Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Funniest Things Of 2009

Funniest Song of 2009: "Jammie Shuffle"

Lonely Island has always hit it out the park with their demented raps. But this glorious paean to pajamas and drugged up knife fights is a bona fide grand slam.

"The pills take hold of your mind and flesh/You're brave and strong; you don't fear death!" Line of the year, bumper sticker of tomorrow.

Funniest Viral Video of 2009: Keyboard Cat

A video shot in the '80s in which a cat plays a keyboard became more than another novelty cat video; it became the all-purpose punchline, used to play off blotto starlets, dunder-headed senators -- any bonehead that drew a blogger's ire. Play us off!

Funniest Movie of 2009: The Hangover

FINALLY! A winner in this category that people have actually seen. Ed Helms, Brad Cooper and Ken Jeong were fine but make no mistake: it was the improvisational dexterity of Zach Galifianakis (he of the best web series, "Between Two Ferns") that led to classic moments like "reTARD" and the baby jackoff scene.

Funniest Television Show Of 2009: "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

Heir apparent to the HBO throne of LA asshole comedies (spawned by "The Larry Sanders Show", natch), "Curb Your Enthusiasm" steered clear of the sitcom cliches of CBS sitcoms and the overwritten excesses of NBC sitcoms at their worst, focusing on the only thing that matters: character. A hapless schlemiel of a character that gave us the comedy event of the year: the "Seinfeld" reunion.

Funniest Stand-Up Comedian of 2009: Paul F. Tompkins

The first two-time winner in this category was the funniest because:

a) he was the best podcast guest of the year

b) he had the funniest album of the year, Freak Wharf

c) all of the above.

"C" is the answer. Apologies to Tompkins for not making "street smart" an option.

Funniest Comedy Double Album Of 2009: Final Engagement, Marc Maron

True this is an arbitrary distinction since there were hardly any other comedy double albums this year, but Marc Maron deserves recognition this year as well. Between this ferociously funny album and his WTF podcast, expect Maron to spearhead the trend in sincere, personal comedy in the upcoming decade along with Louis CK.

Funniest Sketch Group: Derrick

The Mystery Team trailer speaks for itself.

Funniest Website Of 2009: Witstream

So many hilarious quips on Twitter and Facebook. How do you cut through the garbage and find the funny? Enter Witstream, a site founded by Michael Ian Black and Lisa Cohen. Now Paul F. Tompkins, Moshe Kasher and Doug Benson are on the same page along with other great comedians giving you their minute to minute thoughts on everything from movies to bad gigs. It's like Twitter distilled into a new art form: jokes.

Funniest Podcast Of 2009: Best Show On WFMU

Funniest things ever: Paul F. Tompkins and Tom Scharpling riffing on the juggalos as well as Jon Wurster calling up and requesting a song called "Jazz Fart" by Frank Zappa. Don't know if this is a real song; don't care. The winner now and forever is The Best Show. Everything else is soft serve!

Funniest Blog Post I've Written This Year:

Hey Burger King





Friday, November 27, 2009

The Ten Most Influential Comedians of the Decade

Though the prevailing doxa seems to be that alternative comedy was the biggest movement of the past ten years, the truth is future history books will mark this decade as the one in which stand-up got fragmented. The red states had blue-collar comedy; the ghettos had The Kings of Comedy; the suburban mooks yukked it up listening to Rich Vos and Jim Norton; and, yes, the hipsters were slapping their tightly-jeaned knees watching Comedians of Comedy DVDs.

It is thus keeping in mind all these disparate comedy movements that I present the most influential comedians of the decade. These are not necessarily my favorite comedians of the decade. If that were the case, you would see Paul F. Tompkins, Marc Maron and Maria Bamford on this list. For better or worse though, these ten comics were the ones that open mikers sheepishly aped this decade while trying to find their voice. These are the ten comics that shaped people's expectations of stand-up over the past ten years. Some of the comics on this list even helped introduce stand-up to markets that no one would have previously thought of (blogs, indie rock festivals). Here, then, are the ten most important comics of the nascent millenium.

10) Louis CK

No comedian has more respect uptown and downtown than Louis CK. True, sincerity was not as popular as irony in this decade and if this were a list of beloved comics, CK would be ranked much higher. But it is only recently that comics have begun to talk about break-ups and childhood trauma with the same soulful, gut-wrenching intensity that he is known for. Whether Dane Cook did indeed steal those jokes from him or not, we can at least count that incident as evidence that CK's lowbrow/highbrow/anything-but-middlebrow style had a significant impact in arenas as well as in faux-dives nationwide.

9) Mitch Hedberg

Of course Mitch Hedberg helped open the floodgates for one-liner comics worldwide. But his most lasting contribution would be his laid-back, stoner delivery. You'd be hard-pressed to find a comic who sounded like they had more fun onstage than he did. More cynical readers may point out that heroin would make anyone happy, but therein lies the rub: heroin addicts often end up taking heroin not to get high; after a certain point users never feel high on smack again. They simply take it to ease the pain in their stomachs.

This is the exact opposite of Hedberg's comedy. There are moments on Strategic Grill Locations when he flubs the delivery to his jokes or tells undeveloped zingers. Those moments aren't only acceptable; they leave indelible impressions on the listener's mind. Many comedians have since tried to recreate the loose, goofy, comedic vibe that Hedberg brought to rooms nationwide; none have come close.

8) Aziz Ansari

Before you click the "Publish Your Comment" button, angry readers, consider this: Aziz Ansari was the first comic to use blog buzz to advance his career the way stand-ups used The Tonight Show or Dangerfield specials 20 years ago. Before YouTube, Ansari was making viral online videos with Human Giant ("Shutterbugs") and without them ("Aziz's Shitty Mixtape"). Anybody who has made the comics in the back laugh with jokes about shitty action movies and dumb R&B songs owes him at least another listen. And yes, in an age where Arabs, Sikhs, Indians, Pakistanis and Turks were indiscriminately called "towelheads," there he was, crossing over to white audiences and paving the way for great brown comics like Hari Kondabolu.

7) Jeff Foxworthy

According to a New York Times article, Comedy Central largely overlooked Jeff Dunham until the suits saw that The Blue Collar Comedy Tour was such a success. Though Larry the Cable Guy was the breakaway star, Jeff Foxworthy initially attracted attention to one of the most lucrative movements of the decade.

Before you shit on Foxworthy, check out this clip from Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? His quick wit and good-natured delivery help save this from turning into a mean-spirited humiliation of a grown woman who should have paid more attention in math class as well as chemistry class.

6) Bernie Mac

One of the great lessons of ethnic comedy in this decade: it wouldn't be enough to talk about your race. An audience raised on Def Comedy Jam and hip-hop skits knew everything about the difference between black people and white people. While Bernie Mac would remind us of the similarities between blacks and whites, he did not resort to Bill Cosby's gentle delivery. Indeed, Mac's rapid-fire cadences hearkened back to the fire-and-brimstone Pentecostal preacher style of Sam Kinison. His personal material, where he mostly aired his family's dirty laundry, was a precursor to Louis CK's shockingly confessional bits on wiping shit from his daughter's vagina.

The Bernie Mac Show
was also a revelation. This decade's answer to The Cosby Show, the Emmy Award-winning program would get shuffled around the TV schedule like every other show on Fox that should never have been canceled. In truth, it's amazing that a show about a borderline abusive father even got greenlit to begin with. A closer look reveals that, like his blustery stand-up act, there was a redolent sweetness reminding us that he acted this way because he loved the kids -- and he respected the audience.

5) Dave Attell

To a certain extent, Dave Attell almost ruined comedy clubs. Thousands of up-and-comers have flooded bringer shows with lesser jokes about sex with trannies and midgets. Truth be told, it is not easy to say what makes Attell better than these wannabe cool jerks. Delivery comes to mind. Every word that leaves his mouth is marked "Important." There is nothing casual about this man; every breath seems to have smoke behind it.

Or perhaps it's his laser-like focus on nightlife. No comic books or rug rats here: every joke he has told has been about alcohol, weed, sex, cocaine -- anything that we indulge in between 5 pm and 4 am to help us escape our humdrum existences (and to help us forget his legions of humdrum imitators).

4) Sarah Silverman

You mean to tell me that attractive female comics spontaneously decided in this decade to tell off-color jokes about black men, anorexia and child abuse? Truth is, Sarah Silverman had the same impact on many comediennes this decade that Eddie Vedder had on "alternative" rock singers in the '90s: everyone sounded like them.

What the imitators lack is her silliness. Most of the clones would make fun of Martin Luther King for shock value; few have the imagination and verve Silverman had to tell a hilariously preposterous lie about MLK farting in a car with the windows up and the heat on full blast.

3) Todd Barry

True, few comics were dumb enough to try to affect Todd Barry's low -energy style. But Barry's snarky quips about shitty rock musicians would permeate alternative comedy scenes nationwide, spawning imitators left and right. Comics were also drawn to his detached, wry take on urban life, taking jabs at conversations overheard at restaurants as well as knee-jerk ineffectual liberals that bring a bad name to the left.

Lest you think that Barry is a boutique act that only has hipster cachet, watch this Letterman clip, where each joke has laughs and an applause break.

2) David Cross

David Cross would have been number one, but it seems his influence started to wane as the decade wore on. Less comics -- both indie and mainstream -- would do topical material. Even the angry, insolent tone would become less and less popular.

But it was Cross who ultimately attracted attention to alternative comedy in the first place. Simply listen to Aziz Ansari's self-effacing quip on the Invite Them Up compilation CD, where he imagines a listener skipping his track: "Fuck Aziz Ansari; David Cross, where is he at?" For a long time, Cross was the biggest indie comic out there. His stint on Arrested Development certainly didn't hurt. Neither did his cult following from his Mr. Show days.

The most important legacy Cross gave us, however, was taking comedy out of the comedy clubs and into the rock clubs. In 2000, Cross went on a rock tour with Ultrababyfat, helping fuel the Comedians of Comedy tour as well as giving impetus to the deluge of comedy tents at indie rock festivals.

1) Patton Oswalt

Sure David Cross attracted audiences to indie comedy, but Patton Oswalt would keep them coming back for more. It is because of Oswalt that every geek with a comic book collection thought they could tell jokes. It is because of Oswalt that Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn and Maria Bamford got the attention they deserved through the Comedians of Comedy tour.

But when scholars hundreds of years from now discuss the significance of Patton Oswalt, they will all point to his tone. Granted, very few comics can stray from cynicism for long and his screed against KFC bowls is served with a big helping of bile. But before Oswalt, almost no comics talked about their passions. Love was almost always out of the equation.

Yet there he was, recounting his hilariously detailed obsessions with giant women, Alvin and the Chipmunk records, celebrity chefs and film producer Robert Evans. The reason Oswalt was the obvious choice to star in films like Big Fan and Ratatouille was because the two lead characters in those films needed his infectious zeal to come to life. It is this lust for life that had as many comics joking about the things they love in this decade as The Beatles had musicians singing about love in the '60s.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lesser Jokes

Great comedians tell greater jokes. Lesser comics either tell lesser jokes or tell greater jokes in lesser form.

Lesser jokes? Lesser jokes are jokes that are either hackneyed, obvious or generic. If you are a comedian who really cares about comedy or who reads blogs about comedy, you probably know better than to write hacky or obvious jokes. But generic jokes? Not so easy to avoid. You could start off with a joke that's very original but end up adding a generic tag. Or you can write a purely generic joke.

A generic joke? Wow, you know nothing! A generic joke is more or less a joke that ANYONE can make. Comics may know better than to avoid the trap of airplane jokes, but how many do you think are making jokes about the movie 2012? A lot. I'm sure some great comics have jokes about 2012. But the lesser comics are the ones who are, say, calling the movie a disaster. The greater comics are the ones who managed to write 2012 jokes that fit their persona -- or at least jokes that not simply any idiot can write.

Because the joke that any dummy can write is the stand-up equivalent of buying a rubber chicken at a novelty store. Neither gag has a pulse.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creepy Cats From Barbie Cartoon Sing "Unbelievable"

WARNING: Do not watch unless you have never taken psychedelic drugs before.

Flipping through the channels, I found The Barbie Channel. Why not? Maybe it was a bunch of Barbie dolls in videos, like a Todd Haynes film. I found this video entitled "Unbelievable" Barbie and the Three Musketeers Music Video.

The first thing you notice in this video is the creepy kitten faces. The lead singer has this creepy smile that makes her look more like Richard James than a cat. And why are the back-up kitties trying to pull off all these salacious moves? It's like you're watching a little girl's beauty pageant for furries. The lyrics aren't even the same. It's like an unfunny song parody of EMF's "Unbelievable" with half-baked lyrics about girl power.

I feel like the dog at 2:24. Jump to 0:38 to skip to the beginning of the "song."

Friday, November 06, 2009

Comedian-To-Watch Dan Goodman Has A Hot Website!

It's been said before: politically incorrect jokes don't work unless they're funny. Well all jokes don't work unless they are funny. But some jokes challenge the prevailing social mores of race, religion etc. and yet-

GAAAH! This is why I more or less quit comedy journalism. Just know this: comedian Dan Goodman is the real thing. Comedy sites like The Apiary and The Comic's Comic have been profiling hot up-and-coming alt comics. They are great, but when it comes to great up-and-comers who get respect downtown and uptown like Louis CK and Bill Burr, the number one name that comes to mind is Dan Goodman.

Well he's got a new website that you should check out.

Here are some cool-sounding features from his website:

Ghetto Myspace Pic of the Week

30 seconds of Hell

this ASAP!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm On A Podcast With Claudia Cogan

The Check Spot is a news and comedy podcast run by Dave Greek (comedian), Dan Cartwright (comedian) and Arthur Carlson. Comedian Sue Funke fills in for Carlson on this episode, where we talk about Balloon Boy (two days after the story broke), gay rights, Tracy Morgan and Ice-T.

Check out the episode here. While you're at it, check out the other episodes. This is more or less a who's who of up-and-coming comics.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The All-Purpose Alterna-Hack Joke

It's no secret the industry has its eye on alt-comedy now. So why be yourself? Just get yourself on the display rack at Urban Outfitters on the cover of Paste magazine with The All-Purpose Alterna-Hack Joke and you will be elbow-patch deep in alterna-snatch and drink tickets! [Ed. note: if you think I'm making fun of you in this blog post I probably am you soulless, opportunistic clone]Pay close attention to the key words in bold-I swear to your pagan warlike god these words automatically get laughs from trust-fund brats in faux-dives without fail.

So I was riding my unicorn when I saw a pirate fighting a ninja. The fight was refereed by a robot listening to Nickelback with an Ed Hardy t-shirt. I dropped my Dunston Checks In DVD and felt like my soul got raped. Am I right? I was being ironic with that last question.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

News Brief Comic vs. Feature Writer Comic

The word "hack" gets thrown around in comedy circles like the word "communist" gets thrown around Beltway conservative pundit conversations about Obama: its overuse builds to a sort of glossolalia to the point where one almost forgets what either word means.

Perhaps journalism can show us the way.

Most cub reporters start off picking up faxes/e-mails and writing brief stories about charity bake sales, Halloween safety tips, etc. Then they graduate to real local news briefs about robberies, murders, etc. Eventually, they graduate to in-depth features, a cover story, maybe even their own column.

The same can be said for comedians. Many comedians start off with "news brief" jokes ("This is in the news..."). At the very least, they start off with brief jokes that anyone can write. News wire stories from the AP or Reuters have very little personality. Similarly, hacks are more concerned with content and timeliness than style.

Great comedians, then, are like feature writers: very thorough, thought-provoking writers with their own personal flair. Richard Pryor; Maria Bamford; Andy Kaufman; Bill Burr-all very different comedians and yet they can all be considered "feature writer" comics.

The best a "news brief" comic can hope for is a monologue writing job for Conan or Letterman. For a "feature writer" comic the sky's the limit.

As unremarkable as news brief comics can get, they are also well-versed in the fundamentals that a feature writer comic knows cold and builds on: strong punchlines, timing, clarity. Feature writers have difficulty at first bringing clarity and focus to difficult issues like whether public health is socialist, much like feature writer comedians might initially experience frustration trying to make their personal bits accessible.

There is overlap of course. Great comedians likes Andres DuBouchet and A.D. Miles write monologue jokes for Conan and Fallon. Similarly, a feature writer can probably write a news brief in her sleep. But news brief writers and news brief comics who only do briefs have difficulty making the feature leap; some may be so happy with the money and/or travel that brief guys get to experience that they never want to write features.

Although the majority of news brief writer comedians are hacks, there are exceptions -- comedians who write their brief jokes with a certain panache. Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg come to mind. They have relatively simple jokes but the delivery and mannerisms make all the difference. So if you do find yourself more comfortable talking about Sarah Palin's latest gaffe, make sure to include your own personal stamp or else you will end up being yesterday's news before you know it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Is Sad

When you type in "worst comedians" Google suggests "worst comedians Dane Cook" as an autocomplete. I guess college crowds can be SuFickle.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Upcoming Gigs

Yes I do stand-up. Come watch me tell jokes at any one of these fine venues.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore's Kinda Funny

At least that's what this Un-Cabaret blog post seems to imply:

Once Al Gore stopped pretending to be a 'serious' politician and started making fun of himself, he suddenly became a lot more likeable and trustworthy - even when he was delivering an inconvenient truth.

Scoff all you want, Al Gore's daughter wrote for Futurama. This may explain Obama's appeal too, making self-deprecating jokes about being from Krypton.

Wasn't Bush self-deprecating? Yeah - WAY after the fact. When he made his flubs, he never addressed them immediately. He just said them with such a serious face one couldn't help but laugh at him.

So politicians; be more Jon Stewart, less Stephen Colbert.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Remembrance Of Video Past #65: Duran Duran, "All She Wants Is"

When I was 13, nothing was funnier than an orgasm in a pop song. Twenty years later, you would think I would stop howling with laughter at the ecstatic moans toward the end of this song. Trouble is, these moans are sequenced with synthesizers, making it sound like a sex piano (or sex keytar).

What's makes it even funnier is as these moans creep up on the soundtrack, the female protagonist faints in front of an open fridge. You're welcome.


Monday, July 06, 2009


Taken from Beth Lapides' page (more on her significance here) is this annotated video of Patton Oswalt at Un-Cabaret. The annotations dissect how, when asked questions about his anecdote, Oswalt's responses are not only funny but truthful and within his character. It's not so much that he's on. It's more like he's really present onstage.

In this sense comedy is like reporting: Patton Oswalt is giving the story while Lapides (the hostess who asks questions to elicit further information) is like the editor, demanding even a seasoned vet like Oswalt to give more detail and to answer any lingering questions.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Perfect YouTube Moment

I got the following comment on this video (NSFW):

This is the only comment by someone other than me. It's a very flattering, supportive comment. I am enjoying this unspoiled moment before I start receiving negative "faggot" comments. Or, even worse, before I realize that I will never get another comment on my videos ever again.

(Thanks Abbi for the heads-up and the video!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Best Viral Video Of The Year (About MJ Media Hypocrisy)

I've seen Jon Lajoie's work and I've always thought it was OK but nothing could prepare me for this scathing rebuke of the hypocritical media's reaction to Michael Jackson's death. Before Jackson's death he was demonized as a child-touching pariah. Now he's been crowned the King of Pop by everybody carbon-based life form. Which is it? Lajoie seems to lean towards the "kid-diddling sicko" view, but he keeps his unwavering focus on the media circus that interviewed vapid talking head after vapid talking head.

There have been plenty of hilarious viral vids this year but this is one of the precious few that challenges the status quo. Indeed I can't think of another viral video produced exclusively for the web that does.

NSFH (Not Safe For Hypocrites)


Monday, June 08, 2009

The Hangover Wins Over Angry Meatheads

First of all, this is the most perfect film ever realized. It is at least the best comedy I've seen in a very long time. I don't think a better comedy will come out this year but I hope I'm wrong.

It was especially awesome considering the conditions. I saw it in a sold-out theater full of angry douchey bros who were waiting 15 minutes past the scheduled time for the movie to start.

This movie better have roofies!

A theater employee announced that the movie would start in five minutes. As we were watching the trailers, the projector went out and everyone booed. They started the movie a few minutes past the very beginning which pissed everybody off. Some audience members were booing the projectionist. One guy behind me said "This movie is doomed."

At the end of the film, there was rapturous applause. Hangover with the win!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is There Such A Thing As A Bad Audience At A Comedy Show?

Absolutely. Some audiences are dumb and want Chinese jokes. I'll take it one step further - sometimes the HOST is terrible. Sometimes the Feng Shui is out of whack. Sometimes the comic before you killed by making fun of convenience store clerks from Southeast Asia.

This only means it is our job as comics to rectify the situation. More often than not this entails being "loose" which means either:

a) crowdwork
b) articulating your stream-of-consciousness as it happens
c) commenting on a joke from the previous comedian/host

What this does is it gives the audience and comedian common ground without the comedian selling out. The best way I can describe it is to be your own host because if the host did their job right the crowd would be pumped. So YOU have to get them psyched (Rob Lathan steez).

Speaking of getting psyched COME TO MY SHOW TOMORROW AT OCHI'S.

Here are the details:

Mo Diggs presents Claudia Cogan (featured in Time Out New York), Jamie Lee (one of the winners of NYUCF Emerging Comics Contest), Nick Turner (DC Comedy Festival), David Angelo (David Angelo Radio Show), Todd Montesi (Howard Stern) and Matt Nagin (New York Post). Musical guest Joe Yoga.

Date: Wednesday, May 27th
Time: 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: Ochi's Lounge (basement of Comix; 353 W. 14th St)
NO COVER/One Item Minimum

Friday, May 01, 2009

Remembrance Of Video Past #64: Richard Marx, "Hazard"

We've all heard lite rock before but how about lite rock with A MURDER MYSTERY?! I saw ads for this song in 1992 asking the cryptic question "Who killed Mary?" I first heard this song in my parent's rental car in Florida. It has an ominous sound, like a bad police procedural with spooky synth noises.

Richard Marx plays this guy accused of murder but he maintains is innocence. In the beginning he is shown being teased as a child. Later he finds out his mom is an adulterer and burns a random person's house as a little kid. He eventually dates Mary, who is found dead in the river. It is up to the listener to decide if Marx's character killed Mary or not.

I'd like to think he did it because an easy listening song by a murderer is funnier than a power ballad sung by a cold blooded killer.

Monday, April 20, 2009

If You're In New York And You Want To See Me...

I usually don't promote upcoming shows on this blog but I am REALLY excited about these next two shows.

TONIGHT: I am doing Monday Night Stand-Up at Pete's Candy Store. The show is hosted and produced by the lovely and high-larious (especially on 4/20)Jennifer Dzuria. Also featuring:

Tim Ellis has a one-man show called, "An Inquiry Into Human Understanding." I went to go see it to make sure it didn't have too much in common with my own philosophy-oriented one-woman show. Fortunately, Tim had never donated his eggs to a gay man.

Cody Hess is from Texas. According to his MySpace page, his heroes include his parents, and "cowboys."

Jeff Kreisler is a winner of the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy and was a writer for Comedy Central's Indecision2008.

Becky Yamamoto has a really awesome-looking website.


Don't forget Intermission-the show I produce with Matt Nagin-this Wednesday (4/22) 7:30-9 at Ochi's Lounge in the basement of Comix (14th and 9th). I am hosting and man do we have a line-up that will leave laugh scars-let alone laugh lines-on your face.

IAN JENSEN (Botanica, Joe Franklin's)
MIKE KRAMER (featured Daily News, NYC Underground Fest., Dutch TV)
MATT NAGIN (featured NY Post, host Intermission)
EL BOB (clubs, colleges)
Musical guest Michelle Leona!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Absolutes Of Mo

One of the most difficult things in any artistic endeavor is finding your voice: what makes you you? I came up with a list of absolutes-of things that are immutable, that have been true practically all my life-as an exercise to see what makes Mo Diggs Mo than just Diggs.

- I hate mayonnaise:
Since I was eight years old, I have been repulsed by the idea of mayonnaise. How much? If my girlfriend started to eat mayonnaise I would break up with her. If you covered all my cash with mayonnaise I would throw it in the vicinity of a homeless person. If you told me my brain had mayonnaise in it, I would learn how to give myself a lobotomy on YouTube.

- I love Queen and Led Zeppelin
Folks, I've been through many musical phases: metal; indie rock; electroclash; intelligent dance music; conscious backpacker hip-hop; soundtrack music. Through it all I've never changed the station/pressed "next" on the iPod when a Queen or Led Zeppelin song comes on. This doesn't exactly make me look cool: both bands were the alpha and omega of overproduced hi-fi stadium rock.

Fuck electroclash

- I will always love the feeling of getting out of work
This does not mean I do not like work. The downside of unemployment is that the whole day becomes relatively uneventful. At 5 pm on a workday I get out of work. Joy! At 5 pm on a weekend I check my e-mail for the billionth time.

What are YOUR absolutes?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MySpace: Most Ghetto Website Eva

If the Internet is like a highway of information, then the MySpace exit is one huge web ghetto.

- Every other girl is a cyber ho propositioning you for her cyber services.

- No matter where you look you see a shirtless thug.

- Shitty music is blasting out of shitty speakers.

- Everything is all dilapidated with ghastly MySpace graffiti.

There's even Tom, the cranky MySpace landlord. "OK we know there are problems-STOP WITH THE EMAILS! You get what you pay for!"

What's the crack of MySpace? MySpace. No matter how hard I try, I can't get out of the ghetto.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joke Junkie #3:

Today's headlines, tomorrow's jokes

Industry experts say digital 3D is the future of cinema. Which means viewers may be literally blinded by Dr. Manhattan's giblets.


A prison officer was fired after befriending inmates on Facebook. No word on whether he will face charges for poking the inmates.

A scientific study shows that semen makes women happier. In other news, Monica Lewinsky says her blue dress brings back happy memories.

STREET JOKE OF THE DAY: An ad man walks into a bar. He rolled his eyes at the patrons and told his friend "This place sold out. It's way too commercial."
Call the bowler's union and tell them there's a STRIKE!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today's Topic: Topical Jokes

Here's Louis CK's take on topical jokes (Boston Comedy via Sandpaper Suit):

"I just don't do that. It has a shelf life, and… I don't care about current events. They're hit so hard by comedians. That whole thing of, 'Hey, what the hell…' you know, 'And the eight babies lady…' You know, Jesus. And fucking enough. It's the most boring part of our national conversation, is the five headlines. You can't tell the news from Entertainment Tonight anymore. It's just a bummer. And I think it's one of the most boring aspects of stand-up, and it's just me being really harsh, is just the feeding on that shit. And taking the, 'Here's my take on it.' Oh, okay, that's about three degrees different from what Conan said, and Leno said, and Letterman said, and Jon Stewart, and Dennis Miller, and Spike Feresten, and Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon. And the columnist, and the Onion. And a bunch of bloggers...Your take on the Octomom, you somehow found a little territory in there that was just yours. And I really wish you had thought about something about yourself instead."

Now here's MY TAKE:

I don't know if you've noticed but the past few days I've been writing topical jokes. Why on earth would I do this? Two reasons:

a) As a joke-writing exercise
b) It's amazing practice for television writing

The truth is, there is ZERO money in alternative comedy. You either make money as an actor or a writer. I don't have a Johnny Hollywood Good Time Charlie face, so I may as well hone my writing chops.

That said,
I would stay away from telling topical jokes onstage. Stand-up, more than any other form of comedy, is about honing and sharpening the same material. Granted, I don't feel you need to tell the same five jokes at EVERY show (I just realized this recently, so apologies to my fellow comedy colleagues) but it really is hard to let go of jokes that have the shelf life of one loopy afternoon at work.


Topical jokes: great for blogs/Twitter, but a waste of time onstage.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Joke Junkie #2

Today's headlines, tomorrow's jokes
Today is St Patrick's Day, a magical day in which all the streets are sprinkled with golden showers.
A German company courts controversy with Obama Fingers, which are fried chicken tenders. The company halted production of Sanjay Gupta Dots.
The latest Details issue has Yankee Alex Rodriguez kissing his mirror image. He was reportedly frustrated that he only got to first base.
A man on the lam posed as his dead brother for 20 years. Police became suspicious when the man told police "I am my dead brother. BAH!"
iPhone now has copy and paste function. No word yet on whether iPhone will have "save money and stop buying trendy gadgets" function.

STREET JOKE OF THE DAY: A 9/11 conspiracy theorist walks into a bar. He says "Let me get a hot toddy-make sure it's Farenheit 9/11."
Tell the short-order cook at Denny's that's a grand slam!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Joke Junkie #1

Here are today's jokes from today's headlines:

Guantanamo inmates no longer "enemy combatants." They are now being called "livestock."


MacGyver is being made into a movie. In the spirit of MacGyver, the filmmakers plan on using rudimentary materials to make a certified bomb.


iPhone is the big hit at SXSW. Like most of the concertgoers, the iPhone was both sleek and unwashed


HBO greenlit a series about history of film by David Chase, maker of The Sopranos. When asked who will star in it, David Chase abruptly turned into a black screen.


Josef Fritzl, accused of imprisoning his daughter and fathering her children, has pleaded guilty to rape and incest but not guilty to murder. "I'm not a monster," Fritzl added.


A 9/11 conspiracy theorist walks into a bar. He orders a rum and coke. The bartender says, "It comes out to 12 dollars." The conspiracy theorist said, "Sorry, I only have loose change."


Friday, March 13, 2009

LCS, Gotham Non-Renewals=No One Cares About Stand-Up

According to The Comic's Comic (please donate), Last Comic Standing and Live At Gotham appear to be headed toward the out door.

Startling coincidence: last night, Chris Laker said that before he was a comic, no one would talk to him about Premium Blend because only comics watch that show. So is stand-up comedy really becoming incestuous? A vanity press for the most fragile egos?

If so, then I embrace this trend in cancellations. As Jeff Kreisler rightfully said in the comments for the blog post, "This could be good thing. Maybe without the TV outlets for 'younger'/'greener' comics, these comics can focus less on developing a TV set, and more on developing themselves."

The short of it: we may have avoided a COMEDY BUST!

Comedy Bust

Monday, March 09, 2009

Two Things About The Watchmen

It was very good but lemme say two things:

1) Awful soundtrack from start to finish. The extended remix of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin'" was terrible. And My Chemical Romance at the end? NERD RAGE! (/sarcasm)

2) Now that the movie is out, douchebags have opinions about Watchmen. When Watchmen was a graphic novel only smart people had opinions of the film. Criticisms were well thought out. When I went to see this film, at the end I overheard some hapless fucktard say, "Why did they show the blue guy's junk?"

I can imagine the conversation with his friends on the way home:

"If I stopped bangin' the Silk Spectre my balls would be blue too!"

"IMAX doesn't make everything bigger!"

Dr. Manhattan making a house call for Smurfette

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Twitter Listed As One Of Funniest

By whom? Kevin Tor, an up-and-coming comic whose video was listed in Apiary's New Video Wednesday.

My Twitter is up there with Pete Holmes, Mike Drucker and Sara Benincasa. Look at the sidebar for my Twitter.

Better yet:


Kevin Tor

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Am Totally Amazing In This Slumdog Millionaire Parody

Unfortunately I did not write it. That honor belongs to the wonderful Abbi Crutchfield.

Oh and her fiancee/comedian pal Luke Thayer has a really funny wig.


Monday, February 09, 2009

I Post; You Decide

Is this good? I'm at work and can't watch videos. So I leave it up to you the reader: IS THIS FUNNY?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Funny McSweeney's Piece From Ed Murray

My comedy friend Ed Murray is leaving for Seattle on Friday. Read his hilarious piece on why he'll never be a comic here and come to Soundfix tonight to send him off!

Comedy Free Williamsburg
@ Sound Fix 8pm

DC Benny (Comedy Central's Premium Blend)
Chris Laker (Gettin' Some)
Jamie Lee (NYUCF Emerging Comics Contest Runner-Up)
Lee Camp (Huffington Post, 23/6)
Pete Holmes (Live at Gotham)
Sean O'Conner (This American Life)

Hosted by Ed Murray (McSweeney's, Sirius Radio)
w/Mo Diggs (The Apiary)

110 Bedford Ave/N 11th
L to Bedford, G to Nassau

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I've Seen The Future Of TV Show Adverts And It Is....

...previews for sketches. Important Things With Demetri Martin looks AMAZING. If Tim And Eric is what an Andy Kaufman sketch show would look like, this is like a Steve Martin Chappelle Show. Unlike most promos which show whole sketches (Human Giant) or whole episodes (Flight of the Conchords), Comedy Central is showing trailers for individual sketches. Since this one made laugh out loud, I'm showing this one. Bad acting=good times.

Monday, February 02, 2009

My Stand-Up Comedy Hero

As an Arab-American, I can relate to Sayid from Lost bombing as a stand-up

Hey Burger King...

Look, I love your foodstuffs. It's obvious from this picture. But must you go out of your way to try to be edgy? You're like the MILF that plays Nickelback in the sack because you think all the young dudes like that kind of postgrunge ballyhoo.

Let me take you on a stroll down memory lane-

Subservient Chicken: It's like a porno webcam, except it's a man in a chicken suit. Har-har d'ourves. The chicken does whatever you type in the message box. I typed "Run away from the factory farm and die."

Sean John Bags:

A few years ago the Burger Monarch asked Puff Daddy AKA Sean John to design their paper bags.

"Hey Diddles, we got a real sitch here. No matter how beautiful we make these bags, people wanna throw them out."

"You called the right one, fam. I am the master of disposable waste."

Whopper Virgins:

In one of their latest ad campaigns, foreigners from fourth world countries are given Whoppers for the first time. These novices to flame broiled greatness are called Whopper Virgins. Is it because of the ensuing flow of tears tinged with a bottomless sense of regret?

Angry Whopper:

Most comedians stop at three. I go beyond what is asked of me in the line of fire. Now there's this Angry Whopper pablum. That's right America, eat your emotions. This whopper comes with Angry Sauce. Angry Sauce. You know, because at the end of a drunken bender, there's nothing I want more than for a Whopper to hatefuck my mouth. [no image available]


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RIP John Updike

Pulitzer-prize winning writer John Updike, 76, died of lung cancer. Known best for his "Rabbit" series (Rabbit, Run as well as Rabbit Redux) as well as his New Yorker short stories, the man has written some hilarious works. Pick up Fierce Pajamas for some classic parodies, essays and comic verse.

In June of '06, I wrote a blog post linking to his philippic against the dense, scattered verbiage of the Internet. Most intersting line:

The electronic marvels that abound around us serve, surprisingly, to inflame what is most informally and noncritically human about us — our computer screens stare back at us with a kind of giant, instant "Aw, shucks," disarming in its modesty, disquieting in its diffidence.

But is it the Internet's fault or does most writing seem bland compared to Updike's muscular, poignant prose?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great Comedy Show Catches Me In "What's Up With That" Pose

Living Room is one of the best produced comedy shows in NYC. Produced by Abbi Crutchfield and Luke Thayer, the show runs every other Friday at Postmark Cafe in Park Slope. I hosted this past Friday and had a blast.

Wait for it.

What's up with that?

Confessions of a Teen Idol Invents New Professions

On the VH-1 Celebreality show, Cooper Lawrence is a fame therapist who helps the washed-up hopefuls get back on track to fame.

I never knew fame therapists existed. Does that mean when a fame therapist says "your time is up," she's talking about your career?

Thank you, I'll be at Ochi's Lounge this Wednesday at 7:30 in the basement of Comix.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Third Anniversary Of This Blog (One Day Off)

Three years ago (January 12, 2006) I started this blog. Now, in addition to my Apiary and Dead Frog writings, I have since appeared on MTV.Com, had an open mike at Rififi, done WAY MORE SHOWS than I have before (please check upcoming shows), got a write-up in The Comic's Comic, become the announcer for a hot show at Soundfix Records in Williamsburg called Comedy Free Williamsburg and produced a monthly show at Ochi's called Intermission.

In short, I've done everything but blog.

Here are some highlights from the past three annual cycles:


First Blog Post Ever

Kidz Bop Trend

New Hip Hop Subcultures


The Rudest Pan-Asian Cuisine Menu

Worst Funk Awards

1990: Worst Year In Pop Music History?


Not Only Is It Super Tuesday

Mo Diggs As Guy Ernest

Hug Orgy

Notice how everything's in threes (third anniversary)? Happy birthday to blog!

Remembrance of Videos Past #63: Diamond Shell Featuring Biz Markie, "Oh What A Night"

Nothing like Biz Markie singin' some off-key Franki Valli.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Top Ten Emerging Comics (Besides Myself Of Course)

Yes, I am like Lenny Bruce meets Trout Mask Replica-era Captain Beefheart but enough about me; AskMen.com has a list of the Top Ten Emerging Comics. Side note: one of them is Sean Patton, a funny guy who was kind enough to put me up on his show, Comedy As A Second Language, at Kabin back in August. Congrats to Sean and everyone else. Let's hope these guys succeed, not Christian racist puppeteers.

Friday, January 02, 2009

I McNugget Love This Video

I don't know what this says about me,but no R&B song speaks my language than this torrid, epic torch song about secret, selfish McNugget love. Try not to have liquid shoot out your nose during that "Girl you got a ten piece now don't be stingy" line.