Thursday, March 27, 2014

30HG Destination Spotlight: Finding Comedy in the NBA Cities

This post is long overdue as comedy is one of my great loves and something I seek in my travels, alongside wrestling and basketball. It's featured in practically every division on my NBA Destinations wishlist.

Whilst I'm a big supporter of Australian comedy, I'm a nerd for American comics. During my travels to Melbourne and Edinburgh for their famous Festivals and watching Comedy around Europe, the acts I witnessed were mostly American. The cold truth is that I'm limited to English speakers, even abroad I've found the foreign comedy scene often developed by Western expats. This was the unfortunate case for my time in South America, though I did manage to befriend Argentinian comics I couldn't appreciate their comedy because of the language barrier. I'll have no such problems in the Stateside. I've experienced comedy in the hubs of LA, NY and Chicago during my last US visit in 2009 but hope to find it in the smaller NBA cities.
Comedian Louis C.K. and Chris Rock with Knicks star J. R. Smith
Dave Chappelle with Warriors leader Stephen Curry
Many comedians from the alt scene to the biggest names in standup intersect with the NBA. From Dave Chappelle dropping by the Golden State Warriors locker room to comic legends Chris Rock and Louis C.K. taking in a game at Madison Square Garden. One of the more comedic NBA Stars is LA Clipper Blake Griffin. With star turns on 'Funny or Die', an early guest on Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher's 'The Champs' podcast and his appearance alongside teammate DeAndre Jordan for a 'Space Jam' reading at UCB theater.
UCB Theater’s 'The Live Read' show
from L to R: Ben Schwartz, Danielle Fishel. Seth Green, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin
Photo Credit: @rejectedjokes (Ben Schwartz)
There are plenty examples of NBA and comedy crossovers but I'll leave you with my favorites:
- Nick Kroll as "Ref Jeff" and the "Young Larry Bird"
- Kumail Nanjiani on Ice Cube's lyrics for  'Today was a Good Day'
- Ben Schwartz talking Knicks on 'The Matt Fried Hour' and playing A-M-A-R'-E on 'Knicks Now'
- IFC show 'Portlandia' has featured TrailBlazer owner Paul Allen, its cheerleaders as well as stars Lillard, Aldridge and more

VIDEO: 'Ride Along' presents Kevin Hart's NBA Wish

KEVIN HART: I wish I was little bit taller, I wish I was a baller, I wish I could throw it down like Andre Iguodala
In promotion for 'Ride Along' (2014), Kevin Hart and Ice Cube star in a music video alongside NBA stars Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala and Kobe Bryant. It's an interesting assortment of players, all members of Team USA 2012 and representatives of the Nike/Jordan family.

VIDEO: Kyrie Irving and his long-time friend Pete Holmes

Comedian Pete Holmes has admitted to knowing very little about sports, that hasn't stopped him from getting personal with Rockets' star James Harden and the Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving. Take note of how knowledgeable Roy Hibbert is of the alt comedy scene, namechecking Pete's BFF Chelsea Peretti in their chat.

I'll be compiling a running list of Pete Holmes' NBA interviews below:
  1. Talkin' like Talls: Pete Holmes' complete NBA playlist
  2. Fearing the Beard with James Harden
  3. Kyrie Irving and his long-time friend Pete Holmes
  4. Pete hangs with NBA All-Star Anthony Davis
  5. Pete hangs with Harrison Barnes of The Golden State Warriors
  6. Talkin' like Talls with Dikembe Mutombo
  7. Pete Meets Roy Hibbert, The Greatest Basketball Player of all Time
  8. UPDATE: JJ Redick on the 'You Made it Weird' podcast (Ep 388)
  9. Blake Griffin on the 'You Made it Weird' podcast (Ep 473)
Read about my other Comedy adventures from around the World
Argentina observations: Do you really want to live forever young?
Coolspotting in Melbourne: "Melbournelandia" Vegan eats, Punk Rock and Comedy
- Live: Edinburgh Fringe comedy roundup 2011

30HG Destination Spotlight
Wieden + Kennedy, Nike Kitchen (Portland, Oregon)
Troublemaker Studios (Austin, Texas)
Pixar Studios (Emeryville, California)
WrestleMania 29 and Indy Wrestling (MetLife Stadium. East Rutherford, New Jersey)

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