"I hope your tits shrivel up and fall off."

Week of January 19, 2006

...It's starting to smell...:The writer who once described Hanson as "uncompromisingly artistic" was not fired and has recently published her first feature article, entitled, "Brie Johnson Takes Her Shirt Off...and Thinks It's Funny." Or something. Focused on Brie's struggle from Wal-Mart shopping to comedy fame, the article did less for female comics than Jerry Lewis. By her choice to promote a female comic who relies purely on shock value, she has confirmed what is already suspected: Women aren't funny.

As a female comic, I take personal offense to both Brie (I hope your tits shrivel up and fall off) and Julie Seabaugh (I feel sorry for anything that has ever been in your mouth).

Please do not misconstrue my intent. There is no jealousy involved. In fact, if ever asked to pose naked for an article about female comics, my response would have been, "Interview over and I hope your whole family dies." So in the future, Julie, try to read a book and get some taste before picking up that pen. You may be young and without enough experience to judge things, but the least you could do is realize it. Spare the rest of the pain of your misfortune. To get you started, there are two things you should look for in a comic: material and the ability to keep a shirt on.

Best of luck. You'll need it.
Andi Smith
St. Louis

...Besides...:Until I saw your paper, I was unfamiliar with the stylings of Brie Johnson, "local laugh riot." I have been involved in comedy for a few years, including a stint running a club in Union Station called Laugh Tracks. Some of the names who performed during my tenure are Jamie Foxx, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Adam Sandler. I spent two years as tour manager with the Kings of Comedy (Bernie Mac, Cedric, Steve Harvey, DL Hughley) and a couple more with Def Comedy Jam. I worked for Contemporary's comedy division a few years ago, helping to produce shows with all kinds of famous comedians. I mention this to let you know that I have some valid experience in the comedy business.

I am friends with Matt Behrens, who books the Funny Bone comedy club chain. In my opinion Matt is a great comedy booker. After reading the article on Brie Johnson, I asked Matt if he was familiar with her, and he is. She has not been booked to perform in any of the Funny Bones throughout this great land. Draw your own conclusion.

I was involved in a comedy search a few months ago. I saw a bunch of local and regional comedians and was impressed with many of St. Louis's own. There is a guy named Tommy Johnegin, who looks like he could be a star. Andi Smith, a woman, is terrific and absolutely kills me. There are many others, and because it is no longer my business to know the names, I don't remember them all. Greg Warren, Jeremy Essig and veterans Dan Chopin, Joe Marlotti and Dan O'Sullivan are all well-respected in the comedy community.

The jokes Seabaugh quoted from Ms. Johnson are interesting because there are so many references to anal sex. According to her, white men and women go around having anal sex with such frequency that women have to hold their butt cheeks together to avoid the accidental (and likely embarrassing) feces fallout. Wow! Now, that's comedy! Well done, Brie! Give yourself a "reach-around"!

Ms. Johnson also seems offended when people compare her to Sarah Silverman. First question: What dumbass is comparing Brie Johnson to Sarah Silverman? And why would Brie find that anything but ultimately flattering? I've met Sarah Silverman, and I am thinking of tracking her down just to let her know that there is a new comedy force, and to "get out of the way, here comes Brie Johnson!" I may also send a note to Maria Bamford, one of the stars of Comedy Central's Comedians of Comedy and let her know that Brie Johnson says it's okay to be dirty. Fear not, Brie's got your back, Maria!

It's good to know that Michael Roberts Jr. is thinking of signing Brie to a contract. Roberts says Brie has the potential to take it all the way to a world level (not sure what that means, but I'm guessing it's a world with a lot of jokes about anal sex). He's never seen anything like her.

What puzzles me is why the writer would not place a phone call to somebody at the Funny Bone to get an opinion. If not about Brie Johnson, but to find out if there might just be some other comedy talent in St. Louis.

I want to compliment the photographer. Those are some very funny pictures. Nothing makes me laugh like a picture of a woman with her finger up her nose. Or a good old-fashioned joke about anal sex. There is gooey substance on her face in one of the pictures. What happened? Did Brie get a little too close to the subject?
Tom Clyde
St. Louis

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