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Got Comedy?

Blog-noise_AuggieSmithThe Best of SF International Comedy Competition hits town
Comedy, like all of the arts, appears to us as the work of individuals, when in reality it is the effort of a larger group of people. Behind the scenes is where some of the more interesting stories appear—and in comedy, there is the silver-haired Jonathan Fox. You might have enjoyed his efforts at the Crow’s Nest, where for the last 15 years he’s been providing the fodder for the weekly Sunday night laughs.

“I’ve actually been booking comedy for 30 years in Santa Cruz,” Fox says. “At first it was at the old Albatross, which used to be off of 41st Avenue. That lasted about 15 years on Sunday nights, and they went out of business and the Crow’s Nest called me and asked me if I would like to move over.  And I’ve been here ever since. And, it’s been super successful.”

Fox is also infamous for his discovery of a group of talented comics in San Francisco and parlaying that revelation into the country’s best known comedy club, The Punchline. ”I stumbled across this comedy workshop at a place called The Intersection in North Beach featuring Robin Williams and Dana Carvey,” he recalls. “There were no customers, the comedians were the audience, they weren’t even in the main room they were down in the basement.”

Launching the careers of America’s most notorious comedians has become Fox’s legacy. It was Fox’s SF International Comedy Competition that attracted talent from across the country such as Dane Cook, Ellen DeGeneres, Eddie Murphy and Doug Stanhope amongst a long and impressive list. In 2010 the first comic to ever win both Fox’s SF and Seattle competition emerged, Auggie Smith. Fox beams, “I love comedy that makes people question their beliefs while laughing. And Auggie does that to a tee.”

Smith may appear on the younger side of life, but this seasoned pro has been busy cultivating an audience and working full time as a comic since 1990. “The thing about aging and stand-up is that a guy like me has been around a long time and has always made a living at it, and I have a little bit of an audience—but I’m not a huge star by any means,” Smith surmises from the wings of a stage in Missouri. “But I can always look to the trio, Ron White, Lewis Black and Rodney Dangerfield. Three guys who did it forever before they finally hit. So guys like me can say, ‘Ha ha, see, I can still make it!’”

Appearing at the Best of the SF International Comedy Competition will be headliner Auggie Smith. Also appearing will be Sammy Obeid and Shannon Gettins. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at Kuumbwa Jazz. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door. For more information, call 415-302-0519.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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