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STAND-UP RUNDOWN: Unionized Comedy

Is it time for stand-up comedians to band together to form their own union? And could that even work?

by Chuck king

As the screen writers strike still lingers, some comedians are starting to wonder whether it’s time they unionize, too.

Several comedians who performed during a daytime show for picketing writers either stated or suggested as much.

There’s no question that unions benefited many workers throughout the years. But stand-up comedians? By their very nature stand-up comedians are individualistic. It generally takes a great amount of persuasion to get even a small group of comedians to agree on anything.

A movement could take hold, but that seems unlikely.

In today’s Stand-Up Spotlight, Ricky Gervais provides an excellent reason as to why he prefers stand-up to acting. There’s also a feature on Miami-native Daryl Pinsky, and another about Maine comedian Ann-Marie Keene, who says she prefers performing in small towns. That’s probably an important trait in Maine.

Get rolling with the funny. A long weekend is almost here.

STAND-UP SPOTLIGHT – August 31, 2023

‘It is high time comedians see their own union’: Comics show solidarity with actors on picket lines

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:A funny thing happened on the way to the picket line …

A handful of comics put on a stand-up show in front of Fox Studios in Century City on Monday.

Comedians aren’t used to waking up before noon, joked stand-up Mona Shaikh, who organized the event. But they braved a 90-degree morning to show their solidarity with striking actors and writers.

Ricky Gervais: I prefer stand-up to TV because they can’t censor me


STAND-UP RUNDOWN:He’s made some of the biggest TV shows of his generation, but Ricky Gervais says he’d be happy to only do stand-up comedy from now on, because he thinks he can’t get censored there.

“If people said ‘There’s no more television any more’, I’d be quite happy with doing stand-up,” Gervais says. “It’s my favourite thing now”.

When he’s making TV, executives can ask for changes, but not with stand-up. “There’s no one to answer to, except the police,” Gervais joked, adding: “I think it might be going that way. As long as you don’t break the law, it’s up to you.” The comic was referring to his risqué material, which often causes scandals. This week, his former support act, Robin Ince, doubled down on accusations that Gervais’s jokes about trans people had made him “a pin-up and role model for the alt-right”.

Pinsky is Laughing Back to His Roots

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:If you missed him on the “Jay Leno Show” or the TV show, “Love Connection,” now’s the chance to see local comedian Daryl Pinksy perform at The Punchline on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Recalling his motivation for doing stand-up comedy, Pinsky said, “I was always the class clown, but rarely got in trouble. I learned at an early age that if you can also make the teacher laugh, a trip to the principal could usually be avoided! I believe performing comedy on a stage is innate. All of us have hysterical friends who are not comedians, and never could be. Most would never attempt to perform on stage.”

Click here to view original web page at Pinsky is Laughing Back to His Roots

Comedian works to bring more laughs to small towns

STAND-UP RUNDOWN:NORWAY — “I was always obsessed with comedy as a kid,” divulges Portland-based comedian Ann-Marie Keene, a performer who is headlining an age-21-and-up performance at Norway Brewing Company Saturday night. “Things were in turmoil [for me]. I bounced around a lot in foster care, but comedy was my constant. It would always make me laugh and pull me out of whatever situation I was going through.

“I didn’t have money, I wasn’t the pretty one. I was a little chubby, and I was always new [kid], wearing foster kid clothes. So humor got me out of everything. Laughter has always been important to me. I couldn’t live without it.”


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