Dairy Based

Comedy Centerfold: Amanda Hahn

Welcome to Comedy Centerfold, where we feature a Dallas Comedy House performer and get to know him or her a little better by using questions that Playboy centerfolds are usually asked.  Amanda HahnI once met Amanda Hahn outside an fMRI machine. She was flipping a quarter and popping bubble gum. She was a real cool cat, and she was looking for a brain to scan. I told her I'd let her peep into my pyramidal cells in my prefrontal cortex to prove my processes were premier. But she had her eye on another, who came in at that moment. Taking off his glasses and loosening his Robert Talbott tie, he rested himself on the bed outside the machine. He told her to call him Tyrone today before catching her quarter mid flip. She pushed a button that moved him under the magnet, but not before telling him he's on notice to visit her at the Dallas Comedy House during one of her shows with Dairy Based, SpanishProv, Bunny Bunny, or the Halloween Sketch Show in October. He offered a thumbs up, and she popped her gum one last time.

Hometown? I grew up in Franklin, Tennessee. It’s a relatively small, old Civil War/farming town outside of Nashville where Miley Cyrus and Paramore are from.

Guilty Pleasures? Well, I spent about 15 minutes at work today watching R. Kelly’s commentary on R. Kelly’s classic hip-hopera, Trapped in the Closet. So stuff like that.

Ambitions? Be Stephen Colbert. Also, to perform at Second City while being a neuroscientist with adorable, well-behaved, funny kids.

Best Concert? This is so hard to pick. I’ll go with Florence and the Machine, because Florence Welch is so stunning. Her voice sounds even more powerful when you see it come out of her in person. And she was dressed in an all black, flowy, partly sheer dress that made her look like a dark angel. Plus she was funny and charming! I think I fell in love.

Favorite Book? The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington by Brian Francis is the one I’ve re-read the most. It was recommended to me by a friend in high school, and no one else I know has read it. Go read it! It’s about an overweight, gay boy in middle school trying to hide his huge nipples. It’s very funny and has a slight Tina Fey feel to it.

Favorite Movie? I have to go with Little Miss Sunshine. I’ve never gotten tired of it despite how many times I’ve watched it, and I once watched it twice in a row in one night. I love how real it feels despite how coo-coo it is.

Favorite TV Show? I know this is everyone’s, but Arrested Development. It changed me. Watching it made me realize how great something is when you let yourself have fun when you write and perform, instead of trying too hard to make a “good” product. I love The Colbert Report for similar reasons.

Pets? Lucy. AKA: Lucy the Dog, Sweet Baby Lucy, Big Booty Baby, Little Boo Bunny, and Dog. She’s my first dog, and I couldn’t have picked a more strange one. She’s a shih tzu/terrier mix that looks like a grisly Ewok with a big butt. She sneezes on my face a lot, and when she flops over for belly rubs, she waves her front paws desperately up and down until I touch her. She’s perfect.

Foods I Crave? Spaghetti and meatballs is my No. 1. I’ve been trying to eat healthier, so I’m trying to convince myself to crave zucchini covered in tomato sauce instead. It’s not working.

People I Admire? My mom is probably No. 1 for being so patient, attentive, and insightful with me as a child. She took the time to understand how my mind, and my siblings’ minds, worked, and parented accordingly. I was stubborn, anxious, and hot-headed, and she gave me such a magnificent gift by teaching me to take control of my actions, regardless of my emotions. But she never made me feel bad for what I was feeling and was so loving, comforting, and understanding. She’s the reason that as an adult I have the emotional stability that I have. She’s an amazing woman. Also, Stephen Colbert. He’s so funny, nice, and smart, and I like that he’s open about being a Christian, but he’s never dogmatic. I want him to be a member of my family.

Dream Role? Something super-duper dramatic. I can’t think of a particular role right now, but something that involves dramatic speeches, crying, and yelling. Maybe a mom at the end of her rope. Or, or, or Heath Ledger’s Joker! Although that role literally killed him, so maybe I need to re-think this.

Favorite Song to Sing? "Rags to Riches" by Mr. Elvis Presley. I like it for the beginning when it goes, “You know I’d goooo…” and then pauses a sec, then goes “from RAAAAAGS toooo riiiichessss..” I’m not a good singer, so it’s just an excuse to yell alone in my car, really.

Good First Date Idea? Any date that allows you to talk and laugh with each other, but also has something to actively do in case the conversation lulls and you get nervous. Or just go on a first date with Tyler Simpson! It's a lot of fun and worked out great for me.

What We're Loving: Dreams Coming True, One-Armed Push-ups, 9/11 Truthers, Existensial Noir

dch_what we're loving_02_07_2014Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week David Allison is tired of your apathy, Sarah Wyatt reminds us there is still good in the world, Nick Scott has some questions about press conference stage craft, and Ryan Callahan unintentionally reveals his psyche.  

Broad CityOver the past few weeks, I've asked a number of people about the show Broad City and I’m starting to feel like I’m the only one watching it. I want that to change. Immediately. Broad City is a brand new Comedy Central show that follows the lives of Abbi and Ilana as they attempt to survive in New York City. Each episode is heavy on the banter between the two, which is always entertaining because of their fantastic chemistry. Plus, there’s usually a cameo featuring Hannibal Buress and his pitch perfect deadpan. What else do you need? Besides the show being really good, the reason I wanted to write about it this week is that these are the shows you need to be watching and supporting! Broad City was created by two improvisers from UCBNY Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. They performed live together for a number of years and in 2009, created a web series that you can and should checkout. The online videos garnered a lot of attention and soon enough, they signed a deal to bring a show to TV. Basically, the path they took is the one that comedians are “supposed to” take if they want to make it. These are the sort of shows that, when successful, give aspiring performers hope that they can carve out a living doing comedy if they want. So watch this show because: a) It’s really funny, b) It’s your responsibility to, at the very least, give it a chance, and c) I want to be able to talk about it with you. - David Allison

pic1This week I'm loving Amanda Hahn. This woman is the most beautiful, amazing creature on the planet. This is not an exaggeration. Amanda is an improviser at Dallas Comedy House. She goes so hard in scenes, it's intense. I once watched her do one armed push ups for at least thirty seconds as a character in practice. She's strong. I am constantly in awe of her. This fine female is kind, cunning, and cute as hell, y'all. She's also super smart. When she's not improvising, Amanda is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Dallas for Cognition and Neuroscience. If that doesn't intimidate you, I don't know what will. She can scan your brain! Your brain! On a computer! This one's got aspirations outside of science though. Her dream job is writing for The Daily Show or the Colbert Report or The Onion. She's not picky. Amanda is also just like the best human being you'll ever meet. She's always so supportive and happy, but not in annoying way, it's genuine, you guys. This week, for no reason, she photoshopped a picture of me hanging out with President Obama. Who does amazing things like that out of the blue?? Amanda goddamn Hahn, that's who. When I asked her if she minded me writing about her this week, she sent me a text probably longer than this post detailing interesting facts about her. She's thorough. One of them was that she loves talking to strangers so if you see an adorably funny, five foot comedy sexbeast running around Dallas, holla at her, cause she's amazing. You can see Amanda Hahn perform at Dallas comedy house with her troupes Dairy Based and Quirk. - Sarah Wyatt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQlRseW2NA

My pick for this week is this clip of a 9/11 truther interrupting a Super Bowl press conference. I have watched this clip over and over since Sunday and I laugh every time. Sometimes written or planned sketches just can't match up to real life. First, Malcolm Smith is wearing a shirt over his shoulder pads. Whenever I see football players do this I find it near impossible to take them seriously. To me they look like Delta Burke drank the ooze from TMNT II to become the Designing Women version of the Super Shredder.

But let's address the actual event: a "9/11 Truther" bum rushes the Super Bowl MVP's post-game interview. So many questions pop up in my mind: Who is this guy? Why did he choose this one moment? What has he been doing for the last decade that he thought now was the best moment to question the events of September 11, 2001? I wonder if Malcolm Brown is pissed that this rando did something more interesting than anything that Malcolm himself said or did in the interview? "I always picture myself making great plays but zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...."

Doing my research, I found out that the truther's name is Matthew Mills, and that he snuck into the press conference BY TELLING SECURITY THAT HE WAS LATE. Security. At the Super Bowl. The one American event that terrorists (or in the opinion of Matthew Mills, our own government) would salivate over setting off a bomb in. All they would have to do is tell the security guard they were late for the game and they would be in.

Also, apparently there was another guy named Matthew Mills who was mistaken as the Truther Matthew Mills, and went ahead and did interviews as him.

But the best part of this whole thing, is Malcolm Smith's reaction. He stares blankly for awhile then asks is everybody is okay. I'm sure what was going on in his head wasn't much more than "Uhhhhhhh..." but I like to think that his silence was a contemplation on the fact that as much we as a society like to place importance on irrelevant events such as the Super Bowl, the mere mention of 9/11 reminds us that everything that happened on Sunday night, including his award, was completely arbitrary. I mean, except for the Puppy Bowl. of course. RUNNER UP PICK: The Denver Broncos offense. - Nick Scott

GalvestonOver the past few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with HBO’s True Detective, the new series created by Nic Pizzolatto. With its combination of police procedural, rural creepiness, marital drama, and philosophical musings on the nature of man and faith and evil and life, True Detective is the best crime drama in recent memory. Pizzolatto covered much of the same terrain in his debut novel Galveston, which tells the story of “Big Country” Roy Cady, small-time muscle for a small-time mobster in New Orleans. Roy’s just found out he has lung cancer, his boss wants him dead, and he can’t resist entangling himself in the problems of a young girl he barely knows. I think it's safe to say we've all been there. The book is dark, brutal, truthful, violent, and at times, deeply funny. Not so much the laugh out loud kind of funny, more the W.C. Fields, “I laugh so I do not cry,” kind of funny. Comedians, writers, performers, human statues, artists of all types will find much to relate to in this book. At its core, Galveston is a book about keeping the world at arm’s length, about the kind of loneliness you can only feel in a room full of friends, about making terrible decisions for reasons you can’t explain. Most of all Galveston is a book about fear; the fear of looking foolish that makes us build walls around ourselves, the fear of being hurt that pushes away anyone who might love us, and that greatest fear of all, the fear that we deserve every terrible thing that will happen to us. Reading this book felt like taking a trip deep into my own mind. - Ryan Callahan