Heralded as one of our country's foremost comics, Paula Poundstone's quick-thinking, unscripted approach to comedy makes for a perfect fit as a regular panelist on NPR's #1 show, the screwball weekly news quiz show WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! where she holds the record for game losses. "The others cheat," she says magnanimously, "you wouldn't think NPR would put up with that." || Learn more about Paula Poundstone.
Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based, Queens-raised comic who the NY Times has called "one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today." In March 2014, he released his debut standup album "Waiting for 2042" on indie-label Kill Rock Stars. He is currently NYU's APA Institute's "Artist in Residence" for the 2014-2015 Academic Year. || Learn more about Hari Kondabolu.
Interactive Performance: Frog Night, Good Good Comedy Theatre
Cast: Sean Landis, Kate Banford, Aaron Nevins, Chris O'Connor
Frog Night is an evening of experimental comedy that is immediately pulled apart in a live Q&A with the audience. Stand up comics perform a deeply personal or boundary-pushing set they have never done before (or never thought they'd do again). Then host Sean Keegan-Landis facilitates a discussion where the audience gets a chance to talk to the comic about what they just saw.
While mocking society's foibles has been a comic staple since the poets of ancient Rome, right now may be the Golden Age of satire, with "The Daily Show", Samantha Bee, The Onion and countless comics (Amy Schumer, Louis C.K., Bill Maher, Sarah Silverman, John Oliver, Lewis Black) hoping to shame the shameless by taking pungent, potent pokes at society's hypocrisies.
Satirists are frequently accused of "crossing the line"; generally, they don't care. George Carlin said "It's the duty of a comedian to find out where the line is... then step over it."
One thing is sure: wherever you draw it, your line won't be in the same spot as mine. So how do we as a society decide when satire goes too far?
With clips and commentary, we'll explore how comedy deals with society's taboos and inevitable censorship, from forbidden farts in Afghanistan to the silencing of a South African puppet, along with W.S. Gilbert, Groucho Marx, Richard Pryor, Monty Python, "South Park", Key & Peele, the Russian Orthodox Church, Mel Brooks, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and two outrageous "Saturday Night Live" sketches written by U.S. Senator Al Franken.
Most of all, we'll see how satire gets people to examine their assumptions and presumptions because, ultimately, satire is less about getting you to change your mind than just getting you to think.