comedy

Essay: Tribute To Fred And Jerry

Jun 22, 2020
Steve Burrows / Miramax

Two comedy legends passed away within the same week in May — Jerry Stiller and Fred Willard. Both of their contributions to comedy in all forms, from stage to television and film, are immeasurable and made them household names. 

Filmmaker and Wisconsin-native Steve Burrows had the pleasure of working with both Stiller and Willard on his film Chump Change — a Miramax showbusiness satire, most of which takes place in Wisconsin.

PaulaPoundstone.com

Paula Poundstone has been a regular panelist on the weekly NPR news quiz Wait! Wait!...Don’t Tell Me! for years. But she’s been influential on the American comedy scene since before that. Poundstone is also known for her HBO specials in the 1980s, she was the first woman to host the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, and she has just about endless stand-up credentials.

Clay McBride

People familiar with comedian Lewis Black's work might think that Wisconsin's swing-state status makes it a dangerous place to perform.

The self-described socialist is also an avid political commentator and the ACLU’s voting rights ambassador. But it’s not the politics that make performing in Wisconsin hazardous to his health. It’s the drinking. He describes a night where he and a group of Wisconsinites reached bar close. 

https://racheldoesstuff.com

Rachel Bloom might not be the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend from her hit TV show anymore, but the Emmy award-winning actress, songwriter, and comedian is still performing. From the role of Silver in Angry Birds 2 to her own stage show, Rachel Bloom Live, Bloom is bringing her particular brand of humor and music to worldwide audiences. 

"There's little to no fourth wall," says Bloom of her live show. "I love the shows changing as we go."

Nick Offerman On Human Rights & Handkerchiefs

Sep 10, 2019
David Hubelbank / Montclair Film / Wikimedia

Nick Offerman is best known for his Parks and Recreation character Ron Swanson. But the accomplished actor, comedian, and master woodworker, has a lot more to offer. 

Still, Offerman says the Ron Swanson character helps him connect with people, particularly as he tours with his stage show All Rise

Writer David Sedaris On 'Calypso' & Getting Older

Jun 17, 2019
Heike Huslage-Koch / Wikimedia

If you listen to public radio, you’ve probably heard David Sedaris. The writer has been a staple on This American Life and before that Morning Edition for many years.

Mitch Teich To Guest Host 'I Should Know This' Comedy Quiz Show

Jun 15, 2019
Courtesy Mitch Teich

For more than 20 years, one of the funny staples of weekend public radio listening has been the comedy quiz show Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! The show features a regular panel, special guests, and callers who weigh in on current news, events and pop culture in a way that blends improv with information.

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on October 7, 2017.

In the late 1970s and early '80s, Steve Martin was the most famous stand-up comedian in America.  Martin's albums, such as "Comedy Is Not Pretty" and "Wild and Crazy Guy" sold millions of copies and helped launch a career that went on to movies, novels, and stage plays.  But along the way, Martin lost his love for performing on stage in front of an audience.

Department of Defense

Election Day is right around the corner here in the U.S. But Nov. 6 isn't just a day of civic engagement here in Milwaukee. It's also the day that the creator of Freaks and Geeks and The 40-Year-Old Virgin brings his stand-up routine to the Turner Hall Ballroom.

Political Satirist Will Durst Has Too Much Material These Days

Sep 12, 2018
Junior Hansen Jr.

While there are aspects of the news coming out of Washington that sound like satire, it’s hard to be sure. With Will Durst, an award-winning political satirist and Milwaukee native, you can be sure it's satire. Though he now lives in California’s Bay Area, Durst is back in his home state for shows in Madison and Milwaukee before touring in Europe.

"I know what you're going to ask and I don't know!" Durst says right off the bat. "I've heard that people are so tired of hearing about Trump, I've heard that people can't get enough of Trump."

Milwaukee-comedy-festival
Milwaukee Comedy Festival

Summer is, of course, festival season in Cream City, and its funniest fest is just around the corner: the Milwaukee Comedy Festival. Now in its 13th year, its unofficial pre-kick-off event has become a tradition of its own. The event, called the Milwaukee Roast, aims to get us all laughing — at ourselves.

Photo courtesy of the Office of Marketing and Communication / Marquette Wire

When Jeannie Gaffigan takes the stage at Marquette University’s commencement this Sunday, it’ll almost feel like a victory lap.  Gaffigan graduated from Marquette, back when she was Jeannie Noth.  She’s been a comedy writer for years since then.

paulapoundstone.com

Paula Poundstone has been a familiar voice to public radio listeners for years, most notably as a regular panelist on the weekly NPR news quiz, Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! But Poundstone has been an influential voice on the American comedy scene since her HBO specials of the 1980s.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley / Defense Department/Wikimedia

Lewis Black is angry a lot of the time. At least in public. For the political comedian, that’s part of what people expect of him.

Comedian Will Durst on Lampooning the Presidency in the Post-Truth Era

Sep 22, 2017

Will Durst is back home this weekend. The political writer and comedian from Milwaukee lives in the Bay Area today, but has shows this Friday and Saturday at Comedy Sportz in Walker’s Point.

His show, Durst Case Scenario, explores America in the time of President Trump.  Normally, Durst says, the year after an election is a time when people are ready for a break from political comedy.  But not this year, he says. 

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