Comedy

Image of Youth improv team 'Get The Hook'
Courtesy of the artist

When the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival began 16 years ago, it was a small gathering of three college improv groups and two local teachers. Today the festival spans two weeks, features acts from around the country, and is considered by many in the comedy world to be one of the premiere festivals in the nation.

Lizz Winstead is a political satirist and the co-creator of The Daily Show.
Michael Young

Lizz Winstead has made a career being the watchdog of the watchdog. As a co-creator of The Daily Show in the 1990s, Winstead was one of the first comedians satirizing both newsmakers and news media.

Her current focus is on women’s rights, and she founded Lady Parts Justice, an organization that uses comedy and digital media to advocate for reproductive rights.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Winstead about political satire and her comedy.

John Hodgman is known for his work on 'The Daily Show' and as the PC guy from Apple's 'Mac vs. PC' commercials.
Shark Party Media

Comedian John Hodgman has made a name for himself as a correspondent for The Daily Show and the PC guy from Apple's "Mac vs. PC" advertisements.

But Hodgman is putting those characters aside and showcasing stories from his life as an aging, weird, mustachioed father. In Hodgman's new one-man show "Vacationland," he tells stories about traveling to Maine for vacation but being met by "oceans made of hate" and skeptical locals. 

Image of Eric Trundy, who has used comedy as a therapy for a traumatizing childhood.
Eric Trundy

 

Up-and-coming standup comic Eric Trundy says that comedy saved his life, and he means that in the most literal sense of the words. His childhood was filled with trauma, from physical and sexual abuse to abandonment, and he repressed those memories for many years.

Professional photos of Paula Poundstone done with lighting.
flickr.com/photos/paulapoundstone

After years of working the stand-up circuit, Paula Poundstone has established herself as one of the most successful comics in American comedy.

Need we say more?
Memegenerator.net

Since ancient Greece, rhetoric has been a powerful form of speech used to persuade and impress an audience.

Today, the wittiest among us sometimes exchange the most chuckle-inducing form of rhetoric: the pun. That battle of wits is now a competition in the Triangle where 24 contestants will fight for the title of Pun Master of Durham. A champion will be crowned at Motorco in Durham on Monday at 7 p.m.

Comedian Maria Bamford takes the stage at DSI Saturday.
Natalie Brasington

For comedian Maria Bamford, nothing is off the table. 

She is brutally honest in her comedy about sex and dating, conditions like Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Bipolar disorder. Her candid approach has made her, by many estimates, one of the best stand-ups in the industry

Host Frank Stasio talks with Bamford about her career as a stand-up comedian and the many intricacies that make her such a perplexing figure in entertainment. 

The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival ends this Sunday.
nccomedyarts.com

    

Comedy is a subjective artform. What makes one audience laugh out loud will not always make another crack up.

But, the fear of bombing in front of an auditorium of strangers does not stop contestants in the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival's "Carolina's Funniest Comic" contest.

Host Frank Stasio talks with DSI Comedy's resident instructor on stand-up comedy, Zach Ward; local comedian Lauren Faber; and comedian Maria Bamford about the art of stand-up comedy. 

Filmmaker John Waters
Edinburgh International Film Festival

Filmmaker John Waters is known for creating depraved cinema.

He shocked America in the early 1970s with the underground hit Pink Flamingos, in which the main characters compete for the title of Filthiest Person Alive.

That movie and other films solidified John Waters as a celebrity of trash theatre, but his success with movies like Hairspray and Cry-Baby also earned him a spot as a cult icon.

Hari Kondabolu comes to Chapel Hill and brings his polarizing comedy with him.
http://www.harikondabolu.com/photos/

    

Comedian Hari Kondabolu does not tiptoe around sensitive subjects like race and ethnicity. 

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