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The Italian Rapscallion: Stand-up Comedian Tammy Pescatelli, March 5 at the Golden Leaf Banquet & Convention Center PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Comedy
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 25 February 2016 13:41

Tammy PescatelliIt’s 8:08 a.m. when comedian and former Quad Cities resident Tammy Pescatelli calls for our arranged interview, and right off the bat, she apologizes, unnecessarily, for running eight minutes behind schedule.

“I’m calling you late because the principal from my son’s school called,” she says. “Whenever you hear that the principal is calling, you get nervous. First, you see that the school is calling, so you’re like, ‘Oh no ... is he sick?’ And then when it’s the principal, you’re like, ‘Oh, God ... what now?’ I mean, he’s never been in trouble, but you know ... . You become a kid when the principal calls your house.”

It turned out, however, that the principal was calling with good news: Pescatelli’s son Luca, who turns eight on February 26, had qualified for the gifted program. I tell her that’s great, and also congratulate Pescatelli on her 2013 comedy special Finding the Funny, the Netflix-streaming title I’ve viewed and enjoyed numerous times over.

“Then you know how excited I am to find out that my son’s in the gifted program,” she says upon hearing that I’ve seen her stand-up act. “’Cause you know the other side of his genes.”

Funny Businesses: Patrick Adamson, Andrew King, and George Strader Discuss the Area-Comedy Renaissance PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Comedy
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 28 May 2015 06:00

George Strader, Andrew King, and Patrick Adamson“Is that ahi tuna?”

“No. It’s a-ha tuna. This is a comedy interview.”

So went a not-atypical exchange during my recent conversation with area comedians George Strader, Patrick Adamson, and Andrew King. (It was George who asked about the tuna and Patrick who ordered it. If you were wondering, Andrew had a burger.) But while the jokes and laughs tended to come fast and furious during our chat, there was one thing this trio was dead-serious about: The Quad Cities’ comedy scene has, since the beginning of this decade, been enjoying a pretty dramatic renaissance. A pretty inspiring one, too.

Dove Bard: Magician David Casas at Area Venues April 30 through May 3 PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Comedy
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 06:00

David CasasNear the end of our recent interview, I ask David Casas a question that, I think, most people would want to ask a professional magician who spends much of his time making doves appear and disappear: “Has anything really awful ever happened during your act?”

He smiles and replies: “The only thing that’s really happened was at one of my first shows. Every time I used to produce a bird, I would always hold them close to me. So I was doing that at one show, and people started laughing, but I didn’t know what they were laughing at. So I just kept going with my act, and they kept laughing, and I think I went to grab a silk or something ... . And then I see this big line of bird poop running down my coat.

“And I was like, ‘Oh-h-h-h ... now I get it,’” says Casas. “I just shook my head and said, ‘That’ll happen with birds,’ and kept going, you know? And I learned that when I produce the bird, I need to hold it out.”

Vaudeville-in': Comedian Josh Kahn Hosts "Bottoms Up Burlesque: Komic Kahn," May 17 through 25 at the Circa '21 Speakeasy PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Comedy
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 29 April 2013 06:00

Josh KahnAs emcee for the Bottoms Up Burlesque troupe and a former emcee for Burlesque Le’ Moustache, Josh Kahn’s formal responsibilities shouldn’t include disrobing in public. But if you ask Kahn about his favorite experiences from years of hosting and providing comedic filler between striptease acts, don’t be surprised if the first one he mentions involves the night he himself stripped on stage. Or rather, as Kahn refers to it, “the first night I stripped on stage.

An Act Built for Misery: Comedian Doug Stanhope Performs His Lacerating Stand-Up at RIBCO on September 28 PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Comedy
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 14 September 2012 06:00

Doug Stanhope

(Author's warning: You know that label that gets slapped on certain CDs boasting raunchy language? The one that reads "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content"? Please imagine that label getting slapped on this interview, too.)


If you read the praise bestowed on him by critics and contemporaries in Great Britain, you might imagine that Doug Stanhope is less a stand-up comedian than a stand-up deity.

The UK’s daily newspaper the Guardian, for example, had this to say: “Stanhope shocks you with the virulence of his lucidity; he shocks you into realizing how transparent the confidence trick of Western propaganda can be made to seem. What he has in abundance is the charm, don’t-give-a-damn swagger, and aggressive intelligence that make for important, exciting comedy.”

Iconic British comedian Ricky Gervais, meanwhile, offered this tweet to the world: “Doug Stanhope might be the most important stand-up working today.”

So how does the American Stanhope, who makes frequent tour stops in England and Scotland, feel about spending time abroad?

“I hate it,” says the 45-year-old comedian during a recent phone interview. “It’s not good at all. I mean, I have a great fan base over there, but I just hate the day-to-day of being there. It’s so ... depressing. Like, I get seriously depressed, and I don’t want to do comedy ever again, anywhere.

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