Monday, November 22, 2010

Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club – name redacted, name redacted, name redacted and Tony Krolo, shot with the Panasonic ZS3 – redacted at the hostess’s request …

Well now … I received a request via LinkedIn from (name redacted) :-) the host of this particular evening, who felt that her likeness was not captured well in the harsh lights of the comedy club. She also felt that the name of my blog, being Nothing Special, was not something she wanted to be associated with, despite my article’s complementary tone. I presume this is because she feels that she is actually “Something Special” … and she apparently elicited supporting requests from (name redacted) and (name redacted), the two other supporting comedians. Note that Tony Krolo, the night’s excellent headliner, has not been included so I am leaving the images and the text intact for him. Now, I cannot stop you if you choose to look up Yuk Yuk’s history of performances to see who it is that is so special that free and positive publicity is unwelcome, and that being on a blog that is named funny is not actually so funny. I’m sure that there are archives all over the place that would be able to show you this article intact if you so chose to look for it … I could not possibly comment on that :-)

Now that’s a great line-up.

But first, this was an office celebration of a major software release. Guests were invited, but Karen was winging her way back from the Amazon on this evening, so I attended on my own. About half the group did the same, so I had lots of company and a pretty good time at dinner. Dinner was, in fact, a traditional Turkey and Roast Beef buffet … excellent!

I had to park about 4 blocks away in a dimly lit parking lot with a machine that was supposed to allow me to pay my 7 bucks for the evening using any of the usual cards. I tried my Visa and got constant read errors. Since this card gives me Air Canada miles, it gets used as much as possible for expenses and I know it works. Next, I tried my debit card and the machines hung … after a minute or so I killed it. Tried again, same issue. Finally, I tried a card that can access my line of credit and it came back with invalid card. Sheesh …. I went around the circuit a couple more times and realized that I would be late, so I took the chance that they knew that the machine was fu…. not working … (Note: I came back after the show to a $55 ticket … 8 times the price of parking!!! A free dinner and show this was not.)

Walking to the show, I stumbled upon the Sugar Mountain, a vintage candy store chain that my kids really enjoyed whenever we visited their aunts and uncles and grandparents in Winnipeg while they were younger. It was a ritual when we would visit and I was surprised to find one here.

This image has some blue channel noise in the sky … it is below the threshold of visibility on well calibrated monitors, but with the typical TN panel that is very bright with a screwed up gamma, the noise will likely be visible. If you see it, you might want to get a new monitor and calibrator, assuming you are a photographer who processes images. If not, don’t worry about it …

I started walking after this shot, looking at addresses for Yuk Yuk’s and realized in a moment that it was right next door Smile

So back to the dinner … it was great. We all went downstairs after the dinner had been consumed and the speeches avoided (!) and I found a decent spot about 15 feet from the stage.

I needed to be a bit away from the front row because I wanted to shoot stills using the Panasonic ZS3, a camera that makes amazing videos but has given me trouble with stills in this kind of light.

I specifically wanted to shoot mainly low ISO this time, and I pretty much spent the evening shooting at 400 ISO … my few forays up to 800 ISO returned a lot more chroma noise, and I ended up using none of those. The 400 ISO images were quite good, although the camera has a strong tendency to blue channel noise in dark areas, which requires processing to remove. From what I have seen of sample images, this has been addressed somewhat with the ZS7 and ZS10, however the addition of 2 more megapixels on the already over-crowded 1/2.3” sensor does a bit of damage to the detail retention. It’s always something with these marketing people …

With no skin in sight, I can get a pretty nice and saturated image from this camera.

The show opened with (name redacted), a very funny lady. She did a pretty long set that I really enjoyed. Here she is shading her eyes from the unusually bright lights. This really worked in the Panny’s favor.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

The next one is noisy. Her skin and eyes look fine, but I opened the shadows a lot here and found the noise harder to control. It looks fine on my calibrated monitor, but pretty noisy on my TN panel.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

She appears here to have spotted me taken pictures. Jenn and Tony also did later on.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

I found that the better comics are very good with facial expressions.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

And for your total entertainment package, here is (name redacted) on Comedy Now!

(movie removed at the comedian’s request)

(Name redacted) then introduced (name redacted), who I think was the least experienced and who certainly gave us the shortest set. But he was funny and I would certainly see him again.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

He does the pot routine, and he does it well. Quite funny …

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

I did very little to these images, other than controlling the background noise levels … his skin works really well with this light.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

Here is a short promo film showing (name redacted) personality … quite funny I think.

(video removed at the comedian’s request)

(Name redacted) came up briefly after (name redacted) and did a short bit, but then brought (name redacted) out for a very long set. Her set is as polished and complete as Tony Krolo’s, so it very much felt like we got two headliners.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

She does a lot of very funny bits … and her face is very expressive.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

She does bits with physical humor as well and has some classic voices that really add to her routine.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

Anyone who has seen her act knows that this is the shower scene that she paints rather hilariously …

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

And here it is on YouTube (Comedy Now!) …

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

Here’s a shot with a classic coy smile … nice.

(image removed at the comedian’s request)

Finally, we got the headliner Tony Krolo, a very experienced comedian who really laid down a great set.

That image has some real issues in the shadows, but it looks pretty good on my good monitor. The rest of you will see blue channel issues with the suit and perhaps some overly warm shadows on the face.

The next shot shows one of his opening funny bits … the discussion about his nose. It’s really quite large Smile… a beak, as he calls it.

He alternates between serious / sad looks and a pretty good smile … here he is in black and white (the light and his skin were not friendly) looking pretty serious.

He is also a master of physical humor, at least in the form of expressions. Some really good ones. Here, I left the shot in color and it has similar issues to the first shot of him.

If your monitor is well calibrated, that shot looks good. Otherwise, perhaps not so much. Here comes the smile.

Another good shot of his profile. I like this one in black and white … and the hand movement adds a bit …

This is a great shot of him in profile.

Remember to click through to see the larger versions (as always) … more physical comedy here, although I really don’t remember what he was doing. But it looks really funny.

One last shot … another great expression.

Let me leave you with a YouTube routine of his …

All in all, a really good evening of comedy. Lots of laughs and well worth the modest cost. This was my first time at Yuk Yuk’s, and I will go back for sure. Take a look at the nearest Yuk Yuk’s to you … if you are not in North America, truck on down to whatever comedy clubs you have locally … I think they are a hoot.

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