STL Up Late is a TV show that shines a spotlight on local artists, politicians, media personalities, musicians, business owners and anyone in the St. Louis region doing something worth sharing. The show has been around since 2013 as a live theater show, and with an offer on the table from local CBS affiliate, KMOV, STL Up Late is preparing for it’s move to television.
STL Up Late host Eric Christensen began his comedy career in the small town of Murray, Kentucky. While pursuing that career, he eventually moved to Chicago where he performed and studied at iO Theater, Second City, CIC Theater and Comedysportz, performing with a number of recognized improv teams.
After moving to St. Louis and looking for a new outlet for his comedy, Eric found himself watching reruns of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon while home with his newborn daughter in the spring of 2013. It was then that the idea for a show combining sketch comedy, the elements of late night favorites — all with a local flair — began.
Looking to bring this idea to life, Eric pitched the show to local filmmaker, and STL Up Late producer, Josh McNew. Together the two went on to finalize the concept and invited a small group of seasoned improvisers and comedians to come together for the first STL Up Late writers meeting. By October 2013, the group was ready to produce its first show at the Satori Theatre, which for the next two years, STL Up Late would call home.
The Improv Shop Brings Police Satire “Not All Cops Are Bad” To St. Louis
The Improv Shop, St. Louis’ premiere longform improv comedy theater, is very excited to bring St. Louis native George McAuliffe to town this summer for two showings of his one-man sketch-comedy satire, Not All Cops Are Bad.
Not All Cops Are Bad will play at The Improv Shop on Friday, August 14th and Saturday, August 15th at 10pm.
“St. Louis has been at the epicenter of the national conversation about police brutality and use of excessive force over the past year,” said general manager Andy Sloey. “Not only will this show be hilarious, it will inspire audiences to take a look back at this tumultuous year with a new perspective.”
Through the combination of satire, current events and McAuliffe’s unique imagination, the show gives an equitable take on the hot button issue of police brutality. As Officer Scott Baker, McAuliffe hosts a public relations meeting in an attempt to justify the “occasional abuse of power” by the police department in the fictitious town of Carlyle.
He showcases the “Human Behind the Uniform” through personal monologues, audience participation, and the analysis of national headlines.
“George is a seasoned performer” said Sloey. “We’re excited to see him take on this potentially challenging material.”
Tickets are $5 and available online at The Improv Shop’s website or at the door.
ABOUT GEORGE MCAULIFFE: George is a writer and improviser living in Los Angeles. He has contributed writing to The Onion News Network and has written and performed in pilots and films that have screened at the New York Television Festival, Sundance and South By Southwest Film Festivals. George has been a featured performer at TBS Just For Laughs Festival and in Bob Odenkirk’s Not Inappropriate Show. He is currently the artistic director of the iO West Training Center in Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE IMPROV SHOP: Located at 510 N. Euclid in the Central West End, The Improv Shop is St. Louis’ only longform improv comedy theater and training center. Regular shows run on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, starting at8pm. All shows are $5. The Improv Shop was given a St. Louis Magazine A-List award for Best Comedy Club in 2014, and was named Best Place for Comedy by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Go! Magazine in 2015.
The Funny Bone in Valley Park, MO is proud to present the one and only Bobcat Goldthwait July 30th – August 1st. Goldthwait is no stranger to entertainment and is one of the most recognizable comedians in show business today. Bobcat’s stand up features hilarious riffs on politics, divorce, going broke, and his career as a director of film. His show is a wild ride of fun finding the funny no matter what the situation.
Goldthwait has been on the creative fast track driven by his passion to make movies. Bobcat’s newest film “Call Me Lucky,” is a documentary about political satirist comedian Barry Crimmins that just won Best Documentary at the Boulder International Film Festival and the Tampa Gasparilla Film Festival as well as the Audience Award at the Chattanooga Film Festival! His sixth movie entitled “Willow Creek,” a movie about Big Foot, is now available on DVD and video downloads. The film is a found footage horror film about a young couple who hike into the remote woods in search of the famous Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot footage sight. It was shot on location in and around Willow Creek, and features a mix of actors (like Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson who co-star,) and local townspeople in real interviews done for the film.
His inimitable talent for writing and directing was clearly displayed in his previous movie “God Bless America.” His often off the beaten path style of creating flicks allows audiences to experience films that other artists may have never dared to attempt. “God Bless America” is a black comedy that stars Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr in a modern day Bonnie & Clyde. In the words of the director himself, “It’s a violent film about kindness.” Bobcat’s imaginative eye behind the camera caught the attention of Esquire Magazine where they named Goldthwait “Director of the Year.”
Bobcat unleashed his one of a kind brand of comedy in his Showtime one hour special entitled “You Don’t Look the Same Either.” The genre-defying Police Academy alum returned with a self-deprecating and topical instant comedy classic, taking the audience on a hilarious journey through his 30 year career as an eighties icon, to the guy who lit the Tonight Show set on fire…literally!
He has come a long way since his first film “Shakes the Clown” back in 1991. Since then Goldthwait has gone to make many more movies including “Windy City Heat,” “Sleeping Dogs Lie,” and “World’s Greatest Dad” that stared Robin Williams. There’s no doubt, there will be many more movies to come.
Since his first appearance on David Letterman at the age of 20, Bobcat has expanded his resume, directing movies and sharing his behind the camera talents on shows such as; “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Demetri Martin show,” “The Chappelle Show,” “The Man Show,” “Maron,” and “Crank Yankers.” Best known for his unforgettable movies that were huge in the 80’s, Bobcat has also starred in several HBO specials and a slew of television appearances too numerous to mention. Bob continues to push the envelope with his unique brand of humor headlining major comedy clubs across the country.
Somehow we managed to steal a few minutes of Jen Kirkman‘s time to chat about her upcoming show in St. Louis, the difference between the club and alt scene and just how important that pre-show playlist is. She’s making her stop in St. Louis on Sunday, July 12 at The Firebird and even though her tour is named after her latest special, that’s definitely not what you’re going to see…
Kelsey McClure:My first question is about your live show specifically; it has the same title as your special. So for the people who are coming out to see you, how much of it is going to be material from “I’m Gonna to Die Alone” and how much are you going to use the new tour to work on new material?
Jen Kirkman: Thank you for asking that because I’m an idiot to name my tour the same thing as the Netflix special. I don’t know why I did it. I was thinking of it as a tour to support my Netflix special but Netflix doesn’t need my support, they have plenty of advertisement help. It’s not the special at all. That special has been put to rest.
Do you find it weird that a comedian has to have videos or a special online but then nobody wants to see a live show that’s a repeat of your special? Whereas with music if you didn’t play the hits everyone would leave disappointed.
This is why I always argue with my musician friends. I’m like, “You guys have it easier. I know you have more gear to schlep around, but it’s easier.” They’re like, “No, it isn’t.”
I totally wish I could just play ‘Freebird’ and everyone would be happy, but they’re not going to be. I think, too, with this tour, why I chose to do rock clubs and small theaters is because I think the real die-hard comedy fans will be there and they will find new things. A lot of my new stuff has more of a story thing… It’s a lot of going off on tangents. It’s funny, but it may not be a rhythm that comedy-club goers are used to. I thought it would be good to do new stuff in a venue that’s, “Hey. This is more of a story time, but it’s less “ha ha ha”. It’s funny, but it’s not the same rhythm as a comedy club where if you don’t have them every second, they’re going to get up and get a drink or something.
I got really excited when I saw you’d Instagramed a shot of David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure.” I thought, “Yeah! That’s my Woman!” How do you decide…
Oh my God!
It’s such a good song, one of my all time favorites.
It’s so good. It’s life affirming. It’s the greatest song ever.
When you’re making your pre-show playlist is it what songs you’re feeling that week or do you have specific songs that get you pumped up?
I have a list of songs that I think the audience will enjoy, that say something about what kind of mood I’m trying to hit. The day of, if I’m feeling something, I’ll add a song or two into it. It’s almost an evolving playlist, but I like to also get people in a mindset. At comedy clubs, they’ll play something that’s for like a monster truck rally and my music taste is more… you might hear some Johnny Cash or a David Bowie-Queen song or a French pop song or something like that.
I just want it to be eclectic and different and have people go, “Oh my God! I haven’t heard this song in so long!” It’s just supposed to set a certain mood.
Most of the time nobody is even noticing, but it’s my greatest joy to make playlists.
Agreed, it’s one of mine too.
When I was backstage listening to my playlists, “Under Pressure” came on… I make the playlists so long that there’s no order. It’s on shuffle. I was so happy that that came on. It got me all excited and I was like, “This is the most beautiful song!” It just gets me. The lyrics are amazing.
Who do you think called who? Do you think David called Freddie or Freddie called David and was like, “I’ve got this idea for a song. What do you think?”
Based on what Morrissey has said about David Bowie, which is that he’s a narcissistic person, I’m guessing Freddie called David. I wonder if it would even dawn on David to collaborate with anyone until Freddie Mercury offered. And then I wonder if it’s even that they were already hanging out and everyone was high and drunk and they made the decision then. I feel like Freddie thought it up. I don’t know why, but that’s what I think. Part of me can see David being the collaborator but I might be wrong. I mean he did do that song with Mic Jagger, Dancing in the Streets but I really can’t say.
You mentioned earlier that comedy clubs play the kind of music that’s like, “Everybody get up and get excited!” Then they say, “Okay. Now sit down and listen. Nobody talk.” How do you channel in and find a medium between keeping the crowd invested and entertained without making it all about them?
It’s hard. I actually, to be honest, with the amount of shows I’ve been doing in different venues sometimes because it’s not built for comedy, the laughs aren’t there so I can’t hear them because of the acoustics. Or people are listening but they’re not dying laughing because they’re not those types of people. Maybe they’re more comedy nerds who are used to it so they’re thinking, “That’s funny,” but they’re not like, “Ha ha ha!”
Sometimes for me, the audience is giving me the energy and the cheers. If they’re laughing really hard, then it’s easy for me. I fly around and it makes me want to try new stuff and it energizes me, but to keep them energetic, it’s almost impossible. It’s either they’re going to be or they’re not. And if they are, I ride their wave and we keep giving back and forth, but if I find the crowd is not that energized, I just do my best and I assume that they’re having fun but they’re just not very vocal.
You just have to knock it in your head. I had this experience the other week where I thought people weren’t really laughing and I was like, “Well, that sucked.” I was too shy to come out after because usually I say “hi” to people and take pictures and there was this huge line of people waiting. “You’re my spirit animal! That was amazing!”
I was like, “I didn’t hear any laughs” but I think sometimes that’s how it goes. People are listening and I’m very hard on myself. I personally have to stay out of my head and not ever get upset from, “Why aren’t you guys laughing?” I know I’m making it sound like nobody is laughing something but that’s not true. I think really, it’s totally out of my control. If the crowd is hot then that heats me up.
I don’t even know of a comedian who can get a crowd all whipped up. It’s not my forte. I can make them laugh really hard, but then they’re quiet again waiting for the next thing. It’s some unspoken energy that happens between a performer and an audience because I don’t have a bag of tricks… I’m not Freddie Mercury when he comes out.
Jen Kirkman LIVE! at The Firebird on Sunday, July 12