Alex Koll is a long time staple of San Francisco Bay Area comedy. He performed “Boomtime” with Moshe Kasher and Brent Weinbach, co-produces “The Business” at the Dark Room Theater, won multiple regional air guitar championships, directs, hosts, and headlines while cultivating amazing, abstract absurdity. Recently Koll released his debut album, “Wizard Hello” on Rooftop Comedy’s label and on January 17, 2010, he threw party at the San Francisco Punchline to commemorate the milestone.
Emily Heller opened the show as well as commanded hosting duties. For the uniformed, Heller is a premier comic, Bay Area Laugh Leader finalist and resident Punchline performer. She warmed the crowd with confident self-degradation, well-placed wit, and casually cynical social commentary. She also started the night’s theme of discussing the San Francisco Giants by screaming expletives at the state of Texas. Heller created a soothing, sarcastic rhythm as she dissected bumper stickers and feminism recruiting folly all before a crescendo of comedy and compliments to Mr. Alex Koll.
Next performer: DJ Real. DJ Real is an intricate performance artist who blends props, acoustic musicianship, flashy dance moves and boombox background singers. The set included a number of songs off Real’s latest release, Personal Growth, as well as classics from his back catalog. Combating technical issues and performance gaffes (one of his fairies went rogue), DJ Real remained poised and endearing with his winning whimsy and careful corniness. The curly-haired virtuoso left the stage without his shoes but not before leaving an impression.
After a brief Heller-lude a bombastic baby faced man bounded the boards. Sean Keane brought the show’s second helping of stand-up comedy, a steaming dish of embarrassing stories and regional humor. Keane poked fun at adult and adolescent awkwardness in a fun, relatable manner. He also broke down the Giants in relationship to the City’s neighborhoods and took jabs at Oakland’s sports fans. The West Bay crowd was very receptive to Keane’s metered, polished, gabbing. The Raider fans shook their heads forlornly as they chuckled.
Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits proceeded to the penultimate performance position. The subversive, indie-folkish, duo of Dan Abbott and Corbett Radford, acoustically peddled catchy, Zappaesque, tunes dripping in irony. Most of the group’s songs boasted a dark subject manner, juxtaposed with jovial chords and cheerful harmonies. In the middle of their set Radford expressed sincere commendations to his long time friend, Alex Koll and his career accomplishments. Then, immediately thereafter, the band sprung into a rousing melodious tale of going postal at work. Both gestures were extremely heartfelt.
The man of the hour closed the show to conclude the night’s festivities. Alex Koll began with gratitude, thanking the audience before addressing the absence of his previously characteristic beard. The comedian’s routine not only reflected his physical change but also a stylistic shift as he performed new material excluded from his album. “Wizard Hello” is rife with surreal set ups and side swiping punchlines. This performance featured anecdotal material of Koll’s hell gigs, previous day jobs, and his Jewish ancestry. The bridge between the two Alex’s is Koll’s skilled wordplay and heavily detailed delivery. The show concluded with a hilarious tale of a baseball game in relation to a chubby childhood and insane summer crickets.
The term “release party” was a bit of a misnomer. There was no cake, few cone hats and absolutely no piñata. “Party” translated that night to an oddball, innovative, nerdy variety show featuring harmonious artists, best friends, and brilliant minds all residing in the house of Alex Koll.
Update: I should have wrote “… brilliant minds all residing in the Alex Kollection”.
Tonight. 2263 Mission St. San Francisco. 8 PM. $5.
The Business is happy to welcome back our regular guest star - and unofficial Fifth Businessman - Nato Green, SF Weekly’s Best Comedian of 2010. He’s an SF native, a political satirist, a Huffington Post blogger, a father of twins, and the creator of the popular shows “Iron Comic,” “Laughter Against the Machine,” and “Laughing Liberally 415.” We’re happy that we were able to collectively bargain for his appearance this week.
Mr. Green is gearing up for an exciting month of shows, including a New Mexico performance with Marc Maron (and Businessman Alex Koll) and a series of New Year’s Eve shows at the SF Punch Line with Greg Proops. Nato’s getting in all these amazing shows before 2010 ends, and his turns back into a pumpkin. An organic, locally-grown pumpkin, which will later be slow-roasted and combined with a selection of artisan cheeses. Because while Nato is the top comic for 2010 only, he will be SF’s Biggest Foodie indefinitely.
We’ve also got the rest of your favorite Businessmen - Alex Koll, Bucky Sinister, Chris Garcia, and Sean Keane - helping you kick off a December full of treats. Since all of our fans are on the Nice List, admission is just five bucks. 8 PM, Wednesday, Dark Room.
Nato Green with envy to anybody who goes to this show. I’ll be there, Madrone, and everywhere.
Alameda Comedy Competition @ McGrath’s Pub. 1539 Lincoln St. Alameda. Featuring Jen Dronsky, Duat Mai, Ben Kolina, Nina G, Roman Leo and Robert Keith. 10 P.M. Hosted by OJ Patterson (THAT’S ME!) (I might bring candy, I never know what I’m doing with this crazy, crazy show.)
The Business @ The Dark Room Theater. 2263 Mission St. $5. 8 PM. Featuring Rachel Swan and W. Kamau Bell. (In the spirit of the indie, lived in element of the Dark Room, every audience member should be hit with a face full of flour).
Special Ladies Night at the Brainwash. 7th and Folsom. Free.99. 8:00 PM. (If you’re a lady comic you pretty much know that this is a pre-booking show [Facebook, E-Mail] because this night, Erikka Innes will be performing a 30 minute set to prepare for a CD Recording). Hosted by Kristee Ono.
Stud Open Mic Comedy. 9th & Harrison. SF. Sign Ups 8:30 PM. Show 9:00 PM. Hosted by Kelly Anneken and Ricky Luna. (Silly and frightening).
Open Mic @ McGrath’s Pub. 1539 Lincoln Ave. Alameda, CA. Sign Ups: 9:00 PM. Show: 9:30ish. (Two OJ Hosted events without a flyer. I’ve been slipping. Lo Siento).
Stud Open Microphone. 9th & Harrison. San Francisco, CA. 8:30 Sign Ups. 9:00 Show.
Ladies Night Open Mic. 1122 Folsom St. San Francisco. 8 pm (Sign Ups: 7:30).
The Mission’s longest-running comedy show welcomes a stellar group of guest stars this week. Andy Haynes, Ron Funches, and Karl Hess are riding a rocket ship to superstardom, and we’re lucky that they’ve decided to refuel at the Business along the way. We’ve also got Chris Garcia, Alex Koll, and Sean Keane to round out the show, available to you for the pittance of five American dollars.
Andy Haynes is a comedian from Seattle who now makes his home in New York City. He was part of the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal this summer, and last week he made his network televison debut on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.”
Karl Hess is an LA comedian who also performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in July. He’s performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, and hosts the semi-weekly Sunday Sunday Sunday Show in Westwood.
Ron Funches was raised in Chicago, but has found a home in the Pacific Northwest. He’s competed in the Seattle International Comedy Competition, and performed at Bumbershoot and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival.
8 PM! Five bucks! A show for the ages!
San Francisco State University and Rooftop Comedy (www.rooftopcomedy.com) present a screening of “Spike and Mike Sick and Twisted Animation”!
The screening is free to all SF State students and only 5$ for the general public. Come for a screening of “Spike and Mike” originals as well as feature the comedy of host and local comedian Sal Calanni and SF State student comedians Jules Posner, Jesse Fernandez, and Spencer Devine.
September 15th, 7pm
Zach Adams Hall at the Cesar Chavez Student Center, 1650 Holloway Ave.
Free for SF State Students, $5 for the public
Jabari Davis and Associates present Janine Brito. 8 PM. $20. 140 Columbus Ave. San Francisco. (Also featuring Stuart Thompson).
First Night of the Wharf Room “Walk the Plank” competition. The brightest of the up and comers scrapping over at 256 Jefferson St. San Francisco CA. 8:00 PM.