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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The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: October 2014

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October is far and away the most comedy-heavy month we've had to date. Between open mics, local showcases, independent shows and Dave Chappelle, there's a show every night of the week. Fingers crossed it doesn't get baseball-ed too badly, because there may not be another month like this ever.

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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Mike Birbiglia Tempts Michael Ian Black with St. Louis Fame, Pi Pizza

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@birbigs and @michaelianblack on Twitter
Will Mike Birbiglia and Michael Ian Black know the love of Pi Pizza?

Really good pizza is a universal love. We should know: our dining critic just gushed over A Pizza Story and one of our news reporters eats so much deep dish that he's filled with pepperoni grease instead of blood.

In fact, pizza is so delicious that comedian Mike Birbiglia tried using it to lure fellow funny dude Michael Ian Black to St. Louis. Birbiglia brings his "Thank God for Jokes" tour to the Pageant on Friday, September 19, and the comedian thought maybe Black might enjoy some local pie.

But naturally, the conversation went to hilarious hell. Here's what happened in this saucy tale of bro-love:

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Mike Birbiglia Preaches the Gospel of Humor On His Ambitious "Thank God for Jokes" Tour

Categories: Comedy

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Brian Friedman
Mike Birbiglia
Humor can be expressed in many ways, be it a one-liner, a story, a picture or simply a physical action. It is a unique art form, dependent as much on the performer as it is on the audience. It can exist as an individual entity or take small roles in different forms. A funny character can pop up in a dramatic film, just as a wisecrack can stand alone as a single quip between two individuals.

It doesn't take a comedian to tell a joke, but it does take one to properly deliver that joke. And what separates the comedians from the joke-tellers is the knowledge of how to include their audience as opposed to isolating them.

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The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: September 2014

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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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Mike Birbiglia on the Impact of Robin Williams' Life and Death

Categories: Comedy

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Robin Williams was, without question, one of the most recognizable and revered comedians in the entertainment industry. With more than 100 movies to his name, three HBO comedy specials and an outrageous number of cameos and appearances, Williams was rarely far from the public eye.

"In a way, he lived the life of someone who lived to be 150," says, comedian Mike Birbiglia when we spoke Tuesday afternoon about his upcoming show September 19 at the Pageant. "He gave so much that it's hard to ask for more. It was a great loss, but at the same time, if you met Robin, you would know that he was living at a pace that was 95 percent more than any human being operates at."

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The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: August 2014

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ToddBarry.com

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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The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: July 2014

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Sean Patton at the High Plaines Comedy Festival.

July's comedy joke theme is "Doublin' Up." Bare Knuckle Comedy is hosting a soiree of comedy shows featuring the triumphant return of a few of St. Louis' finest -- two of whom you might have caught a glimpse of at the sold-out Kyle Kinane and Marc Maron shows at the Firebird. The minds behind the Improv Shop and the Too Hip Series at Foam are also drawing from the same vein and offering storytelling events -- perhaps they'll fall in comedy love and all of the jokes will live happily ever after. Plus this will be the second time I reiterate how unusual it is to have enough comedy shows to deliberate what qualifies as best and what doesn't post-spring. My fingers are crossed for the trend to continue because laughter is nice, sports are stressful and the two could learn a thing or three from one another.

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