Tag Archives: Dwayne Kennedy

WTF Turns 100

Congratulations to Marc Maron – tomorrow will mark the one hundredth episode of his brilliant WTF podcast. Since September 2009, like clockwork, these hours of self-analysis, penetrating interviews and social observation keep popping out twice a week like gold.

The WTF Podcast page

The very first episode featured the Roastmaster General himself, Jeff Ross, and the array of guests he’s welcomed is staggering. Patton Oswalt, David Feldman, Maria Bamford, Jim Norton, Robin Williams, Dave Attell, Sarah Silverman, Doug Stanhope, Andy Kindler…he’s quietly assembled a library of audio documents that any serious comedy lover should savor.

And Maron, beyond being incredibly funny in his own right, has proven to be an incisive interviewer who is unafraid to broach sensitive topics (and yes, sometimes with a personal edge). Some of my favorites included a frank discussion of race with Chicago comic Dwayne Kennedy and some gutsy exchanges with two popular but controversial comedians accused of joke thievery (Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia).

Although many are recorded in his garage studio, Maron has taken WTF on the road and has even filmed a pilot for that will hopefully be picked up as a series. Not only will it bring in some welcome funding, but the show and its brilliant guests will get much-needed exposure to the vast majority of people who don’t even know the show exists, let alone where to find it. Surely there has to be room in the vast cable landscape for intelligent discourse?

For now, I’m just thankful that Maron, Bill Burr, Kevin Pollack and so many others have adopted the format and put this out there for free. With literally hundreds of hours of these shows available, there will never be another boring car ride. Ever.

Congratulations, Mark! Please try to enjoy the moment.

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Filed under Comedy, Reviews

Stand Up Wit…Dwayne Kennedy

Oh. My. God.

Prescriptioneers know I am a huge Marc Maron fan. Love the guy. Along with Doug Stanhope and Louis C.K., maybe the very best comedian on the planet at this moment. And his twice-a-week podcast, WTF, is a godsend.

Prescriptioneers also know that I have been touting Dwayne Kennedy for years. Well, today, the parallel universes crossed paths. Dwayne Kennedy joined Marc Maron on Episode 46 of WTF.

If you’re scratching your head trying to place the name Dwayne Kennedy, maybe Maron put it best in his introduction when he says “as soon as anything is about to happen for Dwayne – in a big way, in a show business way – Dwayne disappears!”

I first saw Dwayne do short sets on a couple of comedy shows and he absolutely killed, so I hit his pseudo-website which said that there was a CD that would be coming along soon. Of course, that was 2003…wherever that website was, it’s long gone. And sightings since then, sadly, have been few and far-between.

Dwayne Kennedy is absolutely funny as hell. His bits about the Bible and window shopping when poor, and young dumbasses and Jesus’ lesser known brother are flat-out brilliant. Somebody needs to go ring his doorbell, get him out to a taping and let him fly. It is criminal that there isn’t a CD or DVD out there to document what he does and widen his audience. And until he/they do that, savor these moments.

Dwayne’s first time on David Letterman and his second.

Dwayne on Jimmy Kimmel.

Dwayne’s new website – sadly, still no CD.

"No! I don't have a clue! But good luck in prison!"

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Filed under Comedy, Features and Interviews, Reviews

A Tip of the Comedy Cap

comedy-mask

It’s difficult to write about comedy, whether live or recorded, because funny is obviously a personal subjective reaction. I also don’t like to give too many details about the specific routines; why would I want to spoil a beautiful set-up and punch line by having you read it like a cue card? That would be like humming “Whole Lotta Love” instead of playing it really loud.

Add to that the fact that I’m not in NYC or LA, let alone Boston or Chicago, so it’s difficult to immerse myself in the scene 24/7, let alone get to see some of the brightest lights and/or up-and-comers without a great deal of planning. My city is fortunate enough to have a thriving comedy club, but it’s a single aisle of comics coming through rather than the massive superhighway of Manhattan’s available stages. (Then again our worst traffic jam is five minutes of driving at 35 instead of 60…so you see, life balances out.)

As a result, like many of you, I scour the web and the late night talk shows and ramble around YouTube or Funny Or Die and wherever else I can to discover (as in new-to-me, I’m no anthropologist) some great laughs. I’ve come across a few sites that any comedy fan should check out – you’ll probably become as big a fan of them as I am. Here are four of my favorites:

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Sean L. McCarthy’s The Comic’s Comic is a wonderland of clips, interviews and information, and worthy of a daily swing-by. An experienced stand-up comedian himself, he’s written about comedy for Entertainment Weekly, the NY Daily News and the Boston Globe (among others) and he’s prolific with updates to the site. Between his absolute love of the genre and his personal access to a lot of the comedians, readers get a great pulse-check on who is about to break as well as some insight that you won’t read in most other places. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a jealous bastard every time I click onto his site.

Effinfunny. Do I even need to add anything else to that name? Sandeep Parikh’s site is the all-you-can-eat buffet for the hungry comedy fan. Do not click on this site unless you are prepared to kill the rest of your day aimlessly following one tangent after another. My most recent discovery of the four and I’m sure I’ll be looking there for links to include in the comedy reviews and profiles I’ll be running.

Brian McKim and Traci Skene run SHECKYMagazine, a by-comics for-comics site that probably focuses more on the inside workings of the industry than simple lists of links and clips. As active working performers, it’s great to get a peek behind their curtain, so you will be just as likely to read a complaint about a shitty clubowner or kudos about a well-organized festival as you will a news blip about a comic’s new special or a critique of someone’s recent TV appearance. Possibly the world’s longest webpage (the scroll bar is so wafer-thin I’m afraid it might disappear!) they’ve been online for ten years and there’s a ton of great reading for those (like me) who can’t get enough.

Cringe Humor is not only a collection of links, clips and features, but produces an annual comedy awards show and hosts streaming radio stations and podcasts…a touch-point for those of you who think Opie and Anthony might be too middle-of-the-road. If you’re a fan of Tough Crowd, Jim Norton, Robert Kelly and other comics on the edge, Patrick Milligan’s site is your clubhouse. Looks like it’s in the process of being revamped, but the material is still available for stream and download. They bill themselves as “comedy that will challenge your morality”, so let that be the caveat – you probably don’t want to be accessing most of this site at the workplace.

Here are some clips and tips – a gift for those who read this far…

How to make a comedian disappear

How to make a comedian disappear

Jamie Kilstein is consistently hilarious. Here’s an older bit where he riffs on alcohol versus drugs, drops a great line about a threesome and somehow makes the standard “Mapquest sucks” routine fresh and funny. Here’s a more recent bit from the Comedy Store in London and a John McCain joke, too.  I hear a lot of Bill Hicks in his attitude and Dave Attell in his cadence/delivery (especially in the London clip) and he’s obviously fearless and relentless. Love his thoughts after the death of George Carlin.  He’s tours the globe, writes columns for The Huffington Post, hosts a radio show and kills on stage…yet he might still be flying under your radar. Jamie did have a limited release CD called Please Buy My Jokes but look for the upcoming Zombie Jesus soon on Stand-Up Records.

Eddie Gossling has an older CD (Fresh Brewed Eddie) available through his site and a newer release Live at the DC Improv (only available through iTunes), but you have probably come across him on Comedy Central or Premium Blend if not at your favorite club. Here’s his fantastic piece about quitting a crap job (you’ll know what the routine is really called after you watch this). Hardly looks like the same guy here, but this other piece you’ll learn why magicians are full of shit and wizards are for real.

And high on my list of comics who don’t have an album out but absolutely need to, check out Dwayne Kennedy. Here’s a clip from Premium Blend along with his first and second appearances on Letterman. His half hour on Comedy Central is priceless; watch some clips from that here.  Dwayne, we need to hear more from you.

Life is short. Laugh every day.

 

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Filed under Comedy, Editorials, Reviews