Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Sep 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Durst’s Political Outbursts

blog_WillStandSmileA night of Tax Relief Comedy files into the Kuumbwa.
The Kuumbwa Jazz Center is the most intimate and acoustically perfect room for comedy in Santa Cruz. Even with a small crowd the laughter percolates, and on Saturday, the moment was ideal for a thematic comedy event.

The premise of the show was Tax Relief Comedy and the opening comic and host was none other than the irascible Glenn Beck, played by Kurt Weitzmann. A soul of the Bay Area comedy scene, Weitzmann has spent decades honing his craft—bringing forth such notable classic ensemble pieces as The Hitler Roast and The Jesus Roast. Imitating one of the most deranged characters in the political media melee has its challenges: like, how do you outdo somebody who already is a parody of himself? But the small audience warmed up to Weitzmann’s shenanigans and he set the stage for the most spoofed bouffant in the biz.

Tea Party 2012 hopeful, Sarah Palin, played by comic Mari Esther Kaplan, was spot-on in appearance and mish-mash nonsense lingo. Kaplan got the crowd chuckling with her gun slinging, wild-eyed rush to appear as if she knew what she was talking about. If Palin actually makes it to the primaries, we will be thankful that comics like Kaplan have got their bead on the crosshair.

Next up, as himself, was a true original voice in a world of simulacra’s, the legendary Will Durst. Old school comedy means different things to different people. For me, it means comics that have some sustenance to their act, some roots in the world and an appreciation of the decades that go beyond Facebook and Charlie Sheen jokes (although there’s nothing wrong with that). Headliner Will Durst is cut from a different bolt of cloth than most comics, or humans. Durst is one of a withering gang of great comedians who are also social commentators—people like Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Will Rodgers, Mark Twain and the King of class clowns, George Carlin. Durst can spin tales of the behind-the-scenes-double dealings that go on in the two-party state like a card shark on a riverboat.

There are those comics (Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher) who are in the million watt spotlight of American media and who are comedian/commentators, but those guys have a mule team of writers behind them.  Durst works alone, spending his days reading the newspapers and finding twists on the headlines. His shotgun approach to the show, including a Q&A with the audience, ping-ponged its way through such topics as giving huge tax breaks to the poor—“Give us the money, we’ll spend it! We’ll spend it on crazy things like food and rent”—to living in San Francisco—“In SF, Halloween is redundant”—to Sarah Palin, who he labeled “Caribou Barbie.”

Durst is one of the most approachable, no nonsense comics you can find. When asked, recently, if he had any advice for new comics he said, “I don’t know how to explain it. You hear all these clichés, you hear there’s a closet door in Utah that you uncover and discover a bunch of clues, you open the door and bathe in a bright white light and become a stand-up comic. It’s not like that, you just do it, keep doing it and try and find out who you are, who your voice is. That’s what’s going to last. The lines aren’t going to last. The character will last and the voice will come out of the character if you keep focusing on that and being true to yourself. The hoariest of the all the chestnuts, but it’s true. If you enjoy it, they will enjoy it. You have to make yourself laugh.”


You can find Will Durst writing for Huffington Post and at his website, willdurst.com

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.