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Not funny

Dear Mr. Clarey, I’m writing in response to your article about the Ultimate Comic Challenge at the Idiot Box titled “Deconstructing the funny” [July 29, 2009; by Brian Clarey]. “Annihilating the funny” would have been a more accurate title. As one of the competitors in the show, I was stunned and hurt by a couple of aspects of the piece. First, the overall pompous disdain that oozed from the print. I felt no enthusiasm or generosity of spirit for the show, the performers, or stand-up comedy as an art form itself. One of the purposes of the Ultimate Comic Challenge is to showcase local talent. What was lost was the fact that the show was fun, people laughed and had a great time, and no effort was made to encourage anyone to come see the show. Considering that YES! Weekly is a sponsor for the Idiot Box Ultimate Comic Challenge, this was really surprising. The show was portrayed as a painful odyssey of juvenile and pandering humor to be endured, not enjoyed. Second, singleing out certain comedians by taking jokes out of context to represent their whole act in order to reinforce an implied negative attitude is an editorial abuse of power and a duplicitous move for a sponsor that smelled more like a personal attack than journalistic objectivity. If evaluating merit, or lack thereof, is the goal, then every performer should have been mentioned.

Lastly, I must point out that, as you said, “Dying is easy; comedy is hard” — and it is. It takes something to get on stage and try to make strangers laugh. If you’re looking to pick on someone, amateur comedians are an easy target, only surpassed by people driving around with the bumper sticker “I Believe In Angels” or people over the age of 21 who really loved the movie Twighlight. As the editor of YES! Weekly, I ask you to take on playing a bigger game: to wholeheartedly support and promote live comedy in the Triad. I think this is a great show with a lot of genuinely talented people in it and I request that you give it the respect and consideration it deserves. Sincerely, Cabell Wilkinson

Burger skips a groove

Hi, Mark, Today I noticed a story on the YES! Weekly site about our Cinema Under the Stars series coming up in August. It popped up in my reader as a new page. The information on that page is about last year’s series, which were films about New York. This year’s films are musicals. I’ve pasted the press release for 2009 below. I emailed this release to YES! Weekly early last week. I’m thinking this may just be an old page that is just showing up with a current date; would you mind checking on that for us and making sure that what is printed is information about our Musicals and Mayhem films, below? Thanks! Sarah Mansell, Winston-Salem

Editor’s note: With apologies, in last week’s issue, Mark Burger forgot what year it was and accidentally sent us a column from August 2008 which I read, edited and filed. Burger’s column from last week runs in this issue (p. 62), with apologies.

Don’t mess with the crosswords

Dear Brian, I really enjoy your paper but I do have a problem. I am a crossword puzzle freak and there have been recent errors in the printing of the answers to the crossword puzzles. Last week you printed the answers to another Rock and Roll Crossword puzzle and not to the actual rock and roll crossword puzzle you printed that week. This week you printed only two-thirds of the answers to the Super Crossword puzzle. About one third on the right side of the puzzle’s answers was not printed. I realize that you may think this is unimportant, but for those who enjoy the crossword puzzles you print it is frustrating when we complete the puzzles and then go to look for the answers and the answers are to another puzzle altogether or incomplete. By now, if you have read this far, you are probably convinced I am a nut. Well, I may well be that but I imagine there are others like me that just didn’t take the time to complain. Please take more care when you print the answers to the crossword puzzles. Thank you. By the way, I read your column every week and thoroughly enjoy it. Best wishes Tom Iseley, Greensboro

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