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The KZSC Laugh Riot

The KZSC Laugh Riot, a comedy benefit for KZSC radio, will be held Friday, May 28th. Hosted by Jesse Thorn, "America's Radio Sweetheart" and Jordan Morris, "Boy Detective," and featuring sketch from the Kasper Hauser Skit Club and Prank the Dean, as well as standup from W. Kamau Bell and Jasper Redd. Visit or expand this article for more info... we'd *love* to have some indymedia folks there.
Jesse Thorn
splangy (at)

Santa Cruz, CA

The Sound of Young America presents the KZSC Laugh Riot

Anybody who's ever so much as visited Santa Cruz can tell you it's a unique place. Eccentric, intelligent, activist, surreal... On May 28th, we're finally getting a comedy show that reflects it all: the KZSC Laugh Riot. The award-winning hosts of KZSC's The Sound of Young America organized the show to benefit their station, but also to give Santa Cruzians the kind of comedy they deserve.

"We're comedy snobs," says host Jesse "America's Radio Sweetheart" Thorn. "As exciting and vibrant as Santa Cruz's music, theater, and art scenes are, we've found ourselves asking: 'where are the comedy shows?' We put together this shindig to demonstrate that Santa Cruz really can be a home for edgy, world-class comedy. We're looking forward to laughing our rears off."

The Laugh Riot features comics from all over the Bay Area, hand-selected by Thorn and his co-host, Jordan Morris, "Boy Detective." Morris says: "We've been hosting a comedy talk show for years now. We know the interest is here. So we asked the funniest people we know to play this show, and they said yes."

And to top it all off, the boys from KZSC are conducting a UCSC talent search to find a couple of great comics from a bumper crop developing on campus. College 10 will host the KZSC Joke-Off on May 16th, and a panel of judges will whittle the many competitors into two opening slots for the Laugh Riot.


The Performers:

Sketch Comedians Kasper Hauser:

Kasper Hauser is a four-man sketch comedy troupe from San Francisco. The group’s members, John R, James R, Dan Klein, and Rob Baedeker have numerous stage and screen credits including the indie films Fishing With Gandhi and Cow Monkey. They have performed their stage shows throughout the U.S. and in Canada and the U.K., including the Vancouver International Comedy Festival and an award-winning run at the 2002 Edinburgh Fringe. Dan Klein, in addition to being a husband and father, is the dean of the Bay Area Theater Sports Improv School. James and John are identical twins; John is a former notes editor of the Stanford Law Review.

Kasper Hauser's work has been described as "hands down brilliant" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Chronicle declared them to be "destined for comedic greatness."

Stand up comic W. Kamau Bell

Originally from Chicago, W. Kamau Bell got his start in comedy doing improv at The Second City Conservatory. From his time there he learned many valuable lessons about performing comedy, such as timing, ad libbing, and mostly that he wanted the stage to himself. After graduating, Kamau began his career in stand-up comedy, working at many of Chicago's independent and alternative venues. Eventually in search of more stage time Kamau relocated to San Francisco where he quickly became a favorite at The Punchline and Cobb's Comedy Club. In San Francisco, Kamau decided to focus his comedy on social commentary from his African-American, Generation X perspective. This focus led to him being named "An Artist on The Verge" by The San Francisco Chronicle.
Standup Comic Jasper Redd
Tennessee native Jasper Redd has always had a love for comedy, but due to his quiet nature, it came as a complete shock to friends and family that he had aspirations to be a comedian. After graduating high school, Jasper spent 5 years as a janitor before gaining the courage to move to San Francisco to pursue his dream. Ever since, he's been on the road to success: a semi-finalist in Comedy Central's "Laugh Riot" competition just 6 months after he began his career in stand-up. Influenced by George Carlin and Jerry Seinfeld, Jasper has developed a comedy style of his own that incorporates observational, one-liner and absurdist humor.
Listen to a clip of Jasper's work at
Hosts Jesse Thorn, "America's Radio Sweetheart" and Jordan Morris, "Boy Detective"
Jesse Thorn and Jordan Morris have been hosting KZSC's The Sound of Young America for four years. They describe the show as Fresh Air meets David Letterman, with a dash of This American Life. In their years on the air, they've brought alternative comedy and alternative music royalty to Santa Cruz's airwaves, hosting guests from Mr. Show's David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, to standups like Patton Oswalt, to musicians like Dick Dale and Prince Paul. To this point, the highlight of their broadcasting career was being recognized, solely by voice, while riding a Santa Cruz bus.
In addition to their work on The Sound of Young America, Jesse has hosted and produced programming on XM Satellite Radio and served as KZSC's news director for two years; Jordan has worked at Fox Broadcasting in Southern California. Both have also directed and performed in the improv group Humor Force V.
more information about The Sound of Young America can be found at
Plus sketch from Santa Cruz's own Prank the Dean and standup from the UCSC All-Stars, as selected at the KZSC Joke-Off
Event Details:
KZSC Laugh Riot
Time: Friday, May 28th, 8 PM
Venue: Kresge Town Hall, UCSC Campus
Tickets: $8 in advance, available at Streetlight Records, $9 at the door

KZSC Joke-Off
Time: Sunday, May 16th, 8 PM
Venue: UCSC College Ten Namaste Lounge
Tickets: Free admission
Featuring improv comedy from Humor Force V

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we'd *love* to have some indymedia folks there

thanks for the invitation to the laugh riot.

what do you mean, "indymedia folks" though?

Anyone can be an indymedia folk!
all one needs to do is publish!

and, with all due respect...

kzsc is well-funded (by ucsc students and through pledge drives) and members of kzsc should be able to document this benefit (and news about UCSC...) and publish at least some audio on the santa cruz indymedia newswire.

Perhaps, "we'd *love* to have some indymedia folks there" means that you are offering Santa Cruz Indymedia a table at the event and/or a couple minutes to talk about Indymedia...

People at kzsc are encouraged to attend indymedia workshops on publishing and editing audio, once those get going... collaberation would be nice.

thanks jesse and kzsc.

santa cruz indymedia can also be reached at:
scimc (at)

Re: The KZSC Laugh Riot

well... I dunno if this is an appropriate event for an Indymedia table or talk, honestly, but for an event like our Spring Festival (just passed), get in touch with me at the address above, and I'll do what I can to make it happen.

KZSC offers a free, open to all course in radio broadcasting, through which anyone can get involved in radio. You can also get involved with the KZSC news, of which I was director for two years. One of my best reporters also was involved in indymedia, was not a UCSC student, and is now getting her MA in broadcasting at SFSU.

KZSC is funded in part by the university, and by pledge drives, but has only 1 1/2 professional staff members. Like most of our programmers, I am a volunteer, and have been for four years.

I posted this here because I have respect for what indymedia has done and is doing. Also because I want people to come to the show that I'm putting on, because it will be great.


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