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Doug Stanhope To Embark On “Shit Town” Comedy Tour

Doug Stanhope To Embark On “Shit Town” Comedy Tour

Coming To Your Shitty Town!

Coming To Your Shitty Town!

Comedian Doug Stanhope will embark on his the “Shit Town” comedy tour” beginning Tuesday, September 17th. As the title suggests suggests, Stanhope will visit various “shit towns” across the country, 18 markets to be exact. Joining him will be his comedian Junior Stopka.

Tuesday, September 17th is also the CD release date of Stanhope’s new stand-up special, Beer Hall Putsch. Which was taped this past April atDante’s in Portland, OR.

Retail Link for Beer Hall Putsch: http://amzn.to/17T4Gfp

To have some fun with the tour, Stanhope also posted a poll on his website allowing fans to vote on what they think is the shittiest town on the tour is.

Shit Town Tour Dates:
September 17: Dayton, OH – Funny Bone
September 18: Lexington, KY – Comedy Off Broadway
September 19: Charleston, WV – The Empty Glass
September 20: Morgantown, WV – Wits End Comedy Club at Ramada
September 21: Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
September 23: Erie, PA – Jr’s Last Laugh
September 24: Akron, OH – Vortex
September 25: Toledo, OH – Funny Bone
September 26: Lansing, MI – Connxtions Comedy Club
September 27: Kalamazoo, MI – District Square
September 28: Muncie, IN – The Valhalla Room
September 30: Milwaukee, WI – Miramar Theatre
October 1: Stevens Point, WI – Rookies
October 2: Eau Claire, WI – Whiskeys
October 3: Champaign, IL – The High Dive
October 4: DeKalb, IL – Otto’s
October 5 & 6: Chicago, IL – Reggies Live
October 7: Indianapolis, IN – Birdy’s

*Not all towns on this tour are ‘shit towns’ but they worked with the routing.

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Comedian Doug Stanhope’s To Unleash “Beer Hall Putsch” On September 17th

Comedian Doug Stanhope’s To Unleash “Beer Hall Putsch” On September 17th

stanhope-2013

There are comics revered for their intellect like Louis CK and Dave Chapelle, and comics that never seem to drag themselves out of the gutter (too many to name). Doug Stanhope is both, and neither.  Described as a“visionary douchebag” by the Times of London, Stanhope is fueled by equal parts of anger, outrage and alcohol, railing against western civilization’s slide into apathy and stupidity.  “Stanhope is a genius parading around the slums of failed ideology… he’s Charles Bukowski with dick jokes drunkenly fueled by Thomas Paine,” declared The San Antonio Current.

Stanhope has been compared to such fearless comic revolutionaries as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks. As Ricky Gervais tweeted, “Doug Stanhope might be the most important standup working today.”

Named after Hitler’s failed coup attempt, Doug Stanhope‘s new release Beer Hall Putsch brings you deeper into the acerbic comic’s twisted, clear-eyed view of the world. The special was recorded live in the intimate setting of Portland, Oregon’s legendary club Dante’s, where Stanhope got started booking his first shows. New Wave Dynamics will release the comedian’s new stand-up album on CD and digitally on September 17, 2013, with a DVD and video to follow in November.

Raw, agitated and unflinching, Stanhope holds forth on all manner of major injustices and petty annoyances, excoriating himself as much as any of his other targets. But Stanhope’s venomous bile is matched by his passion and conviction, as well as a fierce intellect that gives his work a level of substance and subtlety that belies his snarling exterior. His comedy is as corrosive as it is hilarious, and his righteous self-immolation is exhilarating and life-affirming in its cathartic honesty.

In recent years, Stanhope has won a large and rabidly devoted fan base both in the U.S. and abroad on his own uncompromising terms, bypassing the conventional comedy circuit and most forms of mainstream media exposure.

“When I started, I was just a know-nothing dick-joke guy with a mullet,” he recalls. “I was 24 years old, with no point of view and nothing to say, other than ‘Please fuck me.’ It wasn’t until ’95 or ’96 that I started doing something that felt more like an art form than a centerpiece for a bachelor party. That’s when I started to take true stories and craft them so they worked on stage, rather than just telling them in a bar. I stopped making stuff up and I stopped doing jokes that I didn’t really believe in, and started working on stuff that I meant.”

Along the way, Stanhope has had some uncomfortable brushes with mainstream show business, including a frustrating stint as co-host of the final season of Comedy Central’s The Man Show and his less-than-enthusiastic participation in an installment of home-video monstrosity Girls Gone Wild. “I never had any interest in being a TV guy, and those things were just piles of shit I accidentally stepped in,” he asserts. “Girls Gone Wild was just a lark, but I didn’t think I’d have to see the ads for it every ten minutes for the next year and a half. The Man Show was a huge letdown, but it was a great learning experience, and it was worth the shame and humiliation to learn how TV works and why I don’t want to be part of it.”

Stanhope is considerably more satisfied with his memorable performance as a suicidal comic in a 2011 episode of old friend Louis C.K.’s series Louie. Louie, as he wrote the character, had Stanhope in mind. But he still has no intention of succumbing to the same acting bug to which many standup comics enthusiastically submit, although the critics have praised Stanhope. Indeed, his experiences with mainstream Hollywood strengthened his resolve to focus his energies on his standup work.

Stanhope is committed to stand-up as an end in itself, perfecting his work and sharpening his scalpel to cut apart the world, and himself, piece by piece. His new CD, Beer Hall Putsch, Doug Stanhope proves that his commitment to the craft has made him one of the sharpest comics and social commentators around today.

Raves about Doug Stanhope:

“For a guy whose last name ends in ‘hope,’ he seems to have little for much of anything…he exudes an insightfully vulgar mix of bleakness, anger and despair – much of it laugh-out-loud funny, some of it wince-inducing, all of it genuine-sounding.” – The Chicago Sun-Times.

“Stanhope shocks you with the virulence of his lucidity; he shocks you into realising 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,” – The Guardian (UK).

The Denver Post calls Stanhope “A truth-teller and astute (if messy) social critic…one of the most bracing live acts on the stand-up circuit…”

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

www.dougstanhope.com

www.twitter.com/dougstanhope

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Indestructible: Andrew Dice Clay’s New Comedy Special Airs New Year’s Eve On Showtime!

Indestructible: Andrew Dice Clay’s New Comedy Special Airs New Year’s Eve On Showtime!

Andrew Dice Clay

Andrew Dice Clay

Still looking for that hot ticket for New Year’s Eve? Look no further than the legendary Andrew Dice Clay‘s new comedy special, ‘Indestructible’. His first televised special in 17 years is set to air this evening, Monday, Dec. 31, at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

From the moment he takes the stage to the closing credits, the “Diceman” is on fire. Filmed at the Arcada Theatre in Chicago, Clay takes on everything from racial stereotypes to gay marriage and from sexual exploits to his own aging anatomy. True to his notorious persona, Clay is outrageously shocking and offensive – but always hilarious.

“My filth is derived from watching people, whether it be behind a bedroom door, or on a New York City subway,” Clay tells fans and critics alike. “At the end of the day, it’s comedy, it’s what I do. If I really did just one quarter of what I say on stage, I’d be doing 25 to life.”

Adding to its uniqueness, Clay makes this special a family affair: his ex-fiancée, comedienne Eleanor Kerrigan, opens the show and introduces the audience to Clay’s sons, Dillon and Max, and their band “LA Rocks.” The band warms up the audience with hard rock anthem, “Outlaw,” written by Dillon and performed live for the first time on film.

Clay’s meteoric rise to being the most successful and controversial comic in the world brought great popularity and criticism that ultimately fueled his rocket ship rise to unprecedented heights. For over 35 years, Clay has sold out hundreds of sports arenas across the country, with more than 12 million tickets sold to date. He was the first comic to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. Clay recently held a recurring role on the final season of HBO’s Entourage and next summer, will co-star alongside Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in Woody Allen’s forth-coming feature.

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Everlast Announces Canadian Tour In Support Of New Album ‘Songs of the Ungrateful Living’

Everlast Announces Canadian Tour In Support Of New Album ‘Songs of the Ungrateful Living’

Everlast

Grammy-winner EVERLAST has announced the dates for his upcoming Canadian tour throughout September. Everlast is currently touring in support of his sixth studio album, “Songs of the Ungrateful Living”, which was released through Martyr Inc. Records in partnership with EMI.

“Songs of the Ungrateful Living” was released via Everlast’s own label, Martyr Inc. Records, and is the spiritual follow-up to his 1998 breakthrough, the multi-platinum “Whitey Ford Sings the Blues”. Everlast’s latest single, “I Get By”, has been hailed as an anthem for these troubled times, and prompted Vibe Magazine to proclaim, “On his sixth solo studio work the groundbreaking white MC is making a no-nonsense return-to-form.” Everlast’s new video for “Little Miss America” can be seen online at http://yhoo.it/MiM0xC.

Everlast also recently released a new digital EP entitled “More Songs of the Ungrateful Living” online at http://bit.ly/RlGwSe. The EP features classic Everlast songs like “What It’s Like”, “White Trash Beautiful” and “Long Time” performed acoustically for the first time on record, as well as previously unavailable tracks that fans have been clamoring for.

EVERLAST TOUR DATES:

09/16 – Victoria, BC – Royal Athletic Park (Rifflandia Music Fest)

9/17 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club

9/19 – Edmonton, AB – The Union Hall

9/20 – Lethbridge, AB – Average Joe’s

9/21 – Calgary, AB – Dickens Pub

9/22 – Regina, SK – The Pump

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EllisMania 8: Jason Ellis Knocks Out Former UFC Fighter Gabe Ruediger In The Main Event!

EllisMania 8: Jason Ellis Knocks Out Former UFC Fighter Gabe Ruediger In The Main Event!

The event of the summer!

Sirius XM host Jason Ellis capped off an unbelievable EllisMania 8 by knocking out former UFC fighter and WEC lightweight champion Gabe Ruediger in the second round of the main event this past weekend. Fans packed The Joint in Las Vegas, NV to watch an insane evening of unique and entertaining fights that only EllisMania could deliver. The evening was hosted by Everlast, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, Dingo (Danny and the Dingo), Rude Jude from Shade 45 and featured Forrest Griffin as the MMA Sasquatch who punches everyone.

The results of the EllisMania 8 undercard matches are as follows:

• Belly Dancer defeated Ballerina via a split decision in the Musical Chair fight
• Dutch emerged victorious in the Blindfold Electric Dog Collar fight
• DanOD5 defeated Alicia as well as last minute substitute Tully
• Kevin Kraft (AKA Cumtard) earned the victory in the Pizza vs. Taco match
• Danny and Dingo were both declared winners in the One-Armed fight
• Ruby Renegade won a controversial unanimous decision against RawDog in the Battle of the Sexes
• Lauren Dengate won in the Humongous Bitch match

“Other than me getting my ass kicked by a former intern, ‘Shave My Friends Tonight’ was the biggest and best EllisMania yet,” said Ellis’ co-host/producer Michael Tully. “Congratulations to Ellismate on his devastating knockout, and to both the relentless warriors that made the Humongous Bitch fight an instant classic.”

“I bet you didn’t think I could do that, you fucking assholes,” added Jason Ellis.

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Everlast Releases Video For “Little Miss America” From “Songs of the Ungrateful Living”

Everlast Releases Video For “Little Miss America” From “Songs of the Ungrateful Living”

‘Songs For The Ungrateful Living’

Grammy-winner EVERLAST has premiered his new video for “Little Miss America” online with Yahoo Music at this location. The song is latest single from his new studio album “Songs of the Ungrateful Living”, which was released through Everlast’s own label Martyr Inc. Records, in partnership with EMI Music, and is available online – Click Here!  

Although there have been albums in between, “Songs of the Ungrateful Living” is the spiritual follow-up  to his 1998 breakthrough, the multi-platinum “Whitey Ford Sings the Blues”, an eclectic mix of rock, blues, country, pop and hip-hop, which topped the Billboard charts and sold more than 3 million copies on the strength of its crossover hit, “What It’s Like.” Lead single, “I Get By” has been hailed as an anthem for these troubled times, and prompted Vibe Magazine to proclaim, “On his sixth solo studio work the groundbreaking white MC is making a no-nonsense return-to-form.”

EVERLAST emerged as a member of Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate for his 1990 solo album, “Forever Everlasting” then formed the pioneering rap group House of Pain with friends DJ Lethal and Danny Boy. Signed to legendary dance and hip-hop label Tommy Boy Records, the group went multi-platinum with their self-titled 1992 debut which produced the legendary rap classic “Jump Around.”

In 2000 Everlast penned the song “Put Your Lights On” won a Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal Grammy for his collaboration with Carlos Santana, “Put Your Lights On.” More recently, Everlast was recruited by Nancy Miller, creator and executive producer for the TNT series “Saving Grace,” starring Holly Hunter, to create the show’s theme song, for which EVERLAST was nominated for an EMMY.

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EllisMania 8: Former UFC Fighter Gabe Ruediger To Fight Jason Ellis

EllisMania 8: Former UFC Fighter Gabe Ruediger To Fight Jason Ellis

The event of the summer!

Anticipation continues to build for Sirius XM host Jason Ellis upcoming EllisMania 8 on July 14th at The Joint in Las Vegas, NV. The often brash host is turning heads again with the announcement that he will face former UFC fighter and WEC lightweight champion Gabe Ruediger in the main event for this year’s Ellismania.

“Gabe a nice guy, but I don’t care because I’m gonna smash his face in,” said Ellis.

Ruediger coming out of retirement to face Ellis is just one of the bizarre and hilarious fights that Ellismania has in store for fight fans. The event will also feature a variety of novelty fights, including Danny versus The Dingo in a one armed fight, DanOd5 battling Alicia, and Ellis’ own Sirius co-host Rawdog fighting in a battle of the sexes against Ruby Renegade. In addition there will be a series of bizarre matches that will include a blindfold electric shock collar match and a musical chair fight. For this year’s event Ellis went all out to create an over the top evening. For tickets and more info, visit http://www.hardrockhotel.com

Grammy award winner EVERLAST will headline the Ellismania pre-party alongside Jason Ellis’ own band DEATH! DEATH! DIE! on July 13th at The Joint in Las Vegas, NV to kick off the weekend.

Jason Ellis’ career has spread from action sports to radio personality and beyond. He is currently the host of The Jason Ellis Show, a high-energy, uncensored talk-meets-hard-rock radio format that is centered around Ellis’ unique, offbeat take on life that is one of the most popular shows broadcast on satellite radio. In addition to radio Ellis is also a New York Times best-selling author, trained mixed martial arts fighter, successful musician, professional truck racer and ex pro skateboarder and the host of Fuel TV’s popular television show Ellismania.

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Comedian Sarah Tiana Discusses Her Career, The State Of Comedy And More!

Comedian Sarah Tiana Discusses Her Career, The State Of Comedy And More!

Everyone can use a little laughter in their life. For a select few spreading that much needed laughter is a calling. Such is the case with Sarah Tiana. Originally hailing from a small town in Georgia, destiny would lead this sassy southern belle to the mean streets of Los Angeles. It was there that she discovered her true calling as a standup comic. Although she is not yet a household name, her perfect blend of southern charm, razor sharp wit and dedication to her craft ensure that she soon will be! As one of the hardest working comics on the scene, she continues to win over crowds night after night as well as the respect of her fellow comics. As her career continues to gain momentum and doors continue to open revealing even more exciting opportunities — there is no doubt that 2012 will be her most exciting year to date! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Sarah Tiana to discuss her comedic roots, the challenges of being a standup comic, performing for our troops around the globe, her upcoming projects and what the future holds for this comedic dynamo!

I want to give everyone a little background on you. First of all, where’d you grow up?

I grew up in Calhoun, Georgia. We have a Nike outlet. You might have heard of us. [laughs] Calhoun is about an hour above Atlanta. A lot of people don’t know that there are towns outside of Atlanta but there are!

What initially drew you to comedy and why did you take a chance on doing that professionally?

Visit www.sarahtiana.com for upcoming dates!

I moved to Los Angeles to be an actress after college. I had been out here for two years and I couldn’t catch a cold! I was DJing weddings and Bar Mitzvahs at the time to try and make money. This guy I was DJing with kept saying, “You are so funny! You have to do standup!” I didn’t even know what it was! I mean, I had seen it before but I didn’t really understand how people got into it. I had only really seen it once live and it was Mitch Hedberg. He had given me tickets to his show one time when he was playing in Atlanta. I had interviewed him when I worked on radio in Atlanta. No one had ever told me that I was funny and I didn’t know how any of it worked but my friend kept on me and wouldn’t give up. I was watching the news a few weeks later and they had a story about a guy who had shot himself with a nail gun and didn’t feel it. I wrote this joke about how I wouldn’t be able to feel three and a half inches if I got nailed either, so what was the big deal! It was the first joke I had ever written and low and behold, I became a comic! [laughs] I was getting laughs on the first joke I ever wrote so I always had a joke at open mics, so I would write a lot more. It was a hobby that worked out and became something bigger. I just never quit doing it. I think not understanding how it worked actually helped me a little bit. Growing up, I never really watched standup, so I didn’t compare myself to anybody and I just worked from the things I thought were funny and the stories from my life and it ended up working out!

Getting into it a little later, were there any comics you then looked to for inspiration?

Mitch Hedberg was the first comic I ever saw live and I became a fan of his after that. When I started my own standup adventures, I definitely listened to a lot of his CDs. I listened to Jerry Seinfeld a lot. For me, doing standup was a hobby for six months. I was at a point where I was giving up on LA and I was going to move back home to The South. I literally packed all of my bags, told my parents I was coming back and was just about out of there. I took a break from packing and I went to see a movie. The movie I wanted to see wasn’t playing but “Comedian” by Jerry Seinfeld was, so I went to see that instead. Everyone in the theater was laughing and I was crying! [laughs] I was like, “OK, I have to do this forever or I am going to be miserable! I can’t give up!” From there, I literally went home and unpacked my bags. I took it as a sign, ya know? People were already telling me that I was funny and I was determined to work really, really hard. That is exactly what I did! I didn’t know that it would lead to anything. To me, it was a creative outlet to perform. I thought Roseanne Barr started doing standup after her TV show. [laughs] I didn’t realize that her standup was what lead into the creation of her TV show. Clearly I had to learn a lot of things but I went into it with the best of intentions which was, “I am funny, I enjoy being on stage and I love making people laugh!” I didn’t expect to make money at it, I never even thought about it like that, so I guess that is why it all worked out!

I am sure it is different for everyone but what are some of the challenges to performing standup comedy for you?

I think there are many challenges. One is letting people relax about the fact that I am a woman because we all know the stereotype. I think the biggest challenge is to set up who you are and where you are from in an adequate amount of time, so they can hear the things you really want to talk about. I think it is so important for people to understand your point of view when you are discussing issues and topics. I really have to talk about being from The South before I get into my opinions on things, so they know where I am coming from. That is really hard to do in 15 minutes or 10 minutes and sometimes, you only get seven minutes! That is so difficult and it gets more challenging as you create more material! Laying it down in a quick efficient manner, so that you can get into who you are and what you want to be, is the biggest challenge for me!

Sarah Tiana - One of comedy's brightest sars!

What can you tell us about your writing process?

Everyone is different but an idea will come to me as I am living life. I try to live life because I think it’s a big thing that many standups don’t do. They might sit down and read the paper and just write. For me, to be a storyteller up on stage, there would be so many things that I wouldn’t see if I wasn’t out there in the world enjoying it! I try to go up each time and have as much fun as possible. I work things out on stage, when I am really vulnerable. It forces me to think on my feet and to open up the joke and not just be tied to the words, ya know? I feel that, as a comic, you don’t always live in the moment all of the time and that moment is where the comedy is. There is no such thing as a bad crowd or a bad audience. There are crowds that are tired or that have been through a marathon of comedy or are drunk. I always feel like I can win anybody over or I should be able to because that is my job! My job is to read a crowd and see what they are really laughing at and what they aren’t laughing at. I always know where I am going to start and where I am going to end but the crowd decides where I am going to go in between. It is their show! They are the ones that bought the tickets to my show. Yes, I am talking about the things I want to talk about, and that is my reward, but the crowd is who I am there for. I want them to buy a ticket again!

Speaking of being in the moment, how has social media impacted someone like yourself?

I think there are some people who are better at social media than others! I think it has both positive and negative effects. For example, you can break somebody too early. For a comic to be in the limelight before their time, before they are ready, is always really dangerous. The is no way for a comic to not know when they are ready because we always think we are ready! [laughs] Actually, me, I never think I am ready! I definitely see a lot of comics who think they are ready before they are. Some people are really good at writing jokes on paper or on Twitter or Facebook but they might not always be best at performing them and vice versa! Some people are way better performers but they don’t have a social media presence because that’s not their goal. My friend Angelo Bowers was a genius, he got killed in a car accident in January. No one knows how he is because he never had a Facebook or Twitter presence — he just wanted to be a comic. He was a genius! He didn’t have videos of himself or anything. It is sad when the world doesn’t get to meet someone as awesome as Angelo but it is also great that he was never exploited in that way.

That is an interesting perspective. That leads to my next question. As a comedian, how do you view the state of the comedy scene these days? It seems like there is a revival of sorts going on.

I definitely think it is in a different place than it used to be. I think over these past few years, we went through this whole alternative comedy phase where it was really bizarre and alternative comedy doesn’t always translate on the television, so people were like, “What the fuck is this?” [laughs] To be honest, standup comedy is the last form of free speech and that is what many people are noticing. We live in this world where we don’t talk anymore and we don’t communicate. We are on cellphones, Facebook or Twitter and no one is really communicating. To go and hear somebody live with opinions and laughter that you can reach out and touch and are attuned to for hours at a time — that is a really incredible statement. I think people are yearning for that type of creative outlet, where they are in a room with someone telling jokes. In that setting they can’t fast forward and they are listening to opinions that are not their own. It’s like literally watching CNN, Fox News, Comedy Central, CMT and every other television network at once when you see a comedy show because everyone comes from a different place. I am talking about seeing a comedy show with 10 comics. Obviously, if you go into see Patton Oswalt, you are going to see Patton and his opener. They are going to be totally different but in a way they are going to be similar, ya know? Patton isn’t going to have someone open for him who is a Jesus freak or something! [laughs] Because he doesn’t want to be in the green room with him. [laughs] I don’t know, I am just saying you are going to see something similar. I think comedy clubs are more crowded these days because people need a laugh. Everyone feels like the world is ending, they don’t have a say in politics, that their votes don’t count, our money is drying up or we don’t have the answers to anything Everything seems really confusing and the world is fighting. I think being able to laugh and understand and appreciate that someone has an opinion is really refreshing. It’s like you not being fed garbage, you are just being fed an opinion in a funny way and you can take it or leave it!

You already have a comedy album out, which people can get via your website or iTunes. Where are you in regards to new material and possibly another album?

Sarah Tiana - 'Commodity'

I am working on a whole new half hour. It is called “I’m A Gentleman.” It is about my dating life. Dating in Los Angeles has been a really tough thing for me in the past two-and-a-half years. I have been talking a lot about men and I am not mad at them, I love them. I am really trying to help men get laid more often! [laughs] I feel like some men are really a mess! [laughs] It is a detailed thing about my deal breakers like don’t wear Sketchers, don’t have a roommate in your 30s and I try to make it all really funny. I also talk to women about what they shouldn’t do. I think there is a revolution of women. especially in their 30s, from what I can see. I will go to bars by myself to get a drink. I feel there is this whole state of independence with women that is totally different, it is almost like we are swapping lives. I mean, I drink black coffee, I love sports, I have two fantasy teams and I go to baseball games by myself. I’m not a lesbian, I just enjoy being alone! [laughs] I think we are getting past that feeling as women where we have to be married and raise babies in order to feel we are productive or we are lovable. I feel like there is this whole revolution going on out there where men are becoming less and less like men and women are becoming more independent and breadwinners, so that is what my new CD is about — this shift in the world. I plan on doing that and I plan on doing a half hour just for the soldiers and the military.

That is great. I know you have been very involved with performing for the troops. What has that experience been like for you?

It has been fantastic! I am actually going out next month as well! I am going to Djibouti, Africa, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. That will be my 10th tour! I got into it just because I grew up in a small town and I am a pretty liberal person. I don’t consider myself a Democrat or a Republican. I consider myself and I make decisions based on what I want to do, not based on a mascot. I grew up in a town where it was, “Do you want to be a factory floor manager or a hero?” I find that to be a really unfair decision, so I just wanted to go out there and see the people I grew up with and make them laugh. That’s what I do! The shows are fun but the real experience of going and talking to the soldiers and Marines and see how they are feeling and what their experiences are like has been amazing. I feel like I have so many questions about the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan and what is happening in the world. In talking to them, you get all of these different opinions. To me, that makes me feel so much better, knowing that not everyone is brainwashed, that not everyone wants to be there and that the people who do want to be there are doing the right thing. You see all of this stuff on the news and I just wanted to see it for myself! It really opened my eyes to a lot and that is why I keep going back!

Comedian Sarah Tiana

What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you that you would pass along to someone who is looking to make standup comedy a career?

I would say that if you are not committed to doing standup every day for the rest of your life, you shouldn’t do it! It is a really misunderstood field and it is really tough. The only way to excel in it is to practice every day. It is like being an athlete or a doctor, it takes years to become great, at least 10. It’s great that you think you are funny but until you can be funny in front of an audience every day, I would keep working on Excel and trying to get good at that! [laughs] You know how in sports there are fair-weather fans? I feel like in comedy, there are fair-weather comedians. Doing comedy seems like a great idea to some people because really good comics make it look effortless and easy. That is why so many people are intrigued by it and want to try it. Honestly, I think more people should try it because I think it is a great creative outlet but if you want to be a professional you have to practice every day and you can’t do it in front of a mirror. You have to do it in front of a live audience and every day that you don’t perform, just know that there are hundreds and thousands of other people performing instead.

What else is in store for you for 2012? Anything we should be on the lookout for in the coming months?

I have a show coming out this summer on Comedy Central with Jeffrey Ross called “The Burn,” where we roast weekly events. It is Jeff’s show and I am one of the writers. I will probably be on the panel every once in awhile, so that is really fun! I have the military tour coming up, which we mentioned, and I have my other tour dates as well. I am on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sarahtiana and people can go to my website, www.sarahtiana.com for information on the tour dates!

I thank you for your time, Sarah! We look forward to spreading the word on your work!

Cool! Thanks so much! I really appreciate it, Jason!

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Fighter Mike Pierce To Use The Dreaming’s ‘Every Trace’ As Entrance Music At UFC 143

Fighter Mike Pierce To Use The Dreaming’s ‘Every Trace’ As Entrance Music At UFC 143

 

The Dreaming

UFC Fighter Mike Pierce will use The Dreaming’s ‘Every Trace’ as his entrance song for his upcoming fight against Josh Koscheck at UFC 143 this weekend. The event is set to take place this coming Saturday February 4th, 2012 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV and will be available on pay-per-view. “Every Trace” is the first single from The Dreaming’s new album “Puppet” on Epochal Artists Records/EMI and the video for the track can be seen online at this location or viewed below!.

“Martin, Johnny and myself are UFC fans and would be watching the fight anyway so to hear our song knowing millions of other UFC fans are hearing it to when Mike enters the ring will be a huge rush,” commented Christopher Hall.”

Formed in 2005 by frontman Christopher Hall, the voice behind platinum rock outfit Stabbing Westward, The Dreaming assembles and all-star roster of musicians including Johnny Haro on drums (ex-Econoline Crush, Stabbing Westward), guitarist Eric Griffin (ex-Murderdolls/Wednesday 13), and bassist Martin Kelly (Living Dead Lights). Since their inception, The Dreaming have become road warriors relentlessly touring with the likes of Ill Nino, Godhead, RA, Trust Company, Flaw, Julien-K, Powerman 5000 and Wednesday 13.

Follow Mike Pierce on Twitter @MikePierce170
http://www.facebook.com/MikePierce170

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Comedian Iliza Shlesinger Talks Life, Comedy and Upcoming Projects!

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger Talks Life, Comedy and Upcoming Projects!

Iliza Shlesinger may not yet be a household name, but with her razor sharp wit and strong work ethic, she soon will be. As a matter of fact, you may recognize her as the youngest female winner on NBC’s reality television series ‘Last Comic Standing.’ Since emerging victorious from the show, she has continued to prove that she is one of the hardest working women in show business. Between her work as sidesplittingly funny comedian, she also hosts her own web series called ‘The Weakly News’ and will soon take a spin as the host of a dating series called ‘Excused.’ As one of comedy’s bright stars, she shows no signs of slowing down and is gearing up for a huge 2011. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Iliza to discuss her roots, the influences that inspired her to pursue comedy as a career, all her upcoming projects and what the future might hold for this comedic dynamo!

I want to give everyone a little bit of background on you. First of all, where’d you grow up?

I’m originally from Dallas, Texas. That’s where I grew up.

What initially drew you to comedy and why did you take a chance on doing that professionally?

I wish I had a better answer for this – such a boring answer. I was always funny, always, always the class clown. I always loved making people laugh. My objective in any conversation growing up was to make people laugh. I love doing it, and that’s how I made my friends, and how I deal with everything is humor. I always find humor in everything. And I always knew in my heart that I would do comedy for a living, whether it was sketch or improv, ‘cause I did those growing up and I loved ‘Kids in the Hall’ and ‘In Living Color’ and ‘Saturday Night Live,‘ and I would write sketches and I always thought about comedy. Whether it was that or comedy, I always knew I would do comedy for a living. And then I did improv in high school and then I did sketch in college, and then at the end of college I wrote a one-man show. And I think it was in writing that that my thought process went from writing dialogue and scenes to writing a linear monologue, which is what standup is. And it just seemed like the next step for me in the comedic evolution, and I felt that my thoughts were being best expressed in a monologue versus sharing onstage with someone else.

You touched on some of your influences. Is there somebody who influenced you comedically as far as a standup?

That’s a good question. I think that if you wanted the honest truth, when I first started doing standup I didn’t know a lot about standup. Like, I had seen Ellen DeGeneres growing up, and what I always liked about Ellen was that she was a funny person. Her stuff was never – it was never hitting you over the head with sexuality, it was never girly, it was just everyday things. And I’m obviously a straight girl so I have to talk about the opposite sex at some point, but I like to think that my comedy reaches men and women equally. It’s not male bashing. It’s not female-centric necessarily. So I think I took that from her.

I also remember seeing Pablo Francisco when I first started and loving his energy, and I think that seeing a comic like that kind of gives you the green light where you can go ahead and be energetic, too. That’s how I am naturally. I also spent a lot of time with Bret Ernst when I first started doing comedy. We met and I always thought he was such an amazing comic. And as a young comic, getting to be around comics that have been doing it longer, you learn a lot of lessons from stuff like that. So I was fortunate to be surrounded by all these amazing comics. You get to kind of learn and take what you want from those experiences.

A lot of people are gonna recognize you from your stint on Last Comic Standing which obviously worked out pretty well for you. You always hear reality TV’s a little bit twisted, but how reflective of it was that competition to what we saw on TV to what you actually went through?

It was depicted pretty much as it was. The difference between ‘Last Comic Standing’ and a normal reality show is that the objective of that show is to show standup comedy and open up the world of comedy. We weren’t competing for the affections of Bret Michaels and we weren’t doing it just to win money. I actually didn’t even know what the prize was ‘cause I had never watched the show before. You do that show because you want people to see your standup, so your heart is in a different place then it would be on, like, a basic show where you’re just competing just for the sake of winning.

What you saw was pretty much what you got. The only thing they cut out really was a lot of downtime and sitting around. For the most part we all got along in that house. It was boring compared to most because there was no fighting, there was no huge backstabbing, because we are legit professionals. We’re not a bunch of hookers giving fake blowjobs to see who can win a rose ceremony. [laughter]

Winning that was a big moment for you, but I was curious: maybe even before that as a comic, was there a point in time where you say, “Okay, as a standup comic, I’ve made it”?

No. I don’t see how you could when you’re doing five shows a week in, like, random parts of LA at $20 a pop. I don’t think that you could ever say, “Now I’ve made it!” [laughter] And I don’t think you could ever say you’ve made it. If you’re the kind of person that has drive – I mean, I know that I do – your hunger’s insatiable. And at no point thus far have I been satisfied, nor complacent, nor do I choose to rest on my laurels. There’s no growth from that.

It seems like you’re constantly working. How do you go about crafting your act? Can you tell us a little bit about your process?

Yeah! Everyone does it different. I personally – my whole life I’ve always kept a little book with me, even before I knew that comics did this. I looked in my closet, and had all these books that I kept as a kid to write down ideas and thoughts and jokes, and I never knew why I did it. It was like a natural thing. I’m like, “That’s funny, I’ve got to write that down,” ‘cause I have a horrible memory. So for me it works. I’ll just be talking, I’ll be like, “That’s funny. That’s a funny thought.” And what’s tough as a comedian, you’re crazy and you think the way that you’re seeing the world is normal, so you have to train yourself to kind of clue yourself in and be like, “Oh, that’s not a normal thought. You should write that down.” So it’s really recognizing when you’re having an abnormal thought that you have to write it down, because I think the way I look at the world is normal, but it isn’t and that’s what makes me a comedian.

So I’m constantly jotting down things in a book or texting things to myself. What I do is – when I am not on a road and I do solo shows around town, I’ll write out a couple of those premises or thoughts, or even just, like, a sentence that I thought was funny, and you go onstage and you talk it out. It’s a fantastic process because it’s so important to go up. People are always like, “Oh, I’ll just write at home.” You can write all day long, but when it comes to actually speaking and getting a reaction from the crowd, your joke always changes. So for me that’s why I go up so much, ‘cause I’m always wanting to try out my new stuff, and you’re constantly honing and shaping old stuff and mixing it. So it’s an ongoing process that requires a lot of attention. This isn’t like a thing where you can get up once a week and expect to become great.

I’m sure you probably get a similar question to this a lot since you’re a female comedian. Do you think it’s harder to get recognized as a female comedian starting out, or is it just hard to make your mark in general?

Okay, I cannot stress this enough. It is easier for a woman by virtue of the fact that there are less women doing it. You are in the minority; therefore, more attention will be paid to you. Almost every show I do I’m the only girl on the lineup, so guess who’s gonna stand out more than the guys? It’s gonna be me.

Now, that works against you. If you are terrible, then you kind of – sadly, it’s like you represent women. If you’re a girl and you eat it on a lineup, then they’re gonna be like, “Yeah, women aren’t funny.” But when you’re the girl and you go up there and you rock, then they’re like, “Wow, that girl was funny!” and you start to change that stereotype. I don’t pay attention to stereotypes because I don’t say, “I’m a female and doing it for women.” I’m just a person and how people choose to categorize me is another thing. But, girls, it’s yours to lose. You have every advantage by being a woman. I think at the beginning people here and there would be a little disrespectful, but at the end of the day if you get up there and you’re funny, that’s what does the talking. That’s all there is to it.

I wanted to talk a little bit about ‘Man Up and Act Like A Lady‘ DVD. How nerve-wracking is it to put together a full album of your material, and how do you prepare yourself for a task like that?

It wasn’t nerve-wracking. I mean, that album I had been ready to do for a while. It’s tough because you go in there and – we shot over a weekend. We shot a couple shows, and then you edit them together. It’s tough because you hope – “Oh, my God, I hope no one gets up and stands in front of the camera. I hope no one yells something and, you know, messes up the joke. I hope no one’s drunk” – which happened. So you’ve got to scrap a lot of stuff because you can’t control those other elements. I actually had one girl passed out during that taping and she was yelling stuff, and I didn’t want to yell, “Shut up! I’m trying to tape my set!” [Laughter] So it’s – and it’s also tough because by the time you shoot it and edit it and print it, months have gone by and all those jokes are a little different. When you go back and listen to it two months later you think, “Oh, I hate that joke now.” or “That joke is so much better now.” Even two weeks later your jokes are different! So it’s hard to listen to that because you’re in such a different place.

In addition to the DVD release, when might we get to see some other new material from you?

I am working on an hour special, so hopefully – because I’ve got so many things coming up within the next year, hopefully we’ll get it out. I’ve already written it out, which by the time you get around to shooting it I’m sure all that stuff will be out the window! [Laughs]

One of your other cool projects is the The Weakly News. How did that originally start and what can you tell us about it for people who might not be familiar with it?

‘The Weakly News’ is on TheStream.tv. It was initially a labor of love. There was a website called TheStream.tv and this guy was giving people their own web shows. And people would come in with ideas, and I was a guest on a show that’s no longer on. And the producer was like, “Anytime you want to do a show, let me know,” and I needed a creative outlet. This was before ‘Last Comic Standing,’ so about three years ago, or maybe even four, and I was like, “I need to do this just to have a creative outlet that was awesome because I could use pictures and it was more sketchy.” It was like a combination of sketch and standup, which I had missed doing. So I just put it together. I was like, “If I did a news show, this is what it would look like,” and it turned into this sort of grassroots, ‘Wayne’s World,’ basement production kind of hodgepodge of news and humor and inside jokes and aggression, and we got a little cult following. And it’s cool because people come to my shows and they know things from the show, or you know, they come and visit me from other states at comedy clubs and they’re like, “I’m a huge Weakly News fan,” and it’s cool to know that people are watching. It’s always nice to know that. And it’s evolving. We’ve got a new studio. We’re gonna get another studio and I’m looking to try and turn it into a TV show, and that’s looking pretty good. So it’s just proof that if you do something you love doing, everything else follows.

It was recently announced that you are going to be doing a reality dating television show called “Excused”?

Yes! It has been picked up for 130 episodes. That’s a lot of matchmaking! [laughs] And it’s picked up for over 80 percent of the country. I think for the most part it’s gonna be on CBS and then some other cable channels will probably pick it up. It’s the same people that did ‘Blind Date,’ which is a show that I know that I loved watching. It’s one of those shows that you don’t necessarily have to watch every week but when it’s on you’ll definitely spend three hours watching a marathon of it! [laughs] So it’s a dating show and it’s getting back to the format of being on five nights a week. We’ve kind of gotten away from that in the last 10 years with things like ‘The Bachelor’ and stuff like that are on once a week. So this is get them in, get them on camera, see if they fall in love, see what happens, and it’s my job to facilitate all that as the host, and to make people laugh. And what’s special about this show is that I get to be funny. I mean, I even told the casting director. I was like, “You could find someone more attractive to read cue cards.” [Laughter] So they let me do what I want with it, and it’s pretty funny!

When can we expect to start seeing that?

We’re gonna start shooting in April and it will air this fall, this coming fall of 2011.

Awesome! You’ve got a busy year ahead for you.

I know. I have chest pains thinking about it, but I think it’ll be okay. [laughs]

As a comedian on the road, I’m sure as a comedian you see quite a few things. What was the craziest thing that’s happened to you while you’ve been on the road?

While I’ve been on the road? Well, I was gonna say the whole country of Egypt fell to pieces while I was on the road! That had nothing to do with me, but that was pretty crazy to watch. [laughs] I wish I had a better answer. You know what? I’ll be honest. I’m not a huge partier. I think with male comics it’s different and a little safer for a guy. “Oh, I went on the road and I F’d 12 college girls and I did a bunch of blow!” As a girl your life isn’t really like that. I like to do my job sober. I like to come back to my hotel and watch HBO and do writing. I definitely see a lot of fights. I saw a very large black girl take a Jell-O shot like a champ. She drank about 100 milliliters of Jell-O – I don’t know why I said milliliters – in, like, 5 seconds, so that was kind of gross. That was in Kentucky, obviously. [laughs]

What about hecklers? What’s the worst thing you’ve run into as far as that goes, and how have you dealt with that situation?

Okay. Well, this story I’ve told a lot, and I feel like if this person reads it they’re gonna be like, “Oh, that was me.” I don’t get a lot of hecklers. People tend to be really happy about being at my shows and I tend to be able to get people to be quiet if they are heckling. I’m just gonna show you that one time I had to get personal, and I flipped a couple of tables in my rage, and that’s all I care to talk about. [laughs] But I got them to be quiet, and if I see them again there’s gonna be more than a table flipped. But other than that I’m a total lady, and I’ve never been in a fight in my life, but everybody has their breaking point.

Sounds like one hell of a night. [Laughter]

Yeah. It was one of those things. It was like, “Oh, my God, I didn’t know I could get that angry.” But, like – I mean, I’m sure guys know what that’s like. Like, I know guys fight. I don’t think girls should fight. It’s kind of trashy. But I literally – it was 45 minutes of them just being annoying and no one helped me out and I just snapped. So the good news is 45 minutes is my breaking point, so now that I know that I’ll learn to remove myself from the situation. [Laughter]

As a comedian, who are some of your peers that you enjoy watching? We want to try to point some people in the direction of good comedy.

I think – I think Pablo Francisco’s hilarious. I also like – I mean, their styles are totally different – I think Sebastian is amazing. Now I’m drawing a blank. Hold on. Let me think of it for two seconds. Gosh, who else is funny? It’s so unfair ‘cause I watch so much of it and I’m friends with so many comics.

Actually recently I heard you on Joe Rogan’s show and I thought that was pretty interesting, you guys bantering back and forth for a while.

Yeah, I think he’s so funny and so smart, and when you look at him you’re like, “Oh, he’s the Fear Factor guy and he does UFC,” and a lot of people actually, if they’re not educated, wouldn’t know that he’s so poignant and eloquent and intelligent in his standup. I think more standup comics could stand to learn a lesson from him, because it’s one thing to make a statement. It’s another thing to back it up and get the credence with a lot of facts. Bret Ernst is another comic that does that. I have a lot of respect for him. I think John Caparulo’s hilarious. I think Kyle Dunnigan is very funny. I think – who else do I think is funny? Now I’m just like – Alonzo Bodden is a great comic. He is very smart. I really tend to gravitate towards intelligent comics that are making a point versus making, like, bong jokes and, like, jokes about f’ing all the time. I think Bryan Callen is another great comedian. He is on the other end of that spectrum. His act is, like, something out of – I don’t know, like out of an acting exercise gone haywire. Like, he’s just amazing and so unique. I think he is so much fun to watch. I think Maria Bamford’s very funny. I think Paula Poundstone’s very funny.

Do you think there are any misconceptions about yourself that you could dispel, if there are any.

I don’t think I’m popular enough for there to be any misconceptions. Sorry, since you’re writing an article about me. [laughs] You know what? You tend to know what people think of you if you have a bad reputation. I think if you treat people the way you want to be treated, which I do, you tend to get a good reputation. I always try to help other comics. I know that some people think ‘Last Comic Standing’ was rigged, so that’s stupid. Aside from that I don’t think people spend a lot of time spreading rumors about me. Hopefully one day they will.

Fingers crossed, right?

Yeah, right? [laughs]

What’s the best piece of advice that maybe someone gave you that you would pass along to someone who was interested in going into standup like you have?

First of all, a comic told me this when I first started, and it’s so basic and you can apply this to everything, but it really took being told this by another coming that was successful to hear it and have it stick. It is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. And that’s tough because a lot of comedians are natural sprinters. And it is – and especially, I look at my career, I had a lot of success very early on. And it’s tough when you get that and you’re like, “Great! The world’s my oyster! What’s happening?” And you don’t realize, like, that was one flare-up of energy and motion, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s going to be a pattern that’s going to be repeated anytime soon. So just because you get something, yeah, there might be a butterfly effect, but number one, you’re not owed anything. You’re gonna have to work and the rest of the industry has to catch up. So just because you won ‘Last Comic Standing’ doesn’t mean you’re gonna be headlining, you know, theaters across the country the next day.

You know, that show isn’t an end all be all. So I think a lot of comics need to remember, just because you didn’t get a showcase this year, just because you didn’t get a manager, as long as you’re moving forward things have a natural way of following you. I just might take time, and that’s a very hard pill to swallow, especially when you’re used to operating at 1,000 miles an hour. [laughs]

What else is in store for you for 2011? We’re catching you kind of early here, but I figured if you’ve got anything we should be on the lookout for…

We have the pilot coming out and I have a couple of production deals in place hopefully for a late-night talk show. So we’re gonna be sorting that out and seeing which network would be the best fit, and we’re trying to push the Weakly News into that, into making it more of a late night thing. I also have a book coming out pretty soon. We’ve been working on that pitch. So it’s a lot of things that are being set in motion; once the show is out I think those things will come to fruition a lot quicker. But a lot of touring – I’m gonna be shooting a show, but people can always go to my website to see where I’m gonna be next, which is just www.Iliza.com.

What can you tell us about the book project? Sounds intriguing…

I’m doing a book on my life as a standup comedian – I’m just kidding. My career is, like, five years old. [laughs] The book’s gonna be about social observations. A lot of my comedy is about observing people and talking about what it is that makes people tick, and a lot of times – it’s about the subtexts of the choices that we make in life, the message you think you’re sending to people versus what people are actually receiving, and how there’s a big disconnect in between. It’s gonna be funny, sort of an anthropological collection of data in a funny way.

That’s awesome. I can totally see what you’re saying with that and kind of see where you’re going. That’s awesome.

Thanks!

Thank you very much for your time. We will definitely follow up with you in a few months to see how everything is progressing! I really appreciate it and I wish you all the best!

Thanks for the interview. I had fun and I look forward to talking to you again soon!

For the latest information on all things Iliza Shlesinger, check out her official website at www.iliza.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/iliza! Get her new DVD, ‘Man Up and Act Like A Lady’ at here official store and take home her appearance  on Comedy Central Presents via Amazon!



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