News Column

Free live stand-up Saturday night on Mount Pony

September 12, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 12--The Packard Campus Theater on Mount Pony presents a free evening of live hilarity Saturday night.

Washington, D.C. area stand-up comics Mike Diesel and Mark Matusof will take the stage at 7:30 as part of a celebration of comedy on the National Recording Registry.

Diesel, a comic for 25 years, said it's easy to make him laugh especially when it involves irony or pain, given the correct circumstances. The mundane is often most laughable because everyone can relate, he said.

"We get an opportunity to share commonality with the audience," said Diesel of Sheperdstown, W.Va. "They will think it and we will say it."

He said the Culpeper audience can expect to laugh Saturday night, or at least that's his hope.

Matusof, a former aerospace engineer, said the local audience could expect to hear from him Saturday night material that is intelligent, but not intellectual -- clean, clever jokes that focus above the waist.

"I talk about things that everyone can relate to, and there will be a little bit of music thrown in for good measure," he said.

The unexpected makes Matusof laugh.

"Situations where we all find ourselves baffled by what seem to be the simplest challenges of modern life," he said.

Matusof agreed that the commonplace is funny because it's something to which we all can relate.

"Something as simple as toilet paper stuck to a shoe, an unexpected rude noise, a cat on a piano," he said.

Besides live funny men, Saturday night's special event will include a presentation by Packard Campus staffer Dan Blazek in the recorded sound division.about comedy records on the National Recording Registry. Those titles include just three: Bill Cosby's "I Started Out as a Child," Mort Sahl's "At Sunset" and Bob Newhart's "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart," according to Packard Campus staffer Cary O'Dell, National Recording Registry board associate and television historian.

Titles added to the registry each year represent audio recordings that are culturally, historically or aesthetically significant and suitable for preservation for all time.

Diesel named Cosby as among the most influential comics of all time along with Jonathan Winters, Richard Pryor and Uncle Charlie. Matusof, asked his opinion on the matter, named George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Ernie Kovacs and Steve Allen as his top comedians.

In addition to making people laugh in person, Diesel has appeared in various commercials including playing a mobster for Mattress Warehouse. He also played a dock worker in HBO's hit show, "The Wire." Matusof, meanwhile, opened for a CBS David Copperfield Special. He's reportedly "funny without being vulgar."

The Packard Campus Theater is located inside the Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center on Mount Pony at 19053 Mount Pony Rd. Make reservations at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994, or show up early to get on stand-by. Reservations are held until 10 minutes before show time.

Also Saturday, the LOC Theater presents a 2 p.m. matinee of "The Indian in the Cupboard" (Columbia, 1995).

Tonight, the venue presents "Music to Look At: An Evening of Music Videos" from the 1980s and Friday night it's Edward James Olmos in the powerful "Stand and Deliver" (Orion, 1988).

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(c)2013 the Culpeper Star-Exponent (Culpeper, Va.)

Visit the Culpeper Star-Exponent (Culpeper, Va.) at www2.starexponent.com

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