Monday, June 24, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Operation Desert Stormy

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 9:04 AM

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Laughing Stock: Jill Kimmel at the O and a Boy-Free Stage at Hotel McCoy

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 1:18 PM

Autumn Horvat—comedian, host, booker, rabble-rouser—is at Hotel McCoy on Friday, June 28. - CLAY BRAASCH
  • Clay Braasch
  • Autumn Horvat—comedian, host, booker, rabble-rouser—is at Hotel McCoy on Friday, June 28.

A boy-free stage at Hotel McCoy

Tucson comedians tell no jokes on their private Facebook page. It’s all about stage time, except when interrupted every few weeks by the kind of dustup typical of that medium. Last week a flurry of emotional debate circled around how few local women are seen on local comedy stages. When comedian Autumn Horvat called out a particular local open mic on the matter, a feeding frenzy ensued. 

No one denied that local comedy lineups rarely include more than zero to one woman, but men defended the status quo objectively: Women are a small fraction of Tucson’s comedian population, and even they are frequently unavailable for shows. 

“I think that just going up as a woman is more of a challenge,” Horvat says. “I think people are conditioned to think men are funny, but women have to prove themselves. I feel like some men in our scene already have decided that we aren’t funny and they won’t listen to us.” 

Wait. Men don’t listen? 

“I also feel like men have an easier time getting started,” Horvat adds. “Other men will (mentor) them, take new male comics under their wings, pay attention to their sets and offer them tips.”

With women comics, she adds, that situation often feels like a dating dynamic. Also, some men apparently still have a problem relating to women who may be as smart and funny as them. We feel a facepalm coming on.

Chad Lehrman, a Tucson show promoter who also runs a local comedy series, is very aware of the issue. He already had planned a comedy show to address it: Comedians Who Are Not Boys, at 8 p.m. Friday, June 28 at Hotel McCoy.

He invited Horvat to book the comedians and host the show. “I just named it Comedians Who Aren’t Boys at the McCoy because it rhymed,” Lehrman says, not even wincing. “I wasn’t sure, but Autumn liked it.”

Asked if he thought women are more difficult to book, he answers with a firm and simple “no.” He notes, too, that there are more women than ever now on the national scene. “There’s more of everybody though,” he says, “Indians, Asians, gay comics and women.”

As part of the McCoy Hotel’s Last Friday, Last Laugh series, the Comedians Who Are Not Boys show is free. The bar is open and a food truck is available. Besides Horvat, who also hosts, the lineup includes Mo Urban of The C*nt Show and The Dating Game, and Priscilla Fernandez, host of the long-running Retro Game show at Hotel Congress. Others are Chinna Garza, Rebecca Tingley, Nicole Riesgo and Cierra Renee Miranda.

Jill Kimmel is just like us, at The O, Saturday, June 22. - JILL KIMMEL COMEDY
  • Jill Kimmel Comedy
  • Jill Kimmel is just like us, at The O, Saturday, June 22.

Jill “Yes, She’s Jimmy’s Sister” Kimmel comes to The O

Since we’re on the topic, Jill Kimmel has life stories to share about being a woman in comedy. She’s a mother of two teenage children, and the first to say that all by itself motherhood is a barrier to the open-mic training and travel required to be a comedian. 

“If I didn’t have my parents (to take care of the children), I don’t think I would have been able to start doing comedy, to go out on the road and do it full time,” Kimmel says.

A Phoenix native, Kimmel performs at The O, 2000 N. Oracle Road, at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Tickets are $10 on Eventbrite or at the door.

Asked to describe her own comedy, she quickly denies political content but doesn’t turn down a comparison to Roseanne Barr. 

“She always was the overweight housewife talking about her relationships and raising kids and being married and how horrible it was,” Kimmel says. “I’m not talking about politics, I’m not insulting people, I’m talking about myself, my life. Every time I go somewhere I haven’t been, people tell me I’m not going to be young enough, cool enough, sexy enough. But no matter where I go, people relate to a 40-year-old woman who’s divorced, back in the dating pool, has children in school, has lost weight, gained weight.... It’s just a lot of stuff that’s very relatable. (People) go ‘Yeah, that happened to me. Oh my God!’ I love that!”

Kimmel has worked with Jimmy Fallon, Norm Macdonald and Jeffrey Ross. She’s performed at Stand Up Live, the Improv comedy club and The Comedy Store, among other well-known venues. She creates the weekly segment “What A Mouth” on the “Lu Valentino Show.”

Kimmel suggests that women who don’t get booked enough should start their own shows. She names Tucson comics Mo Urban and Roxy Merrari as examples who have not only benefitted from their own shows but have used them to lift up other women comedians. Autumn Horvat, for example, got her start on Merrari’s Comedy at the Wench series.

For others, she advises, “Just be seen more and network more. I find that the women … booked on shows are the ones who hustle. They’re out there, they’re working and networking. They’re nice and they’re funny.”  

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Claytoon of the Day: Descent 2020

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 9:36 AM

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Going Dominican

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 9:47 AM

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Coughing Up Classified

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 9:55 AM

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Fat Head Rolls With The Polls

Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 9:53 AM

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Claytoon of the Day: Nixon Derangement Syndrome

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 9:40 AM

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Laughing Stock: There's a name for this ....

Posted By on Fri, Jun 14, 2019 at 9:40 AM

“I can’t believe we are still protesting this.”

Let’s just name the beast: Segregation. Whether you are seeing comedy once a year or every night, you will rarely see black people on Tucson comedy stages, let alone in comedy audiences.

Of course, we say reflexively, blacks are only 4.5 percent of Arizona’s population. (Thank you, World Population Review.) And we all know, from at least a century of research, minority populations participate most where they see people like themselves.

We shrug: Chicken, meet egg.

Aziza Drumgoole, AKA Aziza Jokes - AZIZA DRUMGOOLE FACEBOOK
  • Aziza Drumgoole Facebook
  • Aziza Drumgoole, AKA Aziza Jokes
All two of Tucson’s black male professionals, Monte Benjamin and Josiah Osego, are first call. On the distaff side, Camy Anderson and Stephanie Lyonga were snapped up for shows within weeks of turning up for an open mic. Anderson is a regular on Rebecca Tingley’s “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby” project; Lyonga just wrapped up several months running her open mic.

“We are doing the best we can,” we tell ourselves. “Where are they?”

Meanwhile, Matt Kearney continues to produce a monthly show featuring a whole lineup of comedians of color, and he’s been doing it for most of 13 years. Over that time, he’s assembled a sizable mailing list that all but fills the 100-seat Grill at the Viscount Suite Hotel (4855 E. Broadway), with a majority black and Latino audience. His regular host is Rob Rodriguez, a former Phoenix rising star now touring out of L.A.

Kearney says he started his series, The LOL Comedy Jam, when a Tucson club explicitly told him he wasn’t welcome. A large man who looks like he could do some damage, Kearney is a laugher, not a fighter, but he is committed to justice and equality. He works for Living United for Change in Arizona, LUCHA, which helps working families organize around policies that affect them unfairly.

Mike Bonner, The LOL Comedy Jam Father's Day Weekend - MIKEBONNERYOLASITE.COM
  • Mike Bonner, The LOL Comedy Jam Father's Day Weekend
The LOL Comedy Jam Father’s Day Weekend show at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 15, features Detroit’s Mike Bonner as headliner. Bonner has appeared on Comic View, Bad Boys of Comedy, Comedy Central and 1st Amendment. And he’s a YouTube hit. His video “Sex with a female body builder” has a quarter million views.

Also performing is Phoenix comedian Aziza Jokes, aka Aziazah Drumgoole, a survivor of parenting by two pastors. Comedians Fred Witte and Jeff Williams round out the bill, with music by DJ Dmenace. Tickets are $20 at the door, or $15 in advance at the Viscount Suite Hotel front desk or online through

Arizona Urban at The O

In its bid to transform the former Gus and Andy’s Steakhouse into Tucson’s next comedy night club, the O made The Third Annual Red & Black Comedy tour one of its first bookings. The night is subtitled Dress to Impress, a mandate sure to turn out lots of glistening skin and all the spangles in the closet.

According to The O, it will be a night of urban comedy with rap by Marana performing artist and rapper Philos King Denim. It’s hosted by Phoenix comic Karl Youngman, a frequent guest at Stand Up Live, Stir Crazy and other popular Phoenix comedy clubs. Aziza Drumgoole, AKA Aziza Jokes, also from Phoenix, will have a busy night, appearing at both The O and the Viscount shows.

Others Phoenicians featured include Mac Maine Tha Comedian, Phillip Jewell, Teddy Beard, Charlie Mac, Chris Mosley, Durrell Johnson and Lamar Mitchell Jr., AKA J.ust R.idiculous. Tickets are $10, only at the door. There is no cover or minimum. Check out our ticket giveaway on Instagram @tucsonweekly for a chance to win a free pair!

Laughing in the Dark

Jason Webb, Brew Ha Ha at Borderlands Brewery - ROOFTOPPRO.COM
  • Jason Webb, Brew Ha Ha at Borderlands Brewery
Jason Webb looks like a movie archetype: The guy in a creaky grey wooden boat who, for a price, might guide you through the moss-covered, weeping tree branches of the Great Dismal Swamp in search of your missing lover’s body.

Call him a Southern Gothic comedian. Webb grew up the son of a preacher in the grim ambiance of Southern lore, the stuff of nightmares. Yet he can twist a dark image until it sweats sugar. The trick is in his energy mix. It’s made him a successful comedian, actor, director, podcaster, producer, storyteller and writer.

Webb co-created and hosts Follow That, a popular feature at LA’s Comedy Store. But he claims Nerdmelt Showroom as his home club. LA Weekly has named it the town’s best place to watch live comedy, but it’s location, tucked into the back room of a comic book store, is a bell jar for comedians like Webb who explore uncharted comedy waters.

Webb performs at 8 p.m. Monday, June 17, in the Brew Ha Ha series at Borderlands Brewery. Admission is $5 at the door, or in advance via 

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The Three Sisters Culinary Series

Join the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance and Native Seeds/SEARCH at Westward Look for a progressive,… More

@ Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa Sat., June 29, 6-8:30 p.m. 245 E. Ina Road.

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