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  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey

    Fans of the latest Superman franchise got a treat at Pig & Whiskey this weekend. Actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams were spotted amid the crowds of the festival that took place in downtown Ferndale as well as a local restaurant. Cavill, who plays the man of steel in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, stopped to chat with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on Saturday afternoon and evening. He was wearing an inconspicuous black polo shirt as well as a signature Superman-style ‘do. Other fans spotted Amy Adams at Ferndale’s Imperial on Saturday night, some were even seated next to her at the restaurant’s communal benches. Adams reportedly was slightly annoyed that patrons continuously asked for her photo, but she smiled while cell phones snapped images nonetheless. The Zach Snyder film the two are starring in together is currently filming in Birmingham. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, has been spotted around town with his wife Jennifer Garner recently as well. The closed movie set is under intense security and Brett Callwood attempted to infiltrate the filming last month, but was forced to give up his camera’s memory card, lest he make off with telling photos.

    The post Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit

    The Social Club Grooming Company, a metro Detroit-based environmentally conscious company that focuses on health and beauty as well as education, will host Shop Talk this Thursday, a special in their on-going event series that will bring students from both Harvard and Duke for a panel discussion about the social-entreprenurial climate and business innovation happening in Detroit. Detroiters like Burn Rubber’s Rick Williams, fashion photographer Piper Carter, Crain’s Detroit’s Eric Cedo, Mission Throttle’s Jamie Shea, and campaign manager Bryan Barnhill will come together to discuss how to create change in the city’s economic landscape through innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course what makes this panel discussion unique is the way in which it will take place. As The Social Club is a barber shop, each panelist will be receiving a haircut while speaking, the trimmings from which will be used for their nitrogen content to help grow plants in the city. Part of a series that will help Detroiters meet city leaders, voices, artists, activists, and business owners, Shop Talk’s objective is to help young people understand their role in the city’s ever-changing economic system. “There’s so much positive energy in Detroit right now,” says Sebastian Jackson, The Social Club’s founder. “It’s […]

    The post Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Just to clarify, Olympia hasn’t ‘finalized’ financing details on promised Detroit ancillary development — yet

    Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press and Crain’s Detroit Business reported on the remarkable concept Olympia Development of Michigan, the real estate arm of Detroit Red Wings owner Ilitch Holdings Inc., has developed for the proposed “catalyst development project.” (The basics of the project can be found here.) Baked into the details offered by the Freep was this: Arena plans announced earlier called for development to grow up around the arena over ensuing years. But the Ilitches decided to do it all at once: A large part of the infrastructure and construction associated with the retail and residential projects will rise out of the ground along with the arena — and be ready by 2017. Christopher Ilitch said construction of the residential units, restaurants and other new development around the arena was moved up because of its importance to Detroit. He estimated the development would create at least $1.8 billion in total economic impact over several years, 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs, and 1,100 permanent jobs. As Crain’s reported, Olympia would develop 300 apartments in “two buildings on what currently are the surface parking lots between Comerica Park — home of the Ilitch-owned Detroit Tigers — and Woodward Avenue.” Crain’s writer Bill Shea also notes a new building across Adams Street […]

    The post Just to clarify, Olympia hasn’t ‘finalized’ financing details on promised Detroit ancillary development — yet appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts comes to Artist Village Detroit

    On August 2, the annual Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts makes its way to Detroit’s Redford and Brightmoor Neighborhoods. The event,, which runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., features an array of performers, from music (Passalacqua, Tunde Olaniran, Duane the Brand New Dog) to dance (Wild Spirit, Studio Detroit, Dawn Xiana Moon and Kamrah), theater (Shakespeare in Detroit, Nerve, Rumpusroom), and art (installation by 555 Gallery, Armaggedon Beach Party, Colleen Parsons). Check out the website for the full schedule of events.

    The post Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts comes to Artist Village Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch Now: Al Jazeera’s ‘Informants’

    Live on Al Jazeera English’s YouTube Channel, Informants explores the shifty world of undercover agents, FBI-concocted terror plots, and more–in, among other places, Toledo. Read our review here, or watch now:

    The post Watch Now: Al Jazeera’s ‘Informants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Cover Story

What's so funny?

Five comedians give you some advice

Photo: Justin Rose, License: N/A

Justin Rose

Photo: , License: N/A

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Why perform comedy in New York, when Detroit has all you need?

The art of comedy isn't actually funny. For most comedians, it's serious business. 

Think of it as a complex equation that never yields the same answer twice, and "funny" is usually measured by how hard the audience laughed — but even that is subjective.

Why we laugh, and what we laugh at, is as much a mystery as the greatest of mysteries (choose any), and there's not one all-purpose formula to call on for that most visceral of reactions: the laugh. 

No, it's not something that can be cooked up in a laboratory, or taught in a university, though you will find hundreds of classes, seminars, workshops and books on how to deliver the funny to an audience. It's an art form that requires some talent, lots of perseverance and, perhaps, most of all, honesty. We know a good joke when we hear one, and the best jokes are imbued with, at the very least, the ring of truth. We know a good comedian by what they reveal to us, how they make us laugh, how they illuminate human nature, critique our absurdities, and examine the tiny microcosms we wrap ourselves in every day.

While there isn't one reliable formula to tickle the masses, there are some basic guidelines that might make you a funnier human being.

David Dyer, Mike Green, Michael McDaniel, J Chris Newberg and Simply Shanell are five working comedians at the top of their game. Collectively, they have all had national or international exposure, from writing for Jimmy Fallon to appearances on Comedy Central, comedy clubs across the country, opening for major comics such as Lewis Black and Drew Carey, and they all hail from metro Detroit. Above all else, they each have something important to say about the art of comedy, the science of comedy, the comedy of comedy.

They're not guaranteeing a riotous response at that next open-mic night, but a little advice never hurt anyone. And no, you shouldn't quit your day job — no matter how funny your mother says you are.

David Dyer

"How do you get them to laugh?"

The "left turn," I reply. 

It's all in the left turn. 

You lead the audience down a path, and just before they think they know where you're going, you take a left and you keep taking lefts. 

That's what a joke is. It's taking a familiar situation and approaching it from a different angle so you end up somewhere else. Most of us love to be surprised, and that surprise doesn't have to come in the format of a traditional joke. It could be part of a story or a movie. 

Why is The Usual Suspects such a great flick? 

Because for 106 minutes, you kind of think you have it figured out, and then in the last two minutes, you're tossed on your ear. 

For me, there's nothing better than making a person laugh. We live in some pretty rough times right now, especially in Michigan, and for many, there's not a lot to smile about. I've been doing stand-up for 19 years, and I will tell you that my greatest satisfaction still comes from knowing that there's somebody in the crowd who had a rough week. That person decided to come out to the show and, for an hour, I had the privilege of being their escape so they could forget about all that other crap.

I'm a married guy with two daughters and I do a fair amount of material about the three women who surround me. 

An example of the "left turn" comes in the form of a joke I used to do about my youngest daughter. It goes like this: 

There's no love like the love you have for your child, but let's be honest ... there's the other side. I've never been so angry with a human being in my life ... my 6-year-old owes me money. And I feel bad shaking her down about it because ... she's 6. The only source of income she has right now is her teeth. She keeps telling me, "This one's starting to wiggle. Give me another week." "That's what you said last time," I say. A week later, I'll have her pushed up against a wall going, "Bite the apple. Daddy needs his money."


For more information, see or follow @dyercomedy on Twitter.

J Chris Newberg

Comedy is like music. 

Jokes or funny stories all have rhythm, beats and melodies. They also have dynamics and a hook. That said, being funny is an interesting thought. It's the one form of art where not everyone will think you're successful. In fact, you could tell a joke to two people and one might like it, one might hate it and they would both be right. Comedy is subjective. 

Some people are obviously funnier than others and some people will never be funny. I am funny. It's my job. I'm good at it. It evens out though, because I suck at golf.

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