If you asked a teenage Michael Kosta what tennis meant to him, he’d tell you, “It’s no laughing matter.”
After all, the now 36-year-old comedian grew up in Ann Arbor playing competitively before going on to win four Big Ten titles with the University of Illinois. It was getting serious. But when it came time for the pro circuit, Kosta topped at number 864 in the world, earning around $11,000 over four years. That’s when he began to see some humor in competition.
Music comedy legend and pop culture icon “Weird Al” Yankovic has titled his latest adventure the “Mandatory World Tour.” It’s a joke, of course, on the cyclical nature of the entertainment industry, which he finally found himself free from after 32 years under a major label recording contract. His latest LP, 2014’s Mandatory Fun, was his first to ever debut at Number One on the Billboard Charts, and solidified his status as the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history. REVUE had the rare chance to pick Al’s one-of-a-kind brain last month, and found out why he reluctantly embraced social media, why he turns to his teenage daughter for tips on new targets to spoof, and more.
The only thing more surreal than the work of outsider artist/musician/comedian David Liebe Hart is the man himself.
Known to his cult fanbase for appearances on the late-night Adult Swim show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Liebe Hart, 61, worked as a street performer for nearly 40 years before receiving any widespread exposure.
Comedian Kyle Dunnigan is the first to admit he’s a lucky guy. And he’s not talking about when he semi-famously dated Sarah Silverman from 2011 to 2013.
For him, timing has been his saving grace — being in the right place at the right time.
“When I look back, so many things could have gone a different way for me where I’d be sitting in an office somewhere now. And they didn’t,” Dunnigan told REVUE. “I know a lot of talented people who didn’t really get a break. So I’ve got to attribute that to luck.”
The way this year’s presidential primary season has gone so far, comedian Lewis Black wishes he could’ve written it as a novel.
“I think it reads better as fiction than it does as reality,” Black said about the drama surrounding the campaign trail this spring.
Black, 67, is no stranger to the literary life. The funnyman first started out as a playwright in New York City in the 1980s after graduating with an MFA from Yale. It was only later that he ventured into the world of standup, where he’s since been acclaimed as one of the top comics of all time, and become known for his rage-fueled rants and scathing sarcasm. Friday, May 20, he brings that venom to the Kalamazoo State Theatre.
On his Fuse TV reality series Fluffy Breaks Even, standup favorite Gabriel Iglesias devours dangerously delicious meals across the country with his close cadre of personal friends.
But after they’ve savored the last bites from hilariously unhealthy places like the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, the real challenge begins: Finding a way to work off the exorbitant amount of calories they’ve just consumed in order to “break even.”
At this point in his career, veteran stand-up Nick Di Paolo doesn’t pull any punches. He’s made a name for himself as one of the most honest comics around, so if he upsets someone looking for political correctness in his comedy, he doesn’t care.
“I’ll have a table of people get up and leave,” Di Paolo told Revue. “It’s usually college-age kids who believe in safe spaces and they get offended by my act. They’re coming from a whole different world. It’s not their fault they’ve been brainwashed to think that life is a thing you go through without feeling uncomfortable. I don’t know how the f*** that idea came about. Sometimes I find myself just saying shit just to annoy those people. This country was built on freedom of speech and that’s all we have left.”
An unabashed nerd with a love for video games, cartoons and even cosplay, comedian Ron Funches is just a great big kid at heart.
So it’s striking to find out the reason why the LaughFest headliner first got into standup. It wasn’t so he could avoid growing up. It was actually because he had to – and fast – when his son was diagnosed with autism.
“I was just working at dead-end jobs, but once I had my son I was like, ‘I better figure out a career,’” Funches said. “And standup was the only thing that I was willing to start at the bottom at. It was the only thing I felt I could see myself working hard at and doing for the rest of my life. So it was really because of my son being born that helped push me to get this started.”
While comedian Jim Norton continues to tour the country packing large theatres, he hasn’t lost touch with his roots: Small comedy clubs.
The 47-year-old New York-based comic still hits the smaller rooms on a regular basis in his never-ending journey of honing his craft. “It’s the only way to get new material that feels good,” Norton said. “I go out almost every night.”
Two-time Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin is a celebrity chameleon. Some might know the 2016 LaughFest headliner from My Life on the D-List and other TV appearances, but Griffin’s diehard fans appreciate her most for her true calling: Stand-up comedy. Here’s what she had to say to Revue ahead of her March 14 performance at DeVos Hall.
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