comedy

Stateside
4:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Meet Heywood Banks: Michigan comedian, lover of toast

Comedian Heywood Banks
Heywood Banks

One of Michigan's big contributions to the world of comedy is Heywood Banks.

Whether he's playing his guitar or his trusty toaster, he's made audiences laugh all over the country.

He's appeared on A&E, MTV, and Entertainment Tonight. And he was the MC for both nights of the 2012 Ann Arbor Folk Festival.

He'll be playing at The Ark on March 15; he joined us today on Stateside.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:53 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, Feb.13, 2014

When it comes to support for emergency care services, the U.S. just barely squeaked by with a passing grade, at least according to a new state-by-state report card put out by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

And how did Michigan measure up, you might ask? Well, it turns out we're failing in access to emergency health care. We heard some recommendations about ways to move forward.

Then, we met a woman who’s trying to help people come together to have some uncomfortable, but enlightening, conversations about race, class and more.

And, we spoke with Daniel Howes about Tom Lewand, Detroit’s job czar.

Also, “Saturday Night Live” just hired its first black female cast member in five years. Will this bring more attention to other black comedians?

And, a Michigan historian gave us a closer look at how Michigan milkweed helped us in World War II.

Also, the Michigan Human Society has a new way to find homes for their animals: social media.

First on the show, how do you best measure the progress of students in Michigan's classrooms and, by extension, the effectiveness of their teachers?

It's one of the thorniest challenges being debated in Michigan education.

For years, the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) and the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) have been the assessment tools. Now, with the move to the Common Core Standards, it's out with the MEAP and MME and in with the what?

Districts around Michigan are gearing up for an online adaptive assessment test in the spring of 2015.

The Michigan Department of Education says the state has only one option for testing students on the Common Core State Standards for the next three years.

And that option is the Smarter Balanced Assessment – the SBA.

But state lawmakers haven't made that official.

We wondered how districts  are preparing for the SBA or whatever test they're told to administer next year.

William Heath is the superintendent of the Morrice Area Schools and principal at Morrice Junior and Senior High School located in Shiawassee County. He joined us today.

Stateside
4:53 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Black female comedians are receiving more attention

Satori Shakoor
Twitter

A new face recently joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" and made plenty of headlines when she did.

Comic Sasheer Zamata became the first black female cast member of SNL in five years, since the departure of Maya Rudolph. She was discovered through a talent search that focused strictly on black female comedians.

What does this extra attention mean for other black women who want to make us laugh?

One of those women is Detroiter Satori Shakoor, actor, writer, comedian and creator of "The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers." She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
7:35 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Laughing matters at Arab-American comedy festival in Dearborn

A new festival will feature comedians from Arab-American and other minority backgrounds. 

The 1001 Laughs Dearborn Comedy Festival happens September 27 and 28 at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.

Amer Zahr is the festival's producer and he'll also be performing a few sets.

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Arts & Culture
1:01 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Listen to this hilarious story from a Detroit comedian featured on The Moth Radio Hour

Detroit comic Horace H.B. Sanders
Liz Mackinder The Moth

A Detroit comedian is featured in this week’s episode of The Moth Radio Hour.

Back when he was 12, Horace H.B. Sanders, a stand-up comic from the Motor City, showed up to a costume party in his homemade ninja costume.

Turns out, he was the only one who dressed up for the party.

Listen to Sander’s hilarious story, recorded at a Grand Slam in Detroit.

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Stateside
5:40 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

'Gilda's Big Night Out' to raise money for cancer support groups

Gilda Radner in the first cast of SNL
user: anyjazz65 Flickr

Gilda's Club is an organization that consists of groups across the country which provide laughter and support to cancer patients.

The organization is named after Gilda Radner. She was one of the brightest faces in comedy. The University of Michigan alum was in the original cast of Saturday Night Live. She passed away from ovarian cancer in 1989. 

One of her close friends and partner in comedy, Allen Zweibel, spoke with Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty about Radner.

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Comedy
4:39 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Paula Poundstone brings her stand-up comedy to Dearborn

Paula Poundstone. Screen shot from her website.

Paula Poundstone is one of the funniest people in Public Radio. You can hear her test her knowledge of the news, and throw in a few quips on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. This Friday, she’ll be performing at the Ford Community Performing Arts Center.

About thirteen years ago, when Poundstone started with Wait Wait, the show was produced mostly in-studio.

“The show was still really, really fun to do. But it definitely and obviously took on a stronger energy by virtue of having a responsive crowd in from of us, which is really, really fun,” she said.

Poundstone draws comical inspiration from the crowd during her stand-up as well.

“My favorite part of the night is, I do a time honored, ‘where are you from, what do you do for a living?’ And little biographies emerge, and I kind of use that to set my sails for what to talk about,” she said.

Go here to find out more this Friday's event.

Politics & Government
11:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Raunchy TV script by Michigan's Rep. McCotter surfaces

Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter jams with his blues band.
Vincent Duffy Michigan Radio

Things don't seem to be going all that well in U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's (R-Livonia) political career. His bid for the Republican presidential nomination sputtered out last year, and more recently, he was forced to give up his Congressional re-election campaign over falsified petition signatures.

But perhaps he has a future in show business.

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Offbeat
8:36 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Grand Rapids tosses world record 925 rubber chickens at once

Organizers stack rubber chickens in front of the Grand Rapids Arts Museum.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids smashed the former world record for rubber chicken chucking set last April in a town near Boston. They got 265 people to toss rubber chickens at once. Last night Grand Rapids tossed an impressive 925.

The world record title marked the beginning of LaughFest. An event that'll take over much of Grand Rapids over the next 9 days. Those little yellow smiley faces representing the festival dot billboards, bar windows, churches; people even wear them as lapel pins.

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