How Justin Willman Turned Himself Into a Comedy Magician

Elisabeth Caren
Take one part actor, one part TV host, one part comedian, a sprinkle of musical ability, and then one part magician. Now blend them together and what do you get? Poof! Justin Willman! Justin takes the term "jack of all trades" and puts it to shame and he'll show you just that with his brand of comedic magistry (is that even a word?) at the Brea Improv this Thursday through Sunday (December 18th- 21st). Before the big event with Willman the wizard of entertainment goes down, we chatted it up with him about how he got his start, what people really think about magic, and what we can expect to be enchanted by with his performances this weekend.

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Joey Diaz Smokes Weed That'll Make You See The Devil

Jesse Grant
I would smoke weed whether it was legal or not.
Some call him "Uncle Joey" and some call him "CoCo," but whatever you call comedian Joey Diaz, there's no doubt his brand of truth telling is always hilarious. On December 17, Diaz will be doing his popular podcast "The Church Of What's Happening Now" live from the Laugh Factory in Long Beach all in the name of lifting your spirit with laughter and before the big event goes down, we talked to him about it--as well as general topics like marijuana and "getting your shit together."

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Chris Franjola Hits the Road After Chelsea Lately

I'm enjoying being on the road right now.
Just because one of the funniest TV's shows (Chelsea Lately) went away doesn't mean that show writer and comedian Chris Franjola's career had to. And it certainly didn't judging by the hilarity he brought on his album "The Shallow End." And if you miss his quick wit on the Chelsea roundtable not to worry because he's bringing all of that and more to the Irvine Improv Tuesday December 16th. Before you give yourself the early holiday gift of tickets to his show, we talked to Franjola about how life has changed for him over the past year and what's coming up for him in the new one.

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Anyone Who Calls Roy Wood Jr. "Bae" is NOT his Bae.

I'm not big on crowd interaction.
[Editor's Note: Quick Questions is our semi-regular feature where we ask comedians a ton of random questions without giving them time to think of anything funny to say. Surprisingly, they still do.]

'Bama born Roy Wood Jr. has the craft of clowning down to a science. And while we were not happy to hear that his TBS show "Sullivan & Son" was cancelled after three seasons because we'll miss those boys, we are glad that we won't have to wait long to see Roy in particular. This December 11th through 14th Roy will be hitting the stage hard at the Brea Improv so we dialed into his quick mind for some "Quick Questions" before the big event goes down.

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Murray Valeriano and His Gang of Surfing Comics Paddle Into OC

Categories: Q&As, comedy

I was drunk all of the time.
Comedian Murray Valeriano has made a great career for himself in the realm of funny and while he took a break to use his power of comedic writing for others, he just had to come back to his love, the stand-up stage. On December 10th his show "Comics on Surfari"--featuring a line up of comedians who also happen to surf-- is coming to the Brea Improv. Before the show this Wednesday, we talked to Murray and found out a bunch about his family life, his odd jobs, and his incredibly entertaining podcast "Roadstories."

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John Waters Explains the Joy of Stealing Presents on Christmas

John Waters at Coach House. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
A John Waters Christmas
The Coach House
December 3, 2014

John Waters has always been a champion of bad taste. If you read our feature story on him last week, then you know that the artistic polymath dubbed "The Pope of Trash" uses that sensibility to offer a few unique notions about Christmas as well. Last night at The Coach House, he explained them to a South County audience as part of his lauded one-man show.

His hour and a half long monologue of story telling, opinions, and wishes touched upon holiday traditions, gifting practices, and Santa Claus fashions. Waters also ventured beyond the holiday theme to discuss the Easter Bunny, airline travel, and gay culture. Each of his topics was suitably branded with Waters's spins, which range in flavor from profanely disgusting to delightfully grotesque.

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Big Worm Defends Bill Cosby

You Tube screen grab
Faizon Love as "Big Worm" in the movie Friday
In light of the recent rape allegations against Bill Cosby, the comedy community is divided. Generally this industry sticks together but when a major topic comes up (i.e. rape, racism, disease, national tragedy), it gets split right down the middle. One side inevitably takes the "righteous" route and the other is purely doing their comedic duty by taking these topics and crafting the wittiest jokes they can think of.

We love a good joke because we realize that it's just that, a joke. And regardless of who you are and how you feel about comedy legend Bill Cosby, the jokes are a flyin'. With Twitter being the best place to showcase your thoughts these days and with Bill Cosby trending all over the world for the last week on the daily, we grabbed a few tweets on this very topic from Fazion Love (aka the guy who played "Big Worm" in Friday) because he seems to be one of the few who are taking Dr. Huxtable's side. Actually, if you really read into what Fazion's tweets are saying, it would seem like he has an ulterior motive. And it's all against Hannibal Buress. Sounds to us like Love is spewing a ton of hate.

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Ralphie May Tells Me the Truth About My Love Life. And It's Brutal.

Categories: LOL, Q&As, comedy

Mike Carano
I'm just trying to help you bitch!
I've gotten pretty close to Ralphie May over the years. I've probably interviewed him half a dozen times for the Weekly alone. I'm also pretty good friends with his wife Lahna Turner at this point (if you remember my last article about finding slobs on If you know Ralphie's comedy, then you know he doesn't sugar coat shit. My latest conversation with him started by accident, but once May started dropping bombs on me about my love life, I just knew I had to record it and use it. The convo and the advice.

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Put Your Big Boy Britches on for Tom Leykis's "Be Funny!" Live From the Laugh Factory

Categories: Q&As, comedy, radio

Nanette Gonzales Photography

Tom Leykis has made quite a long career out of saying what he wants, staying true to himself, and fighting for his right to do just that. The ever growing popularity of The Tom Leykis Show verifies that his hard work has beyond paid off because now, he's even more successful than ever. With an upcoming live version of his "Be Funny!" segment at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood this Thursday October 30, we figured there'd be no better time to get him on the horn for the details of the event and of course, to find out what he really thinks about our very own Gustavo Arellano.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): We actually have history because back in 1998, I interviewed you when I was in radio broadcast school. Clearly I didn't take your advice though because I'm a journalist and not a radio host. Either way, it was pretty awesome for me.
Tom Leykis: Oh yeah? Well I like to say yes to interviews because back when I was in school, someone said yes to me. The person I met was Imus. I was in New York, wanted to go to college, and wanted to ask him what I should do. He invited me to come to 30 Rockefeller Plaza. So at fifteen, I got on the train with my camera, and there I was sitting with Imus at 6:00 in the morning in studio. It was pretty amazing stuff. I always want to pay it back so when people ask me for advice, I want to give it to them.

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Festival Supreme- Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds- October 25, 2014

Oliver Walker/Goldenvoice

Festival Supreme
October 25, 2014
Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds

This year's Festival Supreme was held at the Shrine and right away I could tell that this venue was going to work out better than 2013's, the Santa Monica Pier. Not only because there was more room to roam around, but also, they upped the ante from three to four stages.

This year's addition was called "Circus of Death" and the indoor room was, well, wild. Dimly-lit with so many things to look at, there was spooky artwork, crazy lights, a church bounce house, and even a train you could buy tickets to ride. With a small, low stage in the middle of the room, my thought immediately was, "This room would be perfect to trip out in."

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