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Entries in Stand-up Comedy (4)

Wednesday
Oct132010

Influential Comedians - Kaseem Bentley 

Kaseem Bentley was my after school chancellor at USF. During a field trip I asked him if there were any venues where I could perform stand up. He knew so much about the comedy scene and I wanted in.

"Yeah there is a place called the Luggage Store on 6th and Market. I'll take you there Monday" said Kaseem.

            Kaseem is one of coolest guys on the planet. However, during this time in his life, he was so unreliable and you could never predict what he was going to do. We agreed to meet on the coroner of 6th and Market around 6:00 PM but he didn't show up until much later. I was really young at the time and I had never been in that area by myself, so I was scared shitless. Crack-heads were abundant and they  would come up to me and try to sell me random things. One guy tried to sell me a copy of Star Track First Contact on VHS. It was a different world. Another crack-head said to me,

Ahh.. You got a quarter?

Sorry...

(As he was walking away)I know you got money...SUCKA

I tried calling Kaseem on my cell phone but he wouldn't pick up. Finally after an hour of waiting he arrived. But by then it was 7 and I was already traumatized to the point of no return. Looking back, this was the exact moment I started down my road to becoming a true comedian.

Hey! You said you be here by 6!

Sorry but the bus came late.

That's cool.... Damn man this place is hella scary. Where is the Luggage Store?

            We walked across the street and into a shady looking building with graffiti written all over it. However, things started to change when I walked up stairs and onto top floor. It was a gallery with a huge open space, where artists would hang their work. I was never exposed to this type of environment before and when I saw the venue I knew comedy was my future.

            We walked in during someone's performance. I kept silent in order to not disrupt the show.  Kaseem then introduced me to the incredible Tony Sparks. Known as the God Father of Bay Area comedy, Tony has helped every single comedian who has attempted to build a comedy career in San Francisco. He is the peanut butter in a P&J sandwich—without him there would be no sandwich and there would be no comedy in San Francisco.

            Tony gave me a sheet with all the open mics on one side of the paper and showcases on the other. My original plan was to perform at the open mics, then slowly transfer to showcases only. Had I known comedy would take years to perfect, I would have been less ambitious and enjoyed spending hours watching comedy at crappy coffee shops.

            I sat down and observed quietly, soaking up the atmosphere. Every single comedian who performed that night bombed horribly. It was like staring into someone's ass hole, while they were taking a shit on your face. You couldn't leave during someone's set because that would have been rude. So I  had to sit there and wait until they finish taking their shit. My ego started kicking in and I said to myself, "if this is comedy then I could do it too." After the show was over, I thanked Kaseem for introducing me to the comedy world and I immediately ran home to write my own jokes. That night was truly forgettable

            Today Kaseem is one of the best insult comics in the Bay Area, and you can see him regularly around the San Francisco comedy scene.  Check out this interview I made with him click below.



Wednesday
Oct062010

My Top 5 Favorite Beatles Songs

Rolling Stone magazine recently came out with a list of The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs. I love the Beatles; they have so much soul and depth. However, I did not discover them until recently. I've always heard about how great they are but never sat down to listen to their albums - until now. I thought maybe I would share my own personal favorite Beatles songs with you.

1. “Something”

This song is great because it describes the indescribable feeling I get with the women in my love life. Although simple and honest, Harrison's song captures the emotional vulnerability and uncertainty love brings. Yet, despite the uncertainty he expresses his love with no fear.

2. “Yesterday”

Who could not like this song? Everyone has been in this situation before, where you feel like you are on top of the world one day and the next day - lost. McCartney demonstrates his magnificent song writing skills in this solo, but I don't recommend listening to this piece if you are trying to get over anyone!

3. “Here Comes the Sun”

“Here Comes the Sun” is another great song by Harrison. The song paints an optimistic picture of the world. When I listen to it, images of a backyard tea party with my baby cousins fly through my mind. 

4. “Blackbird”

I don't understand why I'm so drawn to this song. I guess because its sounds like a nursery rhyme juxtaposed with the dark subject matter. When I listen to this song I get pictures of a Tim Burton-esque birds flying into a brightly lit moon.

5. “Hey Jude”

This song speaks for itself - I listen to it when I work out...

6. “Golden Slumber”/”Carry That Weight”/”The End”

Three mini songs strung together into one epic masterpiece! Ringo's drum solo is so badass - DJs should use the solo and beat juggle it during bboy battles.

As you can tell I'm a huge George Harrison fan. He is the constant underdog, always trying to hold his own against Lennon and McCartney. Throughout his Beatles career, Harrison grew as an artist and person. I can see him gradually improve with each consecutive album.

 

PS.

Here is a video of my New Tour Dates and a full set of my comedy Enjoy! Also if you have the time please subscribe to my new youtube page here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Edwinlicomedy?feature=mhum

 

Wednesday
Sep152010

Influential Comedians - Jasper Redd

When I first started comedy, my friend Tian used to record Comedy Central Presents and Premium Blend episodes for me since I didn't have cable. I didn't know anything about real stand up comedy, so all I had to go on was what I saw from those tapes.  For the first couple months I bombed horribly at the Java Source in San Francisco. It was there that I meet Jasper Redd. He wore his iconic beanie cap, vintage t-shirt and blazer. When he got on stage his smooth rhythmic talking really got me in a groove to laugh. He was the first person, who was not slapstick, not goofy but cool and laid back. I never saw anything like it. I could tell he was very cultured and insightful. He didn't get up on stage just to be a hacky goof ball. He had something to say and it was about how, " Car horns should sound like gun shots because the sound of a horn does not express his road rage properly." He had such a strong voice, which everyone imitated.

However, critics will say, " he sounds a lot like Mitch Hedberg" but I disagree. Japser's ethnic upbring sets the two apart. Although both performers used one-liner non- sequiturs, Japser would reference old school hip-hop slang, which only people in the know would understand. Mitch, on the other hand, used food premises as his foundation for jokes.  For example, " I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn't have one. So I bought a cake"

I love both these comics very much and got nothing but love for them.

Here is an interview I did with him a long time ago:

 

Check out the Tour Dates Video:

Monday
May032010

Asian American Comedians Panel & Bobby Lee

Check this out people— the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center will be holding a panel on the next generation of Asian American stand up comedians. I think it will be really interesting to see what comedians will say about the current trend. I'll give my two cents but you can only hear about it at this event. Come out!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

5:30 pm Registration

6:00-7:30 pm Program followed by reception

934 Brannan St San Francisco, Ca

Register here: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=8a9cc2

Also, I will be performing with Bobby Lee at the San Francisco Punchline right afterwards, so don't forget about getting your tickets to that show too!

http://www.livenation.com/edp/eventId/419632

In the meantime here is a clip of a man singing on the bus. I was going to work and this old Chinese guy started to sing. It was very cool

Old Man Singing by edwinlicomedy