Go BearsIn all this Occupy chaos, we hope you haven’t forgotten what really matters — it’s Big Game week! What better way is there to shamelessly encourage school spirit than … a comedy show? At first, a comedy show doesn’t seem to be so “pep n’ go” but it’s actually a great excuse to take stabs at our beloved transbay trees  (no, your mascot is not a cardinal, it’s a damn tree … kind of). And so, the Clog took some time to attend Laugh Your Axe Off.

The California Golden Overtones and UC Men’s Octet both made appearances, but it probably wasn’t what you’re used to hearing from them. The Men’s Octet sang a song called, “Stanford Girls,” to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girls,” but inserted lines like, ” Stanford girls look just like Berkeley squirrels,” “God, she smells like sh**” and  … “whores.” Yet, they somehow sounded classy the entire time. read more »

RogenA comedy about cancer? Coming from now producer, Seth Rogen, we’re not surprised. While the idea of a cancer comedy initially seems strange, upcoming release “50/50″ pulls off the perfect balance between humor and the dark side of illness. The movie is based on writer Will Reiser and Seth Rogen’s experience after they discovered Reiser had cancer.

The real-life friends came to San Francisco to talk about their journey and their new flick. Here’s what they had to say:

Are you worried about being type-casted as the guy whose friend has cancer?

SR: I am worried about it, but I think I’ll do three more movies about that before I’ll call it a limit. I have a few more diseases to hit.

WR: This is a franchise.

SR: Like Lord of the Rings. read more »

laughterWith the borderline hysteria induced by school, we sometimes forget to take a step back and get in a good, knee-thumping laugh. Now that summer has finally dragged itself here (though the weather would suggest otherwise), it’s the perfect time to unwind.

The Marsh Berkeley is providing the perfect opportunity with the first Berkeley Gay Comedy Festival. Although Berkeley is not typically a hub for comedy, Deborah Badhia, Operations Director at the Downtown Berkeley Association, stated that the scene is on the rise.

With a monthly showcase at Shattuck Down Low, occasional shows at Freight & Salvage and biweekly shows at Saturn Cafe’s Space Lounge, it does seem that comedy has managed to find a few footholds in Berkeley.

The festival aims to make a more diverse group of comedians available and to present more forward-thinking comedy, according to Marga Gomez, founder of the festival. It will reject run-of-the-mill toilet humor for more thought-provoking comedy.

We’re thinking a little more Stephen Fry, and a little less Will Ferrell.

Image Source: Matthew Grapengieser under Creative Commons
Berkeley does comedy, goes beyond hipsters and dudes [Berkeleyside]

Cal Comedy TeamHey Cal students, have you ever wanted to test just how funny you are, perhaps by taking your shot at stand-up comedy? Well if you have, it’s too late now … but it isn’t too late to support Cal’s new comedy team! Just this week, 11 aspiring comics from the UC Berkeley campus came together to battle in a “comedy-off,” hosted by Bay Area favorite, Sammy Obeid. The “comedy-off” permitted each comic three minutes of stage time to let their talent shine and had the audience vote for their favorites to determine the eight members representing Cal’s comedy team.

Jokes ranged from the usual racial puns read more »

3417023903_e0d4a9e612 Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor and professor of public policy extraordinaire, is clearly jonesing for another prestigious title: the king of comedy. Yes, you read that correctly. Reich gave a talk in Chicago at Northwestern’s law school about the economy and miracle of miracles, he managed to keep it light.

While acknowledging the soaring unemployment (which hit 10.2 percent by some estimates on that same Friday), he kept it breezy. Case in point: “‘As you can see, the economy has worn me down. A year and a half ago, I was 6-foot-2.’”

This barrel of laughs wasn’t just jokey, either—he was informative. Reich had time between guffaws to advocate his own ideas for economy fixing: a single-payer healthcare system and a new government jobs program.

He also clearly wants his own sitcom, with lines like these: “‘An economist is somebody who didn’t have the personality to become an accountant.’” Oh, snap. He added: “‘How many people did I just insult?’”

No worries, Reich. We like our grim economic news with a little sugar. We only wish your badassery would extend to other economists. Especially those wet blankets over at the Federal Reserve.

Image source: Policy Network under Creative Commons
Reich lightens up [Chicago Tribune]

While Jason Mraz captivated fangirls with his sensual cooing at the Greek Theater, across the street at the Haas School of Business was Wonderfest, a.k.a. The San Francisco Bay Area Festival of Science. The festival was a hot spot for lovers of the touchy-feely side of science with art displays and crafts, lectures on extraterrestrials and dreams and scienctific stand-up comedy.

We were only able to attend one lecture entitled “Are Dreams Psychologically Significant?” only to find an overall answer along the lines of “We don’t know. Uh, maybe?” Our favorite part was the story-telling of a man’s recurring nightmare of his penis being bitten off by a bear. The following are stolen moments from the lecture. read more »