Joan Rivers put the ‘fun’ in funeral. I arrived almost an hour early, as our invitations had suggested because of tightened security. I snuck into a side entrance, so I missed the grand spectacle of paparazzi, fans, well wishers and shiny black cars, a mass of people covering at least 3 city blocks in front of Temple Emanu-El. There was no red carpet, which was oddly disappointing, as this had been teased by the press in the hours after Joan’s death. This was to be a staid, classy, dignified affair. I did sneak outside to look for protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church. They did not show up! Even they, as twisted and dumb as they are – had to respect our Lady Joan…
Bum a ride. Bribe a producer. Call in sick. If you don’t have a dog sitter, BRING YA DAMN DOG!
Everybody’s whose been wants to go back. Everybody who missed it, is kicking themselves profusely. Humboldt County is a beautiful place and the good folks at Savage Henry Magazine make it the perfect comedian vacation going three years strong.
Look at how happy everyone is! Stop playing, go to the Savage Henry Magazine Comedy Fest (even if you’re not on it). Just. Go.
It’s Geographically Accurate: The Mission Position actually DOES take place in the Mission District of San Francisco. It’s also a sex pun (I’ll get to that later). And the fact four, well-to-do, progressive white people—again, keep reading—are repping the Mission so hard is another pertinent layer.
Lost Weekend Weekend: The Mission Position happens every Thursday at the realtime-landmark of Lost Weekend Video’s Cine/Cynic Cave. If you’re unfamiliar, the venue is THE place to see emergent comedy in San Francisco. We’ll look to Doc’s Lab to see if they can take the title of “Best Underground Comedy Spot” but, for now, and two years running, Lost Weekend is IT.
Four Four Four Four (i.e. The Real Reason You Should Go): Matt Lieb. Kate Willett. Jessica Sele. Trevor Hill. Mission Position’s nucleus is four of the most impressive comedians in San Francisco. In the wild, individually, they are who you put on last to close the show or put on in the middle to save it. In their den, they’re taking risks, working out and getting weird. Immensely unique, legitimately interesting, and naturally talented, the Mission Position motley crew are, if not guaranteed hilarity, sincere and engaging. They’re cool, they’re searching, they’re the next, great San Francisco comedy tradition (until they move away because they’re super talented).
It’s a LIVE ALBUM TAPING. Whatever happens, it will be crystallized forever, whether on a digital media outlet, or shamefully tucked away on somebody’s external hard drive. If there’s no extra incentive to hear your laugh on somebody’s hope’s and dreams, see your involvement (i.e. going to the show) as relief for four artists who are probably stressed out right now.
The Mission Position happens every Thursday, 8PM at Lost Weekend Video (1034 Valencia St. San Francisco). Tickets are $10.
This project draws inspiration from the street harassment memes and the #yesallwomen hashtags and buzzfeed lists of “things that only left-handed pescatarians with daddy issues can only truly understand”.
It’s both tongue-in-cheek and it raises awareness to the common experience every artist…
Product Review: Kelly Anneken “Twenty Minutes to Sell”
“Everybody get your flashlight apps up and ready because shit’s about to get dark!”
Kelly Anneken is sour without the typical, sneaking saccharine. No finger guns, no wink, no nudge. She’s completely comfortable in making others less so with offbeat iconoclasm, sacrilegion, heartbreak, and other dense, rich, flavorful unsavoriness. Everything is a joke but she’s not joking. Twenty Minutes to Sell isn’t a false bill of goods, it’s Kelly Anneken’s lavishly daring debut.
It’s only twenty minutes! Take that in. Right in the title. Most comedy albums overstay their welcome, requiring your attention two or three times longer than Anneken’s offering. For real, who really wants to focus on anything for longer than…? (I couldn’t even get that sentence out without being distracted by my phone). Packed tight like dynamite, the recording gives a clear indication of a performer emergent.
Comedy’s never “done”. Will she regret not adding a tag here, expanding a bit there, rearranging the structure of a set? No! Kelly Anneken defies your definition of perfection. Yes, her album was recorded in a basement. Yes, her tracks have two to four subject changes. Yes, she’s been doing comedy for less than a decade (the universally presumed false prerequisite to unleash your opus). Yes there are pops and scratches, dips in audio and awkward transitions. You know what else it has? Kelly fucking Anneken.
Kelly Anneken is a talented writer and a confident performer. She has the misanthropic charisma of a teenager yelling through their door after a hard day of being misunderstood. A flurry of sarcastic hyperbole, followed by self deprecating bravado, followed by a shot fired at her Midwest upbringing dashed with her theater-tenured timbre. It’s all in service of her witty wordplay and pop culture paper mache. She might be uncouth but she’s efficient goddamnit! Rule of three! Bait and switch! Puns! Metaphors! Even if the subject is common, Kelly is not; she’s deftly able to spin a silly yarn on something conventional to make it deeply confessional. If you, the reader, decide to give it a go, stay until the end as Anneken delves into the subject of miscarriage in a truly inspired and nuanced way. It’s really great. And again, it’s only twenty minutes.
The latest Bay Area comic to make it big is back for a month-long residency at everyone’s favorite little comedy basement. Every Saturday in September, W. Kamau Bell will be anchoring the Cynic Cave’s weekly showcase. Thanks to Bell’s notority, advance tickets sold out within two weeks. His show “T