Trivia Against Humanity

Unconventional, interactive, absurd. A trivia night like none other. Join host Sam Spadino and special guests as they bring you the newest game night in the Twin Cities.

Points for your knowledge of the weirder sides of pop culture and points for funny answers to questions you don’t know.

Bring a team to Clockwerks Brewing for awesome prizes, hilarious hosts, and delicious eats and drinks.

Trivia Against Humanity

Unconventional, interactive, absurd. A trivia night like none other. Join host Sam Spadino and special guests as they bring you the newest game night in the Twin Cities.

Points for your knowledge of the weirder sides of pop culture and points for funny answers to questions you don’t know.

Bring a team to Clockwerks Brewing for awesome prizes, hilarious hosts, and delicious eats and drinks.

Trivia Against Humanity

Unconventional, interactive, absurd. A trivia night like none other. Join host Sam Spadino and special guests as they bring you the newest game night in the Twin Cities.

Points for your knowledge of the weirder sides of pop culture and points for funny answers to questions you don’t know.

Bring a team to Clockwerks Brewing for awesome prizes, hilarious hosts, and delicious eats and drinks.

Trivia Against Humanity

Unconventional, interactive, absurd. A trivia night like none other. Join host Sam Spadino and special guests as they bring you the newest game night in the Twin Cities.

Points for your knowledge of the weirder sides of pop culture and points for funny answers to questions you don’t know.

Bring a team to Clockwerks Brewing for awesome prizes, hilarious hosts, and delicious eats and drinks.

Trivia Against Humanity

Unconventional, interactive, absurd. A trivia night like none other. Join host Sam Spadino and special guests as they bring you the newest game night in the Twin Cities.

Points for your knowledge of the weirder sides of pop culture and points for funny answers to questions you don’t know.

Bring a team to Clockwerks Brewing for awesome prizes, hilarious hosts, and delicious eats and drinks.

Urban comedy takes center stage in Twin Cities

The Baddies Comedy Co. owners (L to R) Bruce Williams, Brandon Riddley, and Pierre Douglas

The Baddies Comedy Co. owners (L to R) Bruce Williams, Brandon Riddley, and Pierre Douglas

On a Friday night in St. Paul, the newest comedy club in town, Baddie’s Comedy Co., is packed to capacity. On stage, comedian KJay is absolutely destroying, and the laughter is so loud that you’d think there were well over 130 people inside.

Since opening back in February of this year, Baddie’s has created a place for black and urban comedians to get stage time, while giving audiences an opportunity to experience a new group of comedians they may not have seen at other area clubs.

With how comedy-rich we are in the Twin Cities, between clubs, open mics, and showcases, the idea of not being able to find a place to perform seems nearly impossible. But according to Shed G, on-air personality at KMOJ and one of the best-known comedians in Minnesota, that is exactly the situation he found himself in when he moved to Minnesota back in 2013.

“It was hard for us to get into a lot of these clubs because of nepotism,” Shed says of the challenges he and other black and urban comedians faced.

Shed was able to help change that after a chance encounter with comedian Mike Brody during House of Comedy’s amateur night.

“I went there and Mike gave me three minutes, and I destroyed those three minutes,” he says. “Then I came back the next week and did seven and destroyed that too.”

His performance, along with his understanding of how untapped the urban comedy scene was in Minnesota, led to the creation of the KMOJ Comedy Series, which took place on the third Wednesday of the month at House of Comedy. The series allowed for some of the best national urban comedians to make their very first appearances in the Twin Cities.

“They were doing 20 to 30 people there on a Wednesday before, to doing 150 to 300 people consistently,” says Shed.

Comedian Shed G performing at Rick Bronson's House of Comedy at the Mall Of America // Photo via Shed G's Facebook page

Comedian Shed G performing at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy at the Mall Of America // Photo via Facebook

Today, Shed has moved the monthly showcase to Minneapolis’ Parkway Theater, in an effort to continue to expand the opportunities for both local and urban comics.

“Minnesota is one of the top spots for comedy,” he says. “But urban comics don’t get booked, unless you were on ‘Last Comic Standing or you’re a celebrity like a Jay Pharoah or something. But honestly, I know a lot of the funniest comedians out there who destroy these mega stars, but don’t’ get the exposure. Now, with the House of Comedy, Parkway, and what they’re doing at Baddie’s we’re getting more exposure for everyone. I say the more the merrier.”

While there is a clear benefit for national headliners looking for places to perform in Minnesota, the opportunity for local comedians to get stage time has improved as well.

According to Pierre Douglas, who owns Baddie’s along with fellow comedians Brandon Riddley and Bruce Williams, the initial goal of opening their own club was to provide new opportunities to developing local talents.

“The goal of Baddie’s is to bring in new people who have either never really tried comedy themselves, or who don’t feel like there are any rooms or nights to see urban comedians,” he says.

Since opening its doors, the club has booked hometown comedians such as Alvin Irby, Earl Elliot, and even Shed G himself. Though the idea of putting the spotlight on the established comedians in town is great, Shed believes that the real benefit is opening things up for a new group of potential performers.

Comedian Pierre Douglas performing at Rick Bronson's House of Comedy // Photo via Facebook

Comedian Pierre Douglas performing at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy // Photo via Facebook

“People see that the crowds are showing up, and they’re coming out of the woodwork to try it [stand-up],” he says. “Comedy is about being able to relate to people and we’ve created a place where new comedians feel more relatable.”

The national comedy scene has begun to take notice of the growing urban comedy trend, as Kevin Hart, arguably the biggest star in comedy today, is bringing his Comedy Central show, “Hart of the City,” to Minnesota this summer for a taping. The show spotlights up-and-coming comedians in established and emerging comedy towns. Shed was contacted by the producers earlier this year about filming, and recommended they use Baddie’s.

Although many people associate Hart with urban comedy, Shed is quick to point out that he put the word out to the Minnesota comedy scene as a whole, letting them know about the opportunity and how they could audition.

“I put the word out to all of the comics, and we probably had about five non-African American comics audition,” he says. “To me, that says we have work to do in terms of integrating our comedy scene. In comedy, you see a lot of cliques and I don’t like that. I believe in unity. Funny isn’t a clique. When you’re on stage, no one cares what clique you’re with. Funny is funny.”

For now, the guys from Baddie’s, along with Shed and others locally who are paving the way for more Twin Cities urban comedy, take pride in the fact that their influence is spreading and promoters are taking notice.

“There is a void, to be honest,” Shed says speaking both as a comedian and as a comedy fan. “But we’re showing people that we’re marketable, funny, and that we have followers.”

Trivia Against Humanity

Unconventional, interactive, absurd. A trivia night like none other. Join host Sam Spadino and special guests as they bring you the newest game night in the Twin Cities.

Points for your knowledge of the weirder sides of pop culture and points for funny answers to questions you don’t know.

Bring a team to Clockwerks Brewing for awesome prizes, hilarious hosts, and delicious eats and drinks.

Trivia Against Humanity

Unconventional, interactive, absurd. A trivia night like none other. Join host Sam Spadino and special guests as they bring you the newest game night in the Twin Cities.

Points for your knowledge of the weirder sides of pop culture and points for funny answers to questions you don’t know.

Bring a team to Clockwerks Brewing for awesome prizes, hilarious hosts, and delicious eats and drinks.

Bank robbers, prostitutes, and gang members share stories for a new podcast with comedian Gabe Noah

“Profession Confession” is a new podcast from local comedian Gabe Noah // Image via Professions Confession Facebook

A bank robber, a male prostitute, and a gang member sit down with a comedian and share their most insane and personal stories.

This isn’t a joke; it’s a new podcast that launched earlier this month.

Local comedy standout Gabe Noah’s “Profession Confession” podcast is exactly what it sounds like. Each episode, Noah finds people from non-traditional professions that involve death, crime, violence, and sex, and interviews them about their experiences.

“I don’t remember when I came up with the idea, but it was one of those ideas that just wouldn’t go away,” Noah says of the podcast’s origins. “I was the typical kid from a good family who was always drawn to the wrong people, places, things, substances, subversive literature, films, humor, or anything else that was taboo or sick or dumb.”

Eventually, Noah himself stepped off the straight and narrow path into darker territory.

“I moved to Los Angeles to do comedy, but ended up getting hooked on heroin and started a three-year slide that ended back in my parent’s basement at 28 years old,” he says. “I guess this show is just a way for me to go back to that era without losing my wife and child.”

The show itself is an insanely fascinating dive into some of the most unspeakable careers and lifestyles that most of us could only dream about. According to Noah, the guests’ identities are protected so that they can speak freely.

“I wanted it to be like having beers after work and hearing the stories that [the guests] only tell each other,” Noah says. “I’ve always found that people who deal with these kinds of topics always have the best sense of humor, and I think people can tell that we’re not judging them or offending them in anyway.”

When it came time to turn his vision into a reality, Noah reached out to local radio personality Tom Barnard, whose podcast network includes notable Twin Cities personalities like TD Mischke and L.A. Nik.

Barnard, who is well-known as a friend of the local and national comedy scenes, had hosted Noah on his show several times, and after a meeting between Noah and Barnard’s show manager, Tevin Pittman, they decided the show would be a fit for his network.

Then came the fun part: choosing the guests.

Noah has already taped nearly a dozen episodes of the podcast, all of which are unique and engaging in their own way. But there are a handful of guests who stand out the most.

“We had a drug trafficker for The Crips who educated us about Minneapolis gang territory, local drug trafficking, prostitution, ‘Cripnics,’ and much more. We also had the Skyway bank robber. That was really interesting. He robbed 11 banks (focused on downtown Minneapolis) and went to jail for nine years. And then there was the male prostitute who is gay for pay but claims he isn’t gay. He is still genuinely conflicted and does not hide it. That was really, really fun.”

While Noah is the constant presence for each episode, he often has fellow standup comedians stop by to co-host, adding to the insanity of each episode.

The first four episodes are available to listen to right now and new episodes will be released each week.

Noah says he has hopes of finding even more interesting professions for upcoming episodes, with a “dream list” that includes prison guards, high-end prostitutes, and FBI profilers. For now, however, he’s excited to simply start sharing these stories with the world.

“Obvious the show is new, but I’m really happy that it has become what I originally envisioned: people telling fucked up stories and us making some pretty dark jokes without derailing or upsetting the guests,” he says. “The chemistry has been really fun and natural, and I think people are really going to be into it.”

5 local comedians to watch in 2017

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Clockwise from top left, our local comedians to watch in 2017 are Shelly Paul, Turner Barrowman, Linda Aarons, Chloe Radcliffe, and Ali Sultan

There’s no doubt that 2016 was a weird year. But if there was one redeeming quality to our last revolution around the sun, it was the continued explosion of our local comedy scene.

Many of the Twin Cities’ most popular and reliable comedians made the move towards national stardom, moving to Los Angeles and New York to pursue the next phase of their careers. From seeing favorites like Steve Gillespie and Mary Mack annihilate the audience on “Conan,” or continuing to watch the meteoric rise of Andy Erickson, who joined the star-studded cast of Fox’s horror comedy “Scream Queens,” homegrown talent continued to stake their claim as the best in the country.

In their afterglow, the next group of up-and-coming comedians have been sharpening their skills and preparing to carry the torch. These are five of the best that you need to keep an eye on in 2017.

Chloe Radcliffe

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Chloe Radcliffe

Chloe Radcliffe might just be the funniest second-place comedian in all of Minnesota.

In past couple of years,  she was a finalist in comedy contests at Acme Comedy Company, Sisyphus Brewing, and Joke Joint Comedy Club, placing second in two out of three. And while her resume may not have a fancy “champion” stamp on it, Radcliffe is a straight-up comedy destroyer no matter where she performs.

“I’ve been on stage my whole life in theater, speech, debate, and improv,” she says of her performing roots. “I got laid off from a grown-up job in 2015 and decided I wanted to get back into performance, but didn’t think I’d land in stand-up. I tried it more to ‘check it off’ than anything, but that first time I did an open mic at Acme, I realized that stand-up is super similar to speech.”

Radcliffe was quickly smitten with the spotlight, and considers herself to be at home when she’s on stage solo. This past year she’s done stand-up in front of crowds of all sizes, including getting a guest set from TJ Miller at the House of Comedy.

“It always feels really good to work with a major national name and have a great set,” she recalls. “I was very proud of having a strong performance that night and dissecting the show with him later.”

Related post: Sisyphus Brewing is going all in on comedy

Still, Radcliffe doesn’t let a win go to her head, and is good at bringing herself back to a humble place of growth.

“One of my best friends reminded me after that it’s not hard to have a great five-minute set in a sold-out room. Sure, those five minutes feel nice, but now get back to work, Radcliffe,” she says. “Sometimes my friends’ advice and my inner monologue blend together.”

In addition to her improving her stand-up chops, Radcliffe is also beefing up her improv skills, having performed at alt-comedy showcase Boy Kisses alongside fellow comedian Pat Susmilch, and recently hosting a sketch show in her own home.

But 2017 is all about growth for Radcliffe.

“I want my joke writing to keep getting better in significant measure. I have a couple jokes that I’m confident can ‘crush’ in any room, but I want to write a half hour of those jokes,” she says.

If you get the chance to see her this year, do it, because 2016’s favorite runner-up might just be 2017’s comedy MVP.

Where can you see her next?

Next page: Shelly Paul

Sisyphus Brewing is going all in on comedy

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Corey Adam performs in the Sisyphus Brewing comedy room // Photo courtesy of Sisyphus

After spending nearly three years as a performer on the local Twin Cities standup comedy scene, Sam Harriman came to the realization that making a living doing comedy wasn’t going to be easy, and decided to pursue a different passion: brewing.

That led to the birth of Sisyphus Brewing, which has become a popular brewery in Minneapolis’ increasingly crowded craft beer and taproom scene. While Sisyphus has continued to enjoy growth and success for the past couple of years, Harriman has never lost sight of his comedy roots. Right from the get-go, the taproom began hosting weekly comedy shows, giving people more reason to come through the doors, and giving comedians a new venue to gain stage time.

Despite the fact that these early shows were comprised of a makeshift stage, awkward seating arrangement, and not what anyone would consider a “traditional” comedy room look or feel, those they were often times packed to capacity, creating the unmistakable energy of a real comedy venue instead of a converted performance space. Local standouts like Chris Knutson, who held an album release party for his debut comedy album at the brewery, immediately gravitated to Sisyphus thanks to its “smart” comedy crowds, and understanding of how comedy should be presented.

SisyphusComedy2“I knew that I didn’t want us to be a brewery that just happened to do comedy on the side. If we were going to do it, we were going to do it right,” Harriman says. “I know that craft beer is cool now, but who knows if that’ll be true in five years. I wanted comedy to be a focus of our space as opposed to a sideshow, as a way to continue bringing in new people.”

This past summer, Sisyphus took the next step in fusing the brewery with comedy when they opened an 88-person comedy room, which resembles a trimmed-down version of any of the big clubs in town. The stage is elevated and well-lit, the layout of the chairs and tables focuses the audience’s attention squarely on the performer, and the spacing allows for people to come and go as needed, without disrupting the entire show happening in front of them. These may all seem like no-brainers, but go check out a show at Acme and then visit a bar that hosts a “comedy night” and you’ll quickly see how the devil is in the details.

Because of the comedy-friendly layout, more and more fans began packing the space as the allure of a brewery where you can do more than just drink became instantly appealing. Similarly, comedians began to spread the word about the newest club in the comedy-rich Twin Cities, giving Harriman some much-deserved street credit amongst his former peers.

One of those peers was Cy Amundson, who has grown from local comedy favorite to big time national headliner. Amundson popped into the brewery looking to book a single show. Once he saw the space, however, he decided he wanted to assist in building the club.

“Cy has been a huge help,” Harriman says. “He wanted to do a one-night show and loved it. Then he started reaching out to some of the headliners across the country who he knows and getting them in. They’ve all said they loved the room and really appreciate that it’s set up for comedy.”

Some of those acts have included national headliners like Dave Waite, Aparna Nancherla, and Greg Warren, in addition to local standouts like Mike Brody, Corey Adam, and Maggie Faris.

Harriman says that the turnout for the shows has matched the quality of the performers, with shows regularly selling out.

“The turnouts have been great and the crowds have been phenomenal,” he says. “We do an open mic Thursday nights that has really been growing, and I’m excited that we’re finding a real comedy audience.”

While his business continues to thrive and the Sisyphus name has become more well-known with casual beer drinkers, Harriman says that the performing bug hasn’t left his system just yet.

“I have ambitions of doing it again,” he laughs. “I like still having a connection to that world, but I do miss actually getting on stage.”

Whether he’s genuine in his dreams of staging a comeback or merely waxing nostalgic from behind the curtain, the reality is that Harriman has already established Sisyphus as one of the very top venues for live comedy in Minneapolis, as well as arguably the very best entertainment-related brewery in town. As for his plans and aspirations for the space, Harriman has his sights set on growing the comedy space both in terms of talent and reputation.

“I mean, this is never going to be Acme, but if this place could bring in the kind of performers and crowds then maybe we can be like a mini-Acme.”

Based on the consistency of the crowds, the quality of the performers, and the early success Harriman has experienced over these past several months, this is a very realistic goal, and one that can hopefully allow him to merge his two dream jobs into one hilarious, beer-soaked comedy haven.

Check Sisyphus’ Facebook page for upcoming stand-up performances and open mic nights.

Patton Oswalt on stand-up, Twitter beefs, and a ‘Mysterious’ reboot

Comedian Patton Oswalt

Comedian Patton Oswalt

Despite the fact that some standup comedians manage to become A-List mega-stars (e.g. Amy Schumer, Louis CK, Kevin Hart, etc.), the reality is that even the most well-known comics see their popularity plateau at some point. Patton Oswalt is one of the few comedians who has managed to avoid this trap.

He’s done so by finding new venues for his comedy including TV (he can be seen in the brilliant Netflix original “Lady Dynamite,” and does the voiceover for ultra-‘80s nostalgia fest “The Goldbergs”), movies (he recently appeared in “Keeping Up with the Joneses”) and using his sharp wit on Twitter.

Despite his reputation for self-deprecating humor, unflinchingly honest critiques of human behavior, and commentary on ‘80s music and scary movies, Oswalt has used his notoriety to lend a powerful voice to issues ranging from politics to human rights.

Despite struggling through the personal tragedy of his wife’s death in April, the comedian experience professional success this year with an Emmy for his incredible stand-up special, “Talking for Clapping,” and the news that he would join the “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” reboot as TV’s Son of TV’s Frank. At the end of the day, however, he’s still a normal guy who enjoys ranting about “Star Wars” and ‘80s nostalgia.

This Friday, November 11, Oswalt will visit the Mystic Showroom at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel for a night full of witty, snarky, and nerdy stand-up for diehard Oswalt-maniacs and newbies alike. Before his visit, we chatted with the comic about managing audience expectations, Twitter-feuding with self-proclaimed “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, and the upcoming “MST3K” reboot (spoiler: he wouldn’t spill).

The Growler: You seem to always have something going on with TV, movies, stand-up, etc. What’s been your main priority recently?

Patton Oswalt: I’ve just been trying to get back on stage and do more [stand-up] sets. I’ve done some guest spots, some TV and movies. But I’m really not committed to anything really specific right now.

G: What about the new “MST3K”? Is that coming along?

PO: I can tell you that I’m done filming my episodes, but I can’t tell you anything else.

G: Was the experience of being a part of “MST3K” everything you thought it would be?

PO: It was incredible. I really enjoyed it. But again, I can’t tell you anything else.

G: Switching gears, of everything you’ve done this year my favorite has to be the Twitter fight you had in September with Martin Shkreli [the self-proclaimed “Pharma Bro,” best known as the guy who upped the price of a drug used by AIDS patients from $13.50 a pill to $750. A real peach. Click here to read about the fight]. Do you think that Twitter has given guys like him a platform to try and “create” personas? Or do they just show the world what these people are really like?

PO: That guy is just someone who wants attention. He thinks that just because he’s rich that makes him funny and clever; he’s just not. That’s the thing: being rich doesn’t make you cool. You have to be cool first. All Twitter does is give people more access to people. If someone is awful, they’re awful no matter what the platform.

G: After winning the Emmy earlier this year, do you feel like audiences have greater expectations for your stand-up when they see you live?

PO: Honestly, the best thing for an audience is to have no expectations going in. That’s how comedy works best: if they have zero expectations for me, the same way I go in with zero expectations for them.

 

If You Go:

Patton Oswalt
Mystic Lake Casino
Friday, November 11
$35, 8pm
Click here for details

Tickets still available: Sisyphus Comedy and Taste Of The Nation

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Two events happening this weekend for your consideration:

Ahmed Bharoocha at Sisyphus Brewing (Friday-Saturday)

If you’ve never seen a comedy show at Sisyphus Brewing, then you’ve been missing out. The stage half of the Downtown West taproom has become one of the best comedy venues in town, and this weekend’s headliner should prove that without a doubt.

Ahmed Bharoocha has been featured, among other places, on Conan and Adam Devine’s House Party. He’ll play four shows this weekend at Sisyphus, Friday and Saturday, 8pm and 10pm. Tickets are $10.

Taste of the Nation Minneapolis (Sunday)

There may not be a single culinary event in the Twin Cities that gets our star chefs to align like Taste of the Nation, a benefit for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Guests will enjoy a five-course meal with drink pairings at the Loews Hotel downtown, made table-side by one of the top chefs in the Metro. The event will also include a silent auction and among the lots up for bidding, a private in-home concert from Jeremy Messersmith with appetizers prepared by Upton 43. Only 10 tickets remain ($250) for this wonderful benefit to end child hunger.


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Maria Bamford on coming home, ‘Lady Dynamite,’ & portrayals of mental illness

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Minnesota-native Maria Bamford will return home for two shows at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 20 // Photo courtesy of Maria Bamford

When you’ve had a career as long and successful as Maria Bamford, it can be difficult to choose a “best” year. That said, 2016 has likely been Maria Bamford’s best year in comedy.

Her highly anticipated Netflix show, “Lady Dynamite,” premiered back in July and has already been picked up for a second season. The semi-autobiographical comedy gave fans a look into her history, including experiences with TV, comedy, and mental health. In the meantime, Bamford is keeping herself busy on the road, continuing to tour and build on her career that has spanned more than 25 years.

This week, the Minnesota-native will come back home for two shows at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. Before she brings her irreverent sense of humor and seemingly unlimited arsenal of voices and impersonations to the stage, we chatted with the comedian about the current state of her life, career and summer vacation.

Growler Magazine: With the Minneapolis shows being almost sold out, do you feel more pressure performing locally, or do you feel more at ease since fans are clearly excited to see you based on reputation alone?

Maria Bamford: Shows are so much better with the internet! Everyone knows what they are coming to see and there is less chance of raging disappointment. I feel a little anxious when I perform in Duluth. I fear being rejected there more than other places, but almost everywhere I go right now is a wonderful experience.

GM: With all of your TV work lately, is it tough to find time to work on new material?

MB: I try to keep it to one activity per day. I’ve never been a fast, prolific writer—I have five albums in 25 years. Slow and steady goes the tortoise. I’m focusing more on spending time with family and friends rather than creativity and work.

GM: Speaking of TV work, there was a ton of anticipation around “Lady Dynamite” and the reception has been very positive. What is it that makes this show different/unique/special to you, compared to other shows you’ve done?

MB: It was extremely exciting to me—to be the “star” and to work with people who are so hardworking and talented and experienced. It was truly a group effort and I’m still amazed that it all came together.

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Maria Bamford // Photo courtesy of Maria Bamford

GM: In regards to the mental health aspects of the show, how important was it to you to show people the reality of mental illness and treatment while balancing the entertainment value (basically, not making it crazy-depressing)?

MB: I was worried when they put the games and vision boards into the scenes—because the facilities I was in did not have planned activities and were in no way therapeutic beyond being a holding tank to get stabilized on meds and not hurt yourself or anyone else. There was concern that that might be—as you say—crazy-depressing, but I think there was some good representation of the emptiness, nothingness of being inside of a psych ward. We couldn’t have dogs visit, there weren’t any relationships to be had amongst patients because everyone is doing so poorly, and it is so hilariously depressing inside most hospitals—it’s really hard to capture on screen. A long line of people in gowns waiting at a thick glass nursing station for a single packet of graham crackers at 8pm, broken chairs, puzzles missing pieces, a big screen TV with poor reception playing Ultimate Fighting [Championship], and no one can turn down the volume because the remote has been lost: it’s bad.

GM: Aside from touring and filming, what else are you doing with the rest of your summer?

MB: Going up to Duluth! Napping! Partying! Chitchatting!


If You Go

Maria Bamford
The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis
Saturday, August 20
7 p.m. (SOLD OUT) & 9:30 p.m.
Click here for tickets and more info

Kathy Griffin dishes celebrity dirt, offers tips for Pride newcomers

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Kathy Griffin will perform at Orchestra Hall during this week’s Twin Cities Pride festivities // Photo courtesy of Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin is used to having the biggest personality in the room. But during Pride weekend, even she knows that she has work cut out for her.

“Doing Pride, I’m out there trying to compete with boys in thongs,” she says. “But that’s what makes gay audiences the best; you can’t shake them.”

This week, Griffin will be a part of the massive Pride festivities when she brings her #LikeABoss tour to Orchestra Hall.

“This is going to be such a different tone for what that place is used to,” she laughs. “You’re going to be able to spend a night in this beautiful Orchestra Hall and listen to me talk shit.”

With more than 20 standup specials to her name, a slew of TV hosting gigs, reality shows, and a Grammy, it’s safe to say that when Griffin talks shit, people listen. She’s made a career out of being unapologetically raunchy, raw and real, but even she says that the Pride crowd can put her on her (likely fabulous) heels.

“Let’s talk about the Minneapolis gay community, shall we?” she says. “Pride weekend is all about gay boys dancing all over the place, it’s too hot outside, and they’re drinking all day. It’s fucking treacherous. Then, you get people heckling and passing out. I actually had to stop my show one time and tell the crowd to help some guy who had passed out standing up.”

Always a pro, however, Griffin says she is prepared for whatever this weekend throws at her.

“Let me tell you, I’ve been on 10 gay cruises. I’ve seen almost everything,” she continues. “I’ve seen hot tubs that looked like egg drop soup, so you can’t scare me. And not I’m not holding back, either.”

Additionally, Griffin is a rare breed of performer who is able to absolutely decimate celebrities while maintaining her charm and likeability.

“When celebrities are talking to me, they’ll ask me, ‘Are you going to put this in your act?’ Of course I’m going to put it in,” she says. “Sometimes they (celebrities) will see me coming and everyone goes, ‘Oh shit.’ I get that a lot.”

Her new show, she promises, will include all-new anecdotes and good old-fashioned gossip.

“I’ve got a bunch of Donald Trump stories,” she says excitedly. “I’ve known him for 20 years, but I never bothered telling any of these stories because they were never relevant before now. I’ve also got new stories about Wayne Gretzky, Sean Penn; it’s a comedy bonanza of new stuff.”

Never one for keep a good story under wraps, Griffin insists that she hasn’t showed all of her cards just yet, as she is preparing to release a new book this December that will be packed with tales of her celebrity run-ins. This includes her “New Year’s Eve Live” co-host Anderson Cooper, who she has helped ring in the New Year for the better part of a decade.

“My book is going to have a lot of behind the scenes dirt, including what Anderson Cooper is really into when the cameras aren’t rolling,” she insists. “You know I’m not holding anything back.” When asked if there has ever been a celebrity who she has pushed too hard, or who had the guts to push back, there’s one name that immediately comes to mind.

“I was somewhere once and Maria Shriver—who I’m thinking hates me—sits down right next to me and says, ‘Do you think I give a shit about you and your jokes? You’re sitting with me.”

As for her plans for when she’s in town this week, Griffin has some words of advice for Pride first-timers.

“You’ll never find a better place for people watching,” she says. “I’m not one to hide out; I’m known to walk amongst the people. Pride really is the only place I want to perform.”

If You Go