and/or thrown out a first pitch, many times for many teams.

More on The David Feldman Show

TheaterJones - Elayne Boosler

Q&A: Elayne Boosler — TheaterJones (Dallas), March 2016


TheaterJones
North Texas Performing Arts News

by Amy Martin
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dallas — If you were into comedy in the ‘80s, you were into Elayne Boosler. She was everywhere. Touring, television, talk shows — omnipresent on the Late Show with David Letterman. She churned out a special every couple of years and did it on her own terms. When cable networks declined to do a special in spite of her popularity, saying a woman comedian couldn’t hold down an hour on television, she obtained loans and funded it. Party of One was a big hit and opened the way for females on television who were not just funny, but politically pointed and excruciatingly and honest. Comedians such as Ilza Schlesinger stand in her shoes.

Read the full article on TheaterJones.

How Comedy Finally Caught Up to Female Comedians -- Vulture, February 2016

How Comedy Finally Caught Up to Female Comedians — Vulture, February 2016

By Yael Kohen

Among club comics of the mid-1970s, Elayne Boosler was the queen bee. A funny lady from Brooklyn, Boosler started at the New York Improv as a waitress and singer, and it wasn’t long before she was onstage telling jokes like the guys of her generation. But as a woman, Boosler had to take more risks than her peers. That meant volunteering to follow hot comics like Richard Pryor or Freddie Prinze, while male comics let audiences cool off before trying out a set. Over time, Boosler developed the persona of a funny, sexy, smart woman. She was unquestionably feminist, though more by dint of being a liberated woman than any particular agenda.

Read the full article on Vulture.

The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy

The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy, Vulture, January 2016

Fun read if you love comedy. I’m there too.

By Jesse David Fox
llustration by Giacomo Gambineri

From the Marx Brothers to ​The Simpsons, Richard Pryor to Amy Schumer: 100 bits, sketches, and one-liners that changed humor forever…

The oldest joke on record, a Sumerian proverb, was first told all the way back in 1900 B.C. Yes, it was a fart joke: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.” Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it — something was definitely lost in time and translation (you have to imagine it was the Mesopotamian equivalent of “Women be shopping”), but not before the joke helped pave the way for almost 4,000 years of toilet humor. It’s just a shame we’ll never know the name of the Sumerian genius to whom we owe Blazing Saddles. But with the rise of comedy as a commercial art form in the 20th century, and with advances in modern bookkeeping, it’s now much easier to assign credit for innovations in joke-telling, which is exactly what Vulture set out to do with this list of the 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy.

Read the full article on Vulture.

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December 23-25, 2016 — Kung Pao Kosher Comedy — San Francisco

Kung Pao Kosher Comedy

New Asia Restaurant
772 Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 391-6666

Now in its 24th year, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy started out as a community service for all Jews who have ever been stuck on Christmas with nothing to do but hide under the covers, contemplate midnight Mass, or visit a Chinese restaurant… The audience began as 99% Jewish and has expanded to include Chinese-Jewish couples, interfaith ones, singles, families, gays, straights, undecideds, those who are far from home, and just generally people who like smart comedy mixed with Chinese food.

Tickets will be on sale here starting October 31.

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December 11, 2016 — Heichal HaTarbut, Modiin, Israel

Heichal HaTarbut

Emek Dotan 49
Modiin
Israel

December 11, 2016 at 8:30PM


Buy Tickets

Elayne joins comedians Avi Liberman, Allan Havey, and Tom Cotter for the Comedy for Koby Tour at Heihal HaTarbut in Modiin, Israel. Bringing you some of the best in American stand-up comedy, Comedy for Koby’s twice annual stand up comedy fundraising tour has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for bereaved children and families.

Yad Labanim, Raanana, Israel

December 10, 2016 — Yad Labanim, Raanana, Israel

Yad Labanim Raanana Cultural Center

Ahuza St 147
Ra’anana
Israel

December 10, 2016 at 8:30PM


Buy Tickets

Elayne joins comedians Avi Liberman, Allan Havey, and Tom Cotter for the Comedy for Koby Tour at the Yad Labanim Cultural Center in Raanana, Israel. Bringing you some of the best in American stand-up comedy, Comedy for Koby’s twice annual stand up comedy fundraising tour has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for bereaved children and families.