W. Kamau Bell (Bay Area Premier Comedian) blogs about a non-San Francisco, San Francisco comedian, Hari Kondabolu [explained when you click the link]. This entry marks the second of assumed many as Bell weekly highlights comedians he’s digging at the moment.
As many of you already know, Zach Galifianakis came through to the Punch Line last Sunday. The Place was packed, outside and inside. Thankfully I work at Punch Line so I was able to walk right in and grab a seat at the bar (Membership has it’s privileges). The energy was electric. It felt like a…
[Big Al Gonzales spins a tale of performing on the same bill as Zach Galifianakis, Doug Benson, Chris Hardwick and others at the SF Sunday Showcase.]
Another successful night with standup comedy at Paddy’s Coffee House in Union City!…This is the one place where comics don’t have to feel the pressure of getting things perfect and the fact that it’s a coffee shop, rather than the typical bar or lounge makes it for a relaxing environment…There was a nice size audience of thirty…a diverse crowd with families, couples, and teens of all ethnicities. Even an ARMY man in uniform, the center of attention that night was laughing until his face hurt.
The next show is March 11 where there will be new comics and a great audience. Come out!
Somebody sketched the comics. Josef Anolin’s in the top left, Travis Irvine is next to him, Mark Zhang is below Travis. Chase Perdue, Phil Mazo and Roman Leo are left to right in the middle. Seth Lazear next to Bryce next to… (could be Molly or Shanti, I’m not playing the guessing game on this one). LOOK! FEMININE FINGER!
“Kindness”, the stand-up comedy album by Kevin Camia, is Red Velvet Devil’s Food Cake. The humor is rich, dark, moist, sweet, satisfying and presented in a leveled, circular form. Even if every shameful thought while consuming the album is “I shouldn’t be doing this,” the audience is compelled to continue the gluttonous decadence all the way to the water closet. “Kindness” reveals the truth that everything we eat ultimately conveys: the world is shit. At least Kevin Camia allows you to laugh at that fact with his smooth, satirical tones.
Camia is a Bay Area comedian with a gentle shell enveloping a dark, frustrated core. He lulls the audience with comforting pats on the head before yanking their hair with a jolting punchline. Camia has mastered the art of turning everything horrifying and lewd into assured, absurd “kidding” that never takes away from his overall likeability. It’s the ultimate juggle of juxtaposition: the varying intensities of voice and substance.
“Kindness” marks a continual transition present in Camia’s career: escaping the horrid hills of empty employment while contending in the low rewards arena of stand-up comedy. The comic mines his past in anecdotes about grocery stories and high school counseling. He also delves into socially conscious self-awareness by highlighting the rise of neodouchebaggery and office racism. Camia is especially skilled at taking Asian stereotypes, recontextualizing them to make generalizations sensible or twisting them to reveal ugly truths.
The comedian also takes flight into chaotic cognitions, walking along a funny and odd stream of consciousness. The best example of this comedy style is his musings on having a temporary vagina; an in depth analysis (wink, wink) on the inherent pros, cons and Camia’s own reservations. One could imagine Kevin in a Charlie Kaufman film as he cries, “Get off me!” (Buy this album and “Synecdonche, New York” to understand what I mean).
Kevin Camia is self-defined as a San Francisco born, Santa Rosa raised, progressive Filipino-American vegetarian. In “Kindness”, these are all superseded by Camia’s identity as a comedian. He takes a classic comic standpoint: enjoying the comforts of life whilst curmudgeonly mocking the surrounding societal constructs. Camia doesn’t pander, nor omit any group as he takes aim at items he loves (quinoa), hates (intolerance) or is indifferent to (interracial dating). And just as he goes top speed on a straight forward, cleverly cranky point the comedian can make a right turn onto Creepy Blvd. or Strange Ln., which creates a versatile comedy experience.
The official album set concludes with a tender moment where Camia expresses his desire to marry his longtime girlfriend. It’s a charming finale filled with hallmark lampooning, “Unchained Melody”, and a punchline that would make Louis Sachar smile. With these last laughs, “Kindness” subversively lives up to its name.
Thank You for Reading
P.S. Shakira as you’ve never seen her before: Reading Courting Comedy in footie pajamas.
WTF Podcast w/ Marc Maron: Episode 95 (Patrice O’Neal)
[Black History Perspectives, Patrice O’Neal: Love him or hate him, disagree with his controversial opinions if you must. Patrice O’Neal holds a unique and compelling insight to the legal system and growing up fatherless that’s greatly influenced by his race. A very interesting conversation with Marc Maron and one of my favorite comedians.]
People’s Republic of Improv @ 9th St. Film Center. 145 Ninth St. SF. 8 PM. $5. [PRI is the premier improv group out of the Sylvan Open Tuesdays. They’re providing a great service for you comrade.]
jericho! Comedy @ UC Berkeley. 101 Moffitt. Berkeley. $1. 8 PM. [The Golden Bear Kids are back for their 2011 Spring Semester with new members but the same prestigious comedy chemistry.]
Snob Theater @ Noise Pop. Fifty24SF Building. 218 Fillmore St. SF. $10. 8 PM. Featuring Coree Spencer, Donny Divanian, DJ REAL, Rainbow Chair, Ash Reiter, Phantom Kicks. Hosted by. Shawn Robbins. [Big line-up for the only comedy show at Noise Pop.]
Real Talk w/ Ali Wong @ The Dark Room Theater. 2263 Mission St. SF. 10 pm. $10. [A live run of Ali Wong’s new talk show].
Dave Chappelle @ Cobb’s Comedy Club. 915 Columbus St. SF. Two Show: 8 PM and 10 PM. $55. 18+. Tickets go on sale @ 10 am. this morning via Live Nation. [Dave has been selling out venues in the Bay all week long. Catch him before he disappears.]
Dana Gould @ The Punchline. 444 Battery. SF. Two Shows: 8 pm & 10 pm. Also Featuring Brendan Lynch and Nikki Glaser.