Comedian and satirist Will Durst is scheduled to perform at Lakeside Little Theatre from Thursday, January 31 through Sunday, February 3.
Hailed as a “modern mix of Mort Sahl and Will Rogers,” the five-time Emmy nominee has more to banter about than ever before based on the clownish content spurting from the Trump administration on a daily basis.
“It’s impossible to keep up,” said the writer, radio personality and political pundit. “My joke was I would switch between baseball and the news and shit would happen between the batters.”
Don’t expect Durst to hold back – patrons will certainly hear sarcastic critiques of today’s political establishment from the comedian who has previously appeared on HBO, David Letterman, Showtime and more. Every day presents new material for the performer.
“If something happens in the news, I have to at least respond to it,” Durst told the Guadalajara Reporter in reference to his creative process. “I don’t have to have the best joke right away, I have to keep working at it, but if I don’t respond or acknowledge something, then I’m bogus.”
This will be Durst’s first time back in Mexico since performing at a Puerto Vallarta comedy club in the 1980s. Mostly unfamiliar with the expats of Ajijic and Chapala, Durst intends to better understand what draws them to Mexico.
“I’m going to be looking at them through a microscope and with a magnifying glass,” said Durst, who is originally from Wisconsin and currently resides in California. “I want to keep that option open to me. I have never been up close and personal with that community, so I’m going to ask as many questions and take as many notes.”
Durst began doing stand-up comedy in the 1970s during the height of Watergate. Let’s just say that he had an abundance of inspiration from the beginning of his career considering that it coincided with the climactic resignation of President Richard Nixon.
“I remember my first political joke on stage was about Nixon, since he had just resigned and he went into the hospital a couple of weeks later,” recalled Durst. “It was seen as a ploy for sympathy, so my joke was ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets phlebitis (vein inflammation)’ because back then phlebitis was a funny word.”
After attending five universities, Durst ended up graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee with a journalism degree. As well as writing for the school newspaper, he was also heavily involved in the alternative “underground” weekly called the Bugle-American.
“Back in the 1970s, everything that you did was political,” said Durst, author of “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing,” and “Hope is a Tattered Flag,” among others. “It was the Perry Como generation versus the Jefferson Airplane generation. Your haircut was political, your blue jeans were political and the songs you listened to were political.”
Standup comedy has gone through many transformations since then. No longer priding himself on his old “bipartisan bashing” style, nowadays Durst is pretty much fixated on covering all of the madness coming from the White House. As new scandals appear on a regular basis, Durst is constantly monitoring the media for the latest buzz.
“I do try to keep up,” confessed Durst after learning the hard way that yesterday’s news just won’t fly. Specifically, his jokes about Anthony Scaramucci (Trump’s former White House communication director who is now competing in Celebrity Big Brother 2) fell short at one performance, resulting in blank stares from the audience.
“Now I can’t do that material,” said Durst. “It’s not just old – it’s ancient, it’s medieval, it’s wearing a breastplate. It was the same thing with Omarosa when she wrote a book and called Trump ‘on the hinge.’ People totally forgot about that. That’s the hard part. It’s weekly. It’s daily. It’s by the minute.”
Compared to Trump’s volatility, sometimes Durst misses the easygoing days of George W. Bush’s tenure.
“His kindness to me was mostly in the form of malapropism [the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one with an often unintentional amusing effect],” said Durst. “I remember I would finish my bit with forbidden quotes from George W. Bush, so I didn’t have to write material. With Trump, it’s hard to parody a parody, but with Bush, it was a little easier.”
Showtimes for this comedic performance will be 7:30 p.m. from January 31 to February 2, and 4 p.m. on February 3.