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September 24, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-24

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 24, 1991
Eric B. raps on sex, drugs, etc.

by Mary Beth Barber
Eric Bogosian has covered all the
bases with his one-man show, Sex,
Drugs, Rock and Roll. A hit in New
York, Bogosian released versions of
his collection of monologues in book
and album form. Then he went on
the road, appearing at the 1991 Ann
Arbor Summer Festival to
awestruck audiences. What's left in
the multi-media barrage? A film
version, of course, which is set to
play at the Ann Arbor 1 & 2
sometime next month. When
Bogosian, who also starred in Talk
Radio, was in Ann Arbor, he spoke
to the Daily about his show and a
few other things. This is the first of a
series of excerpts from the lengthy
Daily: The first question I was
going to ask was whether or not you
are compared to Andrew Dice Clay,
and who are you compared to most?
Eric Bogosian: I don't think...
nah... People don't compare me to
Clay because there is a certain
intellectual pretention of what I'm
doing that I don't think you can say
of Clay's work at all. Most often
I'm compared to, uh, lately I've been
compared to Spalding (Gray, mo-
nologist and star of Swimming to
Cambodia) a lot, simply because
he's been performing in similar
venues to me. And there is, uh, the
first name that usually comes up is
Lenny Bruce.
D: That's who I was going to say.
B: Although, um, I think that
definitely has more to do with the
way I look than... than either the...
the sort of Jewish-style look, the
curly hair and stuff like that, al-
though that isn't really the way
Lenny Bruce looked, that's the way
Dustin Hoffman looked in the
movie they made about him, um...

The people who I'm compared to
and I think I should be compared to
most often are Richard Pryor and
Lily Tomlin, and I think the reason I
should be compared to them is be-
cause I probably borrowed a lot of

what he was doing, the images and
the way he would play you to the
brink of some very embarrassing
revelations, I just thought was
I think Tomlin... I have to tip

to write a joke to save my life. I
don't think that I write what I
think is funny, I don't... I mean, of-
ten they don't make anybody laugh.
And how things are said is fifty per-
cent of the funny anyway, so it's in-
teresting to watch the evolution of
this show, and watch where people
laugh. If you go to the CD and listen
to it, you'll notice that they laugh
in different places, 'cause I stress
different things and...
D: I read that you're going to be
moving away from stage and look-
ing (into directing)...
B: I'm moving away from these
shows, but not moving away from
stage. The next thing I'm going to
be doing is writing a play.
D: Well, moving away from acting.
B: I'd love to act in things some
more, but (the) first thing I love
more than anything is making
things, and so I'm pretty restless
and keep making stuff. And I know
that I'm one of those people who's
between a couple of forms, so I'm
not easily categorized, but that's
too bad. I mean, that's just the way
it happens sometime. I wonder how
many people out there are simply an
actor or writer because they feel
they must choose between one or the
I've seen how all the improvised
sketches, like the kind when we
were making Talk Radio - we
could do this stuff all day long.
...Whoopi Goldberg does the same
thing as this (show). Her original
show is just like this, but she wants
to perform more, and she wants to
be in movies, and so she really puts
all her effort there, acting and
working on setting up acting gigs.
It's not spent writing up a new set
I do think that the...
performing arts,
including music and
especially dance, are
suffering due to the
mass media
of monologues. And it's easy to
drift away from this because it's
very labor intensive.
The show took three years to put
together, not every day three years,
but certainly the last six months
every day, and even to restage it I
have to go into training for a couple
of months just to get my body in
shape to do a show. And then I'm
doing the show, and the show, you
know, is going to be there every
If you make a film or a T.V.
show, you put the effort in and then
it's there on film or T.V., and people
have it forever. I do think that the...
performing arts, including music


Shhhh. Barbara Djules Booth6 revealed the uplifting secrets of dance in
"Secrets lI" at the Performance Network last weekend.

Eric Bogosian's work includes Drinking In America, Talk Radio
soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll.

style from both of them.
When I saw Richard Pryor's
first live movie I was completely
blown away. I was aware of him as a
comedian, but I wasn't, um, I wasn't
aware that there was anything par-
ticularly special about what he did.
I mean, as far as I could tell he was
the same as any number of comedi-
ans, and especially black comedi-
ans... I mean, the physicality of

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my hat to, simply because she's re-
ally the person who created the fo-
rum that I work in, which is to stack
a number of characters together.
And I let those characters do the
talking. And because her stuff is es-
sentially dramatic before it's com-
edy. I mean, when you say to your-
self, "Well, this is drama, and as for
drama, it's humor," that's when you
are describing what I'm doing. To
say I'm a comedian is not correct,
because I think that conjures up an
image of a guy who stands up and
tell jokes, and I also think the
medium has a first objective which
is to, urn, make you laugh more than
A successful comedian is a
person who makes an audience laugh
a lot. A successful performer or
drama person is obviously going to
be a person who succeeds in conjur-
ing characters and relations, and that
is my first objective. What happens,
though, is the more times I do the
show live, the funnier it gets, be-
cause it's inevitable. The funny beats
will show up. They always do, and
they will show up on their own. I
don't even have to do anything.
When I first started doing these
shows there was nothing funny
about them and I wasn't trying to be
funny. I was working in the same
sort of caricature mode that I'm
working now, but I don't know how

Continued from page 5
Merle Haggard's "Okie from
Muskogee," Lilly's shrieks of
laughter mixed with spurts of
hysteria, setting the tone for a
frenzied, emotional display of bo-
dy and mind. The desparate flow
from slow to fast and back again
in her move-ments created a
graceful imbalance while demon-
strating incredible precision, in-
tensity and control.
"Misguided Affections," an-
other premiere, choreographed by
Renee Grammatico to J.S. Bach's
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F,
evoked a lighter mood. With full
expression and a classical style,
dancers Barbara Hobyak, Adam
Clark and Lisa Darby told the tale
of a love triangle. The mood was
accomplished with jealous turns,

flirtatious poses and bragging
The show's finale, entitled
"...hog slaughters butcher...,"
cryptically points out that while
the butcher slaughters the hog,
many times the hog slaughters the
butcher. Following a silly intro-
duction came a fun, energetic
dance. Bedecked in long, flowing
yellow-and-red skirts, five dan-
cers aroused a tribal feeling with
foot-stomping, lifts and falls.
Within a circle of impassioned
release, the group seemed to melt
together into a colorful ball.
From this full-force electricity,
the music and dancers stopped, yet
one of the talented artists still
continued to move. A festive and
entertaining evening came to a
close as he hopped away from the
bizarre, butcher-style celebration.
-Julie Komorn

I t

I :.,--~.

and especially dance, are suffering
due to the mass media. People are
missing a really important part of
human ecology by not seeing as
much performance as they could, and
the performers are not performing
as much. It's something that has al-
ways been a part of the human land-
scape as far back as anyone knows...
I suppose you go in and watch some-
thing for two hours, but the experi-

B: Oh, it's just she invented
rolled-up shorts like yours...
you like her?

I a:~
?,, ,

D: Well, yeah, I do.

EB: Okay.


D: Why? Is it a curosity or...
EB: No, no, just..

A successful comedian is a person .who
makes an audience laugh a lot A successful
performer or drama person is obviously going
to be a person who succeeds in conjuring
characters and relations, and that is my first
objective. What happens, though, is the more
times I do the show live, the funnier it gets,
because it's inevitable

Napoli Pizza

ence does something very different
to you than it would with film... In
my case there's a lot of argument
about what's going on up there, and
even more what's funny and isn't
funny about it.

D: Yeah, I do. I mean, I'm not a :
Madonna fan, but...
E B: What do you like about
D: God, I don't know...

EB: Not her music, right? It's just
D: It's just - no...
EB: Her existence.
D: I mean, I do like some of her
music. It's easy to dance to.
Anything that's fun and easy to
dance to I, I like.
EB: Yeah.
To be continued...

t ,
' ;
. i
' }x
t e
w ;,

who what
Making their first appearance At
the Blind Pig since last April are
Tequila Mockingbirds. If their
name doesn't ring a bell, they are
that band with a kickin' horn section
you may have seen at frat parties.
Their show at the Pig tonight will
do just the same. Band member Dave
Miller, who once aspired to be a
nuclear phvsicist. shows his excite-

- ! \ i \=r = =1 'N -------


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