You may or may not remember the great comedy boom of the 1980’s. Ah yes, think back — stand-up comedy had gained momentum in the 1970’s and by the 80’s, hundreds of comedy clubs were open around the country offering a platform to big names to jump from the stage to the sitcom-infested TV screen. It wasn’t uncommon to see a comedian be the opening act for a band, or to see Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams at every single turn. Reagan was in office and boy did we all need a good laugh.
What happened to comedy in the 90’s? It seems just as pop culture choked on the hairspray of countless glossy late-80’s hair bands, comedy became overexposed and kind of went away. Well, except for a movement that paralleled what the revolution in music: alternative comedy. Comedians like David Cross and Patton Oswalt took a more down-home, storytelling approach and lead the way for a parade of other independent acts.
You might have noticed that comedy has again gotten itself into the proverbial bed with music. Sub Pop has released comedy albums by Cross and Oswalt, and you may have heard of a little something called Flight of The Conchords, the two-man novelty band/comedy show that’s all the rage. Sub Pop’s 20th Anniversary Festival includes a night of comedy by David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry and will be hosted by Kristen Schaal (Flight of The Conchords’ sole super-fan, Mel). The comedy show kicks off the SP20 weekend Friday, July 11th, at the Moore Theatre.
As if the SP20 comedy show wasn’t rad enough, KEXP has launched its first comedy-based podcast and will be giving away tickets to the show on the KEXP Blog, so be sure to stay tuned for a chance to win big. I’ve witnessed people be brought to tears by David Cross, so even if you don’t win the free tickets, do yourself a favor: throw down the cash and go.