Comedy

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian comedian, media critic, TV host...and former surgeon and doctor. He came to widespread attention as the host of "El-Bernameg" ("The Show"), a popular satirical news program in Egypt, which aired from 2011 to 2014. (His work on this program, which grw out of the Arab Spring, led to Youssef's being widely compared to the American satirist Jon Stewart.) Youssef joins us to discuss the development of his career thus far, which now includes a new children's book: "The Magical Reality of Nadia."

Our guest is the writer and film historian Mark Harris, whose newest book, which he tells us about, is a biography of Mike Nichols (1931-2014). Born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, the young Nichols, along with his brother and his parents, escaped the Nazis in 1939 by relocating to the United States. Nichols went on to have a long, remarkably creative career in show business, thriving as a film and theater director, actor, producer, and comedian. As a director, he was known and celebrated for helping his actors deliver particularly strong performances.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are discussing "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)," a contemporary comedy by the much-acclaimed American playwright Sarah Ruhl, which will be staged here in Tulsa from May 12th through the 22nd. It's being presented by American Theatre Company, and you can fine more information (including ticket details and show times) at this link. Our guest is Lisa Wilson, who is directing this production.

(Note: This interview originally aired in July of last year.) On this presentation of ST, we chat with Joe Randazzo, a former editor of The Onion and former creative director of adultswim.com who now writes for the Comedy Central program called @midnight.

On this installment of ST, we learn about "The Vaudeville Museum" -- a special evening of Vaudeville history, perspective, and performance -- that will be staged at TU's McFarlin Library at 7pm both tonight and tomorrow night (the 22nd and 23rd). It's an interactive, interdisciplinary, and free-to-the-public presentation that's recently been created by Machele Miller-Dill, Director of TU's Musical Theatre Program, who also performs in this throwback event and is one of our guests today.

On today's ST, we learn about a new musical -- a "bro-mantic" comedy, no less -- loosely based on the thousand-year-old epic poem, "Beowulf." It's the still-in-development "Beowulf, Lord of the Bros," and it will be workshopped at a pair of free-to-the-public performances on Friday and Saturday, the 30th and 31st, at the Theatre Two space in Kendall Hall on the TU campus, with both shows starting at 7pm.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Anthony Wilkinson, the writer/creator of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding," a musical comedy that premiered off-Broadway in 2003...and then, eventually, after some revisions...opened on Broadway itself in 2010. This popular play is still staged in NYC, and it's also been presented -- by this point -- at venues all over the glove. It actually opened here in Tulsa last night, the 16th, in a production being offered by the Tulsa-based American Theatre Company through June 26th.

On this presentation of ST, we chat with Joe Randazzo, a former editor of The Onion and former creative director of adultswim.com who now writes for the Comedy Central program called @midnight.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, the bawdy humor of Jackie Mason collides -- for better or worse -- with the common-sense politics of Will Rogers as we welcome the one and only Kinky Friedman back to our show. The legendary Texas-based singer/songwriter, novelist, humorist, politician, and former columnist for Texas Monthly was one of two independent candidates in the 2006 election for the office of Governor of Texas; Friedman placed fourth in the six-person race.