St. Louis Comedy 2014: Reviewed By Local Comedians

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Kelsey McClure
A scene from St. Louis' only late-night show, STL Up Late.

Rather than write a long-winded love story about comedy in St. Louis, RFT Music decided to reach out to the scene's key players for their side of the 2014 comedy story. We asked them to submit a meme, GIF or two-sentence summary of their 2014 comedy experience. A few went straight to photoshop while others went the route of shameless self-promotion. All in all, the collection is just about as true as it gets -- without jokes, we'd only have ourselves to laugh at.

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Soak Up Bill Corbett's Weird Alternate Version of Christmas

Categories: Comedy

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RiffTrax
Santa Claus, space traveler and fighter of Satan
Tonight, Mystery Science Theater 3000's Bill Corbett, Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy will be live-riffing the befuddling 1959 Mexican film Santa Claus in theaters nationwide (and at AMC 14 in Chesterfield). Santa's outer-space team and the wizard Merlin will battle Satan on the big screen just in time for the film's 55th anniversary. But it's not the only thing Corbett's leaving under your Christmas tree this holiday season, as his graphic novel Super-Powered Revenge Christmas plunges into stockings and onto store shelves now as well.

See also: Talking with Joel Hodgson About Mystery Science Theater 3000's Iconic Music

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The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: December 2014

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Press photo via official website.
Jeremy Essig will host his Holiday Bazaar on December 26 and 27 at Foam.

It's been yet another year of jokes, and the comedy community of St. Louis is becoming even more vast and dynamic. Monthly sketch, improv and standup shows abound, and they're even becoming specialized, focused and, at times, distinguishably weird. Everyone loves a theme party, so this month's Funny Events focuses on the holidays.

For those in search of laughter or curious about the goings-on of the comedy scene in St. Louis, we will be making monthly recommendations for shows in (and near) the city. From sure-thing hilarious to fingers-crossed, "Oh God! I hope this works" affairs, Funny Events is your connection to sketch, standup, improv and everything in between and out of the box and we promised to write a new description for 2015.

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Tonight's Found Footage Festival to Include VHS Hilarity from St. Louis

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Courtesy of the Found Footage Festival
Hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett share wacky VHS stories during a Found Footage Festival show.

The Internet thrives on virality. If you watch it, you share it. It's how YouTube stars are born, and it's why an eleven-minute homage to '90s sitcom credits has racked up 2 million views in less than a week.

But those millions of viewers are watching at different times, in different places and on different devices. What's missing is a group of friends -- possibly high, possibly gorging on Domino's -- gathering in a living room to laugh uproariously and give each other the "What the fuck?" look every time a dude on an infomercial insists that his cat-training video will bestow riches and sexiness beyond viewers' wildest dreams. That's where the Found Footage Festival comes in.

Uh, the crazy-video part, not the stoned-and-hungry part.

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The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: November 2014

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New Scar Design

There will (probably) never be another month like October in St. Louis for standup comedy. Luckily, standup isn't all there is. The gears have been ground and it's time to shift back to the local scene. Jokes abound -- and they don't always require a man standing behind a microphone.

For those in search of laughter or curious about the goings-on of the comedy scene in St. Louis, we will be making monthly recommendations for shows in (and near) the city. From sure-thing hilarious to fingers-crossed, "Oh God! I hope this works" affairs, Funny Events is your connection to sketch, standup, improv and everything in between and out of the box.

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Anthony Jeselnik on Death Threats, Standup and Roasting Donald Trump

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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By Ryan Pfeffer

"Tonight, Anthony Jeselnik is going to leave his stamp on the roast. And tomorrow, he'll use that stamp to buy food."

That's how Seth MacFarlane introduced Anthony Jeselnik at Comedy Central's Roast of Donald Trump. And while obviously a bit hyperbolic -- like all great jokes -- there was a good deal of truth poking out beneath the surface.

That night was America's first introduction to Anthony Jeselnik. It was an audition. And Jeselnik was painfully aware that his performance in those six minutes would either spawn a career in comedy, or send him spiraling toward obscurity.

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STL Up Late: St. Louis' Only Late-Night Talk Show Turns One Year Old

Categories: Comedy

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Kelsey McClure

About half an hour before showtime, a crowd begins to gather outside of the Satori (3003 Locust Street). Most everyone knows someone, and when the doors open it's nothing but smiles and courteous shuffling through the door, into a room split matter-of-factly by a cement support pillar right in the middle. The seats fill quickly, and a gleeful buzz hovers in the air. STL Up Late, St. Louis' only late-night talk show, is about to begin, featuring guest Brian Cohen, founder of LouFest, and musical guest Pretty Little Empire. The crowd is excited.

See also: STL Up Late Brings Comedic Relief to Your Saturday Night

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Brian Regan: It's Just Him and a Microphone

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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"Altruistic" is a word rarely -- if ever -- used to describe a standup comic, but it suits Brian Regan. In the 35 years he's been performing, wielding a microphone as his bullhorn, Regan does what only the most seasoned comics are capable of: making it look easy. He flourishes in the understanding and practice that the value of a joke is not simply a punch line, but in the shared experience of a comedic journey.

He's trekked back and forth across the United States and late-night talk shows more times than some comics could begin to imagine. His act stands up to the most acclaimed and praised in the business -- he is, after all, the poster boy for what the industry calls a "comic's comic." RFT Music spoke with Regan about what that means and dug into the depths of a joke.

(Brian Regan is performing a brand new 65-minute routine this Friday, October 24, at the Peabody Opera House. And he may even entertain with a few of the hits -- but only if he decides to.)


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Comedian Hannibal Buress Talks Standup, Baseball and Ninjas

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Since his last stop in St. Louis just over a year ago at the Firebird, Hannibal Buress has been beyond busy. Heading into its second season, Buress will return as Lincoln, co-staring on Llana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson's Comedy Central hit Broad City. He'll also be back in the oversized chair/undersized couch for the third season as cohost of The Eric Andre Show and is making yet another big-screen debut later this year with Flock of Dudes. Buress still hosts Sunday nights at the Knitting Factory when he's home in New York City and just set off on The Comedy Camasido Tour with a brand-new hour this very month.

We talked with Buress about how he makes time to write and develop his standup, what it means to "get baseballed" and, as an added bonus, he was even kind enough to divulge the details of his first standup appearance. He will be appearing at the Pageant on Friday, October 24, at 8 p.m.

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Tig Notaro Coming to the Ready Room, Teases Material on "Plain and Simple Ridiculousness"

Categories: Comedy

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Tig Notaro is coming to St. Louis to make you laugh at cancer. (Don't worry, it's okay.)
It's been little more than a year since Tig Notaro last stopped in St. Louis, but that was a something of a surprise show in Maryville University. So if you missed her then, this is your chance to not let this wildly praised comic slip through your fingers twice.

Notaro's cruising into the Ready Room on October 20, bringing her uniquely mellow, subversive style of storytelling with her. That style has a lingering, slow-burning pace to it, which may be best observed in her epic tale of accidentally stalking actress Taylor Dayne -- but Notaro's brilliance arguably lies in her heavier material. Her breakout album Live dealt with Notaro's bout with cancer in 2012, as well as host of other ailments and personal tragedies. The album became an instant standup classic, drawing a Grammy nomination and the breathless praise of none other than Louis C.K.

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