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Comics Riff on Valentine's Day at the Skirball

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The Say the Word comedy series at the Skirball continued on Friday night with the theme, Bleeding Hearts. (Photo: Christine N. Ziemba)
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The Skirball Cultural Center’s Say the Word comedy series continued on Friday night as writer-comedian Beth Lapides wrangled her pals—standups and writers alike—to skewer the Hallmark holiday: Valentine’s Day.

Under the theme of Bleeding Hearts, the story topics ranged the gamut from sweet and sentimental to experiences with venereal diseease. Lapides, who developed the UnCabaret alt-comedy night in LA, opened things up by discussing her state of “pre-divorce” from her husband (or is that pre-ex-husband?). She explained that it’s that time in a divorce when things have been decided, but the paperwork hasn’t quite caught up.

Following Lapides, Carlos Kotkin read his raucously funny story, “The H Word,” about his experience on a dating site (that for legal reasons he could not name, but rhymed with “snatch.com.”). After a few dates, he was intimate with a woman, who told him she had “the H word” during their first post-coital discussion. He wasn’t sure, at first, whether she meant HIV or herpes. The story is part of a larger collection of his dating foibles in the book, Please God Let it Be Herpes. The VD theme continued with Jon Kinally (Ugly Betty) recalling “the one time I got crabs was from a heart transplant patient.”

Standup Wayne Federman (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and author of the upcoming book I’ll take that as a No) riffed on various themes, including how he hates the 405 carpool lanes since they discriminate against the lonely. “It’s vehicular apartheid.” We don’t know how, but actor Tim Bagley also turned the death of a loved one into comedy fodder.

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Cindy Chupack (Modern Family) told a story about how she dated, and then married, a bad boy. “You know you’re dating a bad boy when you’re not sure your dating.” We don’t think truer words have been spoken. Ever.

The evening ended on a serious, but sentimental note as 17-year-old Natalie Lindeman read her story falling down a canyon and and falling in love at the same time. The local kid has some writing chops—so much so that the story will appear in the New York Times’ "Modern Love" column in March.

The next Say the Word installment at the Skirball Center is on April 21. Meanwhile, if you want to catch Lapides in action tonight, UnCabaret takes over First & Hope in DTLA tonight at 8 pm with featured acts: Sam Pancake, Rory Scovel, Rebecca Corry, Mary Lynn Rajskub (taping her podcast Kicking It with Mary Lynn) and musical guests Dirty Uniform and The Ooks of Hazzard.