How Justin Willman Turned Himself Into a Comedy Magician

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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

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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

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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.

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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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The Icarus Line Rise Again With One Hell of An Album

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Aric Lorton
The Icarus Line
When we talk about the dividing line between music and art, The Icarus Line's 2013 full-length Slave Vows and this year's follow-up Avowed Slavery are most definitely in the latter category. That said, these records ain't meant to be hoisted on a wall because the songs are present, immediate, primal and important.

And why shouldn't they be? Since 1998, the Los Angeles group has been creating a harmonious cacophony that would make Iggy and Nick Cave proud. You'd think being placed into that sort of rock royalty would render The Icarus Line a household name, but it hasn't. Instead, the band -- led by singer Joe Cardamone and featuring bassist Alvin DeGuzman, drummer Ben Hallett, keyboardist/saxophonist Jeremy Gill and guitarist John Bennett -- have been presumed dead by many since 2004's Penance Soiree, which might explain why Slave Vows sounds like a group with its back to the wall, swinging, not going down without a fight.

Slave Vows is a challenge, an artistic peak for a group uncomfortable with familiarity. You might love it or you might hate it, but you'll definitely have an opinion. And that's what makes for great art.

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Murray Valeriano and His Gang of Surfing Comics Paddle Into OC

Categories: Q&As, comedy

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

Categories: LOL, Q&As, comedy

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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 Match.com). 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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One High Five's Pop Punk is All About Ear Candy

Categories: Q&As

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Courtesy of David Sauer
By: Allan Katz

You've probably heard this one before: Punk band accrues a cult following. As their chops outgrow the inherent simplicity of their chosen genre discord is sown amongst their fans. Some decry expansive efforts as selling out while others applaud the growth. When you first hear One High Five's anthemic stomp, it's clear that this band knew exactly what they aimed to make. Through a perfect organ riff, horn fill, or hand-clap breakdown, classic rock and punk fervor become seamless. At its center is singer songwriter David Sauer. We caught up with David following One High Five's latest video shoot.

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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

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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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Damon Wayans is Always Thinking Outside Of the Box

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The journey has been hard and that's how I know it's good.
When you think about Damon Wayans (and you are of that "certain age") you no doubt think of stand-out characters like Homey the Clown, Anton Jackson, and Handi-Man from In Living Color. Some of you might even think about Major Payne, The Last Boy Scout, or My Wife and Kids.

Whatever you know the name from, this man has paved the way for many by dipping his toes in a lot of roles but this incredibly talented Wayans is also keeping his stand-up roots intact by headlining the Irvine Improv this weekend. Before the big shindig goes down October 23rd through 26th, we talked to Damon and found out that he dips those little tootsies in arenas well beyond the stage and screen.

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