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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Laughing Hard at The Purple Onion

I was going to call this post "Laughing My Ass Off at The Purple Onion," but then I thought that didn't sound very ladylike. But "Laughing Hard at The Purple Onion" isn't a very good title either because it just sounds like I was laughing at an onion that happened to be purple. Like I'm losing my mind in the produce section.

So I may re-title this post at some point in the future when I can say what I really mean.

What I really did mean to say is that:

  1. I went to a comedy club in North Beach on Friday night (yes, back so soon) called The Purple Onion.
  2. While I was at the comedy club, I laughed so hard that had I still been sick with the most recent cold, I probably would have coughed up a lung. (That is meant as a total compliment to the performers. I laughed really hard.)
The Purple Onion is one of those classic places where some really great comedy talent has taken the stage (Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, Mort Sahl) and when you walk down those crazy, narrow stairs to enter the club (I worry a little about the 2-drink minimum and going up the even crazier staircase to the ladies' room--someone is going to break an ankle there), you feel like maybe this is what it would be like to go to The Cavern Club, where the Beatles first played.

This club has some serious historic atmosphere. You can feel it coming out of the brick walls and low ceiling overhead (how charming to be in an old unreinforced brick basement in Earthquake City.)


Anyhoo, we went to see Dan Piraro, the creator of the comic Bizarro (and a subject of one of my favorite posts, The Food Baby). He's a syndicated cartoonist and I'm sure you've seen his work unless you have no sense of humor or you live in a place where the local newspaper has banned his work. He's incredibly warped, sarcastic and funny as hell, and he even finds the time to be a vegan and an animal-rights activist (although as a devoted carnivore, I will keep that information to myself).

The comic who opened for him, a local guy named Johnny Steele, was hilarious-- especially if you have grown up or lived in the Bay Area for a while.

The clip below is a mini-documentary about Dan and his art and his comedy. You can see parts of his previous show, some of the material he also used in this one. The best part of the night was when he read his hate mail to us, but unfortunately we don't get to see that on the clip. But you should watch it anyway--it's a cool little video. And if you think you'd like to see him, get on his mailing list.

Picture of The Purple Onion was something I should have taken myself if I had a proper camera, but instead I got it off of flickr from someone named Sophiesunset.


b February 24, 2008 at 5:20 AM  

Cool, I love that strip. He kinda looks familiar... neat that he's from OK. That explains some things.

Elizabeth February 24, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

I really enjoyed that little clip, thanks TB

tangobaby February 24, 2008 at 9:30 PM  

Hi b and Elizabeth,

I'm glad you enjoyed the clip. He's quite a character...