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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Podcast episode 249ish: Kaitlin Fontana

Comedy fans know Kaitlin Fontana as an improv/sketch performer. Rock and roll fans know Kaitlin Fontana as an award-winning music journalist. Journalists know Kaitlin Fontana as a top-notch publicist. And any day now, fans of books will know Kaitlin Fontana as an author of Fresh at Twenty: An Oral History of Mint Records. We touched on all those subjects when Kaitlin Fontana visited the What's So Funny? studios on Sept. 18, 2011. We also learned what said awards were for, who Kaitlin Fontana's namesake is, which Mint Records artiste is a bit of a prima stinkin' donna, who people say Kaitlin Fontana looks like, and what, exactly, Kaitlin Fontana's involvement in the re-election of Stephen Harper was. Say wha'? Well, that's one way to look at it. Tune in to find out more.

If you haven't noticed, I kinda think the name Kaitlin Fontana is just about perfect. We also find out what her name would be if Kaitlin Fontana had been born a boy.

Here's your portal into the past below. Or go to iTunes and download the episode for enjoyment at your leisure.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Podcast episode 248ish: Adam Pateman

Ready for a new podcast episode? I knew it! You guys are the best.

When you download this one, don't be fooled. It's not actually Tom Arnold. Nor is it a guy doing a spot-on impression of Roseanne's ex. Rather, it's Vancouver's own Adam Pateman! And when he's not doing impressions of campfires and the opening of pop cans and the pouring of contents into a glass, he sounds exactly like Tom Arnold without even trying. Unfortunately, we didn't talk about it during his visit to the What's So Funny? studio. I only realized it after listening back to the episode.

This show was recorded on 9/11/11 and we talked about the former New York resident's prophetic dream ten years earlier. It's almost eerie, except that it's not at all. And we field a call from former WSF? guest Ivan Decker, who complains about doing shows in the Big Apple.

Get started on the show right here. If you run out of time, go download it at iTunes – but only if you give it a rating. Come on, it's getting embarrassing. We've been stuck on eight ratings for eons. I know there are listeners. We have stats for these things. Some of you have to step up and rate the damn show, maybe even leave a comment. It's really giving a guy a complex.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sept. 25: Dino Archie

Third time a charm? Here's hoping.

Regular readers of this space will have noticed Dino Archie's name has appeared here twice before. Each time he's had to cancel his spot on What's So Funny? for reasons we'll get to tonight... if he shows up! I'm confident he will. We spoke several weeks ago and he was eager to do the show. As an American, he's familiar with the baseball analogy of three strikes and you're out.

Archie has been an irrepressible figure on the Vancouver stand-up scene the past few months despite being a California native. What's he doing here? Career move? I'm guessing not. We'll find out if there's a woman involved. That's usually the way things work. And we'll find out all other things Dino Archie-related tonight between 11 and midnight on 102.7 FM in Vancouver and livestreamed at

That is, if he shows up! (Oh yeah, he's never going to hear the end of it!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Podcast episode 247ish: Tanyalee Davis

We are in heavy podcast mode at the moment, just trying to get caught up with the live radio episodes. Once we're up-to-date, we'll get back to uploading the podcasts one week after they air on the radio. Deal? Good.

So this one was a real joy. Little Miss Sunshine Tanyalee Davis joined us in studio to talk about prisoners and leprechauns. You'll also learn who the bigger dick is: Maury Povich or Bono. And along the way, the 3-foot-6 stand-up comic has a midlife crisis. Can't nobody hold her down!

Listen right here right now or download the episode over at a place such as iTunes and listen while walking your dog or painting your fence.*

* Substitute mindless activity of your own choosing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Podcast episode 246ish: Marcus Ryan

For episode 246ish, we go back in time, to two weeks before episode 245ish. It was a simpler time. And for that reason we felt we should release it after the later one. Does this make any sense? Didn't think so.

Aussie Marcus Ryan made his second visit to the What's So Funny? studio. The itinerant stand-up comic found his way back to our shores after a 2.5-year absence. We talked about a rather happy 3-hour performance in Phnom Penh, rude Canadians, what it means to do shows in Vegas, and, of course, our mutual reverence of the inimitable legend that is Rolf Harris.

By clicking that button below, you'll be whisked back to that simpler era of early August 2011. Another way to go about it is find a podcast server and download the episode onto your electronic gizmo. A service such as iTunes would suffice, although there are others.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sept. 18: Kaitlin Fontana

Author! Author! That's right, we've got a freakin' author on What's So Funny? tonight. But not only has award-winning writer Kaitlin Fontana just come out with a new book (Fresh at Twenty: The Oral History of Mint Records), she's also an improviser, sketch comic and publicist extraordinaire. She really is a gal on the go. We'll cover it all in our hour-long discussion and find out why in a world full of slackers she's so damn driven to succeed. And somewhere along the way I'll ask her how she came to choose nom de plume Kaitlin Fontana because, surely, it's gotta be one. It's too perfect.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Podcast episode 245ish: Blaine Thurier

Now that my trusted web mistress Raegan is back from her Eastern European honeymoon, the backlog of podcast episodes can now start moving. We're going slightly out of order from when they aired but five years from now, who's going to know the difference?

This episode, brought to you by the letter C, brings us film maker/New Pornographer Blaine Thurier. He talks about critics, comic books, Christian rock, and being creative.

Listen right here right now by pressing 'play' below, or download at iTunes. While you're there, click on some stars and rate the show. It's only polite.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept. 11: Adam Pateman

On this most sombre of anniversaries, our guest tonight is a young Vancouver comic who lived in New York City the past two years. We'll talk to Adam Pateman about the Big Apple and what he remembers as a 17-year-old back in 2001. And along the way we'll get to plenty of other stuff, too. I just spoke to Adam (for the first time) in depth a week or two ago and he's got plenty to talk about so this show promises to be a good one. And if we're lucky he'll do his famous impression of a campfire.

Tonight at 11, people! Be there. 102.7 FM in Vancouver or livestream it on If you want to call in and talk to Adam, the number is 604-684-7561. He's looking forward to getting some calls. No pressure, though.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Time to Shine

MacPherson about to pounce on his young and inexperienced opponent.

I've had 24 hours to reflect on my appearance at Paul Anthony's Talent Time (held monthly at the Biltmore Hotel). Here's the deal: Paul brought out a 13-year-old wunderkind by the name of Natasha Carr-Harris, a local table tennis whiz who came back from the US Open Championships in Milwaukee a winner. She put on a little exhibition with her coach, wowing the crowd with her Ping-Pong chops.

Carr-Harris displaying her virtuosic table tennis prowess against her coach.

Then I was brought on to give the young champ a game. Ken Lawson played my coach and hit some balls to me, one of which landed on the table. But I didn't need no stinkin' warm-up! This was a 13-year-old girl! I play against grown-ups.

Anthony does the pre-interview with me.

I do love to play. And in fact, in the one year I lived in a house with a table in the basement, I held a tournament, dubbing it Ping-Pong-Palooza. Fourteen players vied for top prize; only one came away the winner. Me. I made sure to bring my hard-won trophy to the Biltmore to establish my bona fides. And lest you think I invited patsies to my tournament, I made sure I saw each player play once before they were allowed in the competition. I didn't want any weak links. Many good friends asked to play and I had to tell them it was an invitational and their skillz were simply not mad enough.

Coach Lawson confidant in my abilities; Anthony holding up my prized trophy.

All this to say I wasn't some palooka who was going to take the fall for comedic effect. I was going to give this young lady a game. And to her credit, she told me before our match that she didn't want me to let her win. As if.

The game is afoot. Is that fear in the teen's eyes?

I play a little gamesmanship with Carr-Harris. I rightfully won the serve but, being the savvy vet that I am, knew I could allow her first service and I could choose the end. She'd never expect such a brazen opening gambit. So I took her side of the table. Yes, you guessed it, the very side she had warmed up on! This would completely throw her for a loop!

Carr-Harris looking dazed and confused at what just came her way.

I gave her all I had.

I try to smash one by her, as Lawson cowers for his life.

When my smashes failed to get by her, I threw lobs at her so she'd lose the ball in the glaring television lights.

Where's the ball? Caught in the lights, that's where.

I proceeded to lose 11-0 to Natasha.

All fun and games. She was supposed to win. I was the stooge. I was asked to play her after Anthony discovered I was a Ping-Pong enthusiast. He thought it would be funny to have me, an old geezer, trying to play against this young US Open champ. So did I. I thought it would be poor form to beat her since she was the star. I also realized there was very little chance of that happening.

A disgusted Coach Lawson listens to my pathetic excuses.

And yet... And yet I really thought maybe there was an outside chance I could do it. And at the very least get in some good rallies. Make a game of it. Yes, I was that delusional. Not only did she clean my clock to the tune of 11-0, but there wasn't even one decent rally in the whole game. Zip. Nada. I felt bad for the people. If I were in the crowd watching that kind of pathetic display, I would have thought I could do better than that. I still believe I could have done better than that. But I didn't.

Now, in my defense, I've got lots of good excuses:
  1. I had a beer before the game and I'm pretty sure she was clean and sober.
  2. She had a good long warm-up with her coach while I didn't.
  3. I wasn't wearing my glasses.
  4. She did all her fancy spins.
  5. If I were up, say, 8-0 in a game to 11, I would ease up a bit, maybe engage my opponent by geting in a rally. But she did no such thing!
  6. I'm old-school. I much prefer the 21-point games, where players alternate taking five serves apiece. I can come back from 8-0 in a game to 21; it's very hard to do in a game to 11.
  7. Come on, everyone knows a real competition is a best-of-3 or best-of-5 sets. I was just warming up!
Okay, not so much good excuses, but excuses nonetheless. It was overall a fun night. I just wish I could have given her a better game. Natasha is a very charming young lady and quite the over-achiever. I think I might go to her coach for lessons.

The photo above and the ones following were all taken by Patrick Shannon. Visit his website here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sept. 4: Tanyalee Davis

The live show returns tonight. And by 'live', I mean, of course, live to air on the radio with an in-studio guest, not live in front of a studio audience. And it promises to be a great show. I've been waiting a long time to get this comic on. Tanyalee Davis is practically a local. Hailing from Manitoba, she got her comedy career started right here in Vancouver, if I'm not mistaken. And if I am mistaken, she will correct me on-air. Soon after she started her career, she headed down to Los Angeles to seek her fame and fortune in Hollywood. Not sure of the timeline, but I know she spent a good number of years in Las Vegas, where she performed regularly when not touring the globe. And she tours the globe frequently. I interviewed Tanyalee back in 2005 and the girl has stories and isn't afraid to tell them. If you've ever seen her stage act, you know her life is an open book so I expect an hour will barely scratch the surface.

As usual, the show goes from 11 to midnight PST on 102.7 FM in Vancouver, streaming live on the interweb at