Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Actually FEMALE-bodied Stars w/ Cellulite

After I serve up special audio essay (Henry Kissinger had a Boob Job!) Zack Ford and I discuss BODIES. How do we talk about bodies? What is intersexuality? What are some challenges transgender people face? Can a man have an abortion? We lay it all out on the table and just talk about all our hesitations and yet curiosities with bodies, mixed with some recent news.  Take a listen, and then tell us your hangups and joys when it comes to bodies!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast Episode 47!

Listen to this week’s episode:

(Please click here to listen on iPad/iPhone or download.)

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Peterson Toscano’s A Musing: Henry Kissinger had a Boob Job!

» Intersex Society of North America

» Abortion not a women’s issue? Feministing: Behind the backlash: what’s so scary about deconstructing the gender binary?

» Malaysia’s got an anti-gay camp for boys, but it’s illegal.

» Texas considers banning trans marriage. But in Texas, different kinds of trans marriages are legal because of Littleton v. Prange.

» PBS’s In The Life highlights transgender Injustice at Every Turn.

Subscribe to Queer and Queerer in iTunes!

The feed has the 25 most recent episodes; the rest are archived on this page.

If you use a different podcatcher, the Queer and Queerer raw feed can be found here.The feed has the 25 most recent episodes; the rest are archived on this page.
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Even though the podcast is hosted on Zack’s blog, please make sure you Like me on Facebook as well!
Our theme music is “Appalachia” by Machelli. Download his album, “Opus,” on iTunes.

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Quakers. Not violent. Just passive aggressive.

What a terrible generalization that would work so well on a bumper sticker. When I speak among Friends in Quaker venues or among folks who know little about the Religious Society of Friends, this joke (I’m a Quaker, but I do not get violent–just passive aggressive) always gets a laugh.

With comic performances we comics most consistently employ two types of jokes.

1. The absurd “What if…” joke.
Example: What if men suddenly began to lactate uncontrollably?

I love where the “What if…” joke can lead. It can get totally silly, and it can also get profoundly insightful. Think about the justice work that can come out of such a ridiculous query–men lactating uncontrollably??? Think about the potential for laughs too.

2. The reality joke–“Have you ever noticed…”
Example: Have you ever noticed that when someone mentions that a loved one has lung cancer the first question someone else asks is, “Did she smoke?”

It’s funny because it is true. It also serves up a commentary about pastoral care when speaking with someone grieving over lung cancer. It has an edge to it because many people hearing the joke (including the comic perhaps) is usually complicit to some degree in thoughtlessly asking the question or at least thinking about it. We get caught in the trap and that can open up our minds to ask, “What is an appropriate why to respond when faced with comforting someone about lung cancer?”

I love Quakers when they are chewy

As a comic working in the USA I often bump into the requirement that my humor needs to mean something. It needs to have a deeper message. It cannot simply serve as a delivery system for pleasure and laughter. It has to SAY SOMETHING–a commentary on our times or important issues. This requirement is not too hard for me because as a performance activist (a title I coined for myself) I fuse art and public witness.

But sometimes a joke is just for laughs. Is that superfluous? I do not think so. I think about the talent shows I have attended and participated in that are sponsored by the Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns (the FLGBTQC or simply Flibbity Jibbitz) We let our hair down. We laugh. We build community through play. When we cross the line, (and that is always a risk and has happened) we address it as a community. Though painful, this work is essential. Sometimes it is in our play we reveal where we still have work to do. But that is never the purpose of these oft times zany events. We do it to relieve tension, to open up ourselves with laughter, to enjoy the pure pleasure of mirth with each other, to fall over laughing seeing Bonnie Tinker on her head while people stuff dollar bills in her jean’s pockets. (And we feel so grateful for that memory when we think of this Friend we lost during FGC nearly two years ago.)

With all of the serious important topics we soak in as friends, like soaking in a hot steamy, smelly bath of challenging issues, we need a laugh every now and then. We need to lighten up so that we release pressure and dig still deeper into the harsh realities of privilege, oppression, economic injustice, environmental catastrophes, misogyny, and more. I know I need to laugh some of my own violence out of my system so that I do not live as a pent up, tightly sprung, peace-loving, passive aggressive progressive.

And in the midst of it all, I find great pleasure and comfort in being able to laugh at myself.

(originally posted at QuakerQuaker.org)

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BOO! What’s funny is before recording, Peterson was going to use a funny Halloweeny voice and Zack wasn’t, but the opposite ended up happening!

We sacrifice watching an episode of Glee to bring you this spooky episode, featuring the terrors of Judge Judy, Hare Krishnas, and peanut butter! Most of the episode is dedicated to discussing the true terror that is the Christian “Hell House.”

Take a listen as Zack goes straight and Peterson goes all Stockholm syndrome in our special Halloween/Day of the Dead episode! Have a safe and happy holiday everyone, and don’t forget to find Zack at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear this weekend in DC!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s spooky delicious episode

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

Patty Hearst on the Run

» Extra Listening: This American Life‘s report on Hell House.

»Peterson’s post about his run in with Patty Hearst when she was a fugitive.

» Zack’s reaction to the new Clint Eastwood/Matt Damon film, Hereafter.

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An atheist, a Quaker and a Jew-for-Jesus walk into the studio…

Marvin Bloom

Guest star Marvin Bloom joins Zack and Peterson this week for a conversation about religion. As a gay Jew-for-Jesus from Long Island (who makes Sarah Palin look like a mainline Presbyterian), Marvin has many questions for Zack about his atheism, and you get to listen in to the hilarity that ensues! At one point, someone IMs Zack, which is exactly what you should do if you have your own questions about atheism or ideas for the podcast! This “Atheism 101″ podcast explores intersections between religion and sexuality, but by no means offers definitive answers to any of life’s questions. We invite you to join the conversation by commenting on the posts or engaging in discussion on the Facebook page!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode

// Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Read Zack’s recent post about coming out as an atheist.

» Learn more about Russell’s Teapot.

» Check out the Transponder podcast, featuring Moments with Marvin.

» Marvin Bloom’s YouTube Channel.

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I have been a fan of podcasts for the past five or so years. Some of my favorite LGBTQ-themed shows have included The Flatus Show, Feast of Fools (now Feast of Fun), Tranny Wreck Radio, and the delicious work of my friend and on-line nemesis, Joe Gee (He recently ended his podcast Bored Beyond Belief because I guess he was while we his listeners and fans are still interested-hint, hint.)

Perhaps my all time FAVORITE podcast is Trans-Ponder. According to show co-hosts, Jayna and Mila, a legally married female couple–how Un-American!–

Transponder is a show for those considering, beginning, or in the process of gender transition, and for those who wish to learn more about us, or lend support to the community. Our show shares experiences and insights on transition with a positive look at the community.

Their show always contains lots of information, insight, and humor around transition and a variety of transgender issues. It also gets serious, snarky and strong when it comes to injustice towards transgender people and transsexuals. I have learned a great deal from listening to this program, and I routinely prescribe their podcast to non-trans people who say they want to know more. Listen to three or four shows you will laugh, you will cry, you will learn and grow. I especially love the breezy banter between Mila and Jayna when they could talk about pop culture, geeky stuff, important topics or nothing in particular.

Perhaps partly inspired by this delicious breezy style, blogger Zack Ford and I recorded our first episode of Queer and Queerer, in which we “discuss” queer pop crooner Rufus Wainwright and his recent allusion to the gayness of rapper 50 Cent, President Obama’s recent memo about hospital visitations for LGBT couples, and a general introduction to who we are. From the Queer and Queerer web page Zack describes our:

new experiment in activism! Peterson Toscano and I have teamed up to regularly discuss issues related to the queer community, religion, and higher education. Queer and Queerer aims to be both silly and serious, so take a listen and tell us what you think! We are new to podcasting and we welcome your feedback!!

Zack Ford and I are well paired for this jaunty endeavor in large part because of what we share in common as well as significant differences. Zack, age 24, is a recent Grad school graduate looking to work on a campus with LGBTQ students and issues. I am 21 years his senior (although you’d swear we looked more like brothers with my youthful glow 😛 ), and also do lots of work on college campuses around LGBTQ issues. We both have an interest in religion, I am a recovering Fundamentalist Christian who now embraces a post-modern flavored Christianity within a Quaker context. Zack is a non-theist, an atheist and I think he would say an anti-theist. (I MUST introduce Zack to Marvin Bloom!) We both live in rural Central Pennsylvania (or Pennsyltucky as Zack says) and get together once a week when we are both in town to talk about the issues that interest us. Zack suggested we continue to do this but with a microphone stuck in our faces.

Here is the first attempt, without theme show music or fancy editing. But in this 25 minute podcast you get a flavor for our presentation style, our banter, and a sample of how we will talk about the issues both silly and serious (or both at the same time.)

To subscribe to the Queer and Queerer podcast in iTunes, click here.

To see the Queer and Queerer page in the iTunes store, click here.

The Queer and Queerer podcast has its own feed separate from the ZFb feed. It’s found here.

Enjoy! and let us know what you think, suggestions for topics, and of course our offering of praise.

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I spent Saturday night in the office mulling over a dead-end case. I must have dozed off when first thing Sunday morning before even God woke up I heard a rapping on my door. So this dame came in, a real doll face, talking all crazy,

He’s gone I tell ya! The others say his body was stolen. Some prank or worse. But I saw him myself. You gotta believe me. He’s risen I tell ya.

Intrigued, I immediately took the case, although I didn’t let her know it.  I doubted I’d get any pay for my troubles. More like trouble for my pay. I’m a sucker for these smokin’ charity cases.

I asked her the standard questions. Seemed she got mixed up with a crazy scene, and they ticked off the wrong people. I could tell I was walking onto sinking sand. Nothing made much sense, and being hung over didn’t help me either. All I knew was there was a stone rolled away and someone still hadn’t filed a missing savior report down at the station. They wanted to keep the authorities out of it for now, which suited me just fine.

Then that full jar of wine dabbed her eyes and strutted right out my door. She agreed to meet me later at the scene of the crime. There was something fishy about her story. Resurrection. Right. I called  Bigsby down at the precinct. He owed me a favor. So I asked him his take on the whole deal. He told me, It happens to be against two laws. God’s and man’s. I’d book her on the second. Yeah, just like I thought.

Trixi my part-time secretary/part-time something else came in just then. I caught her up. I concluded that our mysterious visitor was just a tramp. Trixi, a good kid and always up for a sob story piped in,

Trixi: She was a human being. And let me remind you that even the most unworthy of us has a right to life and the pursuit of happiness.

Me: From what I hear, she pursued it in all directions.

Suddenly another broad walked into the office. I was getting more action that morning than Madge’s brothel did on a good night. All dressed in Black saying she was the mother, Mary something. I could tell she was shaken up by the whole thing. She told me what she knew. After we went over it three more times she sighed,

Mother Mary: Personally, I’m convinced that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young.
Me: That’s a helluva thing to say. You’re a bitter little lady.
Mother Mary: It’s a bitter little world.

Trying to distract her, I told her, “I came to Jerusalem for the waters.”

Mother Mary: But we’re in the middle of the desert.
Me: I was misinformed.

She liked me. I could feel that. The way you feel when the cards are falling right for you, with a nice little pile of blue and yellow chips in the middle of the table. Only what I didn’t know then was that I wasn’t playing her. She was playing me, with a deck of marked cards and the stakes weren’t any blue and yellow chips. They were dynamite (and I didn’t even know what dynamite was.) I had to be straight with her though. Told her how these missing persons claims always end with a dead body stuck in a dune. It’s trouble I tell you. Walk away or if you can’t then only talk to God about it.

She said, I don’t pray. Kneeling bags my nylons.

I got rough with my words, You can’t expect to dodge reality indefinitely, Mother Mary! I softened up a little, handed her my hankerchief.  Hey, wouldn’t it be smarter to go to the Sanhedrin and the even Romans and get this thing out in the open? But she shot back: Just about as smart as cutting my throat to get some fresh air.

I knew I was over my head. That someone was going to end up in a “camel accident” somewhere on the road to Emmaus, but I was hooked. I should have listened to my instincts. Little did I know on that Sunday moring that this would turn out to be my last case, and would almost get me stoned, and I don’t’ mean with reefer.

To be continued?

Story adapted from the Gospels. Dialogue adapted  (in order) from Hallow Triumph, The Big Combo, Strangers on a Train, Mildrid Pierce, Casablanca, Double Indemnity, Ace in the Hole and Crack Up. This is your film noir primer for the day. Enjoy and read the lines aloud with a flat affect, pronouncing the words hard at the front of your mouth for the optimal effect. Check out Derek the Director’s Film Noir quotes

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In my spare time I have created a new play that I think you might like 😀

I Can See Sarah Palin from my Window!

Lessons before the 2nd Coming

Peterson Toscano

So that no American gets left behind, comic actor Peterson Toscano presents a zany,thought-provoking and surprising play.

(Think Dreams from my Mother meets Going Maverick with a Russian folk-pop interpretive dance too!)

Everything you need to know before Palin becomes president, Jesus returns or Obama destroys us all!

Some of you may remember my play The Re-Education of George W. Bush–No President Left Behind! Drawing on some that same material and adding new I have developed this new piece.  Do not let the title fool you–it is not a partisan piece or a Palin bashing. No, I take on issues that transcend party politics, issues that really matter.
Figure out how to become the worlds’ Sexist American in five simple steps! Well if sexy means being aware, informed and engaged about sexism, racism, homophobia, immigration, the environmentalism, war and our sordid past.

What I am most excited about is how this piece can play well on college campuses, particularly how it can be used to bring in people who may never have attended an LGBTQ-themed program before. Just like with my Bush play, there is no way of knowing from the outset that it contains lots of messages about LGBTQ issues as you can see from this wonderful poster that Christine Bakke designed (and she is designing the art for the new play too!)

So before it gets too late, consider booking this new show for your campus in the fall or next winter. Booking contact here.

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This just in from the deliciously reliable “news” source–The Onion:

LOUISVILLE, KY—At first glance, high school senior Lucas Faber, 18, seems like any ordinary gay teen. He’s a member of his school’s swing choir, enjoys shopping at the mall, and has sex with other males his age. But lately, a growing worry has begun to plague this young gay man. A gnawing feeling that, deep down, he may be a fundamentalist, right-wing Christian.

“I don’t know what’s happening to me,” Faber admitted to reporters Monday. “It’s like I get these weird urges sometimes, and suddenly I’m tempted to go behind my friends’ backs and attend a megachurch service, or censor books in the school library in some way. Even just the thought of organizing a CD-burning turns me on.”

Added Faber, “I feel so confused.”

The openly gay teen, who came out to his parents at age 14 and has had a steady boyfriend for the past seven months, said he first began to suspect he might be different last year, when he started feeling an odd stirring within himself every time he passed a church. The more conservative the church, Faber claimed, the stronger his desire was to enter it.

Read more here. hat tip to Mister Tumnus

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Marvin Bloom, regularly contributes on Trans-Ponder Podcast with his Moments with Marvin segments and also appears in my play Doin’ Time the Homo No Mo Halfway House. Raised Jewish in Long Island, NY, Marvin is now a born-again Christian–A Jew for Jesus. In this video freaks out about Christmas and more importantly Christians Gone Wild at his church. Look out Baby Jesus!

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The holidays can be a drag. My all time worst and weirdest Christmas was spent at a residential ex-gay program in Memphis, TN where they attempted to de-gay me. Hair can be straightened. Gays? Not so much. In the midst of the bizarre rules, the gender realignment exercises and the mayhem of a bunch of gay guys living together trying not to be gay, we attempted to have Christmas. See for yourself what happened.

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In an on-going series of Jesus Loves You Twitter/Facebook status updates, I thought it was time to compile the most recent offerings. I average about five of these per week, and get plenty of suggestions from folks.  In this most current batch I drew on hymns and praise songs for some of my inspiration. You will also find me playing with various warnings and disclaimers and hear echos from current events including H1N1 flu pandemic and the economy.

Over at Facebook we have had long discussions about certiain ones. Sometimes people get tickled, offended or downright inspired. Some in the series are ironic, some silly, some serious. I will let you decide which is which. Have a read, and let me know which are your favorite. Hey, you can even add your own in the comments section!  Wanna follow me on Twitter to get these as they happen? Check out my Twitter Page.

  • Jesus Loves You! Due to reports of widespread gagging, there is a massive recall for the wildly popular “Jesus Inaction Figure”
  • Jesus Loves You! Now in striking autumn hues suitable for a festive Thanksgiving display
  • Jesus Loves You! Not to be used as a flotation device. Some assembly required
  • Jesus Loves You! Child to a teen mother w/ an absent deadbeat dad, he was nearly born out of wedlock & relied on public assistance.
  • Jesus Loves You! “Higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, higher. Lift Jesus Higher.” He gets high with a little help from his friends.
  • Jesus Loves You! But he can’t afford the restaurants where you eat & feels uncomfortable with the dynamics when you always pay.
  • Jesus Loves You! Founder of one of the first GSAs (Gay Straight Alliance)! Creating safe space for outsiders since around 27 CE
  • Jesus Loves You! He calls your name of choice & uses the pronouns you prefer. He looks at the heart not a letter on your ID.
  • Jesus Loves You! “Leaning, leaning, safe & secure from all alarms…” except for flu pandemic, financial crisis, terrorism, termites…
  • Jesus Loves You! “Stand up, stand up for Jesus…” Now sit down for Christ’s sake!
  • Jesus Loves You!Oh for a thousand tongues to sing…” & to taste & to stick out at others & to…
  • Jesus Loves You! “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel’s veins…” My personal Lord & bio hazard.
  • Jesus Loves You! “I will cling to the old rugged cross & exchange it one day for a crown.” Also known as Religious Bipolar Disorder
  • Jesus Loves You! “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus. No not one.” Poor, sick, imprisoned–kinda needy, inconvenient.
  • Jesus Loves You! “A mighty fortress is our God” Add some throw pillows, window treatments, accent colors–turn your bulwark into a cozy den
  • Jesus Loves You! “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine.” Mine, Mine! MINE!!!
  • Jesus Loves Me! My proof? I have free wifi access on my flight from Atlanta to Baltimore. So much better than peanuts. Where r the peanuts??
  • Jesus Loves You! He walks w/ me & he talks w/ me & he tells me I am his own–my personal Lord & Stalker.
  • Jesus Loves You! Now with salvation-packed crystals in the Communion cup–NEW cherry & lemon lime flavors!
  • Jesus Loves You! “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the pew…” Nightmare on the Via Dolorosa coming to theaters soon.
  • Jesus Loves You! At times one feels compelled to love the Christ and hate the Christian.
  • Jesus Loves You! New Weight Loss Plan! Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour. Trips to the altar? 175 (*while weeping)
  • Jesus Loves You! Paid for by the Save the Savior Counsel & authorized by the Citizens for an Idiot Free Religion .
  • Jesus Loves You! When ur down & troubled & u need some love & care, & nothing is going right, try NEW hypoallergenic, no-tears Jesus!
  • Jesus Loves You! “Recreations of his ministry, miracles & triumphs will move your spirit & emotions.” (Jesus in Florida!) http://bit.ly/7wIj
  • Jesus Loves You! Flight Warning System detects failures and dangerous flight conditions. Consider emergency protocol escape sequence.
  • Jesus Loves You! Rest. Drink plenty of liquids. Avoid alcohol & tobacco. Take medication to relieve the symptoms. Cover your mouth & nose.
  • Jesus Loves You! Diving into unknown waters, simply, can be hazardous.
  • Jesus Loves You! All sermons r provided 4 information purposes only & do not constitute a legal contract between Jesus & any specific person
  • Jesus Loves You! Under no circumstances should these stunts be attempted by anyone other that an experienced stunt professional
  • Jesus Loves You! If ur really REALLY good, you might just get a bicycle in the after-life.
  • Jesus Loves You! Due to budget cuts, essential services will be drastically reduced.
  • Jesus Loves You! I hear his agent is in talks about a possible sequel.
  • Jesus Loves You! We regret to inform you that due to an overwhelming response, your item has been placed on back order.
  • Jesus Loves You! Makers of the original Apple now present the new all-knowing iGod–loaded w/ Holy Ghost apps & 3 day rechargeable battery.
  • Jesus Loves You! The Way, the Truth, and the Life. Ah, but can he tap dance?

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On-air WNPR (photo by Catie Talarski)

On-air WNPR (photo by Catie Talarski)

About an hour ago I stepped out of the studios of WNPR, the Hartford local public radio stations, where I appeared on the Where We Live program to talk about transgender Bible characters as they appear in my play Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible. Also on the show performance artist Scott Turner Schofield spoke about his one-person show, How to Become Man in 127 Easy Steps. Scott, who is a female-to-male transgender person shares much of his own story in his theater work–and what a skilled artist he is! I saw his show Debutante Balls in North Carolina earlier in the year.

This is my second time on Where We Live. As host John Dankosky led me into the studio, he pointed out a plate prominently displayed outside the studio announcing that his program won the 2007 PRNDI award as the best public radio talk show in the country that year. The episode that they submitted to be judged was one they did about gender identity that included a chat with Jerimarie Liesegang, PhD. Director, Ct TransAdvocacy Coalition and me. Catie Talarski was the mastermind behind that show and in particular in having it focus on gender identity instead of just orientation. (You can hear that show here.)

On today’s program, Scott and I got to talk to John about our performance work, which touches on transgender issues and identity through storytelling. In telling his own story Scott invariably connects with the audience and their own stories. In my play I don’t tell my story but that of other people in the ancient past and today interweaving the two together. My hope is that people will also recognize themselves in some of my characters and narratives.  Hopefully beyond that they will also expand their understanding of the gender spectrum and the many different ways people identify and present their gender. As Kory, a guy at one of the sessions I attended at Gender Odyssey, stated, “I have a fancy gender.”

Scott and I have seen each others work before, and both initially didn’t want to see the others show, but we were both delightfully surprised by what we experienced. We get to talk about each others work on the show. I even get to recite a new favorite poem by Cavafy.

Have a listen to today’s Where We Live program Transgressing Gender.

I perform my show tonight at Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford and it will be a fundraiser for the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition, and Scott will have two performances next weekend at Real Art Ways.

How to Become a Man in 127 Easy Steps, written & performed by Scott Turner Schofield

I changed my sex. Now what?
Irreverent and dynamic, graceful and playful, this one-person show engages the deep questions (and the locker room jokes) about what it means to become a man. Moving beyond the transgender narrative that focuses on the experience of transition, Schofield’s stories explore the drama and hilarity of living a new life in the “opposite” gender.

Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible, written & performed by Peterson Toscano

Drawing on inspiration from interviews with transgender and genderqueer individuals, Peterson Toscano weaves their experiences into the stories of transgender and gender-variant people from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Hilarious and moving, Toscano’s one-person play deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories as he presents an array of characters with an array of genders.

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