Category Archives: Comedy

Rats. I have to miss Larry Miller

I have been looking forward to meeting Larry Miller and now I have to be out-of-town.  Rats.   Maybe you don’t recognize the name, but you’ll definitely know the face.  He’s been in over 100 movies and TV shows including Pretty Woman and Seinfeld.  Here’s a clip from an interview he did today on KVUE.

He plays the Paramount on Thursday.  I know it will be great.  Sad to miss…


Funny, Funny, Funny

So my staff wanted me to write something about our education and outreach programs at the theatres.  Afterall, the holidays are coming and we really do hope you are considering making a donation to the theatres.   My telling you about the wonderful things we do with children – like the 3,000 school children who came last week to see The Incredible Speediness of Julie Cavanaugh, a play that dealt with bullying, violence, peer pressure, learning disabilities and the struggle to fit in – should put you in the mood to consider a donation so we can do more things like that.   And that really  is what I should be writing about.  I should tell you about the 3rd graders at Hart Elementary who are right now working with professional teaching artists as part of our Literacy to Life program because what we are doing there really is giving children a voice.  I should.  I know I should because the work we do each year with over 20,000 kids is important.  But…

All I can think about right now is how much fun I had at Louis C. K. on Friday night and then again with John Oliver on Saturday night and how much fun I am going to have all this week with Jaston and Joe in A Tuna Christmas.

Louis C.K. was funny as shit.  I have no other way to put it.   He was oh so funny and oh so nasty and oh so damn over the line… and I loved every second of it.  I laughed so hard, the way I laugh has forever changed.

And then there is John Oliver from the Daily Show.   As my good friend Janis Pinnelli said,  “I thought John Stewart was the funny one.  I had no idea how funny John Oliver was.”

And now we have Jaston and Joe.  What can I say?  A few of the residents from Tuna, Texas stopped by to visit today.  The show opens Tuesday and runs through the Thanksgiving weekend…

David Sedaris at 1 AM

There are certain benefits to my job.  Introducing David Sedaris to his steadfast fans would be one of them.  Tonight  we presented David to a sold out crowd – not at the Paramount where there are too few seats to contain his popularity – but at the larger Long Center for the Performing Arts.  I told the crowd of 2,300 that David is not only Box Office Gold, he seems to be recession proof.

After the show David told me that he wished he was recession proof in other cities.  It seems Austin has weathered the current economic storm pretty well.  Think about it.  We could just buy his books to read.  We could even buy his books on tape and hear David reading them himself.  But in Austin, 2,300 people are able to still afford the ultimate luxury – to have David personally read his books to us.  It’s good to live in Austin.

But back to that great job of mine.  I stayed with David after the show for his book signing.  Now if you have never experienced a David Sedaris book signing event, you are really missing out.  David is extremely generous with his time.  He doesn’t just sign the books and move on.  He spends significant time with each eager fan… never rushing… patient to the bitter end.  And tonight that bitter end was 1:00 AM.

To some people, sitting around while David signs books for 4 hours might not sound exciting.  But David doesn’t just sign books.  He interviews his readers.  He tells jokes and shares stories.  It was like watching one of his books come to life.

He remembered one couple from last year and then discovered that they had come to his show each year for three years.  He gave them his email address and told them, “Your days of paying for tickets to see my shows are over.”

Tonight he asked each patron what kind of animal they would like him to draw in their book(s).  An owl.  A horse.  A dog.  And to one, “This is a cat that ate a bird and then licked its butt.”

One young lady was asked by David, “Did you come alone tonight?”  She replied that her boyfriend had gotten tired of waiting  and went to Hooters across the street leaving her behind to wait in line to get his book signed.  “What?” exclaimed David.  “He went to Hooters?  You have the wrong boyfriend.  Did he hit you today too?  What kind of animal should I draw in his book?  Is there an animal that ditches their girlfriend?”

To the next woman in line he said,  “The girl before you had a boyfriend who went to Hooters and left her to wait in line.  Don’t you think she has the worst boyfriend?” 

The young lady was taken back by the question, “I don’t know. I’ve never met her boyfriend.  But Hooters has decent fried pickles.”

“Wow”, said David. “I was expecting something along the lines of that’s a terrible boyfriend.  I never expected your answer would be that Hooters has decent friend pickles.  I mean the very concept is an oxymoron.  Decent fried pickles is like a good genocide.  There is no such thing.  What animal would you like me to draw?”

As he mentioned in his talk, he gave condoms to any teenagers in line.  To the girls he would say, “Use this only for anal sex because I don’t want to be responsible for you losing your virginity. “  To the young men he would say, “Now if the girl gives you any trouble about anal sex.  You tell her that David Sedaris said it was OK.”  Most of the teens then asked him to autograph the condom… which he did.   AS a side note, he mentioned that his agent had gotten an irate letter from a mother.  “Surely they know I am joking.”

And so on into the night it went.  “Hi. What’s your name?   Where do you live?  Is that a tatoo?   Here’s a condom. What kind of animal would you like me to draw in your book?” 

But what is amazing about David Sedaris is that at 1:00 AM – after a 90 minute show and 4 hours of book signing – David was still as funny and gracious with the last person in line as he had been with the first.

His new book comes out this October.   Buy it at BookPeople.  Read it.  And then come back next year so David can read it to you before drawing a picture in it.

Was that funny?


Here’s the thing about Don Rickles.   No one else can get away with that kind of humor anymore.  He’s the legend.  He’s the guy who made insult comedy an art form.   He’s the only old, white, Jewish guy I know who can get away with making jokes about Blacks, Puerto Ricans, “Polacks”, Jews, Asians… no one is safe.

And no one was safe when he played the Paramount.   I wanted to crawl under my seat when even the guy in the wheelchair made it into the line of fire – Yikes.   Was that funny?  Can he say that?  Evidently yes… even the people being picked on laughed.  And I guess that is what makes him a legend…

Off stage he was every bit the gentleman and even  a bit of a softy.  “Hey Ken.   Did they like me out there tonight?”

Pretty much anyone who waited on him, drove him, opened a door for him, or just looked at him nicely got a tip or a handwritten thank you note.   He brought a little bit of that old Vegas-Rat-Pack showmanship to the Paramount.   If you were at the show and got a little offended then maybe we should just agree that what happens at the Paramount, stays at the Paramount.