Friday, June 10, 2005



Look, I don't know about you, but I don't get a phone call from Sponge Bob everyday. So even though I had never heard of Barry Crimmins, when Sponge Bob (actually Tom Kenny, the voice of) call and asked me to come and see Crimmins do a stand-up comedy routine in a club in an area not far from where I live but to which I have never been, I said "OK, what time?" (I didn't ask him if he would be wearing his sponge outfit; he never does; NEVER-- like not even once.) Instead I went to Google (which I recently found out I own a little piece of, having told a guy who manages money for me that I demand he sell shares he held for me for the execrable WalMart, to see him replace them with shares of Google, which have increased in value hugely while WalMart sort of just sits there waiting for another shoe to drop) and looked up Crimmins. There were 70,100 articles mentioning him. I immediately saw he wrote a book about Kissinger, NEVER SHAKE HANDS WITH A WAR CRIMINAL, enough of a reason to go see him-- even without Sponge Bob's urging. One site described him as "one of the country's top political satirists and a hilarious stand-up comic who takes on the powers-that-be with wit and wisdom..." and that he's toured with Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Utah Phillips, and Michelle Shocked. Lix Winstead, one of the people responsible for John Stewart's DAILY SHOW wrote that "Crimmins stands out as one of the few humorists who takes the high ground and comments on what's really important. He's truly one of the most hilarious social critics of our generation.” Last night I went to the show. Sponge Bob and Lix got it right.

Crimmins had me howling with his imitations of Bush and Cheney and his sharp dissections of their criminal endeavors. He seems so matter-of-fact in how he approaches the pomposity of our political class and then, suddenly, you realize he just deftly and cleanly separated a head from a set of shoulders. I never saw Lenny Bruce perform. Thank goodness I got to see Barry Crimmins. Look for him.


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