Andrew Meacham, Times Performing Arts Critic | Tampa Bay Times | March 8, 2017
A lot of comedians make a name for themselves by going loud, branding themselves almost literally into our brains. Elayne Boosler has always preferred topical, provocative and clever, and it’s worked for 40 years.
From Civilized.life | By James McClure | Feb 23, 2017
Comedians have always pushed boundaries and questioned social taboos, so it’s no surprise that so many of them have become part of cannabis culture — whether intentional or not. So to celebrate their contributions, we’ve put together a five-part series on the best marijuana moments from the all-time best standup comics, based on the list of the top 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time published earlier this month by Rolling Stone.
Here’s part one, featuring comedians ranked from #50-41. [Read article on Civilized…]
By Matthew Love | Rolling Stone | February 14, 2017
Imagine the prototypical female comic of the 1980s: Big hair, suit jacket with shoulder pads and the sleeves rolled up, the ubiquitous brick wall behind her. You’re imagining Elayne Boosler – but before that image became a cliché, it was just part of the stand-up act she had been honing for years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 in1900 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 oweBlazing 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.