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Austin Duerst

"Dear Mr. Watterson", one of this year's Wisconsin Film Festival selections (which screens twice, on Sunday, April 14, 4 p.m. at UW Union South and Monday, April 15, 9 p.m. at Sundance), is a finely crafted love letter to the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" and its creator, Bill Watterson. By interviewing fans, historians and fellow cartoonists, director Joel Schroeder highlights the strip's cultural significance and how the little boy and his toy tiger resonate with fans today, nearly 20 years after the last strip was published. more

Apr 12, 2013 12:40 PM Movies

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Adam Carrigan/Severne Pictures

The organizers of this year's Wisconsin Film Festival have dubbed "La méduse rouge", which screens Saturday, April 13 (UW Chazen Museum, 9:15 p.m.), the "most out-there" movie of the eight-day event, so a typical synopsis seems a little off-base. more

Apr 11, 2013 8:46 PM Movies

Midway through a conversation with comedian Tracy Morgan, I present the synopsis of a hypothetical film called "Being Tracy Morgan". A sequel to "Being John Malkovich", Spike Jonze's bizarre 1999 tale about identity and self-awareness, it would revolve around some teenagers who discover a magical refrigerator that leads into Morgan's mind and body. If such a movie were to be made, I ask, what would its genre be? What kinds of images would people see? more

Mar 14, 2013 2:00 PM Comedy

If you have passion, drive and a slight fixation with something, there's probably a place in Madison where you can geek out with like-minded creative-obsessive types. In this video, members of three such communities share what makes their domain a fun space to visit, even for just an evening. more

Jan 26, 2013 6:05 PM , , MUSIC

A seldom-discussed pastime of many standup comedians is sitting, as in those offstage moments they can take a seat and be alone with their thoughts. But don't expect to find Erin Foley kicking back on a La-Z-Boy before her standup sets. It seems like she's been living on a treadmill since entering the comedy circuit nearly a decade ago. I asked her about her journey to Hollywood before her upcoming trip to Madison's Comedy Club on State, where she'll perform Thursday, Jan. 17, through Saturday, Jan. 19. more

Jan 16, 2013 8:24 PM Comedy

Great comedians are sages in the eyes of Carl LaBove. In the 1980s, when slapstick and impressions were at an all-time high in the world of comedy, he and his friend Sam Kinison set out to change the status quo. With a rotating cast of players dubbed the Outlaws of Comedy, they eschewed disposable one-liners in favor of brutal honesty, memorable anecdotes and well-timed delivery. more

Dec 29, 2012 2:54 PM Comedy

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Austin Duerst and Brandon Duerst

If you're reading this, then it's safe to say the world didn't end. Take a moment to celebrate this fact. Go ahead and hug the nearest person in the room, but then consider the following: How you chose to spend the apocalypse says a lot about who you are as a person. more

Dec 22, 2012 7:37 PM , MUSIC

Michael Somerville has found himself in some strange situations during his 13-year career. Ask him about the college dare that started it all or his early work dancing in a pink bear costume for bat mitzvahs, and he'll offer all the proof you need. But his knack for self-deprecation and relationship-centered standup has opened many doors in the last decade. I asked him about his road to a comedy career before a three-night, five-show run at the Comedy Club on State Dec. 13-15. more

Dec 10, 2012 11:13 PM Comedy

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Connie Ward

For the alt-rock collective PHOX, the holiday season marks the anniversary of their move to Madison and a curious incident that brought them closer. After forming in their hometown of Baraboo, PHOX plunged into Madison's music scene when they started more

Dec 6, 2012 3:00 PM MUSIC

This Saturday, the Madison music community will gather to launch a free concert series called Heat Aid. Taking place at local record store MadCity Music Exchange three Saturdays in a row -- Dec. 1, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. -- the performances will feature a variety of Madison musicians, with all proceeds going to the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund, a statewide nonprofit that helps low-income residents get the heat and air conditioning they need. more

Dec 1, 2012 4:57 AM MUSIC

If Paul Simon had an evil twin brother, one whose musical talents explored themes not of love and friendship but Juggalos and acid trips at the mall, he'd no doubt sound a lot like Stephen Lynch. A self-professed "musician trapped in the body of a comedian," he's produced a handful of studio albums and two highly rated Comedy Central specials over the course of a decade. I asked Lynch about his records, his acid trips, Juggalos and making the album he's always dreamed of before his Nov. 16 performance at the Barrymore Theatre. more

Nov 15, 2012 4:28 AM Comedy

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Fox

Several juicy ingredients make "Bob's Burgers" a hit among fans of Fox's animated sitcoms and critics at publications such as "Paste" and "Slant". The show stars the Belcher family, whose struggling burger restaurant violates nearly every health code imaginable. Filled with bizarre situations and offbeat humor, their weekly misadventures are cleverly sketched out by writers from animated classics such as "Dr. Katz" and "King of the Hill". more

Oct 24, 2012 3:55 AM Comedy

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Jim Cox

Known as for his candid, hilarious performances and his 4-foot-11-inch stature, actor-comedian Leslie Jordan is one of the most recognizable faces in television and film. He's cultivated a diverse body of work since the late 1980s, taking an Emmy Award-winning turn as Karen's swanky rival Beverley Leslie in the long-running sitcom "Will & Grace" and playing newspaper editor Mr. Blackly in the 2011 drama "The Help". more

Oct 16, 2012 9:38 PM Comedy

A Q&A with rocker turned activist Henry Rollins, the former lead singer of punk band Black Flag and an ardent proponent of human rights. more

Oct 4, 2012 2:00 PM Books

After moving to New York from Jamaica at age 17, standup comedian Ian Edwards began his career at a Burger King drive-thru. While taking orders through the speaker, he'd talk in odd accents. Joking with strangers was a way to pass the time, but it soon changed the course of his life. more

Sep 27, 2012 8:35 PM Comedy

Every once in a while, there comes a comedian who enchants audiences with a beautiful message about how laughter helps people face life's adversities. Doug Stanhope is not that comedian. Chances are good that Stanhope hates that sort of comedian -- and probably you, too, if you're into that kind of performance. more

Sep 18, 2012 8:49 PM Comedy

If Paula Poundstone wasn't a comedian, she might be a librarian. In addition to serving as a panelist on the popular NPR quiz show "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me", she's the spokesperson of the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. I asked her about her less bookish habits -- stand-up and improv -- during a recent phone call. more

Sep 2, 2012 6:49 PM Comedy

Rachel Feinstein acts like a stand-up comedian, but she thinks like a hip-hop DJ. There's just one big difference: Her samples don't come from songs. They're drawn from the speech and street noise of New York City, her adopted home. more

Aug 21, 2012 4:33 PM Comedy

Comedian Eddie Pence recently attended his 20th high school reunion in Virginia. The experience was a bit of a brain scrambler for Pence, 38, who's appearing at the Comedy Club on State Aug. 2-4. To his surprise, many former classmates had been following his standup career over the years. Others, who had been unaware of his profession, quickly pulled out cellphones after hearing the news and began searching for videos of his performances. more

Aug 2, 2012 2:00 PM Comedy

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Austin Duerst

Friday evening, La Fête de Marquette celebrated French culture as only the Midwest can. Friends and family gathered on Madison's industrial near east side the night before Bastille Day for French-inspired cuisine, music, crafts and ... well ... beer. more

Jul 14, 2012 5:43 PM Scenes