Tagged: Michael Konik

Set List

How does the comic mind work? Where does the funny come from? These and many other vital questions get answered every time Set List comes to town. It works like this: Some of the best comics on the scene are supplied with their “set list” — the topics they’ll cover — when they arrive on stage. Since these lists...

The Art of Being Funny in Los Angeles

Lately we’ve been immersing ourselves in stand-up comedy and feeling altogether good about it. You can be addicted to a lot worse things than endorphins. Much of the past year in Los Angeles has been spent closely observing comedians doing their thing: ranting, rambling, telling jokes, riffing, raving, singing songs, reading from a script, making...

Litter Forensics

SINCE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHING THIS ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000 PIECES OF LITTER IN RUNYON CANYON. The results are in! After nearly one week of highly un-scientific sampling, we’ve collected and analyzed the data. Literally. During the test period, we visited Runyon Canyon, Hollywood’s celebrated nature area, and collected as much trash as we could carry –...

Harana Kings

In the old Philippines, before text messaging and Facebook, a gentleman courted a lady by serenading her at night beneath her window, a tradition called harana. Like Cuba’s “Buena Vista Social Club,” the new Harana Kings album joins seasoned veterans with young interpreters, creating music that’s simultaneously a cultrural remembrance and a fresh discovery. Guitars, light...

Looking Back on 2012: An Oral History of American Values

I was young like you once. Don’t laugh. It seems impossible, I know. An old codger like me of 77! You probably can’t picture when I was only 47 and healthy, with all my own teeth and a libido that didn’t yet require boner pills. Sure, that was three decades ago, and I look a...

Sexy Olympics

Now that the kind and understanding Mullahs of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei have consented to allow their nation’s second-class citizens to participate, the 2012 Olympic Games are the first ever in which every country’s team includes women. It’s about time. Some of us have a weird thing for chicks in chadors, especially when they’re shooting...

Minerva Cuevas

We need artists like Minerva Cuevas. The Mexican conceptualist and provocateur makes objects and installations exposing the pervasive control that corporations and cartels — and governments and religious institutions — exercise over our lives. She’s a cultural vandal who doesn’t descecrate; she illuminates. Her nonprofit Mejor Vida Corporation engages in all sorts of mischief (printing authentic...

Pointing Fingers

Whether or not you subscribe to the curious concept of “American exceptionalism,” you probably sense that America is exceptionally nervous about its future, long-term and short. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the old Soviet Union (1991), the United States of America has rapidly fallen from uncontested #1 global leader to our...

The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of Great People

The Government is supposed to punish criminals, which is why the Obama administration’s crusading Justice Department has given notice that the feds will seize America’s largest — and best organized, and best known — medical marijuana dispensary, in Oakland. The Citizenry is supposed to punish bad politicians by voting for good ones, which is why George...

Pete Holmes

His prepared material, showcased on “Conan” and “Fallon” and an hour-long Comedy Central special, is sensationally smart and wildly funny. But to see Pete Holmes live, improvising and riffing and creating comedy in the moment, is to experience the kind of alchemical magic one associates with the best jazz musicians. In a town full of funny...