Viewing posts from the comedy category

Comedian John Forbyn


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:


Comedian Melissa Cobra Merlot

melissamerlotbananaToday, SLC based standup comic Melissa Merlot joined me in the studio. Among the highlights of the show: a listener calling in to comment on another KTalk host not having a sense of humor.  You’ll have to listen to find out.  Let’s just say that after my show, I overheard said host get on the air and defend his jovial nature with the following joke:

“Some say that I don’t have a sense of humor. Well, uh… here’s a humorous joke for you: Barack Obama is the President Of The United States.  [long awkward silence]. “

The world is full of fear mongers, and many of the hosts on KTalk are no exception.  Come on guys. We get it. Obama is the devil. We are all slaves. The world is going to shit. What are you going to do, just keep pointing more fingers at the big piles of shit, or are you going to grab a shovel?  Personally, I prefer Vapoorize:

At any rate…here are the links we promised during the show! Check out Melissa Merlot’s website:

…and the show she co-hosts:

Also, come see her at The Paul Duane Show Sundance Comedy Special:

25 awesome things about Utah :

NFL players should be allowed to smoke pot:

Here are some clips from the comedians we were talking about. Warning: This stuff is not safe for work. There are some swear words.

Eddie Izzard;  No Flag, no country:

Eddie Izzard;  Cake or death?

Doug Stanhope  On Nationalism:

Doug Stanhope  On liberty:

The Secret Life of A Caboose

Paul Duane: Hey there Caboose, thanks for taking a minute out of your busy schedule for an interview.

Caboose: Make it quick, will ya? I’m pretty sure that they are coming for me soon. You know that Cabooses are coming back into vogue in the rail road world, right?

PD: I had no idea.

C: Sure as shootin’. All those hipster railroad engineers are wanting to go old school again.

PD: But I thought that technological advances like EOT’s and lineside detectors made Cabooses irrelevant.

C: Who you callin’ irrelevant, kid?

PD: Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it quite like that, I mean, I hear that they still use Cabooses on smaller local rail lines and when transporting hazardous waste…

C: So you’re saying all I’m good for these days is transportin’ dangerous garbage?

PD: No, I didn’t mean it like that, either. I’m sorry.  How are things with the ladies these days?

C: Well, I’m fixin’ to find out soon. I hear those hipster girls these days love a man with tattoos and experience. Have you seen all of the ink I’m sportin’ recently?

PD: I thought that was just graffitti…

C: You and your thinkin’ are the kind of thing that let them pinko-commies into the great U-S-of-A back in the 50’s.

PD: I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean for this to become a political debate.   How are you enjoying your stay here in Salt Lake City?

C: It’s an okay town, though I’m antsy to get on to Denver and Duluth by way of the Rio Grande railroad. They should be coming by any time to pick me up, have you seen them yet?

PD: No, this is Union Pacific territory, we never see Rio Grande around here.

C: Well that’s hogwash.

PD: Did you see the new Superman movie? What did you think?

C: I think Christopher Reeve does a fine job with that role, though I’ve often thought of movin’ to Hollywood myself to give actin’ a shot. I always thought I had a bit of the silver screen in me.

PD: Uh… Christopher Reeve died 9 years ago, and had been a quadriplegic for 9 years before that…

C: I don’t think them handicap jokes are funny, mister.

PD: No, no… I didn’t mean it like that… it’s just that there’s a new movie with Henry Cavill, it’s called Man of Steel, it’s getting great reviews…

C: Well, you best be gettin’. I’ve got to get ready for that train to come pick me up.  Should be here any minute.


Artist’s renderings in lieu of photographs

New York–based rock act VietNam performed at The Garage on May 8, 2013. Local support by Max Payne & The Groovies and The Breakers. I was assigned to photograph and review the performance for SLUG Magazine. The next evening as I sat down to edit the photos and write the review, to my horror, I discovered that I had accidentally formatted and reused the memory card that contained the photos from the show. There was absolutely no hope – no witchcraft, no computer trickery, no virgin I could sacrifice to any demonic deity – NOTHING was going to bring these images back.

SO… I did the next best thing.  I drew pictures and submitted them to my editor:

nuke2The Breakers opened up the show with bombastic style.

beerLocal man poses with frosty mug of  Uinta Cuthtroat Pale Ale.

maxpayneMax Payne’s grooves are so groovy, it’s almost painful.

congaGirl banging on a conga drum on stage with VietNam. Given that she wasn’t thrown off the stage, she is probably a new member, or more than likely, the singer’s new girlfriend that he met in Madison, Wisconsin last week.

kissingTwo bar girls kiss each other in a desperate attempt to garner some male attention. It’s a good start girls, keep it up!

vietnamMichael Gerner fronts a band named after a war that destroyed millions of innocent lives and was based on lies and media manipulation. So retro!

singer2VietNam’s Michael Gerner flirts with the fine line between looking like you are really so poor and starving of a musician that all you can afford to wear is a Hello Kitty sweater, and the conspicuous consumption of thrift store goods that Macklemore has made insanely mainstream.

singVietNam’s Michael Gerner gives a dramatic pause before launching into his latest epic composition, “Of nerve agent and photography”.

singer 3

Gerner tries to pretend that he’s not wearing a wicker road cone on his head.

bassplayerThe bass player for VietNam played with his back to the audience the entire time.

singer 4The fans listen intently as Gerner emotes.

violinNathanael “Lefty” Maynard rocked the violin, stage left.

singer 5Gerner sheds a tear as he sings the sad song…

stoked kidLocal kid loses his shit as the band roars into a crescendo of random conga hits, scratchy violin squeaks, drum beats and sick back-facing bass lines. Being the only one of his friends that have heard that there’s such a thing as “classic rock”, he also feels most entitled to be stoked out of his mind.

singer 6Gerner reaches the climax of the song, to wild applause from the audience.

thedeadAn aerial shot of the floor at The Garage: The aftermath of tonight’s show.

Brian Pope 28 March 2013

_DSC4725  SLC comic Brian pope performed for a full house at Five Monkeys on 28 March 2013, recording the show for his upcoming CD release. Stand up comedy is often the bastard child of psychotherapy and exhibitionism. Brian Pope follows in this long held tradition, covering topics such as racism, masturbation, abortion. Pope is a smart, dark comic with a congenial, nice guy candy coating. Much like meeting Doug Stanhope in person, it’s hard to imagine how a guy this nice is going to say something vile up on stage.

Anger is to the comic what charcoal is to the artist; though comics must take care to make sure the anger has long since stopped smoldering. At moments during his set, it is not clear how hot the anger really is, though if there was any question about Brian being a nice guy, the bulk of his jokes expose him as snarky uncle with a huge soft spot for his family.

Though not quite a father himself, ( “Every time I scramble eggs I think, “I could have been a dad”), he makes frequent reference to his family, particularly his nephew. What starts out as an extended masturbation joke, turns out to be a demonstration of Brian’s comedic prowess, using some great call back humor throughout his set. He weaves a hilarious tale that begins with his nephew catching him beating off, and ends with his brother demanding an explanation as to why this same child is vandalizing his cigarettes. It’s a fun ride.


This same nephew makes an appearance in my personal favorite of Brian’s jokes, something I’ll unofficially call, “Power Rangers: a Socioeconomic Allegory of Class Corruption”. The routine starts out with his nephew asking him to play Power Rangers. He gets into a debate with the young boy over which color of Power Ranger he will play the role of. This gives way to a hysterical stream of smart social commentary and satire, all packaged up in a rant delivered to his stoic young nephew._DSC4849

Based on all of the comedic mileage Brian gets out of watching his nephew grow up, I can only imagine the hilarity that will ensue when he actually does become a father. Maybe one of these days he’ll choose to have his eggs served whole. I’m looking forward to it.


Daniel Tosh gets it right about gay marriage

In light of the recent Supreme Court deliberations on the laws regarding gay marriage:

In this classic bit of Daniel Tosh, he discusses Proposition 8, Gay Marriage in California, and the Mormon opposition to it.  He makes fun of Mormons in this joke.  I don’t post this to make fun of Mormons in general.  I’m past that stage. I’m over it, I’m at peace with it all.

…EXCEPT FOR WHEN PEOPLE ARE ACTING LIKE ASSHOLES, and they happen to be Mormons.  I’ll speak up in that case. I’ll do it to Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, or whoever else cares to behave poorly.  It’s nothing personal.

I’m not gay. I am not married, and I don’t even necessarily believe in the institution of marriage as our culture currently practices it.  That being said, consenting adults should be able to do enter into whatever contracts they wish.

That being said, I give you, Daniel Tosh:

“This is what I say to the most conservative person that’s so terrified of gay marriage becoming legal:  Just because the state says it’s legal, it’s not like God’s gonna let them into heaven?!   You can still sleep sound every night, knowing that goal line defense is up at the pearly gates going, “You’re not getting in here, *&^$#!”   Do you remember the commercials they ran? A little gir would come running home from school, saying “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!  Teacher said that when I get older, I can marry a princess if I want to.  And they go, “What are you gonna do when your kid says THAT?”  And every parent in California is like  “Whoah… We are gonna have to talk to our kids?  Sorry queers. NOPE!   That’s Esperanza’s job.”

Argue with that.  I dare you.

Paul Duane Show Summary 13 March 2013


Photo courtesy of Michael Eccleston

Photo courtesy of Michael Eccleston

Although the doors formally opened at 8pm, people started filtering in at 7:30 to ensure they’d get a seat. By 8:15, all the seats were taken. More people filtered in to the standing-room only space that was left.


photo by Dylan Hanor

Tyrell “BearPuncher McSavage” warmed up the crowd with a stand up comedy set.


photo by Logan Sorenson

 Tommy Milagro followed with another warm up set, instructing the crowd on the finer points of tequila and Mexican-German culture.


photo by Dylan Hanor

Wildcat Strike served as the house band for the evening. They launched into some intro music, and I took the stage to a brilliant, beautiful crowd.


photo by Dylan Hanor


pd show jory allen

photo by Jory Allen

The show is rooted in my belief that people are much more similar than we are separate; it’s the interests of a corporately controlled government that lead us to believe we are so different from one another. My goal is to create fresh, fun, provocative entertainment that leaves my audience with a more keen understanding of our potential collective unity.


photo by Dylan Hanor

Blah blah blah…  More monologue. Trying not to carry on too long….


photo by Dylan Hanor

Noted Libertarian and hypnotist Jake Shannon joins me on stage.


photo by Dylan Hanor

Jake led the audience through a brief state of hypnosis. The whole room was silent, which is remarkable for a bar environment. Everyone stood, closed their eyes, and followed Jake’s instructions to visualize and tune into various sensations.  He had extraordinary control of the room.  Following the excercise, everyone sat down. Every table was buzzing with people comparing their experience with that of their neighbor.

Following Jake Shannon’s segment on hypnosis and the power of words, stand up comic Blake Bard took the stage. I won’t give away any of Blake’s jokes, but for now it may suffice to say that his bit about “this bar having a gay night” and “mormon girls are too kinky for me”, were hysterical.  Beyond being funny, his comedy dovetailed perfectly with the messages that were conveyed in my monologue and Rocky Anderson’s remarks.

(L to R) Jake Shannon, Blake Bard, and Paul Duane discussing comedy.


photo by Dylan Hanor

During the intermission, I got a chance to catch up with a few of my dear friends in the audience. Pictured here, the lovely Michelle Williams.


photo by Dylan Hanor

Cathy Provines came down from Park City to see the show.


photo by Dylan Hanor

Following the break, former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson joined us on stage.

When asked about his vision for Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson spoke passionately about SLC being a city where everyone is welcome.  His remarks were frequently punctuated by applause breaks from the audience.

pd rocky anderson carly singleton

photo by Carly Singleton

“I don’t remember running into you up in Logan”, said Mayor Anderson, as we spoke about both of us being born & raised in Logan.


photo by Dylan Hanor

“But SERIOUSLY, Mayor Anderson, what is the deal with airplane food?”  That didn’t really happen. During my preparation for the show, I learned that Rocky played the guitar in a band when he was younger.  I tried to get him to play the guitar for the crowd.  We offered him copious amounts of booze in order to pick up the 6 string on the band stage, but he politely declined.  Maybe next time we can persuade him to belt out some “Freebird”.


photo by Dylan Hanor

I knew that Rocky Anderson would be a great guest, and yet he completely surpassed my expectations. The crowd absolutely adored him and his no nonsense stance against political injustice, regardless of which party it’s coming from.  He lambasted President Obama, comparing him to the worst of George W. Bush’s presidency.   I could have conversed with Rocky for hours, but we only had a 20 minute slot, which flew by faster than any of us wanted.  At the end of the show, an audience member approached me and said, “I thought that I didn’t like Rocky Anderson, but I can’t believe how many things I agreed with him on! He is great!”.  This, my friends, is what the show is all about.

Wildcat Strike finished out the show with a couple of great songs from their debut album, which you can check out here:


photo by Dylan Hanor

I’m thrilled at the success of our inaugural show. The staff at Metro Bar were wonderfully helpful and encouraging. Many thanks to Jeff Hacker and Kevin Snow from Metro.  Thank you to Tommy and Tyrell, our warm up comics, for taking time to come down and entertain the crowd before the show.  Jake Shannon, I wish we would have had more time to talk  on stage. We’ll do this again. Blake Bard, thank you for the killer comedy set, people loved your unexpectedly apropos jokes.  Mayor Rocky Anderson, thank you for taking time to appear on the show.  More people than I can count have approached me and expressed appreciation and inspiration in regards to your remarks during the show.  Thank you to publicists Charlynn Hamaker-Patterson and Miguel Mendoza for your invaluable assistance.  Many thanks to our sponsor, SLUG Magazine for promotional support.

The next show is on 12 April and will feature former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, actress Deena Marie and music by the Jonnie Gale Project. Complete show information can be found at


Former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson discussing Salt Lake City and the LGBT community.


Rocky Anderson sharing the experiences of his life that inspired him to champion diversity.


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LOST: Missy The Cat

This is kind of old, but classic. It never ceases to make me laugh:

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Why never ask a favor to a graphic designer

Shannon (the secretary) has lost her cat and has asked David (the graphic designer) to help with a lost poster. This is their email correspondence. Read from top to bottom….

From: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.15am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Poster

I opened the screen door yesterday and my cat got out and has been missing since then so I was wondering if you are not to busy you could make a poster for me. It has to be A4 and I will photocopy it and put it around my suburb this afternoon.

This is the only photo of her I have she answers to the name Missy and is black and white and about 8 months old. missing on Harper street and my phone number.
Thanks Shan.

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afternoon delight

If I had a wife or a girlfriend living with me, we’d never get away with this.

When I saw you at the grocery store last night, I wasn’t expecting to meet you. I hadn’t even thought of you… but, then, there you were… I just KNEW that I had to take you home with me.

You taste so good.

You make my lips tingle.

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