Thursday, November 6, 2008

How can you vote FOR Obama AND FOR Prop 8.

I don't know if I buy all the arguments in the article below. (It's weird how things are usually in some way black people's fault. Isn't it?) I just know that it sucks that an the first black presidential election has to be couple with this. Isn't it pathetic that this issue is the only one that Obama and McCain totally agree on. COME ON, PRESIDENT (elect) OBAMA!

The fact that gay marriage didn't pass is all our faults. I personally am committing to doing more. Exactly how... I don't know yet. But I do know that I WANT MY FRIENDS TO BE ABLE TO GET MARRIED SO THEY CAN GO THOUGH ALL THE WEDDING PLANNING STRESS THAT I'M GOING THROUGH!!!

Wednesday, Nov. 05, 2008
Why Gay Marriage Was Defeated in California
By John Cloud

Nov. 4 may have been a joyous day for liberals, but it wasn't a great day for lesbians and gays. Three big states — Arizona, California and Florida — voted to change their constitutions to define marriage as a heterosexuals-only institution. The losses cut deep on the gay side. Arizona had rejected just such a constitutional amendment only two years ago. It had been the first and only state to have rebuffed a constitutional ban on marriage equality. In Florida, where the law requires constitutional amendments to win by 60%, a marriage amendment passed with disturbing ease, 62.1% to 37.9%.

And then there was California. Gay strategists working for marriage equality in this election cycle had focused most of their attention on that state. Losing there dims hopes that shimmered brightly just a few weeks ago — hopes that in an Obama America, straight people would be willing to let gay people have the basic right to equality in their personal relationships. It appears not.

The California vote was close but not razor-thin: as of 10 a.m. P.T., with 96.4% of precincts reporting, gays had lost 52.2% to 47.8%. Obama did not suffer the much-discussed "Bradley effect" this year, but it appears that gay people were afflicted by some version of it. As of late October, a Field Poll found that the pro-gay side was winning 49% to 44%, with 7% undecided. But gays could not quite make it to 49% on Election Day, meaning a few people may have been unwilling to tell pollsters that they intended to vote against equal marriage rights.

Gays are used to losing these constitutional amendment battles — as I said, Arizona was the only exception — but gay activists cannot claim they didn't have the money to wage the California fight. According to an analysis of the most recent reports from the California secretary of state, the pro-equality side raised an astonishing $43.6 million, compared with just $29.8 million for those who succeeded in keeping gays from marrying. The money the gay side raised is surprising for two reasons: first, the cash-Hoover known as the Obama campaign was sucking down millions of dollars a day from the nation's liberals. Many gays expected it to be difficult to raise money to fight Proposition 8 and its plan to outlaw same-sex marriage from Democrats eager to give to Obama and to the outside 527 groups supporting him. As recently as August, one of the nation's top gay political givers told me that he expected the gay side to raise no more than $25 million.

But a series of high-profile Hollywood donations, as well as a frantic, nationwide push for gays to get out their checkbooks, turned out to be quite successful in the short term. East Coast gays had been lulled into inaction by the Oct. 10 Connecticut Supreme Court decision granting gay couples the right to marry — a decision that hadn't required gays to write a single check. But gay people in Los Angeles and San Francisco cajoled and shamed their Eastern friends into opening their wallets. Thousands of California gay couples got married in the past few weeks, and I didn't see a single invitation to a gay ceremony that didn't include a plea to donate to the pro-equality campaign in lieu of buying wedding gifts.

Still, even though gays were fighting to preserve a basic right, it was the anti-equality side in California that seemed to have the most fervor. A symbolic low point for the gay side came on Oct. 13, when the Sacramento Bee ran a remarkable story about Rick and Pam Patterson, a Mormon couple of modest means — he drives a 10-year-old Honda Civic, she raises their five boys — who had withdrawn $50,000 from their savings account and given it to the pro-8 campaign. "It was a decision we made very prayerfully," Pam Patterson, 48, told the Bee's Jennifer Garza. "Was it an easy decision? No. But it was a clear decision, one that had so much potential to benefit our children and their children."

You could argue that marriage equality has little to do with children, but Patterson seemed to speak to Californians' inchoate phobias about gays and kids. On the Friday before the Bee story appeared, a group of San Francisco first-graders was taken to city hall to see their lesbian teacher marry her partner. Apparently the field trip was a parent's idea — not the teacher's — but the optics of the event were terrible for the gay side. It seemed like so much indoctrination.

That news came around the same time the pro-amendment forces were running a devastating ad showing a self-satisfied San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom shouting wild-eyed at a rally that same-sex marriage was inevitable "whether you like it or not." The announcer then said darkly, "It's no longer about tolerance. Acceptance of gay marriage is now mandatory." Many fence sitters were turned off by Newsom's arrogance; blogger Andrew Sullivan attributed mid-October polls against the gay side to the "Newsom effect."

Gays came back in some polls, but they couldn't pull out a win. Part of the reason is that Obama inspired unprecedented numbers of African Americans to vote. Polls show that black voters are more likely to attend church than whites and less likely to be comfortable with equality for gay people. According to CNN, African Americans voted against marriage equality by a wide margin, 69% to 31%. High turnout of African Americans in Florida probably help explain that state's lopsided vote to ban same-sex weddings.

Gays did win some victories yesterday. A new openly gay member of Congress, Jared Polis of Colorado, will go to the House in January. And thanks in part to the Cabinet, the group of [a {e}]lite gay political donors I wrote about recently, Democrats took the New York senate. The entire New York legislature is now in Democratic hands, and New York's governor, David Paterson, is one of the nation's most eloquent pro-marriage-equality representatives. He is also, by the way, African American. Perhaps he can help bridge the gap between gays and blacks that widened on Nov. 4.

Then this happened: SF Chroncile part 2

Below you will see the ten comments written by people who read the Chronicle article and then felt compelled to put their two cents in. HOORAY FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

Add Your Comment

11/5/2008 11:43:41 AM

Well, black entitlement is a big part of racism. When you talk about racism to African Americans , they go, 'That's not me, that's those other people, that's people in Oakland.' If I talk about black entitlement, that's a different thing, and in my life, (black entitlement) creates more racism than a couple of brothas in a Cadillac."

Recommend: (11)(4)[Report Abuse]

11/5/2008 12:06:32 PM

Comedian Southern Bell would like Bay Area residents to know something: Whoever wins the election, it's OK to call Barack Obama evil. "I've been doing some political shows lately, and I always make it clear that my opinion is that he's evil - not just that he's confused, or he's stupid, although he is that too," Southern Bell says.

Recommend: (4)(3)[Report Abuse]

11/5/2008 12:14:16 PM

historian I'll go one further.. That beady eyed guy Bidden looks as evil as Obama. They look like some species you would see in one of the outer planets in Star War. Now, that's just my opinion! It looks like not to many people read this article. I didn't know what the hell the guy was talking about half the time. Maybe the interviewer could have asked more follow up questions so that the guy could had given more of a explanation for whatever he was talking about

Recommend: (4)(3)[Report Abuse]
This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by an SFGate editor.

11/5/2008 1:53:28 PM

Thanks for the recap--this is another comedian I don't have to waste my time or money seeing.

Recommend: (6)(2)[Report Abuse]

11/5/2008 3:15:49 PM

You said "Racism will not be over if Barack wins." Unfortunately, you are probably right. As long as there are people like yourself that have a vested interest in the perpetuation of racism we will probably never get past it. It would be really nice if we could all try, though.

Recommend: (3)(2)[Report Abuse]

11/5/2008 3:21:39 PM

"which got him named best comedian in San Francisco by S.F. Weekly" - I must have missed that, it was probably squeezed somewhere between all the hooker ads. I'm betting if I replaced the word "white" with "black" and every derogatory term he uses for whites with a term equally derogatory for blacks I would sound like the Grand Dragon riling up his white robed minions but when this guy does it's his "attempt to take it to a collegiate level. " Darn, these new rules of racism are confusing!

Recommend: (8)(2)[Report Abuse]

11/5/2008 3:42:53 PM

Wow, this is going a long way toward ensuring that there is no joining together of anyone. What a sad sack this young fella is.

Recommend: (3)(1)[Report Abuse]

11/5/2008 5:39:42 PM

Please Mr Bell. Racism is what we are trying to trash. Not much humor in the hard work. Please pick a different subject. Maybe how funny it is to eat eggs from a chicken that can't turn around.

Recommend: (0)(1)[Report Abuse]

11/5/2008 5:46:51 PM

Oooh evil comedian! If you can laugh at racism or you can cry about it. I'd rather laugh and poke fun about it the way Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor did. This guy is not in their league but I think I will go check out his show.

Recommend: (1)(4)[Report Abuse

Another black guy was in The Chronicle Yesterday TOO!

Comedian W. Kamau Bell would like Bay Area residents to know something: Whoever wins the election, it's OK to call John McCain evil.

"I've been doing some political shows lately, and I always make it clear that my opinion is that he's evil - not just that he's confused, or he's senile, although he is that too," Bell says.

Well, then. Bell, 35, has been watching presidential politics very closely in preparation for another run of his hit one-man show, "The W. Kamau Bell Curve," which begins this weekend. As with last season's performances in Oakland and San Francisco - which got him named best comedian in San Francisco by S.F. Weekly - Bell will continue to make race central to the show.

In his act, Bell straddles the line between stand-up comedy and scripted solo show. "Don't get me wrong, I want it to be funny," says Bell. "I think that at stand-up clubs, though - and I'm as guilty of this as anybody - discussions of race stay on a junior high level. This show is my attempt to take it to a collegiate level. "

The Chronicle sat down with Bell, who recently became engaged, to get a preview of this fall's performances and find out what he thinks politics can tell us about race relations.

On what's new in his new show:
"Much of the new material are things that I won't be able to start writing until (after the election). There's going to be a lot of new stuff. I myself can't wait to see it. ... Also, I'm really sharpening the attack of the show. A lot of people have been surprised that I haven't focused on one thing, done the whole 'I was born in 1973 ...' monologue, but this isn't like your traditional solo show. The fun thing for me is to comment on things that are happening as they are happening."

On talking to Bay Area audiences about racism: "Well, white privilege is a big part of racism. When you talk about racism to liberals, they go, 'That's not me, that's those other people, that's people in Texas.' If I talk about white privilege, that's a different thing, and in my life, (white privilege) creates more racism than a couple of dudes in a pickup truck."

On not being the new Spalding Gray: "A few years ago I saw a show in New York by Reno called 'Rebel Without a Pause.' It felt like she was just up there talking to us, mostly about 9/11, but there were a lot of jokes, which I recognized from stand-up. I had never seen anyone do it like that. Usually, in a solo show, someone would disappear into themselves or play a thousand characters, which is great, but I don't have that skill or interest. Also, doing shows like this makes my stand-up better."

On his own inner racist: "I really am trying to make the show more personal and put my own racism out there. I want to get away from the show being this guy on high, standing on a soapbox, yelling at everyone else, so I've been cataloging my own racism. Like, for instance, I really get mad when I see black people on the street tap-dancing for money. I get really Texas about it, even if they're doing it well and especially if they have a crowd around them and especially when black people are break-dancing. I mean, 25 years later? This is our best way?"

On Sarah Palin going "rogue":
"It's a sign of the sinister nature of the pairing of those two, Sarah Palin and John McCain. The sinister, calculated and cynical pairing. ... He could have picked someone who he was friends with, and who would have stood by him. They're like a couple of James Bond villains."

On rednecks and avowed racists supporting Obama:
"I don't know what the numbers will say, but I totally believe it's true. I think there are people who know that their self-interest is to vote for this thing that is Barack Obama and they are going to just say (sighs), "Guess I'm going to vote for the n-." And I think it's a sign of how totally f- up this country is. Barack's winning is like turning over a log and finding all these things under the log. It's like turning on a light and finding all these roaches. Racism will not be over if Barack wins."

The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Opens 8 p.m. Fri. and runs weekends through Dec. 13. Go to Web site for schedule. Tickets: $25, with a two-for-one deal if you come with a person of a different race. Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St., San Francisco. (415) 290-4456.

For a look at last year's show, go to

E-mail Reyhan Harmanci at

This article appeared on page E - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A great definition of WHITE PRIVILEGE: ANDY ROONEY

WOW! I actually found a white man older and more out of touch than John McCain.

Ever wonder what people mean when they talk about White Privilege?

(Or at least what I mean when I talk about White Privilege?)

Watch CBS Videos Online

My "favorite" line...

"If someone doesn't have a job, it probably isn't because there are no jobs that need doing. It's more likely to be because the jobs available aren't the kind of work a lot of unemployed people want to do."

Seriously, Mr. Rooney? SERIOUSLY?! At least have the courage to have your feet propped up on an undocumented worker while you say that, Mr. Rooney.

I've worked in condom store, and ice cream shop, a medical bookstore, Michael Jordan's Restaurant, as a janitor in my old high school (AFTER I graduated), and a nanny (among numerous other jobs). NONE of those jobs is as good as being a writer. If they had been I'D STILL BE DOING THEM... And I love those kids.

Mr. Rooney, take your "Poor People Are Lazy and Unmotivated" speech and shove it up your swollen prostate... Or take it to the Republican National Committee fundraiser circuit. Your choice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Jackson 5 reunite WITH MICHAEL JACKSON?!


Don't believe me?

Click here.

Ok... slow down, Michael. Just because America is almost, maybe, possibly, hopefully, about to elect its first black president, doesn't mean that we're ready to open up the floodgates. It is no indication that we're ready for THIS!

Look, Michael... If we look at this over an infinite time line... when the day comes that America elects its first (alleged?) child molester president THEN you can MAYBE think about making a comeback. But until then, enjoy living a in country where apparently a man of your proclivities is welcomed.

P.S. Michael, don't think you can hide by coming back with the Jackson 5. You are certainly someone who sticks out in a crowd.

P.P.S. Congratulations on the 25th anniversary of Thriller. It is still on eof the best and most influential albums of all-time. And I believe the impact of that album will never be duplicated. For that you should be celebrated... FOR THAT!

Racists for Obama.

Article on Politico

My "favorite quote" from the article is...

“If you go to a white neighborhood in the suburbs and ask them, ‘How would you feel about a large black man kicking your door in,’ they would say, ‘That doesn’t sound good to me,’” said Democratic political consultant Paul Begala. “But if you say, 'Your house is on fire, and the firefighter happens to be black,' it’s a different situation.”

In summary... we're doomed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What happened to Chris Cornell?

Oh Chris Cornell!

How did you go from this guy...

--- God of Seattle (grunge-- Whatever THAT meant) RAWK! The lead singer and songwriter of SOundgarden, who in my opinion were the best Seattle band of the Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden Trio ---

to THIS guy...

The leader of a new movement: ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROCK AND ROLL... (And yes, I know Audioslave was half the fault of the musicians from Rage Against the Machine.)

and then to what I think is a commercial for long distance phone service or lady products...

to the theme from a JAMES BOND MOVIE?!!! Which puts him in the distinguished company of Sheena Easton AND Sir Paul MacCartney's LIve and Let Die. (Yucky!)

See if you can guess what THIS IS a cover of...

And finally he lands on this. The theme song of a TV show...

The sad thing is I don't actually hate this last one (aside from the clips from the show being dropped in). Chris's new album is produced by Timbaland --- who could make a Mormon funky --- but I do miss my old "friend" the screamer, the shouter, the angrier, Chris Cornell.

He was cool. Remember THIS guy...

Well now, he's THIS guy...

I blame the mustache.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The real problem is WHITE PRIVILEGE

I've come to believe that the real problem isn't racism... it's white privilege.

To get an idea of what I am talking about, check out this vlog (what a dumb word) from Penn "Apparently I'm not as cool as you thought" Gillette.

OK... It must be easy to explain that things aren't as bad a we "the dummies" think they are as you sit in your rich man's compound in the middle of the desert. Don't believe me? Check this out. You don't have to read the whole thing. You'll get the gist...

USA Today Article on Penn's House

When you sit in your rich man's palace, railing against the confused proletariat who believe that the powers that be do not have their best interests at heart, while you stroke your stringy hair like a mid-eighties-Timothy Dalton's James Bond villain, you are study in how white privilege crosses all lines, except for color.

Penn's greatest trick was making us all believe that he was cool. I never thought I would see a magician fall off more than David Blaine. Penn has somehow made this guy look better...

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Awesome write-up on Flavorpill


Last year, W. Kamau Bell's critically acclaimed one-man show turned heads with its candid approach to celebrity racism, social norms, the nature of language, and everything in between. Now, with current political events underscoring the importance of race issues, Bell Curve returns with a newfound ferociousness. A self-proclaimed "professional talker," Bell has a merciless wit and a genuine sincerity towards his topic, which results in a hybrid of comedy and poignant realism. By making no subject off limits, keeping no discrimination too taboo, and leaving no room for self-denial, Kamau's Bell Curve is not only a powerful comedic performance but an outlet for a necessary dialogue.

– Laureen Mahler


Bring a friend of a different race and get two-for-one admission.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Siskel & Negro Podcast episode 19

I never do enough to promote this podcast which is a shame, because it is HILARIOUS. For those of you that don't know. It is a semi-regular podcast that is hosted by Roof Top Comedy and available on iTunes, and it stars ME, my comedic cohort Kevin Avery and, that undiscovered and under used comedic genius, Katherine P. MacMurphy. Teh topic of the podcast is supposed to be the entertainment industry but is just as likely to be us all making fun of each other. I really think we are getting better and better at it, and even my mom listens to it.

Enough with the pitch... Here's the latest episode.

We have begun to do more and more, even though Kevin has moved to Los Angeles, so keep on the look out for more. I'm really happy to be doing more, because doing the podcast is much more simple fun than ending racism in about an hour.

I have a NEW website!

For real this time.

No more MySpace or Facebook or Friendster (Oh, poor Friendster.) I HAVE A WEBSITE!

Well, of course I'll still be doing those things too... mostly just to play online poker and to not respond to event invites. But now I have a real professional style website. It is still under construction but go check it out.

Special thanks to William at Design Action in Oakland. And this wouldn't have happened without Lisa Marie Rollins and Ilya Tovbis.

Hari Kondabolu is my NEW favorite comedian

And this is kind of a big deal. I haven't had a new favorite since me and Jason listened to that Bill Hicks' cassette tape (THAT'S RIGHT CASSETTE TAPE!!!) of Relentless. Well, I had the enduring pleasure of working with Hari this past week in several Laugh Out The Vote comedy shows here in San Francisco. The shows were organized by my political mentor and fellow comedian, Nato Green. I have feeling Nato knew that I would like Hari.

Watching Hari work onstage is like watching Malcolm X on a talk show, extremely angry, extremely eloquent, scathingly hilarious, and truthful... without ever raising his voice. I can't stop quoting his jokes. My favorites are Smithsonian Diamond Exhibit, When in Rome, and Sandnigger (my title.. not his) My future wife, Melissa, must be getting tired of me doing his jokes.

He has several clips of his stand-up available online at his website, but I think you should start with his critically acclaimed short film, Manoj...

MANOJ (Unedited Festival Version)

Hari also has some of the coolest friends you'd ever want to meet.

A Cool Interview of Yours Truly by Jesse As Is

From Jesse As Is

W. Kamau Bell was recently crowned “Best Comedian in San Francisco” in SF Weekly Magazine. In this clip you’ll understand why as he addresses the term “people of color” and how it sounds like a “hug that goes on too long.” Recently W. Kamau took the time to talk about everything from his parents high fiving after his show to his brief role in the Matrix 2. Special thanks to W. Kamau for making this happen. Hit the jump for the interview.

Jesse as is.: Please describe the chain of events that lead you to choose a career in comedy?

W. Kamau Bell : When I was a kid being a comedian was the only thing that I wanted to be other than a superhero. When the X-Men never showed up on my door to recruit me, and I never got the good fortune to be bitten by a radioactive spider or to be hit by gamma rays in an explosion, I decided to try the comedy thing.

I have very clear memories of seeing Jerry Seinfeld on The Tonight Show and thinking, “I want to do that, but too bad my life isn’t as interesting as his.” One of the first videotapes my mom ever rented for me from the video store was Bill Cosby: Himself. It changed my life. It was equally smart and funny. Then later I saw Eddie Murphy: Raw in the movie theater the day it came out. I remember people in the theater laughing so loud that you couldn’t hear many of the punchlines. The energy in the place was amazing, and we weren’t even seeing it live. That also changed my life.

Eventually after dropping out of college I let my best friend Jason know that I wanted to do stand-up, and he, on his own, found an open mic in his neighborhood, and called me up and we started going together… just to watch at first. A month later I went up, and then a couple days ago you asked if you could interview me. I think that just about catches us up.

Jesse as is.: What are some of your most memorable shows? What makes these shows stand out?

W. Kamau Bell : My first memorable show was a show I did about a year into doing comedy. I was performing on a benefit for the homeless that some local comics organized. My mom and dad were there. They were looooooooong separated so this was a BIG deal. It was the first time my dad had ever seen me perform. And after my set my parents high fived, which is kind of like John McCain high fiving a Muslim.

Another show that I’ll never forget was one afternoon I got a call that Dave Chappelle was doing a gig that night and needed an opener. I had opened for Dave before but only in small clubs. The show was in a college basketball arena and it held like 6000 people. This was right after he had gotten back from Africa so this was a biiiiiiiiiig deal. It was pretty intense. Right before I was to go on, I was waiting backstage, the lights went down, people cheered, I was waiting to be introduced and the stage manager looked at me confusedly and said, “Go!” As if, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” There was no introduction. Nothing. I grabbed the mic and ran out onstage, the crowd had no idea who I was, I introduced myself and it was one of the best sets I have ever had. Dave watched from the wings and later said the most complimentary things that anyone has ever said about me. I’ll keep those to myself.

Jesse as is.: What are the most important issues to you in the upcoming election?
W. Kamau Bell : The most important issues in the election to me are getting white men out of the office of president for AT LEAST the next four years and getting gay marriage made permanently legal in the state of California. It’s not that long ago that interracial marriage was illegal in many states. I think about that often, especially as me and my white fiancee prepare to get married next year. Everybody — no mater what their sexual preference — should have the right to go through the same ridiculously stressful wedding planning that we are currently going through.

Jesse as is.: What projects do you have in the works? What should we be on the look out for?

W. Kamau Bell : Currently, I am performing my own one person show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour. If you bring a friend of a different race it’s two for one. Seriously! I’ve been doing it for about a year and the response has been awesome. I get to do everything that I have ever wanted on stage… stand-up, drama, showing pictures, playing video clips, making THE MAN sweat, EVERYTHING. The SF Weekly named me the best comedian of 2008. November 7th we are opening three days a week at the Climate Theatre in San Francisco. Check out more info at www. WKamauBell. com.

Jesse as is.: How did your role in the Matrix come about?
W. Kamau Bell : Ummm… if you ever watch the Matrix 2 (which most people rightfully did not), you’ll quickly see (and I mean quickly, because if you blink you’ll miss it.) that my role is in the horribly nonsensical rave/dance party scene at the center of the Earth. At one point they scan the crowd and I jump up and give the black power fist. I had short dreadlocks at the time. It filmed during seven days of the hottest Bay Area summer in memory, and I was basically wearing a parka, just what you would wear if you lived at the center of the Earth. Don’t blame me that The Matrix 2 sucked. I was an innocent bystander.

Friday, August 29, 2008

This guy had a dream 45 years ago...

Apparently MLK, Jr. thought he was bombing that day so he went to his old stand-by "I have a Dream" bit. I've been there, Martin. Except my old stand-by bit is about fired chicken.

The UNEQUIVOCAL #1 Quote if the ENTIRE Democratic National Convention...

comes from...

President Bill Clinton?

Yup. He beat everybody with this one.

This is Bill Clinton on America...

"People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."


Get with that.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'm not embarrassed to say that when I watched this... I felt it move a little bit.

This is clips from Michael Jordan's basketball camp.

1st of all, how do kids this young even still know who Michael Jordan is?

2nd of all, I know he is playing against children, but look how silky smooth his jumper looks.

3rd of all, this clip made me more excited than anything in the last ten years of the NBA. Stay tuned for the dunk at the end.

P.S. This clip is specifically for Jason and my mom. The only people I know that get Michael Jordan as much as I do.


Friday, August 1, 2008


This is the trailer from Oliver Stone's new movie.

By the way that is Thandie Newton as Condi. And in case you don't know what Thandie Newton looks like when she's not making that "Condi" face, here she is.

Now you know Condi was probably super excited to have such a beautiful woman playing her, and they make that beautiful woman look like that. Yikes! Not since Charlize Theron played Aileen Wournos have we seen anything like this.

P.S. Oh also this movie looks awesome... but in a Netflix way... not in a ten dollars and fifty cents way.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm a critic's pick in The East Bay Express!

The W. Kamau Bell Curve

Is overt racism the new black? Well, standup comic W. Kamau Bell has noticed it's become fashionable again for celebrities to say outrageously racist things, whether it's perky Sarah Silverman, disheveled Michael Richards, or boorish Don Imus, and Bell isn't taking it lying down. That would make him a lie-down comic, and we all know what they're like: lazy! In his solo show The W. Kamau Bell Curve, Bell aims to have this whole racism thing sorted out in about an hour. After running monthly last fall and weekly for the last few months at San Francisco's Shelton Theater, he crosses the bay for Oakland and Berkeley runs as part of the JCC East Bay's Prism Stage performance series, August 2 to 10 at Pro Arts (550 Second St., Oakland) and August 16 to 24 at JCCEastBay (1414 Walnut St., Berkeley). The $20 tickets are only $10 if you're with a friend of a different ethnicity. or 800-838-3006.
-- By Sam Hurwitt

The W. Kamau Bell Curve

Is overt racism the new black? Well, standup comic W. Kamau Bell has noticed it's become fashionable again for celebrities to say outrageously racist things, whether it's perky Sarah Silverman, disheveled Michael Richards, or boorish Don Imus, and Bell isn't taking it lying down. That would make him a lie-down comic, and we all know what they're like: lazy! In his solo show The W. Kamau Bell Curve, Bell aims to have this whole racism thing sorted out in about an hour. After running monthly last fall and weekly for the last few months at San Francisco's Shelton Theater, he crosses the bay for Oakland and Berkeley runs as part of the JCC East Bay's Prism Stage performance series, August 2 to 10 at Pro Arts (550 Second St., Oakland) and August 16 to 24 at JCCEastBay (1414 Walnut St., Berkeley). The $20 tickets are only $10 if you're with a friend of a different ethnicity. or 800-838-3006.
-- By Sam Hurwitt

Price: $20 tickets are only $10 if you’re with a friend of a different ethnicity
Time & Date: Saturdays, Sundays, 8 p.m. Continues through Aug. 10

Pro Arts
550 2nd St.
Oakland CA 94607
Oakland: Jack London Square

My friend Joe Klocek ruins a heckler

Joe is one of the best comics in the history of all-time at riffing and working the crowd and handling situations like this...

Simply brilliant.

Find out more about Joe @

A popular question around these parts...

Lemme answer a question that I’m sure is in the minds of many of you out there.

No, I have not watched CNN’s Black in America… for a couple of reasons.

1)I’m kind of busy BEING black in America. In fact wrote a whole show about it. You should come out and see it sometime. The Guardian actually named me the best comedian in San Francisco. Anyway…

2)The second reason is that I have it Tivoed, but I have other things I need to watch first. Last night’s Project Runway. Tonight’s my life on the D List. About twenty episodes of Cash in The Attic on BBC America. I’ll get to it. I promise.

Actually I need to watch it because I am pitching a follow up show, called “CNN’s White in America.” The best part is it will be really cheap to produce. Black in America was like four hours long spread out over two nights. YIKES! White in America will just be fifteen seconds long. It just consists of my white friend, Jeremy Townsend, saying, “Uhhhh… things are pretty good.” OK, actually it’s like fie seconds. I just cut the budget by two thirds. Hollywood will love that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My friend Alicia Dattner wrote a piece about me over at

W. Kamau Bell Curve: standup comedy turns solo show
POSTED July 28, 1:00 AM

The W. Kamau Bell Curve plays in Oakland and Berkeley.

W. Kamau Bell's solo comedy show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour*, now in its third or so run at The Shelton Theatre in San Franisco is pioneering work. Bell, a standup comedian who got his start in Chicago, the improv capital of the States, developed his conversational, yet sharp, poignant style at Cobb's Comedy Club and The Punch Line. But rather than tell you a bit about the show, which you can see in SF, Oakland, or Berkeley, I'm going to tell you a bit about Kamau, who you might also see in SF, Oakland, or Berkeley.

I met Kamau in 1998 around the time that he moved to San Francisco. There used to be something like an "internship" at Cobb's, back when Cobb's was located in The Cannery in the Fisherman's Wharf district. Every six months or so, an up and coming comic was chosen to host one of the three weekday showcases as well as host the weekend show once a month, which added up to a lot of stage time one of the two best clubs in the city. Kamau had gotten the prized "internship" just as Cobb's was getting ready to move to Columbus and Lombard.

On of my favorite bits of his back then was about the omnipresence of African Americans in popular culture. It went like this:

"What's happened to black people in the media? In the 60's we had Martin Luther King, Jr. we had Sammy Davis, Jr., We used to be everywhere! You couldn't swing a nightstick without hitting a black person upside the head. In the 70's..."

Some time around 2005, Kamau became a sort of mentor in my standup work. We'd meet every week and work on bits, listen to great comics and talk about different realms of skill and how the greats did what they did. What we had in common was that we both approached standup with a desire to speak a more complex truth than is sometimes found in standup, which is hard, because funny is usually simple and short.

With Kamau climbing the ranks of San Francisco standup along with fellow comedians like Dan Rothenberg, Joe Klocek, and Dan Gabriel (and many others), he moved from opening, to featuring, to the honored position of headlining at The Punch Line about two years ago. His first headlining shows were especially packed and full of heat--Kamau, like Robert Mac before him, had gotten a really short hair cut, and almost immediately started headlining. Coincidence? You be the judge. When Dave Chapelle came back from his trip in Africa, he was doing a lot of sets at The Punch Line, and Kamau performed with him frequently. Kamau also appeared on Comedy Central's Premium Blend and recorded his first standup album One Night Only around that time.

So, along the way, Kamau and Kevin Avery had been doing the movie reviews on the Live 105 Morning Show, putting out a podcast ("Siskel & Negro"), working on a screenplay (Kevin) and an internet cartoon (Kamau) and Kamau directed by Bruce Pachtman's show "Don't Make Me Look Too Psychotic." One thing led to another, and Kamau started teaching The Solo Performance Workshop for people who want to develop a one-person-show or monologue. Kamau just won Best Comedian 2008 in the SF Weekly, and I'm hoping he takes his show on the road especially because he's got a plethora of opinions and insights about Obama that make it a perfect time to showcase this work.

What I have always admired about Kamau's work is that he articulates the questions of race in a genuine way that's not clichéd. Especially in The Bell Curve, Kamau thinks he expresses more anger about race than he actually does; on stage he is affable, engaging, and charming. Kamau's move from standup into the solo show is a courageous step. Not only does he re-write his show each week according to what's in the news, he also continues to develop both the standup and the theatrical elements of the show. I look forward to seeing future iterations as they unfold.

Click here for the original post.

TICKETS HERE for San Francisco!
TICKETS HERE for Oakland!

AND HERE for Berkeley!

Ruining the myth of White Supremacy

Thank you, Mickey Avalon. Thank you!

And yes, that is ex-MTV VJ/star of solo masturbation videos Simon Rex sitting to Mickey Avalon's right.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ways to End Racism #1

Fishbone Logo Fishbone is without a doubt the hardest working band in show business. Fishbone was begun by a bunch of high school friends in 1979 in Los Angeles and rose from the same punk/ska/funk/metal/alternative rock/kitchen sink scene as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, and later No (bleh) Doubt.

They have had many different incarnations over the years with the only two constants being the barely dressed, lead singer/saxophonist/theremin player (THAT'S RIGHT! THEREMIN PLAYER) Angelo Moore Angelo Moore

And the even less barely dressed, singularly dreadlocked, dizzying slap funk 5 string bass of Norwood Fisher. Norwood Fisher

They do everything Red Hot Chili Peppers do (or did when they were GOOD) and more. They easily go from hardcore punk, to shake your ass 70's funk, to 80's ska, to songs that sound like all of that at once. They have hooks that would STILL make James Brown proud and crunchy guitars that should embarrass all current rock b(L)ands. Why aren't they famous?...

For more on this check out my new blog site LET'S END RACISM!

Monday, June 30, 2008


Yahoo! News
Back to Story - Help
Some Black Republicans Torn About Voting for Obama or McCain

By Nikki Schwab

Mon Jun 30, 4:44 PM ET

When Michael Varner attended historically black Howard University, he tried his best to rejuvenate Howard's chapter of the College Republicans, but he was a party of one. He debated politics with his mostly African-American and Democratic classmates, candidly discussing his views on personal responsibility and limited government as reasons for aligning himself politically with the GOP.

By the time he graduated this May, Varner was still the sole member of the College Republicans, having learned that it's "almost taboo" in the black community to be a Republican. "There's almost a stigma attached to the name," he says. "It was very frustrating for me."

Even after his hard work at Howard promoting the GOP, Varner finds himself undecided in the race between Republican John McCain and the first African-American presumptive nominee from a major party, Democrat Barack Obama. Varner wants to see the two men debate. He wants to better understand what kind of change Obama can bring. And then, he says, he'll decide. "I think they both have their strong points, and they both have their points where I can wait and see," says Varner.

This recent college grad isn't alone. More well-known black Republicans have also said they are at least considering Obama, including conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Former Republican Rep. J. C. Watts received attention when he told reporters he was contemplating an Obama vote. "I'm a free agent," says Watts, who is one of the only two black Republicans to serve in the House of Representatives since the 1930s. "I wouldn't just vote for a Republican candidate just because they are Republican, no more than I would vote for a black candidate just because they're black." For Watts it's not the historical nature of the race that leaves him undecided, it's frustration toward his own party. "African-American Republicans in the faith community are the most forgotten demographic in the Republican Party," Watts says. And he hopes the GOP will allot more resources toward attracting black voters.

Watts and others argue that the GOP hasn't done a good job bringing African Americans into the ranks of the party. "It's an astonishing record of deliberate failure, which has been carried over by John McCain this season," says Lee A. Daniels, author of a new book, Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America. "None of the primary candidates had anything to say with issues of any concern to blacks as a group."

This perceived failure has been reflected at the polls. In 2004, George W. Bush attracted 11 percent of the black vote, up from the 9 percent he garnered in 2000. In 1996, Bob Dole, running against the nation's so-called "first black president," Bill Clinton, received 12 percent. And now with Obama in the picture, more conservative blacks may feel compelled to join the heftier group of black voters who support the Democrat.

"They're practical if nothing else, and they want to see a black president," Ronald Walters, a professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, says of black Republican voters. "The historical factor is going to overrun some of the other considerations." In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 7 percent of the surveyed African-American adults supported McCain, while 90 percent supported Obama.

Despite the high support for Obama, there are some who are encouraging members of the black community to consider the GOP. One is Frances Rice, chairman of the National Black Republican Association. She paints a very different historical picture than most African-Americans, pointing to what she says is the Democrats' racist past. She brings up Democrats who fought to keep blacks enslaved and those who were members of the Ku Klux Klan. "The Republican Party has been the champion of freedom and civil rights for blacks," she says. And the Democrats? "Their goal is to keep blacks in poverty and the Republicans out of power," Rice says.

However, Daniels says that after Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Democrats have been the ones who have talked about the issues, such as poverty, that are important to African-Americans. "In terms of black people, people say the conventional wisdom is that the Democrats have taken blacks for granted, but it's the Republican Party that takes blacks for granted," Daniels says.

Rice's organization refutes this and publishes the Black Republican, a magazine that provides biting criticism of the Democratic Party and sponsors large billboards in the South touting, "Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican." (While his family may have originally been Republican, King supported Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson).

As for supporting Obama, she says absolutely not. For Rice, it will be a vote for McCain come November.

Another "very likely" McCain vote, but a more moderate one, will come from Richard Ivory, founder of the blog HipHopRepublican. Ivory has a different view of the Republican Party, one that downplays the past and focuses on building the party up from a local level and bringing in urban African-American voters. "My blog was about starting a dialogue--basically get people to understand some Republican concepts from an urban perspective," Ivory says. And like Varner at Howard University, Ivory finds that some are miffed by his Republicanness and don't quite understand why he would support a "white old guy." But with the general election in full swing, he has found a good way to express his feelings: "I tell my friends, my heart is with Obama, and my brain is with McCain," Ivory says.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm quoted in an Obama article in The San Jose Mercury News

Obama's historic run provides comic fodder with race as punch line
By Mark de la Viña
Mercury News
Article Launched: 06/26/2008 07:21:19 PM PDT

Did you hear the one about the black guy running for president?

If not, you most certainly will.

Jokes and comedy routines about candidates are as much a part of election landscapes as bumper stickers and smear campaigns. But with Obama's history-making role as the first African-American presidential nominee, the cavalcade of campaign cracks has a new wrinkle, at least for white audiences: race.

In comedy clubs and casino showrooms, comics happily get their funny on at the expense of Obama's ethnicity. The quips range from mild-mannered lines about how Obama's suspect bowling skills prove his blackness to Chris Rock's bit about how the politician would be more electable with a compliant white wife rather than the assertive - and black - Michelle Obama. Even Dave and Jay's writers slip the rare jab touching on Obama's race into network TV's late-night monologues.

Oddly enough, the serious issue of race is providing rich fodder for more inventive funnymen and women. Much like fools in Shakespeare's plays, these comedians call out the elephant in the room while giving the raspberry to political correctness.

But move into the mainstream and you'll find late-night talk shows working the other side of the spectrum - offering toothless material if they address the subject at all.

Ralphie May, a white comedian who is among the few crossover acts popular among black audiences, said comedians are doing a disservice if they ignore Obama's ethnicity.

"The historic part of Obama's presidential run is not the fact he's young or that he's a first-term senator from Illinois or that he's an orator or an inspirational leader for Americans," said May, who will perform at the San Jose Improv on July 10-13.

And indeed May can't resist making an Obama joke, noting that he used to think the politician was Latino rather than black.

"Obama sounds kind of Spanish," the hefty funnyman said in his Arkansas drawl, "Like, 'Cómo se llama, Obama?' El Presidente!"

Veteran comedian Paul Mooney, an African-American who grew up in Oakland, has no qualms about playing off of Obama's race. The former writer for Richard Pryor has worked with nearly every iconic African-American comic, from Flip Wilson to Redd Foxx. He also appeared as Negrodamus on "Chappelle's Show."

Mooney said race is a factor in every election.

"We've always had to say, does this white man like us?" said Mooney, who's writing the memoir "Too Black for Hollywood." "We've always had to think race. And this is the first time white people have had to think race."

Still, comedians such as Mooney are like canaries in a coal mine when it comes to testing subjects that make people uneasy.

Roland S. Martin, author of "A Black Man's View of America," said that comedy can create that rare sanctuary where the verboten is fair game.

"The comedic moment liberates people to laugh out loud at what they really feel and what they really think, but they're going to naturally suppress those thoughts and views once they're outside that particular arena," he said. "It's OK to sit in that arena and just crack up laughing about rednecks, making jokes about Obama's ears or his race or whatever, but the moment you want to have the conversation, the whole dynamic changes."

The worthwhile stand-up performers will delve into the provocative, said W. Kamau Bell, the San Francisco comedian whose theater piece "The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour," proposes that racism is making a comeback. The solo show is at the Shelton Theater in San Francisco, through July 30.

"I'm voting for Barack Obama," he says in his show. "Not for the reason you expect. I did it because he's black. Not because he's intelligent, or well spoken or represents hope. Nope. You had me at Negro."

Though late-night talk shows are viewed as a sort of measuring stick for mainstream American tastes in humor, they are usually too timid to address the issue of race, said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University. (Representatives from "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno and "The Late Show With David Letterman" declined comment for this story, saying that the jokes on the programs speak for themselves.)

"Network television, especially commercial-supported television, takes it sweet old time in areas of controversy," Thompson said. "It doesn't push envelopes; it licks envelopes."

The problem isn't limited to network timidity. NBC's "Saturday Night Live," for years knocked for its lack of ethnic diversity, has cast white actor Fred Armisen as Obama.

"Whether the jokes are funny or not, the fact that you don't have a black actor to play Barack Obama says something about the institution of 'Saturday Night Live,' " Bell said. "And that's horribly troubling."

Stand-up comedy in the Bay Area and beyond has a legacy of tangling with unpleasant subjects - witness "Daily Show" correspondent and political comedian Lewis Black telling jokes about Sept. 11 to the raw but ultimately receptive audience in San Francisco days after the terrorist attacks.

"But a lot of comedians are shying away from telling the Obama jokes," said San Francisco-based Will Durst, one of the pre-eminent political comedians in the country,. "That makes me want to do it well."

Durst has peppered his routine with Obama's lines, which reflect how far we have come as a country, he said. "Race is just a very touchy subject to America. That we can make jokes about it proves that we have come quite a distance."

Recent jokes involving Barack Obama and race:

• "These pundits can be very unfair. They always ask Barack Obama if he's black enough. Nobody asks Mitt Romney if he's white enough. Well, I guess he is white enough." - Jay Leno

• "As if Obama doesn't have enough problems, he's being accused by members of the African-American community of not being black enough. What the hell does that mean? As your designated cracker for this evening, let me just say we don't make those kinds of distinctions. Trust me - he's plenty black." - Will Durst

• "If white people think that black people in America reacted to the O.J. verdict, if Obama gets into White House house, we're going to go crazy. We'll be partying like we're in the Mardi Gras and screaming out 'Obama beat yo' Mama!' The first thing I'm going to do is get on the first public bus and tell white people, "Get in the back where you belong. Obama is president!" - Paul Mooney

• "Senator Hillary Clinton has now lost eight primaries in a row to Barack Obama. Hillary dismissed Obama's success by saying, 'He's only winning states with a huge African-American population - like Maine.' " - Conan O'Brien, during the primaries

• "Barack has a handicap the other candidates don't have: Barack Obama has a black wife. And I don't think a black woman can be first lady of the United States. Yeah, I said it! A black woman can be president, no problem. First lady? Can't do it. You know why? Because a black woman cannot play the background of a relationship. Just imagine telling your black wife that you're president? 'Honey, I did it! I won! I'm the president.' 'No, we the president! And I want my girlfriends in the Cabinet! I want Kiki to be Secretary of State! She can fight!' " - Chris Rock

Several comedians were asked to comment on what sort of changes would come to the White House if Barack Obama is elected president. Here is what they said:

• "They'll be painting the White House black. And I hope white folks don't burn it down. It will be the first president living in a trailer" - Paul Mooney

• "Less Van Cliburn, more Stevie Wonder. Gets rid of the poached salmon on bruschetta rounds; brings out the braised catfish on beds of mustard greens. White House now refered to as 'The Big Crib.' When papers talk about 'Obama's Posse,' they mean his cabinet." - Will Durst

• "In mid-January, there is going to be helluva good barbecue. And I think that 'Hail to the Chief' will get an update and maybe a DJ will skip it a little bit." - Ralphie May

• "His presidential limo will have spinning rims and the secret service will all have bow ties. And the Washington Monument - they're going to add a couple of feet to it." - Blaine Capatch

• Racists are "afraid that the moment he takes that oath of office, he's immediately turning into (Flavor) Flav...And from now on there's gonna be Newports and grape drink served in the Rose Garden." - Robin Williams on "The Tonight Show," June 24

• "Can you imagine how many times the presidential motorcade is going to get pulled over for, DWB - driving while black? And he'll have to retrain the Secret Service to stop getting nervous every time there's black guy around." - W. Kamau Bell

Contact Mark de la Viña at or (408) 920-5914.

Why is it that most comic's Obama jokes involve Obama doing things that a man who grew
up in Hawaii and Indonesia would NEVER do. It's as if these comics had generic black president jokes sitting on a shelf waiting for a black guy to be president. And they have decided to use these jokes BY ANNNNNNNNNNNNY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEANS NECESSARY.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jokes that I was asked to submit to The San Jose Mercury News...

They wanted jokes about what Barack will do when he first gets to office.

As you will see I tried to steer clear of all the "starting the meetings on colored people time" and other Fuzzy Zoeller/Don Imus-esque nonsense.

Here are my attempts at humour. (Take special note the use of the British spelling of "humor.")

People ask me, "What do you think Barack Obama will do in office?" "As the first black president, I'm guessing the first thing he'll do is get blamed for things that George W. Bush did."

Can you imagine how many times the presidential motorcade is going to get pulled over for, DWB, driving while black?

He'll have to retrain the Secret Service to stop getting nervous every time there's a black guy around.

Barack will have many things to keep himself busy when he first gets into office --- He'll have to balance the budget. He'll have to figure out how to pull The US out of Iraq. He'll have to dodge bullets.

I talked to the reporter, Mark de la Vina, who interviewed myself and other comedians, including Mr. Paul Mooney and Will Durst (who actually recommended me for the story). He is super cool, and apparently the article will be on the front page of The San Jose Mercury News on Thursday. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Now, I have to figure out where to buy a copy of The San Jose Mercury News.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Radio host(ile) Don Imus strikes AGAIN...,0,7282680.story
Critics call Imus' 'Pacman' Jones comment racist


9:25 PM EDT, June 23, 2008

Don Imus, who was fired from a previous radio show 14 months ago after uttering racist and sexist remarks toward the Rutgers women's basketball team, was taking heat again Monday for a questionable comment.

It occurred during his morning program on WABC radio, while Imus and sportscaster Warner Wolf were addressing Dallas Cowboys football star Adam "Pacman" Jones' involvement in a fight at a Las Vegas nightclub last year that led to a shooting. Jones, who was not accused of the shooting, was suspended for the 2007 season.

When Wolf said Jones had been "arrested six times since he was drafted by Tennessee in 2005," Imus responded by asking "What color is he?"

"He's African-American," Wolf said.

"Well, there you go," Imus said. "Now we know."

Imus had earlier said of Jones' suspension: "You're in a nightclub, for God's sake. What do you think's gonna happen in a nightclub? People are drinking and doing drugs; there are women there and people have guns."

In an e-mail message to The New York Times Monday night, Imus said his comment was intended to be sympathetic with Jones; "I meant he was being picked on because he's black."

Imus wrote he would ask black comedian-activist Dick Gregory, a scheduled guest on his show Tuesday, what he thought of Monday's remarks.

"I mean ... come on!" Imus wrote.

Wolf Monday night said he was surprised the exchange had generated controversy.

Wolf said regular listeners would recognize it as part of a running, satirical joke in which Imus pokes fun at people who get into serious trouble, then cry racism. He made a similar joke about the Chicago Bears' Cedric Benson earlier this month after the football player's latest arrest.

"I think people are looking for something there that just isn't there," Wolf said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said he found the comment "disturbing because it plays into stereotypes."

But he said he would reserve judgment while deciding whether the remarks warrant "direct action on our part as we did in April of last year."

Copyright © 2008, AM New York


Well, there you go. Imus, who's last comment was actually more sexist than racist, strikes again. Last time, he disappeared for a few months AND THEN he found a new job. And he pledged that not only that he wasn't racist that he would change his ways. But here we are... "Well there we go." And Dog The Bounty Hunter has his job back. It's only a matter of time.

White people, eventually you have to start policing yourselves.


OK... Everybody take a deep breath.

That is HILARIOUS! Now if we could only get that on split screen with Kobe watching it, so we could see his reaction it would be even better.

I think my two favorite parts are...

I think my two favorite parts are...

1) I think that is the first rap to reference a vasectomy. I'm sure that it is definitely the first rap to reference it in a GOOD way.

2) My other favorite part is the crowd chanting, "KOBE, TELL ME HOW MY ASS TASTES!!!"


P.S. The best thing about Kobe losing in the finals without Shaq is now NOBODY can EVER say that Kobe is as good or even as close to as good as Michael Jordan. I know I must sound like old man basketball, but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

George Carlin R. I. P.

When I was trying to come up with an appropriate analogy for the importance of George Carlin to stand-up comedy, I initially had trouble until I thought of one man... Miles Davis.

George Carlin was to stand-up comedy what Miles Davis was to music. Both men always pushed the boundaries of their chosen art forms. Both men were alive and working during the heydays of their chosen art forms. And both men were STILL relevant up until (and after) death.

And both seemed to know that the end was near based on their last blasts of creativity.

Miles began playing songs fro early in his career right before he died.

And these are clips from Carlin's most recent HBO special that aired in March of this year.

Carlin also has the increasingly RAAAAAAAAAAARE distinction of spending his whole career being known as a stand-up comic. Not a stand-up/talk show host. Not a stand-up/attempted movie star. Not a stand-up/sitcom star. He went onstage. He said what he felt with jokes added in. And he left town. Beautiful. We will never see his like again for many reasons. He is the last comic who could get arrested for what he said. back when you had to have a certain amount of bravery to go up on stage and say what you felt.

He died at 71 and we definitely lost him too soon.

P.S. Carlin's last special was recorded in Santa Rosa at The Luther Burbank Center. I performed there once. Tommy Smothers of The Smothers Brothers was in the audience. He is another comic who was on the forefront of the freedom of speech movement in comedy in the 60's. I was really excited to see what he thought of me, a dude doing socially relevant and slightly (at the time) political material. After the show he said nothing to me and enthusiastically complimented a guy who was doing circus tricks. Tommy SMothers is still alive. George is dead. Further proof that only the good die young.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Ultimate Karaoke Champion

I'm only half kidding this dude has apparently been in successful Filipino bands for years, and it has all added up to THIS...

If that whet your palette then you can watch the extended remix of the story here...

And this is him in the clip that got him the job. He had no idea that one day he would be doing this same song in front of thousands of screaming fans instead of just a few disinterested drunks. Nobody even really claps at the end and the tables look empty.

I don't know why I like this so much, but somehow it makes me feel all warm inside, while at the same time, it gives me hope for humanity.


This is him doing Black dog by Led Zepplin, but weirdly his Robert Plant sounds more like Steven Tyler.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And now a word on Barack Obama from Cornell West...

I think that Cornell West saying that he hates white supremacy is one of the most awesomely redundant things that I think ever heard in my life.

I know you're busy Jason, but....

You HAVE to watch this...

Yes, that's Rage Against The Machine. And YES! They are dressed like prisoners from Guantanamo. And yes, they keep the masks on the whole song.

AHHH, I feel so young. This kind of protest takes me back to the early 90's.

Cassette tapes, personal ads in the newspaper, Sony Discmans, carrying around extra AA batteries, and thinking a girl liked me only to find out later that she wasn't that interested or didn't know I existed.

MY SHOW gets it's first OFFICIAL REVIEW & it's GOOOOOOD!

RECOMMENDED --- The Bell Curve Shelton Theatre, 533 Sutter; $20. Thurs, 8pm. Through June 12. Just when you thought identity politics were passé, along comes the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primary, forcing us all to endure many a tired stereotype that should have died out with the advent of the disco era. Luckily, we have W. Kamau Bell to help us recover from the trauma while guiding us safely away from the precipice of other bad habits. In this 90-minute show, the longtime solo performer and half of the comedy duo Siskel and Negro breaks down the problems with PC terminology, while coming up with a few absurd ones of his own. With today's headlines providing him new material, Bell constantly updates the show, optimizing it for multiple viewings. We also get the back story on how Bell was raised by a single mom with a PhD instead of, as you might now be wondering, a rap sheet, and how early childhood experiences with skin-color bias shaped his future outlook. Along the way, Bell flows easily from biting to charming, pensive to goofy. Through studying martial arts, dating white women, getting a fancy salon haircut, and living in San Francisco, Bell comes to realize there are really only two kinds of people in this world. I was glad to find out that he and I are the same kind. (Giattina)


Thanks to Debra Giattina and The SF Bay Guardian for helping to make a little boy's dream come true. My favorite part is "Bell flows easily from biting to charming, pensive to goofy." And also the stuff about me guiding people safely through trauma.

For the record NONE of this would be possible without Bruce Pachtmnan, Martha Rynberg, Lisa Marie Rollins, and The Solo Performance Workshop... and Lee Hahn... and Paul E. Hunt and Conjure... and The JCC East Bay... and The Shelton Theater... and Molly Schminke... and Jeremy Townsend... and Adam Davis... and Mike Paunovich... my mom and dad and mom and the number 37 and by the letter "U.

It looks like we're going to EXTEND the show at The Shelton for several weeks, so come once, come often, spread the word...

P.S. And Jason B. Smith and Dwayne Kennedy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I'm gonna start going to church...

not necessarily cuz I believe, but just cuz it's entertaining.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Collins considers Bulls job

By RICK GANO, AP Sports Writer 8 hours, 53 minutes ago

CHICAGO (AP)—To shape their future, the Chicago Bulls could turn to the past.

Doug Collins, who guided the Bulls and a young Michael Jordan from 1986-89 but couldn’t get them past Detroit in the playoffs, has talked with the team about returning as coach.

“I have spoken with Bulls management recently about their head coaching vacancy and will resume conversations after the conclusion of my work for TNT in the Western Conference finals,” Collins said in a statement Thursday from Los Angeles, where he was working Game 5 of the Spurs-Lakers series. “There is no agreement in place.”

During a pre-game interview on TNT, Collins said he talked with both Bulls general manager John Paxson and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

“I have not been offered. I have not accepted,” Collins said.

“Jerry Reinsdorf has been a friend of mine the last 20 years so he and I have spoken on a lot of occasions over the last 20 years. … the whole thing is there’s interest on both sides.”

Collins added that as soon as the Western Conference finals were over: “We’ve agreed to sit down and talk to see exactly what is there.”

Known for his emotional style, Collins also coached the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards—when Jordan was head of basketball operations there and made a comeback as a player.

Chicago has had a vacancy since interim coach Jim Boylan was fired after the end of a disappointing 33-49 season. Boylan had replaced Scott Skiles, who was fired last Christmas Eve after the Bulls’ surprisingly sluggish start following three straight playoff appearances.

The Bulls have a nucleus of young talent and also won the recent draft lottery, giving them the overall No. 1 pick next month when they are expected to choose between Kansas State’s Michael Beasley or Memphis’ Derrick Rose.

But they are coming off a season fraught with problems that included players missing practices and having angry exchanges with coaches. Joakim Noah, last year’s first-round pick, was recently arrested in Gainesville, Fla., for having an open container of alcohol and was also charged with marijuana possession.

Collins, who appeared content to stay in TV, where is considered one of the best analysts, could be ready to tackle an NBA head coaching job for the fourth time. He’s been fired three times. Web sites at both the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune said Collins would fill Chicago’s vacancy.

Collins said he decided to explore the job after getting the go-ahead and encouragement from his son Chris, who is an assistant coach at Duke.

“Chris has always been the reluctant one. He basically really gave me the real freedom to explore opportunities that maybe I hadn’t done over the last five years,” Collins said.

Paxson released a statement that was posted on the team’s Web site.

“I have been in contact with Doug Collins in regard to our head coaching position. Contrary to some reports that are currently out there, we have not reached an agreement,” said Paxson, who played under Collins during his first stint in Chicago.

“Right now, his commitment is covering the Western Conference finals for TNT. When that series concludes, we will continue our dialogue. In the meantime, I will continue to talk to other candidates and review our options,” Paxson added.

The Bulls had been interested in former Suns coach Mike D’Antoni, but he took the Knicks job before Chicago could make an offer.

Collins had a 137-109 record during his first stint with the Bulls, going 40-42 in his first season when they were swept in the first round by Boston.

Chicago was 50-32 the next year but was beaten by the Pistons in five games in the conference semifinals. The Bulls were 47-35 the next season and again were eliminated by Detroit, this time in six games in the conference finals.

Collins was fired and replaced by Phil Jackson, whose first team also lost to Detroit in the conference finals, 4-3. The following season the Bulls swept the Pistons and went on to the first of six championships in the 90s with Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

Collins worked 2 1/2 seasons with the Pistons starting in 1995, going 46-36, 54-28 and 21-24. He was let go amid reports his style caused friction with some players.

He was 37-45 in both seasons in Washington but couldn’t get the Wizards into the playoffs. He was fired shortly after Jordan was denied a return to the front office.

Collins’ overall record is 332-287 and 15-23 in the postseason.


This ONLY works if they fire Doug in a couple years and hire Phil Jackson, otherwise I'M NOT INTERESTED! I stand by what I said earlier, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

The Carol Burnett Show ruled my world...

... when I was a kid. Carol Burnett's show was EVERYTHING! And Harvey Korman was an integral part of that magic. I don't know if it would be as funny now, but I don't think I'll try to find out. I'll just leave it in my memory. Every comedian should aspire to the freedom and comfort and courage that they performed with on that show. Beautiful

Rest in Peace Mr. Korman.

'Burnett Show' comic actor Harvey Korman dies

Friday, May 30, 2008

Comic character actor Harvey Korman, best known as part of the ensemble that made "The Carol Burnett Show" a huge ratings and Emmy winner for more than a decade, died Thursday at UCLA Medical Center from complications of a ruptured aortic artery. He was 81.

Although Mr. Korman's film roles were classic, including his turn as a sniveling Hedley Lamarr in Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles," it was on the small screen that he found his enduring fame. For 10 seasons starting in 1967, Mr. Korman was part of Burnett's core group of performers. He was Rhett Butler to her drapery-wearing Scarlett O'Hara in the famous "Gone With the Wind" sketch, and he was Max the butler in the show's spoof of "Sunset Boulevard."

Burnett was the CBS show's star, but the ensemble, which also included Vicki Lawrence and Tim Conway, was what made the sketches work week after week. Yet, within that beautifully assembled group, Mr. Korman and Conway stood out as a perfect comic pairing on the level of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis, and Burns and Allen.

Mr. Korman, the taller of the pair, was the straight man who couldn't keep a straight face as Conway succeeded almost every week in finding some way to break his partner up with some bit of unrehearsed business. Much of the joy the audience felt toward the show came from those moments when Mr. Korman would fight every impulse to laugh as Conway droned on in some inspired comic rift, until, finally and predictably, Mr. Korman would double over in laughter.

Burnett was devastated by Mr. Korman's death, said her assistant, Angie Horejsi.

"She loved Harvey very much," she said.

"He was a brilliant comedian and a brilliant father," daughter Kate Korman said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "He had a very good sense of humor in real life."

Harvey Herschel Korman was born in Chicago on Feb. 15, 1927, and left college to join the Navy. He later attended the Chicago Institute's Goodman School of Drama and moved to New York to try to catch a break in show business.

"For the next 13 years, I tried to get on Broadway, on off-Broadway, under or beside Broadway," he said in a 1971 interview.

Finding no luck getting hired for the stage, Mr. Korman tried a comedy act with a friend, but the two were fired on their opening night.

Next, Mr. Korman headed West to try his luck in films, but for his first three years in Hollywood the closest he got to the movie business was working as a doorman at a movie theater.

Finally, he was hired in 1964 by Danny Kaye to be part of the ensemble for his TV show and remained a part of the cast until the show was canceled in 1967.

He found guest spots in other shows from time to time, including "The Steve Allen Comedy Hour" and "The Untouchables," but he found a home with the launch of the Burnett show in 1967. The show earned him four Emmys.

He left the show early to try his own show in 1978, but "The Harvey Korman Show" only lasted a few episodes before it was canceled.

Looking back on his failed venture during a 1999 interview with The Chronicle's Sylvia Rubin, Mr. Korman knew why it didn't work:

"Everybody thinks they can do their own show," he said before appearing at a benefit with Conway for the San Francisco State University athletic scholarship fund. "But not everybody can. It didn't work because I'm not a star. There's a certain persona, a certain something you have to have. I ain't got it. I've got heartburn, indigestion, arthritis, but not star quality."

In addition to his "Blazing Saddles" role in 1974, Mr. Korman appeared in other Brooks films, including "High Anxiety," "History of the World: Part I" and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It."

"A world without Harvey Korman - it's a more serious world," Brooks said in an AP interview. "It was very dangerous for me to work with him because if our eyes met we'd crash to the floor in comic ecstasy. ... It was comedy heaven to make Harvey Korman laugh."

Mr. Korman's other films included "Gypsy," "Huckleberry Finn" and two "Pink Panther" movies.

Mr. Korman's 1960 marriage to Donna Elhart ended in divorce in 1977. In 1982, he married Debrah Fritz, who survives him along with two children from his first marriage and two from his second.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Chronicle news services contributed to this report. E-mail David Wiegand at

OK, first Scott McClellan, then Rupert Murdoch, THEN Clay Aiken?

Clay Aiken reportedly expecting a baby
Singer and woman who worked on his album used artificial insemination
Access Hollywood
updated 5:06 p.m. PT, Thurs., May. 29, 2008

LOS ANGELES - Clay Aiken is reportedly going to be a dad.

The former “American Idol” alum, 29, will be the father of Jaymes Foster’s baby, the sister of record mogul David Foster. Celebrity Web site reports that multiple sources have confirmed the news to the gossip site.

Foster, 50, who was reportedly artificially inseminated, is due in August. The two live together in Los Angeles. The singer will have an active role in raising the child, reports TMZ.

Foster was married for 23 years, but has no children.

When contacted by Access Hollywood, a rep for Aiken wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Last month during an interview with Billy Bush, Aiken said he has worked with Jaymes Foster for years.

“(She) is the executive producer of the (new) album,” Aiken told Bush. “She’s been my executive producer for the last two years.”

During the interview with Bush, Aiken also spoke about the topic everyone always wants to know about — his sexuality.

“Does it play to your advantage to leave it as a mystery?” Bush asked.

“Does it play to my advantage?” Aiken laughed. “I don’t really know. Maybe so, I don’t know.”

Aiken admitted when attention turned to his sexuality during his “Idol” run, it was a tough time.

“It can be difficult initially. I think when you get into anything and you’re not used to people scrutinizing this, that or the other… it bothers you,” Aiken noted. “After awhile you kind of just say, ‘Forget this… This is not who I am, this is not about me, what I want to do is be a singer, want to be an entertainer, and forget all that stuff.’”

And while he may not be ready to comment publicly on his love life, Aiken said he lets the music on his new album, “On My Way Here,” speak for itself.

“Some of the songs on the album are personal, some of them are not personal, some of them are very universal and I like to keep that — allow people to interpret it that way,” he said. contributed to this report.


First Scott McClellan NOW Rupert Murdoch?

If you don't believe me, then read about it here.

Rupert Murdoch, the founder or FOX News, basically endorsed Barack Obama.

Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News... The people who turned Jeremiah Wright into a piñata.

He said that if Barack is the nominee that Barack will win by a landslide, and he said that he is leaning toward voting for Barack Obama.

Now one could look at this as a sign of how impressive Barack Obama is that he has flipped one of the major conservatives into a supporter.


One could be like me and be completely suspicious of the entire affair.

Think about it. Rupert Murdoch can’t come on TV and say, “Hey! Racist white people. We reeeeeeeally need to you to turn out and vote for McCain cuz this Obama guy is stronger than we thought. So racist white people, we need you to register to vote and well, first we need you to learn how to read AND THEN register to vote… actually we don’t have time for you to learn how to read… just register to vote.

Rupert can’t do that. So I believe he’s smarter than that. It’s reverse psychology 101. If he goes on TV and says, “It’s inevitable that Barack will win.”, then all the racists at home will go, “No, it’s not! Milly, teach me how to read. I gots to vote!”