October 11, 2013
Jerry Lewis and Me in San Francisco + Hysterical Historical Kurt Weitzmann & Beth Lapides Moves UP!
PLEASED TO MEET YOU; HOPE YOU GUESS MY NAME...
Folks, it’s been a long time, a crazy summer for crazy ole Steven Alan Green. I’ve started and stopped writing this latest Enjoy the Veal several times. I feel guilty like the Jew that I am, as the last ETV posting was last June. Never have I gone so far between blog posts or, for that matter, sexual pillars. I’ve been through heaven and hell this summer and everything in between, not the least of which was a horrific trip aboard Amtrak. Let me try and give you the run-down on where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing and what I’m up to next. Thanks for your patience, your interest and most of all, that disgusting vile of random bodily fluid left by one of my anonymous fans on my doorstep. Ta for that.
I’ve got an important announcement to make about The Laughter Foundation, which I will expound upon in my next blog. Things are looking good for my crazy dream; which is all I’ll say at this point. Firstly, The Laughter Foundation website is being relaunched in the next few weeks and I’m excited about that. It’s gonna be a lot easier to read and ridiculously impressive. It will look more like we’re serious (which we always have been), but at the same time, will still keep that spirit of light-heartedness and laughter, which is the core of what The Laughter Foundation is all about. The main thing has been to continually enlist believers with the idea that with a lot of hard work, help from friends, comedy colleagues and Laughter Foundation supporters, the vision of an entity to help stand-up comedians in financial emergencies, as well as the world-class museum to study and exhibit the art, history and science of comedy, will materialize. The website is being redesigned by the wonderfully talented Silvia Borelli at Jade Concept. Stay tuned, friends of comedy and supporters of all comedians. Thank you. Sincerely.
Now. Speaking of making comedy history.......
JERRY LEWIS AND I, TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SAN FRANCISCO
I want to announce something very personal, good and dear to my somewhat blackened-heart. I’ll be performing the San Francisco premier of my famed and infamous hilarious one-man show about my true to life horrific up and down friendship and business deal gone very bad with the one and only Jerry Lewis. “I Eat People Like YOU for Breakfast!” plays one-night only at the best place a one-man show can play, The Marsh in San Francisco. December 4th @ 7:30pm. I’m very excited and really feel that this new version; this incarnation of my “dream on wheels” will be extremely interesting, not for the least of which is that I may be wearing my tights on stage. After all, the show is of Shakespearian proportions and addressing my dead father from the stage, the King of Comedy, and talking about dreams and betrayal, all for an ancient comedy kingdom in England, is well…. “Kosher Hamlet,” to an extent. I've been popping into comedy clubs, doing 5 minute bites to really good laughter and applause.
Information about the December 4th performance of “Breakfast!” at the Marsh can be found by clicking here. Go ahead, click here. No one’s watching. That’s it. Don’t be afraid. Ahhhh, that feels good. Thanks. Now, what can I do in return?
Wot a summer....
The Man who runs the dodgy hostel in San Francisco, finally kicked me out. I had stayed there two months, paying him $25 a night. It wasn’t the best decision around to stay in a hostel, but without enough deposit money, no regular paycheck and my credit still shot to shit, it was near impossible to find a room to rent or an apartment anywhere. San Francisco is a bitch when it comes to reasonable living property. I literally saw a house up in the Haight Ashbury area, where they were renting out the hall closet with a mattress on the floor. And even then, they insisted on giving me a free palm reading to determine if I were a potential suitable cosmic roomie. I liked the hostel, as there was a real sense of community; and I always loved living in a big house filled with creative & crazy types, as I did in Edinburgh in the mid-nineties, in the Chelsea Hotel in NYC before that, and growing up in my crazy Beverly Hills family way back when bubble-gum was the dusty friend of Sandy Koufax.
The Marina District of San Francisco is very upscale Gap unhip money, populated by trust-ifarian university young men and women wearing muted purple Lycra sweatpants, pushing around baby carriages with the power of their brick thick hairless calves. My regular coffee place was run by a family from the Far East and every day, they would greet each local with an overly enthusiastic, “Good MORNING!,” exchanging extremely small talk like it were wooden matches in prison. Took them a while to finally accept the big-bearded weird guy with the peacock feather in his Fedora and just deal with it and pour me a regular. I friended the other hostel permanents, which included a big-brain software world-travelling programmer; an eternally youthful grandmother escaping the repressive traditions of Utah for copious liaisons with the youth of today; an employed fry chef who literally lived in a video game, and a real nut job middle aged woman with a beef against everybody, a paranoid mind and a permanent scowl on her face. There was the Apple app designer who did lots of hilarious hallucinogens, then tried to convince others around him that he wasn’t real in the first place. In other words, I fit right in. But, alas…
I had become a month and a half behind on rent. Part of the reason I was behind on the rent was that they only took cash. And, when I had it, I wasn’t about to drop five crisp C-notes on his table without a receipt. I got behind even more when a writing contract fell through last minute and the jerk at the San Francisco Symphony told me at the job interview I smelled, which I politely didn’t accept, but he still refused to hire me. I know it had to do with the fact that I kept calling them for an interview. From a Craigslist ad. I have years and years of very successful telemarketing experience. The assistant kept telling me my voice was great and with my experience, I'd be a great edition to their team. Finally, after two weeks of calling every couple of days, I left the following message for the guy at the San Francisco Symphony: "Hi, my name is Steven Alan Green. I believe I am not only qualified for the job, but in fact overqualified. In fact, I don't even want the job any more. However, I will keep calling you back and leaving messages until you either bring me in for an interview or tell me the job has been filled by someone else." The HR moron called me back immediately, apologized and brings me in just to tell me I smell. Which I didn't. And didn't hire me.
Question: When is it okay to throw a punch during a job interview?
I tried to financially catch up, but no matter how much I gave the stinky hostel, it was never greeted with appreciation; instead, always with, "That's all you give?". Why did they let me stay there unpaid for so long? I have my theories, one of which revolves around their perceived value of me and maybe a little softness in their Hong Kong-Money-minded heart. We were talking of my setting up a comedy night in the nearly always vacant restaurant downstairs, which used to be a Karaoke bar. They had mics and a sound system. But the comedy night never happened, because management changed their minds last minute. This, after I did weeks of investigating with the city about an entertainment permit and brought in my friend comedian Howard Stone, who produced Karaoke down in Polk Gulch; all of which they were aware of, approved of and were excited about. And, so my over-stay wouldn’t cost them a bloody dime, I would always find someplace else to crash for the night whenever the hostel was full and they asked me. One night I stayed at Sylvan House, which is run by comedians and comedy promoters, whose only rent is a replenishment of toilet paper. (I still owe them! Shit!) Basically, it cost the hostel nothing for me to stay there and I had already paid in around two grand for the few early months of residency, plus I was trying to help him bring people into the restaurant. Paying customers. In any case, my luck finally ran out and I had to leave, finding another similar bedding situation across the Bay in Oakland.
Across the pond, across the bay...
Oakland has the somewhat deserved reputation of being a real dangerous place; and I suppose in some places it really is. But, where I was staying was on a quiet and peaceful lake. It was an apartment converted into a hostel (which was probably illegal) and once again, the guy running it would only take cash. He had issues with me walking around in my underwear in the middle of the night, even though, he would walk around during the day in his. These hostels are usually several bunk-beds in one room. The bunk-beds are small, rickety and dangerous. I’m in my 50’s and getting up in the middle of the night for a pee is an extra feat when you have to wind your way down the top bunk without accidentally stepping on the face of the sleeping guy below you. This “hostel” was on Belleview Street, which disturbed me deeply because of my unproduced yet animated screenplay, “A Zombie Christmas,” which takes place in the “fictional town of Belleview” and is a dark animated feature about the myth of Persephone and has zombies, a drunk Santa Claus and a Jewish vampire named Count Bubula. Because I didn’t know where I was going to stay, and because of usual money issues, I couldn’t reserve and pay for a week in advance (which he sprung on me last minute) and within 24 hours, my bed was taken by someone else and I was once again “homeless”. Important clarification: With the exception of one week sleeping on Hank's Venice Beach patio last year, I’ve yet to spend one night outdoors. “Homeless” to me means, I’m just not sure yet where I’ll be staying tonight; let me make some phone calls.
Within one week’s time, various pillars of my new set-up life were crumbling before my very astonished eyes...
Once again, my voice-over career has stalled dead. I was represented by one of the biggest agencies up here, but it came to an abrupt end. Here’s what happened. After getting recommended to the head of the agency by someone who used to work in a smaller agency, I was taken on by this other big agency. The thing was that I never got to meet them. That’s right. It was all done all online and one phone call, even though they are located right here in San Francisco. The agency was sending me dozens of voice auditions a week via email, which I had to record in the hostel and since there was no private area, I had to get up extra early and record the auditions at “home” and send them in. Between rehearsing, recording, editing and uploading, it would normally take me around two hours every morning to do these auditions. I gave it my all, but after two months of this crazy work schedule, and booking nothing, I finally asked the agent if I could wait until I found a more suitable place to record, but I also asked why he wasn’t sending me on any union auditions, instead of just the non-union ones. After all, although I’m not in SAG/AFTRA, I was and still am "SAG eligible", meaning I have done one SAG job and am allowed to do another, but then would have to join the union, which I'd gladly and proudly do! I have done quality work, including national commercials in both America and the UK. (CLICK HERE TO HEAR MY VOICE-OVER WORK) Just auditioning for non-union stuff is all well and good, but the competition is hilariously bigger and the payoff is never as good. Nonetheless, I was very grateful to be auditioning for something and finally having a voice agent who seemed to believe in me. I also had just had the TV commercial I did in the UK run again and I wanted to see about getting an on-camera agent here in America. A meeting was set up initially for me to come in and meet the voice agent representing me and the on-camera agent, but it was cancelled last minute (literally as I was on the bus) and they never rescheduled. In fact, as I would inquire about this, the agent finally said, “Why do we need to meet each other?” Which astonished me. When I inquired with another agent, who told me they would send me on union jobs immediately, my agent dropped me. Dropped for talking with another agent. How did my agent found out? I talked about it on my radio show. A month later, I randomly dropped in on the agent. Had a civil conversation. Explained everything without getting emotional, personal or stupid. All this guy could say was, “That ship has sailed…” He dropped me like a tonne of bricks.
Within the same week early this summer, Justine, my co-host on Stage Time With Steven Alan Green, abruptly left the radio show. Justine was my rock and also booked the musical acts, but her marriage was on the rocks and had too much on her pretty little plate. Station General Manager John Miller was getting pissed off (rightly so) at my chronically late studio rent and I just couldn't concentrate and write and produce the radio show living in a goddam hostel. I felt like I didn't deserve the radio show. It suddenly became a mirage, as if it didn't exist. Due to all this financial stress - which always creates deep doubt about my abilities -- I felt the best thing to do was to simply leave the show. I was punishing myself. That's when I took off on my Facebook couch-surfing trip up to the Pacific Northwest. Good news is I'm "back on the air" and I publicly want to thank John for having me back, in spite of my childish and unprofessional behavior. John's a righteous bloke. Even though he smells. I'm kidding. He's not a righteous bloke. (JUST JOKING, BOSS!) Also, I am very proud to announce a new addition to Stage Time With Steven Alan Green. "Dr. Marvin".
Marvin Etzioni is an old high school chum and a pretty successful and very knowledgeable record producer. Marvin cut his teeth working with T Bone Burnette, Don Was, is a founding member of Lone Justice, toured with U2 & Tom Petty and his current album, "Marvin's Country" was album of the week on the BBC. The New York Times, the LA Times, Billboard and others have compared Marvin Etzioni to Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Leonard Cohen. I was once compared to Groucho Marx, Ernie Kovacs and Andy Kaufman. Every critic thought there was no comparison to me and the aforementioned three comedy greats. Let me quote: "Steven Alan Green can only be compared to the comedy greats, in the same way a heat rash can be compared to World War Two." - Vincent Cannot-be
The good musical doctor now calls in every Monday, halfway through the show and whomever our in-studio musical guests are, Marvin listens to them and then politely and astutely analyzes their songwriting, their performances and anything else, with the sole intention of helping them get their song and performance to a point of salability, without sacrificing artistic integrity. Listen to last week's show and hear Marvin Etzioni critique singer-songwriter depends on when you click . Marvin comes in around the one-hour mark. CLICK HERE For more on Marvin Etzioni, please CLICK HERE.)
A Comedy of Errors once again....
The Throckmorton Theatre is this great old revitalized theatrical institution in Mill Valley and on Tuesday nights, Bay Area comedian Mark Pitta runs a great comedy show. Regulars include several top intelligent comedians from San Francisco, top-notch smart and relevant headliners from around the country and one super-funny comedy guy in particular who performs there whenever he's in town, and not filming something down in LA. I first went "to the Throck" late last year with my friend Rick Right, who started in San Francisco during the Comedy Big Bang, but now lives and works in England. Rick brought me backstage and I hung out with Robin Williams and the great Mort Sahl, making them both laugh. Can you possibly imagine how important that is for me? To make those two comedy icons laugh at purposeful words coming outta my mouth? Nothing is more validating than entertaining your heroes, as I did time after time with my former best friend, Jerry Lewis. It was a great night's experience for me at the Throck.
Cut to: Months and months later, when another comedian, friend and writing client was playing there, I got a ride from transsexual comedian Tuesday Thomas and when we arrived, were very graciously invited to watch the show from the balcony and so we obediently went to "the gods". My luck. Sitting right next to me was a man arguing out loud, and drunkenly so, with his date. He was heckling comedian Kurt Weitzmann, who was on stage. The heckler happened to be the guy from the San Francisco Symphony, who didn't hire me because I supposedly smelled.
To be completely honest, it surprised the hell out of this comedy reviewer for The Jewish Journal why the sound guy or the door guy (both of whom were within a pebble's throw) and how management in general would allow a heckler to go on and on. Nobody seemed to want to say a thing. Since said jerk was literally sitting next to me and physically bumping me with every turn and drunken nasty word to his date, and not wanting to add fuel to the fire, I simply got up and left. I was a guest of the Throck; I wasn't about to complain. But, as I walked through the lobby exit, the doormen and lobby personnel seemed suspiciously very concerned where I was going for some reason, shouting at me, "Can I help you sir?" I said something sarcastic (“too much of a good thing I guess”) and one of them responded sarcastically, “Another comedian….” I just kept walking, even though, as a long time comedian, I was very hurt.
Then, while outside the Throck, and on the phone to a dear friend, I see another old friend of mine. He saw me. I went over to say hi and out of nowhere a half dozen theatre personnel swarmed me like the Comedy Secret Service as I walked to my friend, who was standing near the dressing room door, which led out onto the parking lot. I had no intention of visiting the all hallowed dressing room, as I had already learned when Jerry Lewis took over, banishing me, the producer, from the London Palladium dressing room at a show I created, financed and produced. The manager stopped me cold, asking to see my papers. She told me I was welcome to go back up to the balcony, but I was done with comedy for the night. Tuesday stayed and watched the rest of the show, telling me that theatre staff finally came up looking for me, thinking I was the heckler!
Once again, somehow finding myself in the exact wrong place at the exact wrong time, being accused and convicted of something I didn't do. Tuesday drove me back home to the hostel, as my guts twisted and turned, fogging up the interior car window as we flew over the Golden Gate Bridge with each angry sigh of, "Why me?" I already had been banned for years by The Improv for a practical joke gone bad, The Comedy Store for writing an honest book about comedic self-discovery and a Wendy’s in Culver City for asking for too many catsup packets for my fries. I’ve been thrown out or been treated unfairly of and by more comedy clubs than you can imagine. I have the gold card of being thrown out or not welcome. I'm used to it. I almost expect it. If it doesn't happen every few years, I get worried. Almost always, it's a very weird combination of being in the exact wrong place at the wrong time and being myself, whatever the fuck that means. I'm nothing more than a reverse Forrest Gump.
So, ALL within one week, I lost any immediate chance in making good money again in voice-overs, the thing I loved the most (the radio show), been inadvertently humiliated at an important comedy venue, lost a potential perfect job because I supposedly smelled (who says that to a prospective employee?) and was now literally homeless, save for a desperate phone call away. Even though I still had money coming in from my editing clients (eBooks), I was clearly at another dead end. The entire week was telling me to get the fuck outta town. San Francisco had become my Shawshank. I needed immediate redemption. I called the one person who could help me. My Facebook friend up north. She put my stupid ass on a train heading towards the Canadian border. Soon enough, I would finally be meeting and hanging out and having fun with my biggest and most dedicated supporter, an advisor, a friend, a wise-woman and one of my biggest unwitting foes. The mysterious Rebecca Dangerfield.
Part Two of my Pacific Northwest Facebook Couch-Surfing Summer Adventure in the next Enjoy the Veal!
KURT WEITZMANN'S HYSTERICAL HISTORICAL SAN FRANCISCO - Reviewed 8-25-13
Trippy history; no overbite....
When I'm not falsely being accused of heckling comedians, I review them. And, as much as a person’s cologne, choice of pre-show music is always a clue to theme, viewpoint of life and if things are gonna stink or not. Upon arrival at The Shelton Theatre to see Kurt Weitzmann’s one-man show, “Hysterical Historical San Francisco,” the Stone’s Gimme Shelter indicated I wasn’t just dealing with another one-dimensional comedic thinker, who felt a compulsion to reveal his hip side of the truth like some sort of self-deluded charlatan medieval wizard or phony shaggy tie-wearing CNN political pundit: Oh, to the contrary. Aside from the absolute historical significance of said number (nearby famous outdoor Stones concert and legendary deadly tragedy at Altamont), Weitzmann’s show is truly about the absolute definition of shelter. Shelter from the wasteland of living in the sterilized now via ignorance of the past, shelter with the unique perspective of how San Francisco itself came to be to begin with, and shelter from the immaculate barrage of innocuous and meaningless one-man shows and live single-entity comedic theatre, more commonly known as "one-man shows". When the music stopped, the house lights went down like Molly Cyrus on a record exec and the stage is zapped like a microwaved dinner, stand-up comedian (and creator of the Hysterical Historical San Francisco) Kurt Weitzmann enters the arena like a Roman warrior turned banished Ivy League professor, fully costumed in an ill-fitting suit as a native hipster, his big brain and wide eyes conveniently resting ‘neath a really cool pork-pie hat. Asking if anybody in the crowd is from San Francisco (an indicator his show is a popular tourist distraction), Kurt explains this is, “My love story for San Francisco.” Indeed a man after my own heart; after all, I’ve fallen in and out of love with more world cities than unavailable nearly certifiable women. For the last year, “since I’ve been up here,” San Francisco has become my lesbian bitch.
Weitzmann’s opening gambit is insisting the history of San Francisco is, “So fucking weird,” then illustrates going back home to upstate New York on July 4, where and when he punks his father with the reveal that he’s gay, quietly underscoring the very definition of when cultural worlds collide. But, then Kurt immediately grabs back the comedy baton back from us by overly-personalizing even that convo: “I’m not gay, I just wanted to hurt my father…I’m kidding, I am gay.” A few more stand-up moments, including seeing a woman on the bus with a service dog, which leads to him taking care of a neighbor’s dog, who humps his leg (the dog, not the neighbor, I presume) then informing us he’s gonna start the show. This kind of hand-holding walk-through is the second thing I was impressed with.
PRESS QUOTE ALERT: "After all, Kurt Weitzmann is doing the most courageous thing a stand-up comedian can do, but only a few can do. He’s proving he’s not all stand-up and no jelly. He's informing the art-form itself." - Steven Alan Green, Enjoy the Veal, Jewish Journal.
Then again, Kurt’s day job is as a comedic cultural tour guide, taking outta-towners and locals alike on funny walking tours, produced by Robert Mac's Fun Foot walking tours. Kurt knows the terrain quite well.
Kurt time-travels us into classic cabaret, grabbing the mic and singing an original number, “This is Where I Belong,” all the while resting his tush on a barstool, swiveling like Barry Levinson’s Dave Garroway in Robert Redford’s 1994 film, “Quiz Show.” “Here’s something you’ll never hear on the streets of San Francisco…. ‘Gee! You don’t see THAT every day!’” As much as San Francisco is weird, apparently it was even weirder before, and that’s Kurt’s entire point. History offsets contemporary perception. Context is everything, which happens to be my mantra, especially when it comes to comedy, women and my own self-delusional ranting.
Kurt takes us back to Comedy Ground Zero: The Holy City Zoo, the legendary Clement Street comedy club where it all started: The San Francisco Comedy Big Bang in '79. Myron the Moron pretending to drink his own urine on stage was not the historical reference I expected, and yet, isn’t comedy all about taking the piss? Zooming us in and outta local history via his You Think THIS is Weird Way-Back Machine, the audience suddenly finds itself witnessing the 1849 Goldrush, the biggest peacetime migration to a “city without ever being a town.” The “49-ers” were so crazy, they came to the Bay Area from parts known, unknown and somewhat hoid of, literally from all over the world, some from 13,000 miles away, arriving and pitching a tent. Letting us smell the historical smorgasbord, Kurt throws out disconnected imagery of Carol Doda, “The Beast Lady,” Beat poet Alan Ginsberg and Twinkie Defense murderer Dan White. Yes. In a town which beams with pride from boasting the biggest crazies on the planet, even a psycho-murderer has cultural stature and a clean record. Flash and now Kurt sings “I Left My Heart…” (well, you know where) as some kind of new cheesy lounge singer by way of Marlon Brando when he was thin, sexy and still a respected actor. And, now, after a plethora of self-immolating layers and social conditioning, our tour of inhabitants and ghosts of the strangest city on the planet actually begins.
The jumping off point is this “trippy guy in the Haight”, a true Shakespearian ghoul, who carried a staff with a stuffed Mickey Mouse head, donned a purple Mohawk (the man, not the mouse, but maybe both), wore a black cape, leather pants. The usual. Mervin’s. But, then he suddenly disappears, reappearing ten years later, coincidentally conjoined with a woman dressed exactly the same, save for her cane was topped with Minnie Mouse, whom had a Mohawk as well. It’s great when disparate people can get along. Hysterical and historical; just as the label says. What was personally encouraging to this writer and comedy weirdo (meaning me) was the man in the cage who covered himself in tar and was rushed to the hospital, only to find himself starring in legitimate theatre as a singer, until a critic literally kicked him, upon which he realized his true god-stolen talent: He was oblivious to pain. He then walked around San Francisco, asking people to hit him for money.
“San Francisco: We love a freak show and we have an entire neighborhood devoted to it.”
Big Bertha was a con-artist, who took her “act” to the stage, virtually inventing the one-man show genre; until someone put her together with the aforementioned freak who could endure pain publically. Weitzmann takes us on a not-so-do-we-have-to-go-there little jaunt through the Tenderloin, which is not a cut of meat. With perfectly pitched lyrics, he tip-toes through the junkies and prostitutes, making sure to dole out equal amounts of love, respect and frontin’ to each and every not-so-innocent creature of god’s kingdom below Market Street, the Soup-Kitchen District.
Scholars love to hate one another and Weitzmann is once again way ahead of the curve of crazy history as he conjures up for us his, “favorite kook from history,” the legendary “Emperor Norton,” a British immigrant who lost millions in the rice trade, decided to settle in San Francisco, walked into the offices of the Examiner, declaring himself “Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico,” was given the keys to the city and got a law implemented fining you if you out-loudly referred to our fine metropolis as “Frisco.”
“We love our freaks…..If you’re looking for a group to blame, blame the Mormons…,” warns Kurt.
From Samuel Brannon declaring, “There’s gold!”, then cleaning up like a bandit by selling every panicked and greedy moron picks and shovels; to cultists Anton LeVay and Charles Manson; to the incredibly dangerous and corrupt Five-Points type criminal history of the Barbary Coast, where the gangs ran the San Francisco police; to the eponymous 1906 earthquake; to the Gay Movement, the Hippies, the Beats, drug use and on and on…..I knew I’d be laughing throughout, as Kurt is such a funny and inventive comedian, but I had no clue going into this show, that I would leave with a bigger brain, stuffed with useful and free information about the city I’ve now come to love and have taught to love me back. It took some spanking on both sides, but I think, ladies and transvestites, I finally have and can now safely call San Francisco, “Homo.” HOME! I meant, “home”! Shit, why do I do that…. Missing therapy I guess.
Catch Kurt Weitzmann’s Hysterical Historical San Francisco at The Shelton Theatre. It’s a very funny show that will change or confirm your point of view on life itself, no matter what city you claim to hail from. And, depending entirely on how much you are willing to examine, accept, and understand your own past. After all, whether we know it or not, our past – known or unknown to ourselves – understands us better than we can ever, full stop.
I give Kurt’s HHSF an unprecedented 107 outta 8 menorahs; but 99 of them belonging simply to the former existence of Emperor Norton.
Kurt Weitzmann is an award winning Director and playwright who has been performing Stand Up Comedy in San Francisco for over twenty years. His has been seen on Comedy Central and MTV, the HBO theater and The Comedy Central Stage. He has worked closely with such comedy luminaries as Robin Williams, Margaret Cho, Patton Oswalt, and Dave Thomas to name but a few.
Enjoy the veal,
Steven Alan Green
BETH LAPIDES DOES AS A COMEDY GODDESS DO
I suppose it's easy to fawn over the ones we like. And, if I were half the man that I think I am, I would wield my awesome power as writer of this here blog to corner the very sexy and smart Beth Lapides into my bedroom, only to gently tie her up in ribbons, then question her like a Tarantino Nazi on the secrets for which she so unvainly covets. Once I got my answer, I'd be outta there, searching for the best tongue burrito in Hollywood. The point is, my young and lovely ones, is that Beth Lapides, the creator of Uncabaret (the spawning ground of so much of the great contemporary comedy via Hollywood genius Sir Beth) is at it again and this time amping up the volume and meaning like George Clooney trying to ditch a blind date in outta space.
Three important "things," as it were.
First of all, Beth has a great new podcast. I highly recommend it. If you know what Beth does, you'll know I'm right. The key to getting the right answers is asking the right questions. Nobody does this as well as Beth. And, while I'm at it (long-distance ass-kissing someone I really respect and like), HOW 'BOUT HOLLYWOOD GIVING BETH A NETWORK OR CABLE TALK SHOW? Beth's guests on Uncabaret Unstage are, like her, simply top notch. Episode One Lily Taylor and, next week, Episode Two: Daniel Radcliffe, Mr. Harry Potter himself! Find it and subscribe in iTunes. CLICK HERE.
Secondly, UnCabaret's Say The Word at The Skirball Cultural Center. If you've ever seen Uncabaret, you know you're in for a real comedy treat, like the little bouncing doggies you all are. Join host Beth Lapides (UnCabaret) and special guest comedy writers and comedians Tim Bagley (Will and Grace, Monk), Kevin Nealon (Weeds, Saturday Night Live), Merrill Markoe (TV Nation), Dan Levy (The Office), Carlos Kotkin (author of God Please Let It Be Herpes), and Wendy Liebman, as they share comedic stories of weddings, funerals, graduations, birthday parties, and gatherings of a more clandestine sort. CLICK HERE
Thirdly (and hopefully not finally), Comedian's Way. When Beth Lapides runs a workshop, you can bet your balls or your nipples, they are more than worth it. It will change your life. For the better. Are you a comedian? Does your rabbi think you are? Doesn't matter. Nobody cares. Nobody, but Beth. For Writers Performers and Other Humans. Discover, Uncover and Recover Your 7th Sense, your Sense of Humor. 4 Mondays in November. For specific info about the Comedian's Way workshops, CLICK HERE.
Ready my Enjoy the Veal review of Beth's Uncabaret posted last November. CLICK HERE.
I will never cease my undying love for what Beth Lapides does for comedy, comedians and, by default, society. Thank you, Beth. You are the best!
Folks, I'm coming up on one year up here in San Francisco. I've made great strides, personal, professional and artistically. My radio show, Stage Time With Steven Alan Green, is doing great, is lots of fun and I'm learning a lot.
I went to Comedy Day for the first time. A 33-year old San Francisco celebration of stand-up comedy, that takes place every September in Golden Gate Park. Kinda like "the Woodstock of Comedy". Saw lots of great comedians who cut their teeth in San Francisco. Also, filming was comedian & filmmaker Michael Meehan, who was shooting a crowd scene for his comedy monster film, "Hey Monster! Hands off my City!" Comedian Kevin Meany played "the Mayor" and I played a news-reporter. It was great fun and I can't wait to see the final film! Pics of me with Meany and at Comedy Day with comedians Brian King and Paul Brumbaugh.
If anyone wants to assassinate me, I may be found at the premier of a film in which I kinda star in. "Archie Black: The Worst" is a mockumentary about "the world's worst comedian and human being" and guess who plays him. Conceptualized and directed by comedian/filmmaker Dave Sirus, Archie Black has loads of cameos by real and well-known and respected comedians, all talking shit about this guy Archie Black. The film premier is next week, Wednesday, November 6 in LA. More information CLICK HERE.
Danny & Silvia. I cannot say enough about Danny Dechi and Silvia Borelli. Both have invited me into their lovely home and are just the finest people you can ever hope to find. Danny is a comedian first and foremost (and the world's Number One Number Two Pencil Player...and extremely funny) and Silvia is a great person who is just genius at website design. One of these pictures on the left is of me, flanked by "Mr. Mystic" (a comedy magic act) and Danny.
I also started working for a temp agency. Here I am packing and moving files and boxes in a big San Francisco law firm. Loads of stories there. Most of them on my radio show.
My radio show. If there was a greater creative gift in my life, I know not where. Stage Time With Steven Alan Green is literally my pride and joy. I can't thank station general manager John Miller enough. The radio show has given my very basic desire and need to be heard in a creative way to fruition. And, thank you's to all who contribute on a regular basis to my show. From Tamsin Hollo, creating those wonderfully funny segments called "The Parallel Universe News Round-Up," to the aforementioned Dr. Marvin segment to Comedy History with Ritch Shydner. It's just all incredible, incredibly fun to do and leaves me incredibly proud. Remember, ladies and Germans, if you can find something you absolutely love to do without reservation, do it. That's what I finally got. I love writing this here blog, but the radio show? Oh, my generous god of all gods. I love doing the show. Hear it. You'll hear me kvell over it. Thank you John Miller. You are a tough cookie, but all it takes is dunking it in some milk and we're all good to go. Listen to Stage Time With Steven Alan Green.
I'm wearing tights almost every day. I don't know why, other than I couldn't find the kind of black trousers I wanted in the charity shops, saw the tights in a hippy clothing shop in the Haight and bought 'em. Aside from some occasional heat rash caused by friction and the occasional weird stare at my personal package (I need a long tunic), wearing tights is a good thing. Warm and basically like bicycle pants. I dig 'em. And, trust me. I didn't wear the tights at the law firm. That would be nothing less than handing someone a subpoena that wouldn't stand up in court.
Enjoy the veal, ladies and germs.
Good to be back.
FACEBOOK TWEETS OF THE PAST FEW WEEKS:
My stand-up nickname is "The Unibomber".
Was going to watch Saturday Night Live, but I decided to watch comedy instead.
Al Gore's claim that Global Warming is a very real and dangerous thing reminds me that I gotta find a job.
OUT OF WORK HITMAN: "Who do I have to kill to get a break in this business?"
I lived through the Great Comedy Famine of 2013.
Alas. Finally a funeral home that thinks outta the box.
President Obama is the best president we never had.
First of all, when I told you I was doing lots of drugs, don't believe me. I will say almost anything when I'm high.
I've never done anything wrong in my entire life. I'm a Republican.
Ever notice since everyone has camera-phones, there are hardly anymore UFO sightings?
Don't forget to deduct the government shut down days on your next tax return.
The Kenyan shopping mall massacre was a horrible tragedy no doubt. The media reports that one of the terrorists was a woman. Not surprising. This wouldn't be the first time women attacked a shopping mall.
Dismissing Obamacare because the website sucks is like dismissing your wife because she doesn't.
The Laughter Foundation fully supports the right of clowns to marry.
I've made more new friends than I've lost on Facebook. Which just proves friendship is deleting.
Comedy Returns to the El Rio. Comedians Micia Mosely, David Hawkins, Sampson McCormick, Emily Epstein White, and Lisa Geduldig. Presented by Kung Pao Kosher Comedy. Monday, November 11, 2013 @ 8pm. El Rio, 3158 Mission Street @ Precita, SF. Ticket info
Danny Dechi Comedy: My comedy hat is never on when I talk about Danny Dechi. Comedian, actor (who briefly appears in the new Woody Allen Film, Blue Jasmine), and comedy promoter extraordinaire. Self-Billed as "the World's Number One Number Two Pencil Musician," Danny comes from the classic showbiz impresario business and artists model. Danny produces several monthly comedy nights in San Francisco, giving newer comedians a break, as well as maintaining a favourite spot for well-established headliners, such as Barry Sobel and Bob Sarlatte, to work out. Check out this month's complete schedule of Danny Dechi Comedy by CLICKING HERE.
Barbary Coast Comedy — Thursdays at 7PM The Legionnaire Saloon, 2272 Telegraph, Uptown Oakland, barbarycoastcomedy.com - RECOMMENDED!
Valerie Branch is a really good, talented, veritile, audience friendly, plug n play Bay Area comedian. And, like your never humble scribe, she produces comedy shows and has a radio show at Fccfreeradio. Since I'm running out of available blog space, I've simply put the links to the Facebook pages for each comedy show Valerie produces. Check 'em out; you won't be disappointed, I promise you that! LOL COMEDY SHOWCASE, LAUGHS AT THE LOOKOUT, and SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT - VAL'S PODCAST
I Eat People Like YOU for Breakfast! @ The Marsh - Yes, yes, I will continue to talk about this one. Click here, learn more, buy tickets, there are no droids on this planet.
Top Tune: November 2nd. Louise Goffin, Gary Shapiro and Van Dyke Parks! Tom Tully and Jonathan Menchin's earlier incardnation was Top Tale, reviewed in ETV July 2012. "Top Tune is on its way to greatness!" - Steven Alan Green, Enjoy the Veal, Jewish Journal.
Beth Lapides. - See all above with links. Thanks. - EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!!
A special comedy shout-out to my very talented friend, stand-up comedian and professional clown, Robin Roberts. Robin's got a lot going on, including: Hosting benefit for educateakid.org at the Peacock Restaurant in Diamond Bar, CA on Saturday, November 2; Guest on "Brief Interviews with the Opposite Sex" podcast hosted by Paul Goebel on Friday, November 8, briefinterviewswiththeoppositesex.libsyn.com; Hosting comedy show at Ice House Stage 2 in Pasadena, CA on Sunday, November 17; Roasting a woman at her 50th birthday party on Saturday, December 14, at the Hotel Laguna in Laguna Beach, CA.
ODDZ 'N ENDZ:
Writer Liz Leshin interviews some of the Power Jewesses impacting life and community in Los Angeles now in this month's online edition of Lilith.com. Liz Leshin is a Los Angeles based writer, filmmaker, fundraiser and jewelry designer.
Okay, I can't hold it in any longer. Have to pish this one out. Just a dribble. Okay, okay. Here's what I'm working on...
A fully printed magazine (two staples, front and back glossy cover), 48 pages, 12 pages of advertising. It's gonna be "The Rolling Stone of Comedy". I've got a top photo editor, contributors and we're gonna fund the first run by producing a benefit at a theatre here in San Francisco in the spring. Larf Magazine. Comedy Taken Seriously.
LOSS OF A SEMI-LOVABLE LOSER: Stand-up comedian Monty Hoffman (picture left) passed away a week ago. I got to know Monty a little bit, when I was bicycling up to the Melrose Improv. He was the quintessential comic's comic, with more off-stage stories than Janis Joplin and a razor sharp comedy mind that always delivered, even to the toughest crowds. Monty was the kind of comedian I wished I was. Not the person, the comedian. Here's a deserving tribute to the late great Monty Hoffman. God bless you, sir. CLICK HERE FOR MONTY HOFFMAN TRIBUTE
Finally folks, check out this short video done by friend and videographer Randy Balluff. It's a thumbnail on my radio show. And, read John Fleming's blog, all about yours falsely doing a monster film. And, please check our Randy's very interesting Kickstarter project. I have full faith Randy can deliver. See you again in a few weeks. Take care of each other and don't forget to laugh. It might just save your life one day.
SAG 10/27/13, SF