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Entries in Michael Showalter (4)

Monday
Jul192010

The 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival @ Union Park, Chicago - 7.16.10 

Michael Showalter | Photo by Clay Adamczyk

Festival-goers at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival were already ready to escape the 90 degree sun when comedy took the stage at 5:30 on Friday, the first day of the three day event. Kids with varying degrees of mustaches, baseball jerseys, feathers, and tattoos spread themselves out in the shaded, woodland area of Stage Balance, the smallest and furthest removed stage (yet situated closest to glorious beer). Tim Harrington, flamboyant lead singer of Les Savy Fav, 'hosted' the first ever comedy presentation at Pitchfork, mostly by throwing giveaways at kids sat closest to the stage and inviting contestants up to the stage for a marshmallow eating contest. The whole production ended up coming off as a hokey advertisement for Kraft, and ended with one contestant getting ‘sick’ (cue an absurd flood of multi-colored gag vomit). Harrington was amusing in and of himself, but his hosting didn’t do much to set up the showcase of some of the hottest comedians working right now.

Chicago’s own superstar Hannibal Buress opened as the first comedian to do Pitchfork, commanding the stage while also fighting the band playing simultaneously across the park. The opposing performers were dance punk trio The Liars, who at one point seemingly got louder at the exact time Buress was taking one of his signature pauses. This elicited one of the funnier quips about the perpetual sound bleed, as Buress asked the band, “What? You got a problem? That’s it! We got beef now. This is going to be one of most obscure beefs ever.” All in all, Buress commended the experience, saying, "I was really excited to be able to perform at Pitchfork; it was definitely fun to do a large outdoor event like that in my hometown."

Buress rumbles through his 45 minute set only slightly distracted from that point on, and the crowd is responding. However, their laughter kept drifting away in the wind, and the music across the way was sometimes the only answer the performer could hear. This was evident when Michael Showalter took the stage, first “competing” with his rock enemy, by faux-DJing on a laptop. He tried to get off some bits and stories, but soon was overcome with distractions, and became nearly hostile at suggestions from a few that he “do” some of his State characters. He attempted to address the situation of doing comedy in the out of doors at a music festival, saying you have to essentially be autistic to be able to perform in this setting, and luckily he has tendencies towards that condition. As he continued to meander and falter, the mostly supportive crowd began to drift, and at one point the singer on the opposing stage asked his crowd, “How we doing?” which elicited some cheers and whoops. It was getting increasingly surreal. Showalter mused, "All that’s missing is 400 people banging pots and pans together." He ended up leaving the stage approximately 15 minutes early.

Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac managed to smoothly incorporate his stories in a rhythmic overlap to Robyn’s sunny pop. More people were drifting over to the shaded area, spreading blankets and eating their festival dinners. Some napped.    

The wind picked up and the temperature began cooling off. Eugene Mirman was the comedy closer for Pitchfork 2010, and he handled his business downright professional. The sound bleed was acknowledged, as he remarked that it sounded like a musical spaceship was landing in the field, and then soldiered on. At one point he was having so much fun and so was the crowd, both with his material and his asides about the weirdness of the venue, that he exclaimed, “This is actually fine!” And it was fine. Sure, it wasn’t 100 percent optimal conditions for a stand-up comedy set, but it ended up feeling like everyone was in it together, and it was a blessed reprieve for festival attendees who needed to take a sit-down-and-laugh break. 

Mirman’s not a stranger to festivals, having performed in “ten or twenty” of them, he said. In reflecting on the Pitchfork experience the next day, Mirman said, “It went pretty good during my set. There were only a few moments that it was so loud that it was weird. With these things, often the audience is fine; the music is facing the comedians and the comedians can’t hear how loud they are through the sound… In general though this was fun; this is a very fun festival. The reason I come out is partially to see the bands and see friends and hang out.”

“I could see that people were laughing and that it was essentially going alright,” he added.  

--Kristy Mangel

Wednesday
Jun232010

Comedy to Join Uber-Hip Pitchfork Music Fest

Chicago! | Photo by Seth OlenickThis past Monday, Pitchfork released the schedule of their much bally-hooed summer 2010 music festival, in addition to the news that a comedy stage will be included as part of the festival for the first time ever. To appear Friday, July 16, will be festival slap-happy Eugene Mirman, Michael Showalter, Wyatt Cenac, and Chicago golden-boy expat Hannibal Buress, with host Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav.

Pitchfork Music Festival takes place in Chicago's Union Park, July 16-18. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are sold out; Friday's are quickly being snatched up after the announcement of the newly added comedy stage.

FRIDAY, JULY 16
8:30 Modest Mouse
8:00 Eugene Mirman
7:20 Broken Social Scene
7:15 Michael Showalter
6:30 Wyatt Cenac
6:25 Robyn
5:45 Hannibal Buress
5:30 Liars
4:35 El-P
4:00 Tallest Man On Earth
3:30 Sharon Van Etten

--Kristy Mangel

Tuesday
Apr132010

Michael Showalter May Have Put a Ring On It

Saw this random bit of news on Michael Showalter's wikipedia page:

According to his Facebook profile, he became engaged to a Ms. Katie Showalter on April 10th, 2010. Her surname is an alias in order to conceal her profile from unwanted visitors, for example, Jeanette Wilson.

Congrats to Sho! Feel bad for poor, unwanted Jeanette Wilson tho, whoever she is.

Wednesday
Feb172010

Michael Showalter LIVE on 'Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend' Tonight

Michael Showalter is dropping by the Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend Ustream channel TONIGHT at 10PM. If he's anything like he was on his previous phone-in to Alison's show below, he will be "utterly disinterested and uncooperative." Can't wait!