Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who’s The Suge Knight Of Alt-Comedy?

TSOYA linked to this splendid SF Gate article on SF alt-scene when I found this little nugget:

Along with playing indie clubs, comedians have been signing with indie labels. Major independent labels such as Subpop and Drag City have comedians on their rosters, a trend that Rian Murphy of Drag City says is very much in the tradition of his label, although the practice has "a lot of room to grow."
Drag City's flagship comedian is the droll and often disgusting Hamburger, who works a lounge-lizard persona and is one of the few comics to make a career out of touring nonconventional venues.
Record labels have also, logically, signed acts that fuse music and comedy. There are numerous examples, including Subpop's Australian duo Flight of the Conchords (who also have a show on HBO) and "SNL's" Fred Armisen, who has recorded under numerous musical pseudonyms and has teamed with Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein as ThunderAnt on Drag City.
"Tenacious D signaled a turning point in musical comedy," Murphy says of the faux metal band consisting of actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass. "It brought the two things together. You didn't have to choose between being a musical act or a comedy act."
It's hard to say what makes for good chemistry between a label, a band and a comedian, but it somehow makes aesthetic sense for hip, sarcastic nerds like David Cross and Eugene Mirman to tour with indie groups.

So who is the Suge Knight of the alt-comedy labels?

Tony Kiewel, obviously. Why else can’t you find a good picture of him online?

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