Hello again, children of the universe. My wife and I had a baby two weeks ago and I’m back from a brief paternity hiatus all blissed-out and groggy. Mother and child are happy and healthy. I haven’t hit the stage in over two weeks and my schedule is now the opposite of comedy life; watching the sunrise from a rocking chair and staring at a crying infant’s face with deliriously tired eyes.
The customary salute for a comic who just had a baby—or experienced any other major life event for that matter—is as follows: “Congrats on the new hour of material!”
In this haze of early infancy I've noticed my sense of humor has reverted to a pre-verbal stage. The kid is cracking me up constantly, from diaper farts to never-ending hiccups to suckling on my bicep in search of milk. Perhaps this slapstick, lowbrow transformation is the genesis of all “dad jokes”?
Laughs Comedy Spot escapes the suburbs
Speaking of new beginnings and breasts, Laughs Comedy Spot announced this week that they’ll be relocating to the former University District home of Jiggles, née Giggles, currently Pasty’s Gentlemens Club. This is great news for metro comedy fans who refuse to make the bridge-crossing trip to Kirkland, but bad news for fans of barely-concealed nipples and sadness.
I attended the first ever open mic at Laughs in their current location, and it’s still amazing to consider that a comic-owned mom-and-pop club in a former Godfathers Pizza in a strip mall has survived for nine long years in this brutalizing economy, even outlasting the heavily bankrolled Parlor Seattle. This is because Laughs is hands-down the best-booked club in the region, with a knack for bringing heavy hitters to the small stage just before they break big, comics like Tig Notaro, Marc Maron, Hannibal Buress and Maria Bamford. They’ll be opening in the new-old location the first weekend of August and I’ll thenceforth be saving a shitload of money on bridge tolls.
By the way, their headliner in Kirkland this week is the very funny and smart John Roy, well worth the foray into suburbia:
Frozen in Carbonite
After becoming a dad I immediately became 60 percent more sentimental, which is why this new project by local comic Silas Lindenstein tugged at my heart-brain. (That’s what people who are in touch with their feelings call it, right?) He’s taken the songs from Disney kinderblockbuster Frozen and retooled the lyrics to make it all about Star Wars, combining two things he and his 8-year-old daughter enjoy. Naturally it’s titled Frozen in Carbonite. Lindenstein says: “It started as something silly and became a love letter to my daughter and Star Wars.” It's unabashedly geeky, goofy and sincere. As someone who has already written several impromptu Mississippi Delta blues-style songs about breastfeeding, I fully understand the impulse.
Here’s a snippet, and if you fall into the specific but ever-growing target demographic of parent-nerds with singalong-loving offspring you can buy the album here.
Finally, departing from the theme of childhood—or perhaps not, come to think of it—filmmaker and former City Arts Future Lister Linas Phillips is in town from New York to screen his new feature film at SIFF. The last time we checked in with Phillips he was at Sundance and Netflix had just picked up the movie he made with Mark and Jay Duplass, Manson Family Vacation (currently streaming). Rainbow Time was written and directed by Phillips and executive produced by the Duplasses. It’s the story of 40-year-old developmentally disabled horndog Shonzi (Phillips), who moves in with his younger brother and his brother's girlfriend. Informed by Phillips’s work with special needs kids and featuring his eccentric brand of challenging, pathos-driven comedy, Rainbow Time features performances by Jay Duplass—who is crushing it on Transparent—and former Seattleite Lauren Weedman. It runs at the Uptown this Friday and Saturday.