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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Podcast episode 451ish: Joel Plaskett

First off, happy 13th birthday to What's So Funny? On April 18, 2004, we hit the airwaves with our guests Dana Alexander and Paul Bae, with my trusty manservant Kevin Smith on the controls. Look how far we've come: Dana has been living in England for years and tours her standup all over Europe. She's also got a podcast with the apt title of Comedians of the World. Paul has retired from standup but has a very popular – and creepy – podcast called The Black Tapes. And, of course, Kevin retired from pushing buttons after ten years of service and is now in hiding.

But that was 13 years ago. What's the latest, you ask? Why, it's nationally adored singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett, aka Joe Plastic. Based in his home and native province of Nova Scotia, Plaskett junior and senior (his musician father) were on tour and playing the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver so I nabbed him on Sunday afternoon for a free-ranging chat on all things Plaskett. We discuss me fake-kissing his now-wife, plus he tells us about his mom and Jimi Hendrix, how hecklers on Twitter get him down, and his dream of driving John Candy's van across country on tour.

It's all right here for you to enjoy, if you like. Just click and the soundwaves will hit your eardrums. Or take us with you on the road. Go search for us in your favourite podcast peddler, be it iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, or what-have-you.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Apr. 16: Brad Upton

Our guest tonight has been doing standup comedy for over 30 years. I'll do the math for you: we're talking 1984 when he first gave it a go. And he still kills wherever he goes, whether it's a club, cruise ship, or theatre. Brad Upton still goes out on the road with crooner Johnny Mathis, but he makes time for a visit to Lafflines about once a year, where we caught him last week. Upton has spent his whole career in Seattle so it's a nice little drive up. He's been an elementary school teacher and a university track & field coach, but comedy won out. We'll talk about all of the above, and more, tonight. (Full disclosure: we already did.)

Tune in tonight at 11 pm to CFRO 100.5 FM in Vancouver. Or livestream us at coopradio.org. Or, I suppose, find us on TuneIn Radio. That works, too.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Podcast episode 450ish: Camilo the Magician

Camilo the Magician is the first guest in What's So Funny's 13-year history who's had a pop song written about him. That's right, Vancouver's Said The Whale wrote a catchy little number all about Camilo Dominguez and you'll never guess what it's called: Camilo Juan Tamariz and all week I've been watching Juan Tamariz videos on YouTube. Great stuff. I also went to Camilo's show at the York Theatre with my son and we both loved it. He told me afterwards it was "as good as Mac King's show and maybe even better." High praise indeed. Camilo moved to Victoria as a teenager and immediately made friends through his prestidigitation. And he performed a trick for me, too. They don't call it the magic of radio for nothing!
(The Magician). Go check it out and I guarantee you'll be humming it for weeks, as I've been. Camilo was a great guest, telling us all about magic in Colombia. He told me about

Have a listen.

Podcast 449ish: James Kennedy

And now it's James Kennedy's turn in our mad rush to get our podcasts updated. James was a guest just under a month ago, his first time on the program. This guy shot onto the Vancouver standup scene like a cannon. One day he was brand new, the next he was headlining. But he remains humble. We talk about his previous life in music as well as his love of monkeys. And more, of course, but it's been so long I forget now.

Check it out. You can click below or download us (and subscribe!) at iTunes or Stitcher or wherever. We're everywhere.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Podcast 448ish: Harris Anderson

We're a tad late on our podcast posting so let's get the ball rolling. Dog-loving standup comic Harris Anderson made his WSF? debut back on March 12th. Now, a month later, the episode is available for you in perpetuity for nothing! He's a young man with old taste... except when it comes to jazz. Can't have it all, I guess. But his comedy heroes are the likes of Jonathan Winters and Victor Borge. He even threw in a quote of Milton's Paradise Lost.

Listen quick because the next one is coming down the pipe any day now. Click below or go find us on iTunes, Stitcher or your favourite podcast dispensary.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Apr. 9: Joel Plaskett

We like to branch out once or twice a year with guests outside the direct world of comedy. Tonight is one of those nights. Last Sunday, I spoke with new old friend – and goddamn national treasure! – Joel Plaskett. I first met the singer-songwriter back in the mid- to late-nineties when he was still with his Halifax-based band Thrush Hermit. It was a brief hello in a diner and we hadn't spoken since. But we picked up right where we left off lo those many years ago... only we said more than hello to each other this time. Plaskett, who still lives in Nova Scotia, was out for an afternoon stroll in East Van the day after he and his pa played the Vogue Theatre in support of their new album, Solidarity, and walked right into Co-op Radio for a little chin-wag with me, which you will hear tonight if you tune in to 100.5 FM at 11 pm.

And if you're far from a radio – or far from Vancouver – you can always livestream the show at coopradio.org. Or just wait for the podcast to drop.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Apr. 2: Camilo the Magician

I love magic. And magic on radio is something truly special! Okay, not so much. But Camilo the Magician (Camilo Dominguez) will tell us his story of moving from Bogota, Colombia, to Victoria as a 15-year-old. That's gotta be some culture shock, I'm thinking. He's got a show at the York Theatre that ends next weekend. I've seen his magic via the old computer and it's pretty amazing. Check him out, and then tune in tonight to CFRO 100.5 FM at 11 pm to hear our conversation. We'll even play a song by Said the Whale that called, crazily, Camilo (the Magician).

If you're away from a radio, you can livestream us at coopradio.org

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mar. 19: James Kennedy

Tonight we've got James Kennedy on the old program. This is NOT Jamie Kennedy, I found out after booking him... Not true. I mean, no, they're not the same but it's not true that I ever thought they were. In fact, it wasn't until checking to see if he had a website that I put the two together. James is a local comic who's been killing it the last couple years... and he hasn't been doing comedy all that long, relatively speaking. He was in the music biz for a decade before switching over to the laughs. We'll talk about that, and welcome him back to Vancouver. From where? Not sure. But I know he's been away for a few weeks.

We're on the air at 11 pm. Tune in to CFRO 100.5 FM to eavesdrop on our conversation. If you don't have a radio, try livestreaming us at coopradio.org. That oughta do it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Podcast episode 447ish: Barry Crimmins

Here's a special episode. The legendary Barry Crimmins was in town for the JFL Northwest Comedy Festival a few weeks ago and he very generously agreed to sit down with me for an hour, despite being hounded to do podcasts wherever he goes. I first heard of Crimmins in 1988 when I heard the album Strange Bedfellows. Some know him from his book, Never Shake Hands with a War Criminal. And more lately, a whole new group of people know him from the Bobcat Goldthwait documentary, Call Me Lucky (on Netflix on a TV near you). He's also the godfather of the Boston comedy scene that birthed the likes of Goldthwait, Steven Wright, and Louis CK, all of whom he talks about in this episode.

Unfortunately, the sound is a bit crap. But whatcha gonna do? We can hear his words and that's the most important thing. Live and learn. The political satirist and activist talks about who he considers to be the best and worst president of his lifetime, his problems with Hillary, his experience on Air America (or "Err" America, as he dubs it), and the early days in the Boston comedy scene.

You can hear the episode at the gizmo below or you can download it at Stitcher or iTunes or wherever fine podcasts are dispensed. Go subscribe to us and the next episode will pop up automatically in your feed.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mar. 12: Harris Anderson

Our guest tonight is a first-timer. He's what they call in the business a young up-and-comer. I have no idea how young Harris Anderson is, but it's all relative. They're all whippersnappers to me. He's established enough that they're roasting him later this month. On March 20th, his friends and colleagues will rip him a new comedy hole at Yaggers in Kitsilano, all for a good cause. The proceeds are going to the BC SPCA. Harris is also a pretty good musician, I hear, so we'll talk about that. He hates jazz, so that's a potential stumbling block, but maybe we can work through it.

And Sam Tonning is in week #2 of his audition to be my new manservant. This is his first time with a real live guest in studio so pressure's on.

Turn on your radios at 11 pm (new time) in Vancouver to CFRO 100.5 FM. If our streamer is up and working, you can stream us at coopradio.org. If not, we'll be out in podcast format in a couple weeks.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Feb. 26: Barry Crimmins

The JFL Northwest Comedy Fest has come and gone. I saw a lot of good shows. Hope you did, too. I also got the opportunity to sit down with the legendary Barry Crimmins for an hour. That conversation runs tonight. Crimmins has been the preeminent American political satirist for the last forty-plus years. We spoke in his noisy hotel room. The sound quality ain't the greatest, but hopefully you can cut through the noise to the scintillating conversation, which ran the gamut from Trump and Clinton, to Air America, to the old Boston comedy scene from which he sprang and helped develop.

For those who may not be familiar with him, check out the Bobcat Goldthwait-directed documentary on him on Netflix, Call Me Lucky. It's fantastic. He's also the author of Never Shake Hands with a War Criminal. And I first heard him back in the late 1980s on a great political comedy album called Strange Bedfellows, which also featured Will Durst, Jimmy Tingle and Randy Credico. Check it out. It's all about the Reagan era but it sadly still holds true. And holds up comedically.

We're on the air tonight at 11 pm, as always, on CFRO 100.5 FM in Vancouver. If you're elsewhere in the world and can't wait until the episode drops as a podcast, you can livestream us at coopradio.org.