Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, May 28

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Comics Fri Apr 10 2009

Robert Buscemi, Chicago's Best

The Reader has named oddball stand-up Robert Buscemi as the city's best, a fact you appreciate more when you consider that something like 30% of America's comedy comes from Chicago (there's actually a statistic somewhere to back that up, but I can't find it, so you'll have to rely on my considerable integrity).

I first saw Robusc (not a real nickname, I'm just tired of typing Buscemi) perform in the cramped confines of the Beat Kitchen's upstairs room, essentially an apartment, two years ago or more. Buscemi's stand up is unique and, in an era of irony-heavy, tortuously self-aware comedy, refreshing. He maintains a relentlessly sunny but thematically strange and even dark stage persona, going between stem-winding set pieces with rewarding payoffs to one-off one liners and observations. The thing that's refreshing about Buscemi's comedy is that it's shot through with a selfless desire to perform for an audience--a lot of stand up (even good stand up) suffers from the performers' desire to showcase cleverness or a certain sensibility without risking making an ass of themselves.

Punchline magazine interviewed Buscemi recently--the article is missing from their site, so here it is on Buscemi's own. He recently released his second DVD, and can be seen among other local places at Chicago Underground Comedy, the showcase you're going to claim you used to check out every Tuesday when it is cited as part of the revitalization of American stand up in a few years.

Congratulations Robert.

Here's a NSFW clip:

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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