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Comedy

13 Jun 2018
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There’s not much of a standup comedy scene in the Coachella Valley—but The Hood Bar and Pizza and aspiring local comedian Jacob Cantu are hoping to change that. Cantu has often made people laugh during the Wednesday-night open-mic at The Hood—and management has taken notice. As a result, Cantu is now organizing a standup comedy night at The Hood every other Sunday. “I always had it in the back of my mind to do it, but I just didn’t have the balls to do it,” Cantu said during a recent interview. “My grandpa died in 2015, and I was taking care of him. He had Alzheimer’s, and I took care of him for about five years. I was depressed, and my therapist told me, ‘You know, you’re funny here when you tell me about sad stuff; you should try standup comedy.’ I told my wife about it, and my wife…
04 Apr 2018
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Marlon Wayans has come a long way since In Living Color, Scary Movie and Requiem for a Dream. Last year, NBC gave him his own television series, Marlon. After premiering for 10 episodes in the fall of 2017, Marlon was renewed for a second season, set to air later this year. He also had the leading role in the Netflix movie Naked in 2017, and in February, Netflix released his standup comedy special, Woke-Ish. He’ll be returning to the area to perform at Spotlight 29 on Saturday, April 7. During a recent phone interview, Wayans said he was proud that Marlon had been renewed for a second season. “I worked hard to promote it, and I’m glad that it found an audience,” Wayans said. “People enjoy it, and I’m hoping we can build on that this upcoming season. The episodes have been really funny so far, and I can’t wait…
20 Mar 2018
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The month of April (and the final weekend of March) just got a whole lot more entertaining here in the Coachella Valley: The Copa Room Palm Springs is hosting the immense talent of Varla Jean Merman, the naïve yet bawdy drag chanteuse with a heart of gold and razor-sharp wit, on Fridays and Saturdays over five weekends. Although Merman—created and portrayed by Jeffery Roberson—has performed to sold-out crowds before in Palm Springs, most recently with her Bad Heroine show in October, she has never had a residency here like this. Over the 10 shows, she will both workshop new material and bring back old favorites in what she describes as a roulette wheel of shows where audiences never know what they’ll get. For the uninitiated, Merman is purportedly the illegitimate daughter of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman, who was shipped off to a Louisiana convent after their real 38-day marriage—because…
11 Jan 2018
A chicken and an egg are in bed next to each other; both are smoking cigarettes. The egg turns to the chicken and says, “So, we now know the answer to that question.” I have tons of these. But if you would prefer comedy that’s actually, well, funny, consider the Out for Laughs comedy series, coming to the Camelot Theatres each Thursday in February. Shann Carr, a self-appointed “gay man’s lesbian” (and, full disclosure, a friend of the Independent), is co-producing the series. Each show will have a headliner, multiple entertainers and a different beneficiary. “I have been doing a series of shows for over 30 years called ‘Out for Laughs,’” Carr told me during our recent chat. “Sometimes I do videos or film; this year in Palm Springs, I am doing a short run of live shows. Every week, there will be at least four acts. Most times, it’s…

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