My father introduced me to stand-up via what he watched on early TV: Jackie Gleason,
Art Carney, Sid Caesar, Red Skelton, & . . . Witnessing Hal Holbrook's simulation of Mark
Twain at Ford's Theatre when I was 15 certainly contributed to my expectation that
aspects of stand-up might manifest themselves within "literary performance". At
Washington University in St. Louis I was lucky enough to witness a variety of
performative moves (often quite outrageous) by the comic novelist Stanley Elkin. A
reading of "Gunslinger" by Ed Dorn in Berkeley California ca. 1969 both stunned me and
had me laughing hysterically. Since then, I would cite Ed Sanders, Christian Bok, and The
Four Horsemen for eliciting hysterical laughter via their formal "literary performances".
On Tue, 14 Oct 2008 12:20:29 -0400, Judy Prince <[log in to unmask]>
>Her own frame, p'raps, Barry; everything's art, all's grist for the
>laff-mill, thank goodness.
>Curious me, who are the stand-ups you most enjoy, past and present? A story
>or two wouldn't go amiss......
>2008/10/14 Barry Alpert <[log in to unmask]>
>> Judy & Ken,
>> I do jest, but not in this instance. In fact, I've been reading an
>> extended online discussion
>> on laughter as The desired response to readings within the very
>> broadly-defined so-called
>> New York School. Marcel Duchamp and John Cage elicited laughter from me
>> when I
>> experienced their talk, and David Antin certainly extrapolates from their
>> Distinguishing between stand-up and performance art is for me a very
>> judgment, but often it's the overt "frame" within which the act occurs. In
>> addition, I
>> delight in encountering what I term "naive performance art" in "real life",
>> but stand-up is
>> rarely naive. Sarah Silverman has amused me when I've witnessed her
>> schtick on late-
>> night talk shows, and I await what she'll do with the break-up of her
>> marriage to Jimmy
>> Kimmel. I predict it will be more stand-up than performance art, though
>> she might put a
>> larger frame over it--perhaps a book.
>> Barry Alpert
>> On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 15:54:29 -0400, Kenneth Wolman <
>> [log in to unmask]>
>> Of course the original statement plus attacks on non-Japanese Haiku are
>> >the acts of an agent provocateur looking for a fight. Maybe they are
>> >themselves a form of performance art. That said, Barry's comments are
>> >provocative because of the weird line here that I gather David Antin
>> >also walks or walked: when are you performing and when are you doing
>> >stand-up Something?
>> >I had the experience--for it was that--yesterday of viewing (finally) an
>> >extremely odd documentary film called The Aristocrats. Few people will
>> >admit to knowing the film or the joke itself. In one version or another
>> >it probably is the dirtiest story ever told. For myself, an old friend
>> >of mine told me ONE version of The Aristocrats back in 1962. It was
>> >tame compared to the joke as it's evolved over the years. Nevertheless,
>> >I'm not sure how I got home. Stand-up *and* performance art...both, I
>> >suppose. The dancer and the dance? I can't tell a joke to save myself
>> >but yesterday I heard/saw the joke told AS a joke and then, via other
>> >performers, as performance art. I was particularly entranced by Sarah
>> >Silverman, an exquisitely beautiful young lady with a potty mouth that
>> >beggars description unless you quote her, which I will not. She was
>> >reclining on a couch or loveseat like a Goya Maja--the posture was
>> >certainly not like Gilbert Gottfried's classic schtick-worthy foul but
>> >riotous delivery at the Friar's Club. Silverman was playing instead of
>> >just telling a dirty joke. She said the joke was about her and her
>> >family. "We ARE The Aristocrats." It ended with her whispering of an
>> >encounter with an old-time radio broadcaster, Joe Franklin, concluding
>> >with "And then he raped me." She went about as far from the original
>> >story as you could go--the one requirement for the story is to end with
>> >the words "The Aristocrats!" Instead her ending was both absurd and
>> >truly grotesque.
>> >So you tell me: when to schtick turn into performance art or shall the
>> >twain never meet?
>> >Judy Prince wrote:
>> >> Agreed, completely.
>> >> Stand-up, Barry? Surely you jest.
>> >> Judy
>> While not filled with optimism, I still feel "Poetry" is in much better
>> shape than before the
>> internet. Even then, it was in better shape than before rock & roll, with
>> the terms "poet"
>> and "poetry" being attached to figures (Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan)
>> whose audience
>> numbers in the millions. Just yesterday I was considering how a google
>> search on my
>> name and a rocking grid backing my oral rendition of texts could amplify
>> the audience for
>> a reading I'm scheduled to give in an area of this country where I wouldn't
>> claim to be
>> "known". More "hooks" available than ever before--why not use them. Which
>> me of the border between stand-up comedy and performance art, along which
>> I've been
>> known to walk.
>> Barry Alpert
>> On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 05:02:09 +0100, David Bircumshaw
>> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >Some people these days say that poetry is dead, some violently deny
>> >it. My current image of the art is that of Desdemona while being, and
>> >after, suffocated by Othello: murdered but still talking in its last
>> >gasps, raising up from its pillow on a final breath. The
>> >Wilhelm-Baynes translation of the I Ching has a line somewhere :
>> >'persistently ill, but still does not die' , which takes one beyond
>> >poor Desdemona, as of course her last revival is, well, curtains for
>> >her if not quite then the play.