Monday, May 30, 2005

Updates, May 30

Upcoming Comedy Dates
Monday, May 30 - Blue Chicago (142 street and Stony Plain Road)
Sunday, June 5 - The Comic Strip
Tuesday, June 7 - Yuk Yuks (COMEDY IDOL
Saturday, June 18 - GiggleFest 2005 at Waugh Hall in Waugh, Alberta
Sunday, June 19 - The Comic Strip

-check out Dan Brodribb's headLINES every Saturday in the Edmonton Journal's ed magazine.
-Humor columns by Dan Brodribb will be running for the next four Sundays in the Journal's Living section

-Both "Kill N' Kleen" and "Choice/No Choice,"two movies in which I had supporting roles, premiered last Wednesday. I made it to Kill N' Kleen just as the show was ending. It was like a sea of punks--leather and piercings and colored hair everywhere. Awesome. God bless them for supporting local film. The fact it was a zombie flick didn't hurt. Watching the 990 Films guys and gals, I was thrilled for them. There's nothing more exciting than seeing people living their dreams. Upcoming projects from the 990 crew include a documentary on child prostitution, and they're also making tentative plans to film a second zombie film featuring a screenplay by...ME! Hooray!

-I also saw some fantastic wrestling at a local Monster Pro Wrestling card ( Not only did the wrestlers have some nice-looking moves and went out of their way to bring the fans into the action, the rest of the MPW crew was friendly and welcoming. If you like wrasslin,' I really encourage you to check them out. Last paragraph I said there's nothing like watching people doing something they love, and the Monster Pro Wrestling organization seems really passionate about what they do.

-Last Friday SEAN BAPTISTE arranged for himself, LARS CALLIEOU, and SHAWN GRAMIAK to do some comedy outside CBC radio downtown during lunch hour. Most comedy vets believe that doing comedy during the day, and in a mall, does not make for great shows, but the boys did a fine job. Afterwards, they were interviewed and Lars was kind enough to plug me and a few of the other local comics who were there (MARK SALAMANDICK, J.P. FOURNIER, and TRAVIS ROBINSON).

-Remember tomorrow's Comedy Idol show--I already talked about how much I'm looking forward to seeing tomorow's line-up. Look at last week's posting if you want the details. Either way, you should be there. For those of you wondering or who haven't looked at the schedule on the website (, yet, I'm up next week along with Mark, NAVIN PRATAP, KATHLEEN MCGEE, JONATHAN TAPLEY, JAMES WYNTERS, CECIL GARFIN, and RYAN PATERSON.

-I'll post April's headLINES next week. In the meantime, I'll be at Blue Chicago tonight if you want to come down and let me know what you think.

Take care,


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

comedy idol

The Comedy Idol website is up and running. at Go have a look. You can finally see what all these guys I talk about look like. Come to a show while you're at it. The line-ups look great, so no matter which night or nights you come, you should be in for a entertaining show. Appearing tonight are: STEVE MCCARTHY, J.P. FOURNIER, ED WENDE, BRANDON FRANSON, FRANK SCHMOLKE, KRISSY STARK, and MIKE TREADWELL. Sadly, I won't be able to make the show. Personally, I'm pulling for Ed Wende, but I predict Steve and J.P. advance to the finals.

Go to the show tonight, or check out the website tomorrow and let me know how I did. Next week's show looks awesome and there's no way I'm missing it. In addition to the outrageously funny SEAN LECOMBER and always dependable TODD KREPAKEVICH, we'll see ANGIE ISMOND, who I think as much or more raw potential as anyone I've seen. DANNY ACAPELLA and his unique delivery will be there as well, plus BRIAN HEGGE (and his tweaker bit? We can only hold our breath and hope). JEFF NEESER and BARBARA MAY will round out the show. I'm not even going to try and predict winners...I'm just going to go and laugh myself into a coma.

If you never been to Blue Chicago on 142 street and Stony Plain road, you should drop by. In addition to live comedy every Monday (presented by the always enthusiastic KATHLEEN MCGEE) they have a great special on steak sandwiches. Yum!

I felt like a rock star after Sunday's Comic Strip show. Some of the other comedians and I went to Sherlock Holmes' Pub afterwards. Some of the audience members joined us and were buying drinks. I even got to entertain a couple of beautiful women, although to be honest, they only had eyes for ANDREW IWANYK. He's a heartbreaker, that one.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Joke Whisperer

Tuesday, June 7 - Yuk Yuks Comedy Idol

-Comedy Idol article, Saturday, May 21--ed Magazine
-Seven Sins of Highly Ineffective People (seven part series) -Every Sunday in the Edmonton Journal's Living Section
-Read Dan Brodribb's headLINES every Saturday in the ed magazine supplement to the Edmonton Journal

Tuesday I opened my e-mail to find this missive from the Journal: "We need some jokes on Belinda Stronach ASAP."

And I thought...Who?

Yet within the hour I was banging out jokes--under a deadline--about a woman who I hadn't even known existed forty minutes previous. It was awesome.

The best part of writing topical humor is that it's an ever-shifting landscape. You never know what you'll be writing about, and once it's written, you never know how long it will be before the joke loses it's shine (Except for Michael Jackson jokes. They never go out of style). Three weeks ago I had to bid adieu to a great bit on "The Bachelor." It was sad to see it go--especially so close to Comedy Idol--but topical jokes have short lifespans, and since I had worked that joke like a government mule for a month, I guess it could be retired with full honors.

Besides, then I get to write some more.

I can't explain the joy I get out of writing jokes. Nothing else comes close. I love that moment of inspiration that makes you laugh out loud and give yourself a high-five, even as the person beside you on the bus is getting up and moving to another seat. I love taking a joke apart, playing with the words, writing and rewriting until it's like a perfectly streamlined, exquisitely balanced marvel of humor technology. A joke isn't so much written as it is engineered.

You can craft the technically perfect joke. You can hone it to perfection,. You can run it through computer simulations to wild digital applause ("It looks like you're trying to write a Closer. Windows can help..."). But in the end, the audience decides what is funny, and all too often, what you thought was a Porsche explodes in your face like a Pinto.

(You can also have the opposite happen. Two of my most succesful jokes came about completely by accident. Furthermore, some people--I'm looking at you MAX MAULT--manage to be funny with no regard for technique. KELLY DEKUS?DAKUS(?)'s jokes are not engineered--they're clanking joke behemoths that look like they were assembled from scrap iron and spare parts from a washing machine. They lurch across the country side--parts falling off, metal sticking up in all directions, flattening houses and powerlines, and still managing to be hysterically funny despite an apalling disregard for aesthetics. It kind of pisses me off, actually. I feel like those scientists who couldn't figure out how a bumblebee could support its weight with such tiny wings. I'm flummoxed. Watching Max onstage, half of me is laughing till my stomach hurts while the other half is raging, "How can that work? It''s INCORRECT.")

But you know what? that unpredictability is also part of the magic and mystery of joke-writing. A joke can be technically perfect, yet still unfunny. Comedy isn't a beauty contest--the prettiest jokes don't come in first; it's the ones with the nice personality that the audience takes home with them (don't you wish other areas of life were more like that?) And that's what makes writing such a thrill.

I wouldn't give it up for the world.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Idol Chatter

TUESDAY, MAY 17 - Yuk Yuks- 2 minute 'warm-up' spot for Comedy Idol

-I'm really excited about Comedy Idol. I found out I'll be performing on June 7. Two of my personal favorites, MARK SALAMANDICK and NAVIN are also up on the 7th, so I encourage you to come down--you won't be disappointed. If you want a sample of what you'll experience in Comedy Idol, come down to Yuks on the 17th where you'll see a parade of comedians doing two-minute demo bits. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

--"Kill N' Kleen" will premiere on May 25 at the Edmonton Art Gallery at 7:30pm. You can pick up tickets for five bucks in advance at the Naked Cafe on 10354 Jasper Avenue or e-mail I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it there for show time, but I'll certainly be there afterwards to sign autographs for my adoring public ("Look! It's zombie #132! He was my FAVORITE!")

--Other stuff. KATHLEEN MCGEE has started a comedy show every Monday at Blue Chicago on 142 Street and Stony Plain road. Shows like this are usually 'hidden gems' because you get to see a lot of great local guys do material they might not usually do. And because it's an open mic, you sometimes get 'surprise guests' like...oh, you thought I was going to tell you? Go check it out and discover for yourself.

--It's been a busy week this week. Between the articles I'm writing for the Journal, the final edits for 'Glass Houses,' and gearing up for Comedy Idol, I'm exhausted.

Friday, May 06, 2005

April headLINES

Friday, April 1 - One more sleep til Motley Crue! Two more sleeps til Wrestlemania! Plus Sin City and Mitch Fatel! If I were a bell, I'd ring.

COMMMENTARY: Mitch was awesome, by the way. Thanks for asking. I missed the Crue concert and Wrestlemania, though I heard Motley put on a pretty good show. For my thoughts on Sin City, see below.

Saturday, April 2 - ed writer Dan Brodribb watches Sin City with a feminist friend. I thought the movie was mostly filmed in black and white, yet all she saw was red. Jessica Alba wasn't the only woman in that theatre trying not to scream.

COMMENTARY: I found Sin City unintentionally hilarious, which is the highest form of comedy. For more on unintentional hilarity, keep reading.

Sunday, April 3 - If you were a television executive with a hit show about Desperate Housewives, would you a) ride that show like a Vegas hot-streak or B) reschedule it, pre-empt it for awards shows, and generally make it as inaccessible as possible? That's what I thought.

Monday, April 4 - Michael Jackson fans are holding a candle-light vigil for him. Anyone care to wager how many jokes with the punch-line "who died and made him Pope?" hit the Internet by the time this issue of ed sees print?

Tuesday, April 5 - Adidas debuts "the world's most intelligent shoe." Because there's nothing more embarassing than having dumb shoes. My shoes are so stupid, they think they should come in pairs of three and a half because that's how many feet there are in a meter.

Wednesday, April 6 - I love the new Billy Idol single, which contains the essential elements of any great hard rock song: a good beat, awesome guitar riffs, and unintentionally hilarious lyrics. Every time he growls about how he's "gonna get extreme," I'm overcome with giggles.

Thursday, April 7 - According to the federal opposition, the sponsorship scandal is "about to get interesting." I guess they have a lot of free time on their hands.

Friday, April 8 - The City of Edmonton is receiving a lot of complaints about strays; They're asking citizens to please remember to put collars on their bullets.

Saturday, April 9 - At last the long awaited wedding of Charles and Camilla. Not even the Royal Family can resist the power of the Chicken Dance.

Sunday, April 10 - Only ten days left in the NBA regular season, and my team can still make the playoffs if they win twenty of their last six games. I guess that's why they call it a magic number. Math kills, but hope...hope is forever.

Monday, April 11 - 'Basketball' joins 'superheroes' as topics that ed writer Dan Brodribb is no longer allowed to write about. In other news, LeBron James is bitten by a radioactive spider.

Tuesday, April 12 - While pictures of Prince William doing the 'Y' in "YMCA" dominate the British tabloids, closer to home, the provincial conservatives work on how to appeal to a younger demographic. They're now having all their polling done by

Wednesday, April 13 - Om the twin subjects of websites and politics, wouldn't it rule if updates on the sponsorship scandal could be written by the woman who does the Survivor recaps on I still would't know what was going on, but at least it would be entertaining.

Thursday, April 14 - Thursday, April 14 - There's a new store by my house called Everything For A Dollar. I left a loonie on the counter and walked out with the cash register. It's not robbery--it's my way of winning the war with the seperatists. In other news, several bank robberies are foiled by a spider with the proportional strength and speed of LeBron James.

Friday, April 15 - Why is Josh Duhamel's picture on the advertising for the Edmonton Women's Show? He's not a woman. Says my father: "Yeah, but he plays one on television." My dad will not be joining the metrosexual revolution.

Saturday, April 16 - Edmonton celebrates multigenerational metal week as Helix, Motorhead, and the Donnas play gigs in the city. Gimme an ARRRRHH!

Sunday, April 17 - This close to the NBA playoffs my friends and I are struck with betting fever. I have Nash for MVP, Spurs for the champs, and Stephanie to run the table against the Kuror on Survivor.

Monday, April 18 - 18-34 year old males all over North America call in sick due to a 'chi'-draining outbreak of 'Jade Empire' flu, leaving their jobs undone. No one notices any difference.

Tuesday, April 19 - One of my Star Trek-obsessed friends is really looking forward to the upcoming Pop Culture Fair. I haven't seen him this excited since he misheard the title of Gwen Stefani's new single as "Holodeck Girl."

Wednesday, April 20 - Skinheads and costume-loving members of the Royal Family rejoice! It's Hitler's birthday. He was born in 1889, so if he were alive today, that would make him...a crazy mass-murderer. I remember this date because one of my ex-girlfriends shares a birthday with Hitler. I'd also like to say they share the same moustache, but that's the bitterness talking.

Thursday, April 21 - I just can't buy John Cena as the WWE Smackdown champ. He's a white rapper who uses a body slam as a finishing move. Giving him the belt is like giving Justin Timberlake a Vibe award. Meanwhile, on Survivor ghosts of the Ulong tribe whisper to Steph: "Join usss...Join us FOREVER!"

Friday, April 22 - For those who think video games promote violence, here's a quote from 13th century conquerer Genghis Khan: "My greatest joy is to shed my enemies' blood, wring tears from their womenfolk, and take their daughters for bedding." Think of the lives that could have been saved if he'd just had a copy of Grand Theft Auto.

COMMENTS: I love that quote. I’d like to have it on a fridge magnet.

Saturday, April 23 - No news today--I'm still recovering from the nightmares induced by the pictures of our elected officials on the front page of last Friday's Journal. Paul Martin looks like he's trying to hypnotize the reader like Thulsa Doom in "Conan the Barbarian" while Harper's mugshot makes him look like a "person of interest" in the cases of several missing Florida hitchhikers.

COMMENTS: Conan the Barbarian is one of the most quotable movies ever. It’s the ‘Caddyshack’ of the sword and sorcery genre.

Sunday, April 24 - Mariah Carey has a new album out. You remember her. The egomaniac who thinks everybody loves her, but is really just an embarassment. She's the musical equivalent of Theo Fleury.

Monday, April 25 - I've been spending way too much time with this woman I met. She's like a Nintendo Xbox--she has endless worlds to explore and she's addictive to the point where I ignore the other important things in my my Playstation.

Tuesday, April 26 - I'm on a new diet called the "Freelance Writer/Comedian Diet," which involves consuming nothing but Mr. Noodles, tap water, and second hand smoke. The pounds just melt away. I look like a Survivor winner. Too bad I don't feel like a million bucks.

COMMENTARY: If anyone from Mr. Noodles is reading, I’m available for product endorsements.

Wednesday, April 27 - I got home after a late night with my new 'Xbox' to find Playstation waiting for him in the living room. I can't even look it in the eyes.

Thursday, April 28 - On Survivor, the ghosts of the Ulong possess Jeff Probst causing him to levitate, exhale a cloud of flies, and burst into flames. Watching at home, season 2 contestant Mike kicks his TV and screams, "That's my gimmick!"

Friday, April 29 - This month in Cosmopolitan magazine: "The Biggest Sex Mistakes." If Paris Hilton didn't write this article, she should have.

COMMENTARY: I’d gone nearly four months without a single Paris Hilton joke. This is the first of two in two weeks. When I fall off the wagon, I fall hard.

Saturday, April 30 - PM Paul Martin and U2 singer Bono remain best friends and enjoy their usual sleepover. Best of all, Jack Layton will let them stay up an extra hour watching TV since it isn’t a school night.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


-Not much to report this week, except that I'll be posting the April headLINES on Friday night so you can enjoy them over a hearty breakfast on Saturday.

-I finished a couple of the columns that will start running in the Journal starting Sundays in the middle of May. I'm pleased to report, I'm quite happy with them so far (although really, were you expecting me to say otherwise?) I'm having quite the battle with writer's block on these columns, but I'm happy to report that the score is 3-0 in my favor so far, though these next couple weeks promise to be a bit stressful.

-I finished the galley edits for my short story "Glass Houses" which means that we're down to the wire on it. Check out for the publishing schedule of Cold Flesh, the anthology in which "Glass Houses" makes its humble debut.

-Finally, I got a chance to meet comic JOHN WING at a recent show. He's a very funny fellow and a fabulous singer/songwriter as well. He gave me some tips for a new joke I'm working on. I'm always blown away by how open and approachable most comedians are when it comes to helping out the new guys. I think this will really help the comedy industry thrive, and I hope you all come out to your local comedy clubs--because for us it's all about making you guys laugh.