Friday, April 30, 2010

Catching Dave Dyer's Act

Comedian Dave Dyer headlined a multi-comic act Tuesday night at Grumpy Dave's Pub.

A Grand Rapids, Mich. native, Dyer pokes fun that he was the unsuccessful son in a four-child home.

Below is an audio clip featuring snippets of Dyer's act and interviews after the performance featuring owner Steve Sabo and operation and acquisition manager Tim Hoyt of Inside Joke Productions.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Audiences pour out billions for comedy

Comedy always laughs to the bank.

Each year, millions of Americans and billions of dollars are spent on comedy movies.

Whether we go to escape the reality of the cruel world or visit the theaters to change our lousy moods, Hollywood can always count on comedy to rake in the big bucks.

Just recently, 2009 breakout movie "The Hangover" received the distinction of being the top-grossing, R-rated comedy film ever. The movie brought in $277 million and ranks third among all R-rated movies ever.

Movies use the term "gross," which means the total income generated from the movie prior to deducting expenses such as production and actor costs.

Other 2009 movies ranking grossing high include "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" with $177 million, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" with $146 million, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" with $122 million and "Couples Retreat with $107 million.

"Julia & Julia," "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail," "Zombieland," "Hotel for Dogs," and "I Love You, Man" grossing $71 million round out the top ten from last year.

Outside of "The Hangover," 2009 fails in comparison to other comedy movies in years past.

Here is a list of the top-grossing comedies of all time with the figures adjusted for inflation, according to

One note of interest: No. 10's "Meet the Fockers" is the only movie in the top 10 from the past decade.
RankTitleGross Domestic Box OfficeAdjusted Gross Domestic Box Office1
1Beverly Hills Cop (Paramount / 1984)$234,760,478$433,887,669
2Home Alone (20th Century Fox / 1990)$281,493,907$413,257,012
3Tootsie (Columbia Pictures / 1982)$177,200,000$409,075,093
4Blazing Saddles (Warner Brothers / 1974)$119,500,000$404,656,100
5National Lampoon's Animal House (Universal Pictures / 1978)$141,600,000$383,297,700
6Mrs. Doubtfire (20th Century Fox / 1993)$219,194,773$321,796,582
7Three Men and a Baby (Touchstone Pictures / 1987)$167,780,960$310,095,167
8Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (New Line Cinema / 1999)$205,444,716$305,218,107
9Beverly Hills Cop 2 (Paramount Pictures / 1987)$151,663,265$280,306,213
10Meet the Fockers (Universal Pictures / 2004)$279,167,575$279,167,575
11Liar Liar (Universal Pictures / 1997)$181,395,380$269,489,309
12There's Something About Mary (20th Century Fox / 1998)$176,484,651$262,193,704
13My Big Fat Greek Wedding (IFC Films / 2002)$241,437,427$258,059,625
14Porky's (20th Century Fox / 1982)$111,289,673$256,917,795
15Home Alone 2 (20th Century Fox / 1992)$172,676,450$253,503,724
16Look Who's Talking (Tristar Pictures / 1989)$136,950,770$253,114,370
17Bruce Almighty (Universal Pictures / 2003)$242,589,580$249,831,060
18Big Daddy (Columbia Pictures / 1999)$163,479,795$242,873,093
19The Waterboy (Touchstone Pictures / 1998)$161,487,252$239,912,879
209 to 5 (20th Century Fox / 1980)$103,290,500$238,451,303
21Coming to America (Paramount Pictures / 1988)$128,113,607$236,781,399
22Stir Crazy (Columbia Pictures / 1980)$101,300,000$233,856,134
23Austin Powers in Goldmember (New Line Cinema / 2002)$213,079,163$227,748,985
24Trading Places (Paramount Pictures / 1983)$90,404,800$208,704,018
25Stripes (Columbia Pictures / 1981)$85,297,000$196,912,405

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Improv props up at BGSU

Dozens of students entertained an audience and donated money to charity during the Ninth Annual Improv-A-Thon.

In front of the Union on Friday, theatre honorary fraternity Theta Alpha Phi hosted a 10-hour charity marathon of improv, or the act of performing comedy without any preparation.

Any student buying a T-shirt could participate in the sketches.

A portion of the funds received will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, said Justin Campbell, senior and fraternity member.

“It’s a lot of fun. I love improv comedy even though I’m not good at it,” Campbell said.

The event is a success each year because of the positive reaction from students and their overwhelming participation in the comedic sketches, Campbell said.

“This is one of the best things I have ever done and it’s something that is really unique,” he said.
Some of the skits performed during this year’s Star Trek-themed Improv-A-Thon include:

• Kenny: “Kenny” acts as the person no one likes in a group of friends, yet always invites himself out. The performers play out a scene depicting the awkward situation.
• The Dating Game: Similar to the popular TV game show, contestants act out question-and-answer segments.
• The Party Game: Students guess what weird objects people bring to a party.
• Don Pardo: In honor of the former game show announcer, students play charades to guess wacky prizes.

This is one of the fraternity’s biggest events or fundraisers of the year, said Pat Mahood, senior and fraternity member.

“It definitely takes a lot of work and effort to get it done,” he said. “It’s sort of an endurance trial of imrpov.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The greatest TV skit ever

Just because it's my blog and I can post whatever I want:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Great clubs stretching past northwest Ohio

Earlier this week, Northwest Ohio Comedy took a look at the comedy venues in and around northwest Ohio.

But comedy stretches much farther than the heartland of America.

Wondering where some of the funniest comedians perform?

In 2005, USA Today writers traveled across the country to the find the elitists of comedy clubs.

And after traveling to hundreds of clubs and listening to dozens of experts, the newpspaer compiled what they believed to be the top-ten clubs in the United States.

Here is their list of the craziest chuckle clubs:

The Laugh Factory, Los Angeles, 323-656-1336

Richard Pryor got his start here, Saturday Night Live alum Jon Lovitz holds forth on Wednesday nights and Fox TV's Comic Strip Live is taped here on Saturdays. "So many comedians move to Hollywood, (the club) always has a good choice" of headliners.

The Punch Line, San Francisco, 415-397-7573,

Margaret Cho, Dave Chapelle and other cutting-edge stars have graced the Punch Line, which bills itself as the city's longest-running and only full-time comedy club.

Gotham, New York, 212-367-9000

Its chic ambience ices the cake of decent prices and good sight lines. When comics are happy, the crowds are, too.

The Comedy Club at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, 609-317-1000

A "tremendous room" in both senses, it's also a rarity — it holds about 900 people. The room boasts tiered seating and "understated, classy d├ęcor."

The Riviera Comedy Club, Las Vegas, 877-892-7469

Booked "consistently well" by Steve Schirripa (who plays Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri on HBO's The Sopranos), this club "always has three or four comics on the bill, usually from L.A. or New York.

The Punchline, Atlanta, 404-252-5233

This might be the best club in the country, with its top acts and a room that holds "185 rabid comedy fans." The stage that has featured such stars as Robin Williams.

Hilarities 4th Street Theatre, Cleveland, 216-241-7425

The old Hilarities Comedy Hall helped revive the city's historic Warehouse District; its successor is part of a restaurant and entertainment facility. Although the theater can hold up to 425 guests, it still feels intimate.

Charlie Goodnight's, Raleigh, N.C., 919-828-5233

A lot of stand-up comics come from the South, and they'll base themselves here, or Atlanta or Chattanooga. The greats and near-greats have autographed the stage wall, where one yukster scrawled, "Raleigh: Where Barney Fife goes to party.

Bear's Place Ale House & Eatery, Bloomington, Ind., 812-339-3460

This one, just off the Indiana University campus, presents its "Comedy Caravan" only two nights a week, but it gets packed, and everybody who's anybody in comedy has played there — there are pictures of them on the walls.

Note: Comix Cafe, located in Tonawanda, N.Y. shut down and no longer exists. It was on the top 10 list

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Locating the laughs

Several comedy clubs and venues exist in and around the northwest Ohio area.

Below are 20 locations all within a two-hour drive from Bowling Green, Ohio.

The different marks indicate:
Red: Clubs located within 20 miles of Bowling Green, Ohio
Blue: Micigan comedy clubs
Green: Offering hypnosis/magic in acts
Yellow: Improv
Purple: Open mic nights

Click each placement for more detailed information, pictures and links.

Click the link below the map to view a bigger map.

View Locating the laughs in a larger map

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Curing other ailments of failed acts

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08:  (FILE PHOTO) Come...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

We read earlier this week stage fright is a daunting characteristic of bad comedians.

But what are some other tumultuous tendencies comedians use in their set which can turn their performance from promising to detrimental?

After visiting comedy clubs, doing research and writing this blog for three months, I have come up with annoyances turning me off from a performance. Maybe up-and-coming comedians can learn a thing or two.

1. Excessive swearing.

Swear words get a rise out of the crowd when used emphatically. But to me, it's just a lazy substitute for word that could be better suited.

It seems the louder a comic screams "asshole" or "son of a bitch", they expect the crowd to laugh because it's a "naughty" word.

While George Carlin's "The Seven Words" joke is one of the greatest bits in the history of comedy, it shouldn't be the model of comedy. when modern-day comedians rely on these words, it can come across as ignorant and lazy. Someone wanting substance in their comedy won't get it from repeatedly hearing the "f," "S," and even the dreaded "c word."

2. Singling out audiences members.
Chrissy Burns performed a truly awesome set at Grumpy Dave's Pub on March 2. She was creative, brilliant and made fun of her insecurities when on stage.

But one bit of her material irked me really badly. She kept calling one of the audience members out, saying how she wanted to take him home and basically have sex with him.

Funny the first time. Tired after the fifth time. Horrible after a couple dozen times stated.

I believe the audience gets turned off when they are singling out one member of the crowd. It becomes then the entertainer is not performing their function of pleasing a large group.

When journalists write profile stories, they don't concentrate on the one person. They need to include all aspects of that person's life within the article.

3. Egomaniacs

Most comedians performing in northwest Ohio are here because they can't get gigs in more luxurious, higher-paying cities.

But that's OK for many.

Comedian Steve Brewer said he gives 100 percent into every performance, regardless of location, time, day or number of attendees.

This should be the mindset of not only comedians, but people in life. Put forth your best effort into every aspect of your life. It can only pay dividends for whatever endeavor you choose, especially comedy.

What are some things or tendencies comedians do that annoy you? Let me know in the comments section!

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