Friday, 6 September 2013

When my husband complains about the Circle of Death, I'm like:

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Business September 4, 2013: Windy City Of Angels Edition

This week, The Business welcomes four, count 'em, four great guests. Two hail from the greater Bay Area, and two come from Los Angeles, though by way of very different places. Fight your post-Burning Man depression, or continue your Bay Bridge jubilation this Wednesday with all your pals at The Biz.

FROM THE WILDS OF LOS ANGELES

We have Brandie Posey and Brendan McGowan. Ms. Posey is a standup comedian, podcaster, and karaoke jockey extraordinaire. She's originally from Annapolis, Maryland, but lives in LA, where she does her podcast Lady to Lady, which also has a live show at the prestigious UCB Theatre. She also once played Brody Jenner's sister on MTV's Bromance.



(Twitter: @Brandazzle)

Brendan McGowan is a standup comedian and the walking embodiment of the city of Chicago. He's a audience butcher, joke maker, stacker of premises, player with language, and the nation's freight handler. His comedy is stormy, husky, and brawling - truly, he's witty, with big shoulders.



(Twitter: @BMcGComedy)

FROM THE BAY

Mary Van Note was called a "zine-queen comedian" by the SF Bay Guardian, because of her jokewriting craft, and also all the actual crafts she can make. She's the rare breed of comic that can actually make comics, a cross-stitch expert who leaves her audiences in stitches.  She also had her own IFC web series - "The Mary Van Note Show: Gavin Really Wants Me" - opening the door for such IFC-come-latelies as Marc Maron and Scott Aukerman. It's been too long since she's been to The Business, and we're very excited to see Mary perform - and see what she's wearing.



(Twitter: @maryvannotes)

Ben Kolina is a standup and podcaster from Livermore, California, where he runs his own tap room show. His delightful comedy was forged in the right-field bleachers of the Oakland Coliseum, walking the delicate line of cracking up other bleacher creature and avoiding ejection from the premises. Since then, despite being from a small market, Ben Kolina has enjoyed wild success around the Bay, although sometimes his punchlines don't work in the postseason. He also has a delightful sports podcast called Balls & Stuff.



(Twitter: @BenKolina)

All this, and Nato, Sean, and Bucky, too! Nato has a lot to say about Macklemore. Sean has a lot to say about food trucks and vampires. Bucky has a bone to pick with the entire Mission District. And YOU can be a part of it for just five bucks. BYO-Burrito or Bacon-wrapped hot dog, but for Brendan's sake, put some celery salt on it.
Witnessing my husband's behavior at the Bus:

Thursday, 29 August 2013

How most women are with their men by this age:
How it is with my MBA boyfriend and I:

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

First year students and partners always look at second years like:

*But next year when they have jobs and some of the best friendships of their lives, they'll understand.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

When people ask me if I'm looking for a job while my husband is in B-School:

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Business August 28th 2013: The Back to Business Edition




Get your Trapper Keepers and your troll doll pen toppers, The Business is back in session.

We’ve picked a few teacher’s pets to celebrate with, like Kevin O’Shea!



Established in 1984 following the mergers of Steven and Cathy O’Shea, Kevin O’Shea has been one of San Francisco’s leading manufactures of mirth, laughter, hilarity and all around good times! Kevin has been commonly described as clever, absurd, awkward but in a funny way and too smart for his own good. He has been seen on the Independent Film Chanel and ComedyCentral.com. He is a favorite of comedy festivals such as: The SF Sketch Fest and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Go see him now as his 4th quarter productivity has never been higher!

From the Far East, Joe Alfano!

Based in New York City and proud native New Yorker, Joe produces “Thunderbird”, a monthly comedy show. He performs at The Broadway Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, and Laughing Devil Comedy Club. In 2012, Joe was featured on James Holeva’s “Let’s Get Creepin’ Comedy Tour” and played “Abe” in the comedy web series “Happy Cancer Chick”. He was recently selected for the 2013 Laughing Devil Comedy Festival.

 
Friend of The Business and all around cool dude, Joe Tobin.

Originally from Philadelphia, Joe has become a regular in Bay Area comedy clubs, and he has been fortunate to work with such great comedians as Dave Chappelle, Jake Johannsen, Doug Benson, and Zach Galifiankis, to name a few. (Joe Montana once shook his hand and said, “good job.” This may have been the highlight of his career.)

Plus, rounding out her month long residency with The Business, Anna Seregina!

With all your Business regulars: Nato “A+” Green, Bucky “Milk Money” Sinister, Caitlin Gill* and Sean “Sharp Pencil” Keane!

This show is just $5. JUST $5. Get your tix in advance because we sell out.

BYOBurrito but only if you have enough for the whole class.

*in detention.

The Business August 21st 2013: The Wizard from the Far North Edition

This week’s show promises to be magical.

Seattle is full of wonderous creatures, Emmett Montgomery is a prize among them.

Utah born, Seattle based comedian Emmett Montgomery found the comedy stage in late 2004 and has been failing beautifully ever since. Emmett has been involved in a lot of things including critically acclaimed comedy collectives, post apocalyptic variety shows, underground wrestling leagues and family friendly comedy nights in pizza restaurants. Mr. Montgomery has been featured the film “Seattle Komedy Documentary”, the coffee table book “Seattle 100: a portrait of a city” and the Bumbershoot, Bridgetown Comedy and Sasquatch festivals. In addition to wandering the country telling jokes he currently curates and hosts a love letter to Seattle in the form of variety show/sharing party entitled “Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery” at the beloved Annex Theatre and is a member of the Seattle chapter of the Bushwick Book Club, a collection of musicians and artists that create and perform original works based on literary sources. Emmett lives with his beautiful wife and hideous cat in a possibly haunted building in Seattle and enjoys making puppets.

We will also welcome funnyman Torio Van Grol.

Torio now resides in San Francisco, where he regularly performs the hilarious observations he's made about this Golden State of ours. He runs a monthly shows in Sonoma, titled Back Alley Comedy, featuring some of California's best headliners. He also finished runner-up in Rooster T.
Feather's New Talent Competition of 2013, almost finally making his father proud of him.

Plus the phenomenal and precious Matt Leib!

Matt Lieb is a comedian, writer, actor and street musician/Bone Thugs-N-Harmony cover band. He was named “one of my all-time favorite Bay Area performers” by the award-winning SF blog Courting Comedy and, in that same post, described as “extremely talented, charmingly dark and genuinely pleasant”.

And these wunderkinds plus your regulars and resident guest! “Annacadabra” Seregina, Bucky “Big Wand” Sinister, “SuperNATOural” Green, Caitlin “just gave you” Gills and Sean “The Magic Man” Keane.

Buy your tix in advance cause YOU KNOW WE SELL OUT.

BYOBurrito, if you use it as a wand, everything you point at will be burritos.
When I show up for a B-school event that I really didn't want to go to, I'm like:

Friday, 23 August 2013

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

After a 3 month hiatus...It's back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Five minutes into any conversation with an MBA:


Five minutes into a conversation with another partner:

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Business August 14th, 2013: The Between New Breaking Bads Edition

SURE this week won’t feel like a never-ending yawn of time stretching through the ages into the infinite as we wait for more Hank and Walt, but just in case, we put together an excellent mid-week distraction.

We are delighted that our guest for this whole month will be back, the delightful Anna Seregina. She will be joined by the HIGHLY ADDICTIVE Kate Willett.


Kate Willett is a San Francisco based comedian and actress. She recently appeared as a performer in SF Sketchfest, and regularly performs at clubs and theaters all over CA. As an actress, she has performed throughout the United States with companies such as Shakespeare and Company, Word for Word, Woman’s Will and the Samuel Beckett Theater in Dublin, Ireland. She is the host of a weekly radio show, called The Mission Position on radiovalencia.fm. She’s also the co-producer of the weekly Mission Position show in Lost Weekend Video’s famous Cine Cave, Comikaze Lounge, and Comedy at Deluxe.

We’ll also get a little bump of some new shit from the East Coast from guest Alex Grubard!

In 2013 Alex was the winner of LOL at The Grand Opera in Wilmington, Delaware, performed stand-up on mtvU’s “College Quickes,” and co-wrote the sketch show One Hit Wonder which will appear in the 2013 Live Arts & Philly Fringe. 2012 began with Grubard being named one of Philly’s “Comics to Watch in 2012,” “Top Philly Comedians of 2011” and “Top 10 Philly Comedians.” He was a fan favorite during the 2012 Cape Fear Comedy Festival, the 2nd F. Harold Comedy Festival, 2012 Live Arts & Philly Fringe and 2011 1st Person Arts Festival.

All this plus your regulars! “Cooklin” Gill, “Butane” Sinister and “Nitrogen”* Nato Green.

We sell out! Get tix in advance.

BYOBurritos, BITCHES!

*No idea if Nitrogen is a part of making meth or Breaking Bad. Just sounded cool. NITROGEN. NITROGEN! See?

The Business August 6th, 2013: The From Russia With Jokes Edition

JUST ADDED: Special guest Sheng Wang! You know Sheng from his half-hour special on Comedy Central, and from generally being the funniest dude in the world. We're glad to have him back at the Biz.

This week, and every week in August, we welcome friend of The Business and super cool lady, Anna Seregina.



Anna Seregina is a San Francisco-based stand-up comic and performer. She was born in Moscow, Russia, which could explain her deep-rooted cynicism. It could also explain nothing. After being involved in theater and improv for nearly a decade and being funny for nearly a lifetime, she decided to take the plunge into stand-up comedy. Her style can nearly be defined as vocal and un-lady-like, drawing heavily on what little life experience she has. She has been described as having the "worst aura." She has performed in the 2013 & 2012 SF Sketchfest, the inaugural SF Comedy & Burrito Festival, the 2012 SF Comedy Day Festival, and the Bruise Cruise Festival. She is a regular performer at the Porchlight Storytelling series, and has been picked as one of six emerging stand-up acts in the Bay Area comedy scene by Bold Italic. Most facts about her are true. Most truths about her are facts. She is a sensational dancer.

We are also very please to serve up a tasty dish, Johan Miranda. Johan is some top notch, home grown talent.

And who knows?!?!? We may have A VERY SPECIAL GUEST!!!!!?!!!! (Maybe not... BUT MAYBE!!!!!!?!!)

All our regulars will be there, Caitlin Gill, Sean Keane, Nato Green and Vladimir Putin. JUST KIDDING it’s Bucky Sinister.

Just $5

“THIS SHOW?!? $5?!?! YOU CAN’T MEAN IT. “

We do. We really do.

We also sell out. Get your tix in advance.

BYOBorscht.

The Business July 31st, 2013: The Summer Fun in the Sun (or maybe fog) Edition

Come join us for hot fun in the Summertime before its not summer anymore and we have to have fall time fun. What I’m really saying is, let’s kill some time together before the return of Pumpkin Spice lattes!!

YOU KNOW WE GOT GUESTS.


George Chen has finally found a proper outlet for his brand of sarcasm and self-deprecation. These traits were ill-suited to the other worlds he has occupied as a musician, writer, and filler of 1099 forms. As a promoter he has organized comedy shows on a moving bus, at a still-life drawing session, and inside a comic book store. Of these attempts to put on comedy in unlikely locations, the best thus far has been the weekly showcase Cynic Cave at Lost Weekend Video (organized with Kevin O’Shea). He also co-produces the monthly multimedia show Talkies.
As a performer he has appeared at Holy Fuck, Venice Underground Comedy, The Business, and the Porchlight Storytelling Series.

Bart Freebairn is a stand up comedy comedian. He has been doing comedy for a while now and travels around Australia doing comedy to people and whatever else is around. He’s had the pleasure of performing at festivals like Melbourne comedy festival, Adelaide Fringe festival and Brisbane Comedy Festival.

He is very excited to be back where the toilets spin in the right direction. THE AMERICAN DIRECTION.

Andrew Holmgren, comedian, is a sharp-shooting merrymaker, hardboiled in the San Francisco Bay, that finds utmost joy in disseminating his humor across the country. One-part noble knave, one-part calming confidence man, and one-part evergreen mocker, Holmgren speaks with frank sarcasm and idyllic crassness. A budding star, Andrew Holmgren has performed at the San Francisco Punch Line, Noise Pop Festival, the International Hemp and Cannabis Festival, San Francisco Indie Fest, San Francisco Comedy Day, and the Sacramento Comedy Festival (earning the Best of Fest award). Also, he has opened for the reputable Will Franken and Moshe Kasher and curates the popular Get Yucked Up comedy showcase under Bay Area comedy outfit, Sylvan Productions, of which he serves as producer/artist.

And of course Steve Hernandez. When you see him, you will laugh, and you will want to hug him. He will be into that. He is big into hugs. He’s also big into producing some of LA’s best comedy shows, including the spectacular Chatterbox.

And your regulars! Nato Green, Sean Keane and the lean mean Bucky Sinister machine.

Just $5! ONLY $5.

We sell out! Get your tix in advance.

BYOBurrito and dress it in a miniskirt. It’s summer, let it all hang out.

The Business July 24th, 2013: The Put Your Hand In Your Mouth Edition



This week The Business welcomes a home town hero and co-host of one of our favorite shows, Hand to Mouth, the indomitable James Fluty!

James Fluty is a San Francisco comic and co-creator of Hand to Mouth a monthly, topic-based comedy show. He was described by tonegazer.com as “funny and intellectually stimulating” and described by the New York Times as part of a “shockingly high percentage of adults without health insurance”. He has performed at major clubs including the San Francisco Punchline, the Purple Onion and Rooster T. Feathers. He’s appeared on Current Television and KOFY TV and in the award-winning short film Tiger Cop which can be seen at Funnyordie.com. He also co-wrote and starred in the mockumentary Awareness of the Outer World which became a You-tube featured video.

Plus we are making new friends! We have two guests this week in town from New York ON BUSINESS.

Amaya Perea writes for Cracked, Hahajk, Hello Giggles, Funny or Die and her own bio. She’s performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and her jokes have been featured on the Huffington Post, Splitsider, Witstream and Timeout New York.

Boris Khaykin is a comedian and musician based out of Brooklyn, NY. His stand up has been featured on the “Live at UCB” Stand Up Showcase, Collegehumor Live, Huffington Post Comedy, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival’s “All Star Showcase”, and more.

Plus all of your regulars, with all their hands and mouths.

$5. JUST $5.

Get your tix in advance! We sell out!

BYOBurrito and use your hand to bring it to your mouth.

The awful Zero Hours Contract

This eminent and good friend has often remarked that I have turned into a socialist (even a communist) in my old age. He claims my writing in this blog is veering constantly to the left. Other readers of my blog ,might wonder, if this is left leaning then what will the true loony left be called. But I know I am going to get a mouthful from him for this post, which is admittedly leftwards tilting.

On matters relating to labour and worker law, I have often argued that countries have brought excessive legislation defending the existing worker and making it expensive to employ any more.Who in his right mind will employ a worker in France, for example. All this misguided legislation only keeps out a large portion of the young out of the workforce. Companies need some flexibility to ramp their worforce up or down based on conditions of their business and marketplace. Minus this flexibility, no modern company is going to hire.

But companies have gone to the other extreme and misused the flexibility to create completely unfair job practices. Take the case of the "Zero Hour Contract" - a British invention and used to the hilt by a wide swathe of so called respectable companies. As a worker you enter into a contract with the employer . but there are no working hours guaranteed, hence the name zero hours contract, You are expected to sit glued to the telephone. When they want you, they'll call you. You have to jump like a jackrabbit and run to the office or factory or store or whatever and you work for the hours they tell you to. You get paid (often the minimum wage) for the hours that you do. Then off you go without knowing whether you have to return tomorrow or not. Back to the vigil by the telephone. During this time, you cannot accept any other employment, even if the phone never rings. And when it rings, if you cannot come to work, you've really lost it and won't get an opportunity for quite some time.

Sports Direct has become the notorious poster boy for this with apparently 20,000 of their total 23,000 employees on Zero Hour Contracts.

This sort of behaviour is why companies and businessmen are hated by the general public, who think they have no scruples or morals in the eternal quest to make more money. Flexibility in the labour pool is one thing. But to keep 90% of your workforce 'flexible" and not even telling them whether they have to come to work tomorrow or not, is surely extreme. There is no business in the world which cannot know how many workers it needs for the next one month at least.  Some sort of rostering is surely possible. And preventing the guy from finding work elsewhere when you have nothing for him, is positively outrageous.

In such an atmosphere, how can there by any training or skills building. What sort of employee commitment can you expect.  Will the worker have one good word to say about the company. And you think this is an efficient business model. And this is a sustainable approach for success . Only a moron can think so.

Peculiarly, one of the organisations discovered to be using this rather widely is Buckingham Place !!  Pip Pip, Your Majesty - this is just not cricket !

Employers have to understand, and demonstrate, that if they want softer laws, they will have to behave reasonably and not exploit. If they can't, or won't, then they should stop moaning about excessively rigid labour laws.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

What the Washington Post and Boston Globe Sales Tell Us About the New Breed of Owners


The sales of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos and the Boston Globe to John Henry raise the question why people would want to own newspapers if they aren’t doing so for obvious financial gain.
 
There are clearly people who want to own papers for political purposes so they can directly influence debate and policy. This is certainly the case for the ultra-conservative Koch brothers, who have been trying to buy the Los Angeles Times this past year. But Bezos and Henry don't seem to fit that mold.
 
Bezos’ purposes for buying the Post are not the pursuit of profit. He certainly would produce better returns putting more effort into Amazon or another commercial firm. John Henry can expect far more returns from effort in his investment firm or his sports empire than the Globe. So why are they buying legacy media? 
 
The answers lie in human traits.  All of us need diversions. We need toys to play with; things to spark our interest and imaginations. 
 
Bezos can clearly bring ideas and expertise gained from shifting the mail order catalog concept to the web and contribute his innovative spirit to the Post.The challenges of learning the media business and trying to transform its distribution and operations are clearly interesting and attractive. And the price for the Amazon creator isn’t high. 
 
John Henry doesn’t bring great digital expertise to the Globe, but he does bring strong organization, marketing, and turn-around skills and experience to the effort.  He also has strong local community ties and bringing ownership back to Boston is a gift to the city. Especially because hating everything associated with New York is the city's pastime.
 
The newspaper ownership will also make both of them more respectable as citizens, not just as businessmen. There is a long tradition of wealthy U.S. merchants, industrialists, and traders playing citizenship roles in public life and philanthropy after achieving immense personal success. These range from Andrew Carnegie to J.P. Morgan and J. Paul Getty to Bill Gates.  
 
Some who moved into public roles have done so to gain respectability that eluded them because of harm they caused while climbing to the top; other because of a genuine desire to make society better. 
 
The sales of the Post and the Globe reveal a breed of owner who wants not just respectability or making contributions to society, but a place to use their knowledge and abilities to tackle new challenges. Whether it will help the newspaper industry remains to be seen, but it will at least inject new ways of thinking into the industry. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

This is not a lascivious post !



Does man (and woman) have a foot fetish ? I think so. What is it about feet that makes people get completely bowled over by the marketers and pamper and cosset it. No I'm not talking about the ridiculous pedicure. I'm talking about footwear and the amounts we splash on it.Each one of us is an Imelda Marcos - before you snigger, go and count the footwear in the shoe rack.

Hyperbole dominates the footwear marketing industry. To think that by wearing "LeBron Zoom Soldier", I'll be able to dunk a basketball is pure fantasy, but it appears I am willing to buy the dream for $299 or thereabouts.  The sight of a Rajalakshmi tottering on high heels on the mistaken assumption that it makes her a 6 footer is equally humorous - I don't have the heart to tell her that her width is somewhat more than her height ! But surely the game has been taken to an altogether new level by Under Armour.

Under Armour is a sports outfit company. They mostly make sports clothing, shamelessly exploiting our fascination with looking good on the sports field about which I ranted here. Their footwear division is still small - so to pump up sales of footwear, they have hit upon the idea of a "bra for your feet" !!!

Apparently its made in a bra factory in China. It features a "cup" for your heel that is without any stitching. The whole shoe is "seamless".  It has a great fit and feels "smug". It feels like " a second skin". Multicolour no less. Can you please part with $150; thank you !

It has also been advertised that the equipment is built for linear motion, rather than horizontal jumping. I am not sure whether this advice has also been inspired by the concept it is trying to borrow from !

Under Armour's Senior Creative Director of Footwear (how does that sound on your business card) explained the concept with much delight and puns galore, but I think even he missed the delicious irony of this statement ; "Prototyping mostly took place in China at the bra factory for a more hands-on approach" !!

I must say I was much intrigued when I read all this. I am not sure I want to wear a bra on my feet, but perhaps there are some weird males who might relish the idea. Although I am not sure that its an aspirational thing - you might want to feel like Michael Jordon, wearing Air Jordan, but wearing one of these ...... Perhaps the aspiration is that its "eye catching" although as any sensible male will tell you, its not the covering, but what's inside that counts- the feet I mean :)

The more knowledgeable on these matters (women, I presume) might sneer saying that the shoe absolutely will not fit - given that its inspiration is also  notorious for that problem. And the damn thing always has a tendency to show, when it would have been far better to be discreet. And Yes,  I know that "Burn the Bra" was a 60s thing; but if it does catch the fancy again, what would happen to Under Armour shoes.

I am delighted to say, that for those of you who are captivated by the idea, you can order it for delivery in India too. The new revolutionary product is not yet on their online store, but it will soon be. And when you order, remember to specify Size 9.  If instead, you mention a large double digit with two alphabets after it, the store will not believe you :)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ambient news: All the news most people want

Ambient news is proving a significant challenge to news organizations trying to serve readers on multiple digital platforms and maintain their print and broadcast news operations.

Contemporary technologies all around us are now delivering breaking news, sports scores, and market updates on electronic screens and displays in elevators, taxis and buses, bars and restaurants, on the sides of buildings, through smartphones, and via social media.

In years past, we all had to deliberately turn to newspapers or radio and television newscasts, or at least glance at headlines at news stands, to get a quick overview of major events. That era is past.

Today news is free and ubiquitous and, unfortunately, provides all the news that most people want. This is bad news for those trying to provide news commercially.

In the past, newspapers and newscasts filled their space and time with non-news features and information designed to attract audiences that wanted only a little news. Most newspapers, for example, rarely carried more than 20 percent hard news during the past 50 years and provided a heavy diet of sports, entertainment, lifestyle and other diversionary content. Today, light news readers who formerly bought papers for non-news articles find plenty of that information for free on television and the Internet and they are abandoning newspapers and news broadcasts.

Those who remain the audiences of newspapers and new broadcasts tend to be heavy news consumers, people who want significant amount of news and serious information. They value the kind of news reporting that provides social benefits. Unfortunately, they are getting less and less of that news as publishers, news producers, and editors continue pursuing the audiences that have left them and are satisfied by ambient news. In doing so, news executives are leaving their prime audiences of heavy news consumers increasingly dissatisfied and without much incentive to pay the increasing prices needed to maintain established news organizations.

If print and broadcast news organizations are to survive and serve the purposes for which they were established, they are going to have to start paying attention to the audiences they have, rather than the audiences they wish they had.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Business July 17th, 2013: The Beauty Bar and the Beast Edition

Can you do the CanCan at Cannes?  You can ask this week’s guest that question and many more* as we welcome the fabulous Anna Seregina!

Anna Seregina is a San Francisco-based stand-up comic and performer. She was born in Moscow, Russia, which could explain her deep-rooted cynicism. It could also explain nothing. After being involved in theater and improv for nearly a decade and being funny for nearly a lifetime, she decided to take the plunge into stand-up comedy. Her style can nearly be defined as vocal and un-lady-like, drawing heavily on what little life experience she has. She has been described as having the "worst aura." She has performed in the 2013 & 2012 SF Sketchfest, the inaugural SF Comedy & Burrito Festival, the 2012 SF Comedy Day Festival, and the Bruise Cruise Festival. She is a regular performer at the Porchlight Storytelling series, and has been picked as one of six emerging stand-up acts in the Bay Area comedy scene by Bold Italic. Most facts about her are true. Most truths about her are facts. She is a sensational dancer.

PLUS PLUS PLUS we have the fabulous Alex Falcone!

Alex Falcone is a fresh, young, moderately attractive comedian living in Portland, OR.  Here's just a sample of the cool stuff he does:
He appeared on the IFC show Portlandia.
He writes for the Portland Mercury.
He's the host and head writer of the live talk show Late Night Action.
He is the host and producer of the surprisingly popular podcast Read it and Weep, which dissects the worst books, movies, and TV shows.
He's performed at such awesome festivals as Bumbershoot in Seattle, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Sketchfest in San Francisco, and the New York City Podfest.
Despite all these amazing accomplishments, he remains totally down to earth and approachable.

All that plus all your regulars!  Sean “Pretty Boy” Keane, Caitlin “Fancy” Gill, Bucky “Buck Naked” Sinister and “Naughty” Nato Green.

Get there early cause we sell this bitch out.

BYOBeautyrrito.

*NO QUESTIONS. 

The Business July 3rd, 2013: The Drenndependence Day Edition

Before we all take flight on bald eagles into the night’s sky, ablaze with spectacular fireworks (made in China), to celebrate the breech birth of this pretty bitch Amurrica let’s get together and celebrate our greatest national tradition, Business.

With Drennon Davis!

From his elaborate characters and sketches, to his provocative songs and animation, Drennon has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative minds in today’s comedy scene. His live performances of the Imaginary Radio Program combine live music and beat-boxing with one-man sketches into a show
that the Los Angeles Comedy Bureau writes "not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in what you could possibly think it is." Drennon was featured on NBC's Last Call and was a semi finalist on Last Comic Standing.

And THE FUTURE: Kelly Anneken!

Kelly Anneken is the co-founder & artistic director of East Bay feminist sketch comedy troupe Femikaze, sketch writer for SF talk show "A Funny Night for Comedy," managing editor of online humor journal Hobo Pancakes, and co-host of "Up Yours, Downstairs! A Downton Abbey Podcast." In her copious free time, Kelly also performs standup comedy, as she will demonstrate.

And the oh-so-fine Ronn Vigh!

Ronn Vigh’s brash attitude and acerbic wit have earned him a comparison to a young Joan Rivers by SF Weekly. Which is a fitting comparison, since he went on to write jokes for E! Television’s “Fashion Police” co-hosted by Joan Rivers.

Join us, one and all. (except we sell out, so not technically “all”)

Just $5 dollars.  AMERICAN dollars.  Keep your Euros at home.

BYORedWhiteandBluerrito.

The Business June 26, 2013: The Business: The League of their Own Edition

This week, it just so happens that we get to laugh at a buncha Peaches.  Who knows, maybe we’ll even be managed by Tom Hanks!!  THERE’S NO CRYING IN BUSINESS.

This week’s line up is full of heavy hitters like Colleen Watson!

Colleen may be perceived as cynical, but that’s just because life is crap. She’s the kind of girl you’d get drunk with at a bar because she was sitting next to you, you’re both drinking, and she won’t leave. She is a rising comic in the San Francisco comedy scene and was a part of the 5 Funny Females tour. She’s a regular at Rooster T Feathers and the San Francisco Punch Line. She has worked with acts such as Dave Attell, Doug Benson, Chris Kattan, Laurie Kilmartin and Arj Barker. You can see on stages nightly through out the Bay Area.

The infectious (in a good way) Shanti Charan!

Shanti Charan’s bubbly personality and contagious smile lure in audiences and her comedic abilities keeps them laughing. She is a fast-rising fresh face in the Bay Area comedy scene. Her ability to formulate quick connections makes it easy for her to communicate with diverse audiences. She won 1st place in the 2011 Rooster T Feather’s Comedy Competition and participated in the 2011 San Francisco International Comedy Competition where she advanced to the semi-finals. Charan was recently awarded SF Weekly’s 2012 Best Stand-Up on the Way Up. SF Weekly says Charan’s writing “is clever and confident beyond her years.”

The sportacular Joey Devine, who insists that there IS crying in basketball!

Joey Devine was the creator and host of the acclaimed live talk show "Joey Devine After Dark," and currently runs "Move Along, Nothing To See Here: A Comedy Show" at the Night Light in Oakland. He's performed at SF Sketchfest, the SF Punch Line, and was a founding member of cult SF sketch group Frown Land. Joey currently resides on the island of Alameda with an older couple.

Of course, our regulars will be there as well, Bucky Sinister, Sean Keane and Nato Green.

WE SELL OUT GET THERE EARLY.

Just $5!  JUST $5!

BYOBurrito, peanuts and crackerjack.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Knock Knock ; Who's there ? Nobody !


By any reckoning, this should be an extremely successful business. You have a fantastic distribution set up - reaching every nook and corner of your geography that nobody else can - in what is essentially a distribution business. You have an envious relationship with the consumers. In many places your representative was a trusted friend and confidante. People looked forward to his arrival. You had a state sanctioned monopoly. You have a significant price advantage. You enjoy innumerable fiscal benefits that no competitor enjoys. You have a great brand , so great that collection of your merchandise was a major hobby with an English word specifically only for this. Songs have been written about you that have reached the top of the charts - here (this is the first version - the Beatles and the Carpenters came later) , in case you are musically inclined. 

With such advantages. you should be roaring away to glory, shouldn't you ? And yet you are a colossal failure and a sitting duck in almost every country. I am referring to the business of postal services. Everywhere in the world, the Post Office is a massive white elephant and a complete dinosaur, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphors. When was the last time you licked a stamp and sent something by post  ?

Popular perception is that the business has been made obsolete because of technology. The advent of E Mail and then subsequently, the mobile phone has made postal services. fit only for a museum. Nobody writes a letter any more. So goes the wisdom. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The postal services have failed because they have a been a government monopoly, have never considered themselves as a business and have been the best example of the worst management in history. That's why they have failed. If you need any further proof of it, simply consider the number of courier companies, who essentially offer the same services and who are thriving.

There is actually a colossal increase in the volume of physical mail. The amount of commercial mail is massive - just consider the amount of stuff, you may consider as junk mail, but which still arrives at your doorstep. Just as the advent of computers actually increased the amount of paper consumed, the advent of email has done nothing to reduce the volume of snail mail. Yes, you may have never written an inland letter for a decade or more, but consider how many times you have couriered something. 

Postal services in every country, and especially so in India, have been subjected to such bad management that it must be considered almost a crime. There is a bloated workforce. There is very poor management talent working in the organisation.  There has been no modernisation and investment whatsoever - just peep into the local post office, in case you can find it, and you will be looking at the 18th century. Governments have contributed by keeping prices of some products ridiculously low - for example to send a post card anywhere in India costs 50 paise (provided you can find a 50p coin which is almost not legal tender nowadays).  If ever there was an example required of the grossest inefficiency of the public sector and a shameful case of a proud organisation brought to its knees, this has to be it.

Why is this so. There have been other government monopolies which have been threatened by technology, but which have still done reasonably well. Why is the Post Office an universal failure ? I can postulate, but I shall leave it to Distinguished Academics (at least two members of this species are readers of this blog) to perhaps present their research findings.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Reorganisations - the last refuge of the incompetent

There is one ritual that happens in all companies periodically without fail - an organisation restructuring. Old structures and divisions are thrown out of the window and new structures are announced. HR types take great pleasure in redrawing organisation charts, rewriting job descriptions and the like. Communication types have an orgasm designing communication packs and writing words like "restructuring to stimulate growth", "bringing the organisation closer to consumers" and such other waffle. CEOs like to stand up to the press and announce the change , to make up for lack of anything else to say about their companies. MIcrosoft did just that today, the trigger for this post. Steve Ballmer's version of the blah blah is "We are ready to take Microsoft in bold new directions". Balderdash. I have never seen a more futile activity than an organisation rejig. And yet companies do it all the time.

The pattern is all too predictable. If the current organisation is based on product lines, it will be made regional to "get closer to the consumers". If it is regional, it will be made based on product lines to globalise and take advantage of scale. People will be moved around in boxes on organisation charts. The new guys have to go on a round the world trip to familiarise themselves with their new responsibilities. Lots of presentations and power point charts. Every four years or so the charade is repeated.  None of this matters one iota to consumers and shareholders. The only gainers are probably the management consultants who make lots of money.

What a thorough waste of time and effort. Structures are important in organisations, but they matter less than you think. The primal instinct of marking territories and defending against invaders, is what structures are. Structures are boundaries where defences are erected , by petty minded egoistic manages who need to feel important. Much effort is actually expended in organisations in crossing structural boundaries. Seasoned operators build alliances and have informal channels through which they get things done.Formal structures matter little to the determined go getter.

The root of the problem is man's territorial instinct. Man likes to draw boundaries and defend everybody inside the boundary from everybody outside. Alpha males who inhabit the business world suffer from an acute affliction of this instinct. Chief Executives and Boards struggle to overcome this and get the entire organisation to operate seamlessly. Fat chance of that happening. In this quest, organisational restructuring is the placebo. The placebo is particularly touted by the HR function, as a magic cure, which gullible CEOs swallow all to easily.

If Microsoft's leaders think they can solve their fundamental problems and compete better with the likes of Google, by an organisational revamp, well, perhaps its time to write their obituary.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Backstretch Health Care & the Affordable Care Act

The recent federal government announcement that employer responsibility for providing health insurance to their employees under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) will be delayed for at least another year is not good news for backstretch workers.

In most of the US, grooms and hotwalkers – the lowest-paid workers on the racetrack – have no health care coverage at all. If they’re injured on the job, they get workers’ compensation payments – and may or may not have a job to come back to when they’ve recovered. And in some states, jockeys and exercise riders who are injured on the track are covered under separate workers comp. pools, like New York’s Jockey Injury Compensation Fund, paid for with a combination of trainer per-stall charges and a percentage of owners’ purse winnings.

But, apart from those job-related injuries, backstretch workers are pretty much on their own when it comes to health care. And, if they have spouses and children, their families are out in the cold as well. With weekly salaries of perhaps $300 to $500, hotwalkers and grooms can’t afford health insurance on their own, and they generally earn just too much to qualify for Medicaid. And few trainers provide health coverage for all their workers.

In at least two states, California and New York, there’s a comprehensive effort to provide at least the basics of a health care system for backstretch workers.

On the West Coast, the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation (“CTHF”), founded by trainer Noble Threewitt, operates full-time clinics at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, and also provides once-a week or thereabouts mobile clinics during race meetings at Del Mar, Hollywood, Pleasanton and San Luis Rey Downs. In addition, the CTHF provides assistance with referrals to specialists for injuries or illness that are beyond the scope of the clinics and pays some, though by no means all, of backstretch workers’ hospital costs.

The CTHF is funded by the proceeds of unclaimed pari-mutuel tickets (a declining funding source in the age of internet wagering), and by contributions from the tracks and from the Thoroughbred Owners of California. It recently received a $200,000 anonymous donation, brokered by trainer John Sadler.

Back on the East Coast, the Backstretch Employee Service Team (“BEST”) operates clinics at Belmont and, in-season, at Saratoga. Like CTHF, BEST has a plan for paying backstretch workers’ costs for specialist referrals, medical tests and, within limits, hospital visits. BEST is funded principally by contributions from the New York Racing Association (“NYRA”) and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (“NYTHA”), representing owners and trainers who race at NYRA tracks. BEST also receives significant support from a variety of government grants and from John Hendrickson and Marylou Whitney. You can read more about BEST here, here and here.

Both California and New York also offer at least some dental care to backstretch workers, in California directly through CTHF and at NYRA tracks through NYTHA and the donation-financed dental clinic at Saratoga.

[Disclosure: I’m a member of the Boards of Directors of both NYTHA and BEST and am involved in BEST’s efforts to adjust its programs to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.]

Because so few racetracks around the country offer any access to health care for backstretch workers, and because working on the track is still something of a gypsy life, with trainers moving their horses from track to track and state to state, workers sometimes save up their medical needs until they’re somewhere that does offer treatment. So, when trainers ship in to Saratoga from, say, Kentucky, or when barns return to Belmont from a winter in Florida, it’s common to see workers lining up at the BEST clinic with a year’s, or a lifetime’s, worth of medical problems. There’s probably less of that in California, just because it’s farther from other major-league racing venues, but in New York it’s a big issue. And it's still unclear how Medicaid or insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act will work for people who move from state to state.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with more than 50 full-time workers will eventually have to offer health insurance. That’s the requirement that was just postponed for a year. But, in any event, there aren’t all that many trainers in the US who have more than 50 employees. Most stables are a lot smaller than that, so their workers wouldn’t have the option of employer-provided health care anyway.

Apart from employer coverage, the Affordable Care Act makes a number of changes that are still scheduled to take effect January 1, 2014, and that will have a big impact on the backstretch.

First, at least in participating states, which include New York and California, there will be a significant expansion of Medicaid, so a number of backstretch workers who now make a little too much to qualify will become eligible for this state-run and federally funded program. Eligibility will now extend to workers making up to 133% of the federal poverty level of income. For 2013, those eligibility limits are $15,282 for a single individual and $31,322 for a family of four.

Second, for those who earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid, the “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act will apply, and those folks will be required to obtain health insurance coverage through the “exchanges” that are being set up in participating (read Democratic) states; workers in states where Republicans have blocked implementation of the law will be able to go on a national exchange to find coverage.

The cost of that coverage will be limited to somewhere around 3-4% of gross income for most backstretch workers, depending on their earnings, with tax-credit subsidies available to offset a portion of the premium costs. Even so, it’s safe to predict that many backstretch folks will decide that $60-80 a month (their premium cost after subsidies) is just one expense too many and will decide to forego signing up for coverage and instead take their chances with the imposition of penalties when or if they file their tax returns.

Third, the Affordable Care Act provides no coverage for undocumented non-US citizens or residents and in fact makes it illegal for them to obtain health coverage through the exchanges. That undocumented group makes up a significant share of the backstretch workforce, though no one knows exactly how big a share.

And finally, the Affordable Care Act requires that any health insurance plan, whether offered through the exchanges or by an employer, meet certain minimum standards, including the scope of its coverage and its dollar limits. Unless waivers are granted, that may mean that so-called “mini-med” plans like those now offered by fast-food and retail employers, with low dollar limits and many coverage restrictions, will not be permitted. But, in any event, a “mini-med” plan offered through the CTHF or BEST would not relieve individual backstretch workers of the obligation to sign up for their own health insurance through the exchanges.

So what does all this mean for backstretch workers, and for CTHF and BEST? For certain, the coming into force of the Affordable Care Act won’t eliminate the need for these workers to have some help in getting decent health care. Even for those who qualify for Medicaid or who decide to obtain insurance through the exchanges, there will be co-payments, deductibles and incidental costs that, on the typically low salaries paid at the track, they won’t be able to afford. And for those without a legal immigration status, there won’t be anything at all.

So, at a minimum, backstretch workers will still need access to on-track clinics like those operated by BEST and CTHF, and even, to the extent the clinic sponsors can afford it, to an expanded range of services, including more medical tests and more specialist services.

And backstretch workers will need education to help them take advantage of the expanded care available under the Affordable Care Act, to enroll in Medicaid, for those eligible, and to navigate the online insurance exchanges that are being set up.

Beyond that, there will be economic gaps that need filling in under the Affordable Care Act, to pay premiums, co-payments and deductibles and, especially, to find mechanisms to ensure that undocumented workers, who are ineligible for Medicaid and for exchange-provided insurance, have some kind of safety net that goes beyond showing up at the nearest hospital emergency room.

Because New York and California already have strong organizations -- BEST and CTHF -- providing backstretch health care, there's a good chance that these gaps will indeed be filled in a timely fashion. But things are less sanguine in those states without on-track health programs and where political leaders are actively opposing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. One can only hope that all the stakeholders in the industry will join together to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Affordable Care Act and to continue to meet the needs of the largely invisible folks who work on the backstretch every day to keep the game going.



Friday, 5 July 2013

No men please



Apparently men are heavier than women.  Did you know that ?  In many parts of the globe, that is probably true, but in India ?? Can you believe that Rajalakshmi, she of the considerable proportions, is inferior to Ramamritham, when it comes to the weight stakes ?? I somehow, seriously doubt that. But not, it appears GoAir, an India based airline.  This is the news from GoAir, that set off this post.

Cabin attendants, flight attendants, stew, whatever name you wish to call them, are predominantly women, everywhere in the world. It all started in the initial days of flying. A pretty young air hostess was part of the decor of the plane. Nervous travelers, usually pot bellied men, could relax by looking at a smiling pretty face. As the years went by, the pot bellied business traveler remained the same, at least pot belly wise, but the nervousness disappeared. The flight attendants meanwhile aged, and age discrimination laws in the US and Europe ensure that these days its a matronly woman giving you a geriatric smile. It is not the most pleasant of sights, unless you have a major mothering need. That's why every regular traveler instantly closes his eyes and goes to sleep on entering a plane - those that don't are just waiting for the booze to come before doing exactly the same. Asian airlines however still consider a pretty flight attendant as an important component of air travel - the Singapore girl continues to be, well, a Singapore girl.  The strong preference of this blogger for Asian airlines, should not go unmentioned.

GoAir, being a sensible Asian airline, wants to do exactly the same.  But then, it is extremely incorrect politically to say so. They have therefore announced that they would only recruit female flight attendants, because ( wait with bated breath)...... because women are less heavier than men and therefore they can reduce the total weight of the aircraft and achieve fuel savings !! Wow ! Double Wow !! That is the most ingenious explanation you can ever imagine. Not only has it flattered all Rajalakshmis, who will rise in defence of this move, but it has also cleared the way for the airline to recruit petite sweet young things.  Isn't that brilliant ?

Well, airlines have been known to do all sorts of things to reduce weight. ANA took the cake, by asking all passengers to pee before boarding, as a means of reducing total load on the aircraft. Ryan Air tried to achieve the same thing by thinking of charging passengers to go to the loo onboard - thereby forcing them to go to the loo before boarding. American airlines achieved this by abolishing all food on board and replacing them with peanuts. But GoAir is scaling new heights by trying to reduce the weight of its crew.

Perhaps they will now do some in depth research on the weight habits of Indian travelers. You see, the men are mostly those, who can only see their toes by looking at the mirror, because there is a significant protuberance that obstructs the natural line of sight. The women have a different problem - they can only walk down the airplane aisle sideways as, the width somewhat precludes a straight-faced progression. In such an environment, imagine the plight of a petite flight attendant. When the aircraft lands and she opens the doors, the onrushing melee will probably knock her off the plane altogether !

GoAir has probably scored a march over its competition. India's "national airline", Air India, believes that it should accurately portray a representative Rajalakshmi in its cabin crew - they are therefore, shall we charitably say, non petite. Kingfisher, which practiced the policy of all flight attendants being hired personally by the Chairman, could have probably beaten GoAir hollow - the Chairman's ability to spot the right talent in this matter being somewhat legendary. Unfortunately the airline went bust, pun unintended. So the field is ripe for GoAir.

This blogger is significantly underweight. He therefore intends to fly GoAir next time and ask for a weight discount. And while flying, he can appreciate, the petite cabin crew. Of if you prefer , as the verbatim technical specs the airline has put out says - cabin crew with a minimum height of five foot three inches and weight proportionate to the height !!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

I want to be a garbage collector

The story that two garbage cleaners in New York were fined and forced to retire after being caught accepting a tip of $ 5 caught my eye.  Not for the reason you might think. This story would provoke hoots of laughter in my country where nothing happens in the public service without a gratuity.  Even in NY, this must be an incredulous story - every man and a dog demands tips shamelessly for just existing in the same space as you. But the real reason this story has prompted this post was buried somewhere in the middle.
 
The two garbage men apparently netted $100,000 each, including overtime. Granted that they had put in long years of service. Granted that they probably earned lots of overtime. But still a wage of $ 100,000 for a garbage collector shows everything that is wrong about the United States. No wonder they lose jobs by the droves to India and China. No wonder unemployment is a stubborn problem.
 
But this post is not to highlight the completely unrealistic pricing for labour in the US, as compared to the world. This post is instead about a global problem - automatic salary increases every year.
 
If you spend enough years on any job, even that of a garbage collector, you will reach levels of $ 100,000. If you start at $ 20,000 a year and get a 5% rise every year , you'll land up with a $100,000 salary in 33 years. That is presumably what happened to these two guys. Imagine the situation in India where anything less than a 10% raise a year leads to a strike. If you start at an annual salary of Rs 5 lakhs, an entry level salary for a qualified graduate,  and keep demanding 10% salary rises, by the time you retire after 35 years, your salary even staying in the same job, will be Rs 1.4 crores.
 
Now you see why there is age discrimination in employment and the older you are, the quicker you are fired. Now you see why there are large scale job losses.
 
Salary levels have to follow some form of a normal distribution over the years, if you stay on the same job.  You start low and as you gain more experience and you become more efficient, your salary should increase. It should probably reach a peak when you are say 40, and then begin a slow decline so that you can remain competitive with the younger folks who are trying to displace you. I know this sounds heretic, but I would rather take cuts in my salary than lose my job altogether. The trick is to price yourself, just a shade below the market rate (not go for the highest salary possible). If that involves annual salary decreases, then so be it.
 
Of course, you can, and should, upskill and move on to a higher value job. But if you stay in the same job, automatic salary increases every year is a one way ticket to losing the job.
 
So, how about negotiating a salary reduction, instead of a raise. At first read this might seem like an insane idea. But think about it .....
 
Its an altogether different matter as to why somebody who was earning $100,000 a year, asked and took a $5 gratuity !

Monday, 24 June 2013

Inquilab Zindabad ? No ! _____ (fill in the blanks) Murdabad .

What is common between a park demolition and a raise in bus fares. Well, something profound , I believe. Because in the last one month, I dare suggest that these were the two most important events in the world (NSA be damned ; as if that was a surprise)


The park issue was the first and it happened in Istanbul, Turkey.  The government had planned to demolish the Taksim Gezi Park and use the space to reconstruct the historic Taksim military barracks. About 50 environmentalists occupied the Park in protest. The police , predictably evicted them. That snowballed into massive nationwide protests and a huge Occupy Taksim Square movement started.  The issue of demolition of the Park has now given way to a protest against all sorts of unrelated issues and drawing crowds numbering in the tens of thousands. It is now an anti government protest without a coherent theme or leaders. A big section of the population is just protesting without a clear understanding of what they are protesting against and what the solution is. This mind you, in a country where the President Erdogan has won repeated elections with a strong mandate.



In Brazil, the government decided to raise some bus , train and metro fares. A few protested, notably the  Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement). The police broke up the protests. Again this has snowballed into a nationwide protest movement, involving millions of people. The government quickly withdrew the bus fare hike, but the protests have snowballed into something bigger - a whole range of issues, including protests against the Football World Cup and the Olympics all scheduled to be held in Brazil in the near future.  If Brazilians are protesting against football, something serious is happening. Again this is in a country where Dilma Rousseff won a resounding mandate in the elections and is the chosen successor of the extremely popular Lula.

As of today, both these protests are going on. You can see parallels with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US and a few other places. In all these protests, there is no coherent theme, there is no leadership organising the protests. But these protests have been massive, cover a whole range of grievances and are significantly aided by social media.  They largely cover the middle class, not the poor. They tend to die down because they are not coherent and not "organised". But they are symptoms of a deep underlying problem.

This is a profound sociological change and one that should be researched deeply.  I believe the underlying issue is economic. Despite a big economic improvement globally across the last two decades, there is deep resentment. Large swathes of the population do not believe that there is a bright economic future ahead of them. This, despite the fact that the future is significantly brighter than what our parents, grandparents and forefathers ever had. And that is the problem governments and societies cannot ignore. There is no easy solution, and aspects of the solution will be different for different societies. But the root of the solution is economic. We have to have economic growth.


PS - In the title of the post - Inquilab Zindabad means Long live the revolution, in Urdu, a favourite phrase of protests of the past in the Indian subcontinent. Murdabad means "Down with".

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Business June 19th, 2013: The Birthday Bash Edition



Join us as we wish a Felix Dies Natalis to two of our regular businessmen, Sean Keane and Bucky Sinister!

Watch the aging process IN LIVE ACTION!  Marvel at how their youth slips away into the ether of time, JUST AS YOURS WILL!!  THRILL at the palpable mortality!
Plus guests!

It wouldn’t be a party without Kevin O’Shea.

Established in 1984 following the mergers of Steven and Cathy O’Shea, Kevin O’Shea has been one of San Francisco’s leading manufactures of mirth, laughter, hilarity and all around good times! Kevin has been commonly described as clever, absurd, awkward but in a funny way and too smart for his own good. He has been seen on the Independent Film Chanel and ComedyCentral.com. He is a favorite of comedy festivals such as: The SF Sketch Fest and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Go see him now as his 4th quarter productivity has never been higher!

New to our stage, but not to our hearts, Land Smith!

Land “The Wreckingball” Smith, the pitbull of comedy, is becoming a real force in comedy. He stands there and tells a one-liner, then waits too long to tell the next one. It’s not clear if there’s something wrong with him or what.  Land has been writing jokes for 10 years, but finally got around to telling them just now. He opened for W. Kamau Bell 2 months after his first open mic, and now performs all the time to always-receptive audiences across the Bay Area. He doesn’t do any jokes about his name being Land because that would be too obvious.

No gifts, your presence is present enough.

Do still bring $5.  It still costs $5.

We sell out!  Get there early for a seat!


BYOBurrito and party hats.