Things we talked about:
Things we talked about:
One of Utah’s top comedic talents, Steve Soelberg, joined me in the studio to talk about the latest happenings in his career, his take on writing clean comedy, and even his dating life.
Follow Steve and get updates about upcoming shows here:
John Hilder, a brilliant stand up comic from Las Vegas, joined me in the studio to talk about his first time, Robin Williams, and why comedy worries his mother.
Hilder keeps a busy schedule, touring nationally. Connect with John here to find out where he’ll be performing next: https://www.facebook.com/johnhilder
Have you ever heard of a Hang? It’s pronounced “hong”, looks like a UFO, and is the youngest new musical instrument on the scene. The Hang was invented in 2000 by a couple of engineers. Despite it’s newness, it creates sounds that hearken to much older times. Hang player Ben Dieterle joined us to play the Hang and shared a lot of fascinating information about it.
Ben will be performing at Poplar Street Pub in Salt Lake City on Saturday, 23 Aug at 4pm. 242 South 200 West.
Check out more of Ben’s music at www.RedHang.com
More info on these instruments and the hilarious controversy surrounding them:
SLC comedian Jamie Maxfield came by to talk shop today. We discussed the merrits of adoption, what it’s like when everyone hates your jokes, and waxed sentimental about Dr. Demento.
Jamie hosts a monthly comedy show at All Stars Sports Bar & Grill in Toole. The next show is on May 3 7pm ; $5 at the door. He hosts a podcast about comedy writing, “Where’s The Punch Podcast”, available on iTunes.
Check him out online at www.jamiemaxfieldcomedy.com
A few links from the monologue:
Utah comic Christian Pieper joined me today to talk shop. Christian just returned from a 3 week Armed Forces Entertainment European tour. He hosts the weekly open mic night at Wiseguys comedy. We had a fantastic conversation ranging from philosophy, to religious literature, to pickup artists, to why Louis C.K. is smarter than most people realize.
Marcus, the comedian from NBC’s Last Comic Standing, joined me in the studio today to talk about comedy and his new webseries, Ghost Hopping. Marcus is a consumate performer. I went to his stand up show last week and was impressed by his control of the crowd, his easy going yet authoritative demeanor on stage, and the blend of real moments with good hard laughs. Toward the end of the show, he re-introduced his opener / friend / partner in comedy, Guy Seidel, with whom he launched into a performance of their music, parodies & impressions. Hilarious, smart, fun stuff. More proof that SLC has world class talent in her ranks.
Marcus’s new show, Ghost Hopping, is interesting – he takes a common man approach. He does necessarily hold any religious beliefs about the state of souls after death. Essentially agnostic, he takes tools into the field that virtually anyone can afford, goes into places that virtually anyone can access, and explores reports of paranormal activity. “I can’t tell you what it IS, but I can tell you what it’s not”, is one of his common catch phrases, adhering to his ethos of intellectual honesty. Check it all out below!
Today is the 20th anniversary of the passing of legendary comedian Bill Hicks. I’ve been contemplating his life today and wanted to revel in the spirit of his legacy for a few minutes.
Bill Hicks is one of the main people that inspired me to take up stand up comedy (which is what led to the creation of The Paul Duane Show).
I feel a certain solemnity – not a sadness, but a deep reverence, even a presence, as I contemplate the wisdom he left behind. Bill was a man on a mission. He seemed to understand the chasm between the present human condition and our ultimate powerful potential – but didn’t mourn the size of the gap. He met us where we are at, took us on a field trip to dick island, while leading our minds to a higher place.
Bill saw the comic’s stage as a place to do something more than tell a dick joke and get a quick laugh. It was his pulpit. The son of a preacher, he carried out his ministry without any fear. He was a Budha of sorts, a being that came to remind us of many truths.
Just like any other dear friend in my life, I don’t agree with everything Bill Hicks said, per se, and I don’t laugh at all of his jokes – but I know where he was coming from, and I love him for it. I was a senior in high school when he passed away. I wasn’t yet ready to hear what he had to say. I would have called him a blasphemer, a heretic, an agent of the devil… but there is a part of me that would have recognized the light and love in his words. There is a part of me that would have been horribly conflicted at the silent but unmistakable recognition that he was coming from a place of light and love – and the harshness with which he would have offended my ultra conservative Mormon sensibilities of the time. I would have loved and hated him all at the same time.
Today, I am grateful for every experience that has eroded my sharp edges and opened my heart, so that I can simply hear, recognize, and love the words that he left with us. No agenda, no predetermined conclusions, no trying to fit square pegs into round holes… I am grateful for the life of Bill Hicks. I am inspired to speak more boldly, to use humor to illuminate the difference between error and truth, and to respect the comedy stage as a place where the sacred act of opening human minds can occur.
Thank you Bill, for reminding us all that it’s just a ride:
John gave a great, insightful, funny interview. Toward the end, he dropped a nugget of gold. We were discussing the role of comedians in society, and he said:
“I think that comedians… I think that’s their function. To blend art, philosophy, and personal testimonial storytelling, to smooth it over with some humor,some silliness, some weirdness, to kind of talk about those things… faith, families, politics. I care about a lot of things, I could easily study history, I could be a lawyer, I could [use] these same talky, researchy, neurotic kinds of talents and use them for something good in the world, but I really think that comedy … I think that people who have a chance, that might have the right kinds of skills to fullfill that role, almost have a duty to try to, because I see people like Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, your Louis C.K.’s, Conans, so many of them… your Mark Twains, people like that, they made a dent – if we didn’t have our Mark Twains, I don’t know where we’d be. What if Mark Twain were an international lawyer and spent all of hhis time skimming the cream off of cool international deals? He could have. But he gave us so many brilliant things that have helped us understand ourselves better. I think that comedians coming out of Utah are in an interesting position to help a pretty big chunk of the nation speak with a big chunk of the other part of the nation more honestly.” – John Forbyn
John can be found online at: