COMEDY: Top picks for ComedyFest
Yes, he makes more bad movies than good nowadays (when The Jerk came out in the late ’70s, could anyone have foreseen The Pink Panther 2? Ugh!), but the wiry, white-haired comedian proved he still knows how to turn on the funny when he stood alongside Tina Fey during their presentation of the writers’ awards at the Emmys. An opportunity for the audience to ask questions guarantees plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, as Martin’s never at a loss for off-the-cuff cleverness.
A Conversation with Steve Martin: An Evening of Questions & Answers. Sunday, Sept. 27 at Orpheum Theatre (Smithe & Seymour), 7:30 p.m. Tickets $49-$185 from Ticketmaster.
Her skewering of the beloved classic Gone with the Wind might go down as one of the single funniest moments on TV ever, and by anchoring her own sketch-comedy show for over eight years, Burnett became a pioneer in the world of female comedians. With a lengthy history in Hollywood and on Broadway, Burnett’s got plenty to dish about. And, as she demonstrated in the opening Q&A;segment of her show every week, she’s incredibly quick with a witty comeback, no matter how crazy the question.
Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett: A Conversation with Carol Where the Audience Asks the Questions. Sept. 24 at Orpheum Theatre, 7 pm. Tickets $49.50-$89.50 from Ticketmaster.
The stand-up comedian and actor (Arrested Development) is as cranky as ever, except this time he’s turned his trademark rants into a collection of essays in his new book, I Drink for a Reason. Lest you think this is a confessional memoir of a man on the verge of an AA meeting, his brutal honesty and biting satire could make thin-skinned folk bleed tears just by picking up the book. This reading and Q&A;could be just the chance to get onto the receiving end of a classic Cross verbal bitchslap.
I Drink for a Reason: A Reading and Conversation with David Cross. Sunday, Sept. 27 at Centre for Performing Arts (777 Homer), 2 p.m., Tickets $26.50 from Ticketmaster.
An eight-member comedy troupe that’s making YouTube waves with its hilarious videos couldn’t possibly be Canadian, right? Let alone from Halifax. Damn right, they are. This wryly original octet has deep East Coast roots, and has received plenty of comparisons to Andy Samberg’s the Lonely Island, known for its digital shorts on Saturday Night Live. While Picnicface hasn’t debuted a “Dick in the Box”-like classic yet, it has its own YouTube channel with over 40,000 subscribers, and the ridiculously awesome “Super Bingo” has been viewed over 1.2 million times.
As part of Edge of the Fest, Saturday, Sept. 26 at Vogue Theatre (918 Granville), 8 p.m. Tickets $32.50 from Ticketmaster.
Vancouver’s Emerald City-envy will be temporarily assuaged with the arrival of Nick Thune, a self-described comedian/writer/actor/bird owner. He’s graced Jay Leno’s former Tonight Show twice, and Comedy Central even ponied up the cash to have him make a series of short films called iThunes. He’s also curiously pretty, standing out in an industry full of men who grew up learning to laugh in the face of one or two physical shortcomings.
Nick Thune is performing throughout the festival. For venue and ticket info, visit ComedyFest.com