Dwight Slade on Bill Hicks: "[We] Formed an Instant Bond Over Cynicism and General Hatred of the Human Species."

Categories: Comedy
"My father got moved around a lot," says comedian Dwight Slade. "He had a corporate job. Either that, or he was on the run from the law for petty burglary. I'm not really sure. There was a lot of confusion in my family." For a time the family settled in Houston, where Dwight would meet his closest friend. It was a person who would change his life: Bill Hicks.

"Bill and I met running track in seventh grade," he recalls. "And we started making fun of the coach and the other athletes, and formed an instant bond over cynicism and general hatred of the human species."

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Gilbert Gottfried Talks Celebrity Apprentice, Orgies with Batman, and Sex with Alan Thicke

Categories: Comedy
You may not be familiar with his standup, and you might not be able to remember his movies. But there's no mistaking his voice.

Gilbert Gottfried's career spans four decades and includes countless television and movie appearances, along with voiceover work, commercials, and yes, even reality TV. This January, he'll be sitting across the boardroom table from Donald Trump on the new season of Celebrity Apprentice. 

Before he takes on "The Donald," Gottfried is making a stop in Minnesota this weekend to do the thing he does best: make people laugh.

We sat down with the most famous duck voice in history before his weekend trip to New Hope Cinema Grill to chat about comedy, podcasts, and having sex with Alan Thicke.

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Comedian Gus Lynch's Greatest Hits

Categories: Comedy
Gus Lynch passed away last week after falling from the Coba Mayan ruins while on vacation with his family in Mexico. He left behind a local legacy cut far too short.

Over the past several years, there have been hundreds of aspiring standups in the Twin Cities, all looking to make their mark on our amazing comedy scene. There are very few, however, who have given just as much -- if not more -- than they have received. Gus Lynch was one of those comedians.

A fixture in essentially every major (and minor) club in town, Lynch had a breakout year in 2014. Loved by both fans and his fellow comedians, he recently made the shift to headliner status, and was poised to make 2015 even bigger.

In honor of his memory, here are some of the biggest accomplishments and contributions Lynch made to our Twin Cities comedy scene throughout his career.

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Gus Lynch

Ruben Paul on Growing Up Haitian in the U.S.: "If You Go to New York or Miami, There's a Lot of Haitians. On the West Coast, There's Zero."

Categories: Comedy
"My parents were from Haiti, but I was born and raised in southern California," says comedian Ruben Paul. "Ironically, they moved to a place where there were no Haitians. When you come to Minnesota, you see Ethiopians, for example. For some reason they migrated to Minnesota. I have no idea why they would go from one of the hottest places on Earth to one of the coldest, but they have a community there. If you go to New York or Miami, there's a lot of Haitians. On the West Coast, there's zero."

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Standup Pete Correale on His New Sitcom

Categories: Comedy
Although he's happily living in western New York, comedian Pete Correale is nonetheless knee-deep in developing a sitcom in Hollywood. It's at the very beginning stages, meaning the idea has been sold. Now a script needs to be written and a pilot shot. Then CBS has to decide whether to pick it up.

While it's still early in the process, things have already proven to be interesting. "The other day, we had to do a call with the people at CBS," Correale says. The conference call involved network executives, Correale's management, the show's producer, and his writing partner Marsh McCall (Just Shoot Me, Last Man Standing). Correale, sitting in his office in his house, was caught off-guard when he and McCall were asked to redo their pitch.

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James Davis: "I Feel Comedy Is the Best Vessel for Me to Follow My Dreams"

Categories: Comedy
"I've always been interested in arts and performing, as well as acting," says comedian James Davis, who is perhaps best known from MTV2's Wild 'N Out with Nick Cannon. "I've been doing acting on and off for a while, and I've always had funny friends and family members with a good sense of humor. I think that organically rubbed off on me. When I was pursuing acting early on, I went onstage to tell jokes just as way to keep on performing between auditions. I fell in love with the craft."

He found that first open mic in a rather interesting fashion. "I responded to an ad on Craigslist to perform at the world famous Comedy Store," he says. "I remember a lot of my favorite actors that I liked to watch in film and on television had a standup background, so I told myself, 'Let's try it. If I'm bad, I won't do it anymore. If I'm good, I'll see where it takes me.' So far, it's gotten me to Minneapolis," he adds with a laugh.

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Comedians Fight Sexual Violence with Take Back the Mic! Benefit

Categories: Comedy
L-R: Tracey Ashley, Jenn Schaal, Aparna Nancherla
Benefit parties don't always sound like like a lot of fun. However, instead of planning a stuffy black-tie affair with a silent auction, local comedian Jenn Schaal has invited two comedians from out of state to the Twin Cities for Take Back the Mic! Stand Up Against Sexual Violence.

Schaal and some of her cohorts began putting together the show after dealing with the unsettling conclusion to a sexual assault trial that involved a staff member at Rick Bronson's House of Comedy and a touring comedian.

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Keegan-Michael Key: "I Think That Key & Peele in Its Current Form Has Kind of Run Its Course"

Categories: Comedy
In the post-Chappelle's Show era of sketch comedy, it's hard to argue that there has been a more influential TV show than Key & Peele

Currently in its fourth season, the Peabody Award-winning show on Comedy Central is equal parts insanely funny and culturally important. The duo have played black Republicans, white face-wearing black men in Nazi Germany, and two guys who have no problem calling their wives "bitch" -- as long as they aren't around and can't hear what they're talking about. Needless to say, the show doesn't exactly limit itself. 

This week, one half of the Key & Peele phenomenon, Keegan-Michael Key, joins John Moe and musical guest Bhi Bhiman as the featured guest of Wits. Before he takes the stage, we talked with Key about sketch comedy, his ventures into feature films, and how we might be seeing the end of Key & Peele sooner than we think.

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Standup Josh Wolf on College, Flatulence

Categories: Comedy
Comedian Josh Wolf isn't sure he was what you would call a funny kid. "I had been told a bunch of times by my dad that I was a wise-ass," he recalls, "and all my teachers would say to me all the time, 'What are you, a comedian?'" Indeed, he did his first standup set at the age of 15.

When he arrived at the comedy club for his very first set, he asked what he should talk about onstage. The show's organizer told him to talk about what he knew.

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Comedian Gary Gulman: "It's So Difficult to Pull Off Political Humor Without Being Preachy"

Categories: Comedy
The last time we spoke to comedian Gary Gulman, he told us he was trying to get more famous in order to secure more show dates outside of the East Coast. "There's just not that much demand for me. But I'm trying to get more famous, so hopefully that will change," he said.

The strange thing is that plenty of people know who Gary Gulman is. From Last Comic Standing to his latest special, In This Economy, Gulman has built a solid fanbase. "Based on the fact that I always have people yelling requests at the end of the show, I guess that people are familiar with my work," he says.

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