Strange ‘Brew’ and an Improv debut
January 12, 2012
We love it when comedian Steve White headlines Harveys Improv.
He has enough energy to power a small city, and that’s just when he’s off stage. When we get to talking about religion, Steve is never at a shortage for words, especially when it comes to Judaism. That’s because Steve combines being not just a brother but a fellow Jew. He refers to himself as a ‘Bew” (Black Jew). He loves to flaunt his “oyness.”
Steve’s movie credits keep growing and because of Action’s precious space, I can only give a partial list here: “Coming to America,” “Harlem Nights,” “Clockers,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,” “Mo-Better Blues,” “Ford Fairlane,” “Other People’s Money” and “Goosed.”
On the small screen, Steve has been on Comedy Central, HBO, BET, “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” “Living Single,” “Caroline’s Comedy Hour,” “Def Comedy Jam,” “Comic Strip Live,” “Showtime At The Apollo” and “Yo! MTV Raps.”
While riding his bike around the lake, Steve took calls on my morning radio show to see how people react to him while talking on his cell. “Howie, I almost got hit by this lady who I can’t decide if she’s racist because she’s never seen a black man on a bike or if it’s because she, too, is talking on her phone while trying to operate a moving vehicle.”
Like most true comics, Steve still rates standup as his most enjoyable time. But he’s also a writer, actor and director (he was an assistant to director Spike Lee). Because Steve likes to improvise a lot during his show, every night is a different experience. He loves the audience participation and instant feedback that he gets when he delivers the punchline.
His crowd work is that good, and he’s able to visually get a laugh in addition to his setup of the jokes. He’s really quick and I love having him on radio because everything is, again, pure improv and high energy in the truest form.
What’s this? Another new comic up here? Yes, Alysia Wood marks her debut here at South Shore and is one of the bright new faces to come out of the Seattle comedy scene in quite some time.
Alysia has a lot going for her. She’s about to release a CD produced by the Grammy award-winning Dan Schlissel. She joins an impressive list of artists recorded by Standup! Records that include Lewis Black, David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Marc Maron.
The Louisiana native eventually relocated to Los Angeles, where she caught the attention of Improv founder Budd Friedman. It was Budd who bestowed the title of “America’s Next Funniest Comedian” upon her at the Harrah’s Improv in Las Vegas in 2010. The competition was sponsored by the DVD release of the movie, “Funny People” and ijoke.com.
Alysia was a finalist in many more competitions, including the California’s Funniest Female Competition. Alysia was also selected as the “Hot Comedian of 2009” by Campus Activities Magazine. College audiences agree, “Wood can turn almost anything into a joke.”
National Lampoon Comedy Radio on XM calls her “Hysterical!” and constantly airs her sound bites. She’s also been on the nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” where her material has been complimented as “well-written and well-structured.” She’s also a contributing writer for Internet columns and a frequent guest on many podcasts.
As an actress, she is playing “the wife” on a Punchline Magazine original series, “Backporch Wisdom.” She also plays Brett’s mom in the upcoming movie “Dangerous,” which is scheduled to be released this year.