On the Comedy Cast this week we speak to Italian stand-up comedian Luca Cupani about his run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Aggy Fox joins us for our Legends of Comedy section where we speak about Richard Pryor. We also speak to post-rock band Magdalena Gornik about why postrock is so awesome and myself and Seamus we go through the 10 Best Jokes of the Edinburgh Fringe, pet deaths and sucky sitcoms.
First up on The Comedy Cast this week we speak about the untimely death of Spud’s dog, Rambo, not to get too sad about it but sure y’know yourself it’s always sad when a pet dies. We speak about just how bad vets can be, when you see a couple of different vets and they say different things who are you supposed to believe and maybe they need to go back to failed doctor school, sorry, veterinary school. We do find some fun in it though, thanks to the dog dying Spud is told that he’s ripe for something like Britain’s Got Talent now that he has a tragic story to go with his talent.
We have a chat about the strange viral videos of people recording their pets dying. Why do people make these and why do people watch these? Surely watching stuff like that on the internet cannot be good for you, can it? And then there’s videos of animal acting like other animals, what in the name of Jaysus is that all about? Can animals have split personality disorders, split species disorder, is that even a thing?
Spud got some mail during the week about the lads’ comments on female legends of comedy, so to make amends he gives out a list of 10 of the best performing female comedians who are working on the circuit now.
Luca Cupani Comedian
Next up we have our first comedy guest, we have Italian stand-up comedians Luca Cupani, we speak about his Edinburgh Fringe Festival show God Digger. We speak a little about the show of course, the main theme being how his Catholicism sometimes doesn’t match up with his plans for life and al the pondering that comes from that. We speak about Luca’s hypochondria, how stand-up comedy is a new phenomenon in his homeland, why Italians are so good at assimilating when emigrating and why the Bible has four gospels, four versions of the same story, but different.
We back to Spud and Seamus then and the boys sink their teeth into the a post Spud found of the 100 Best Sitcoms in the World, we’re going to be coming back to this over the next few week. You can read it here. This week we go from 90-100 and it makes for dire reading. How can Blackadder be number 100 and there’s some awful dross in there. Why are sitcoms so bad?
Next up, the 10 Best Jokes of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival we just released prior to recording to we text them, it doesn’t go well, they’re not very good and it’s a bit weird to have a stand-up comedian’s full set distilled into one single joke. And what’s worse is just how bad the Top 10 are.
Our musical guest this week is Magdalena Gornik, a post rock band with a very Polish name. However, the story of where the name comes from has nothing to do with Poland. The man behind the band is David Meyers, an extremely talented musician from Pennsylvania, he tells us all about the band and we delve deep into just what’s so great about the rock genre of post rock. Many people may not be familiar with the instrumental rock genre but it’s something I’ve loved for years and years so it was particularly great to get David on to speak about his latest album Dream Sequence Collapse and just why the genre is so good and why the people who love it love it so much.
We’re in the home stretch then and we welcome a very good friend of the show on, Aggy Fox on for our Legends of Comedy section. This week we speak about the absolute legend of stand-up comedy that was Mr. Richard Pryor.
Legends of Comedy, Richard Pryor
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was born on December 1st 1940. Where to start with Pryor, he’s constantly named among the best stand-up comedians of all time and indeed would top the list for many a fan of stand-up.
Pryor’s life got off to a pretty shitty start and didn’t really get much better for a long time; he was born to Gertrude Pryor, an alcoholic prostitute.
Pryor was raised in his grandmother’s brothel, as anyone who has watched any of Pryor’s stand-up will know, his mother abandoned him at 10 and he stayed with his grandmother until in 1958 he joined the US army.
In the army Pryor spent most of the time in military prison thanks to his part in the non-fatal stabbing of a white soldier along with a few other black soldier. The victim was overly amused at the racial scenes in Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life.
In 1963 Pryor moved to New York to try and get onto the stand-up comedy scene after a couple of years of doing it. He pretty much followed the style of Bill Cosby at the time (no rape jokes Seamus), as in, pretty middle of the road comedy that didn’t touch any racial politics or social observations at all.
From 63-67 he started making a name for himself and began appearing in national television on the likes of the Ed Sullivan Show, Johnny Carson etc.
In September 1967, Richard Pryor had what he described as an “epiphany”. He walked onto the stage at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas (looked at the sold-out crowd, and shouted into the microphone, “What the fuck am I doing here!?”, and walked off the stage. Afterward, Pryor began working profanity into his act, including the word “nigger”.
So after he moved to California, he was receiving film offers left, right and centre and the lure of Hollywood and the counterculture of drugs and promiscuous sex was too much for him to resist.
The 70s and Pryor’s most productive period, he released album after album and starred in dozens of Hollywood films. However, thanks to the heavy drinking, smoking and drugs he suffered his first heart attack in 1977.
The 80s were a different story, while at the height of his fame, the cracks were beginning to appear, he was doing cocaine like there was no tomorrow and while high on the drug set himself on fire in an apparent suicide attempt. He sprang back quickly though and was touring and released a new album within a year of the incident
He only made a handful of films and public appearance in the 90s as he struggled with multiple sclerosis and had yet another heart attack. 9 days after his 65th birthday Pryor suffering a final heart attack and died.
One of stand-up comedy’s most popular and most loved comedians Richard Pryor released 21 comedy albums and starred in 55 films and his autobiography Pryor Conviction is one of the best of the genre.
Usually we finish with a quote, so I’ve got one but not one of Richard Pryor’s, this is from Dave Chappelle said… “You know those, like, evolution charts of man? He was the dude walking upright. Richard was the highest evolution of comedy.”
So, that’s it then folks, thanks for joining us, give us a follow on social media below and please continue to tell your mates about our comedy podcast. G’luck.
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