For a couple years now we Laughter Against The Machinists (W. Kamau Bell, Nato Green, and Janine Brito) have been doing shows in Northern California with a few toe dips into the Pacific Northwest. Warm, familiar, liberal places (except Sacramento) where we were pretty sure most of the audience would welcome us with open arms (except Marin). But the time has come for us to leave our creature comforts and to put our money where our mouth is and wade into the most polarized quagmires in the US, the flashpoints of American ignorance and upheaval. To roam the country bringing humor to the people who need it the most, and trying to answer the age-old question: can they take a joke?
We’ve got Mike Paunovich and Evan Donn, some amazing filmmakers, to follow our journey, but we can’t do it alone and absolutely need your help. Filming this documentary won’t be easy or cheap. There are multiple plane tickets, hotel accommodations, safe houses, camera crews, best boys, riot gear, and bail bonds to be bought! The tour is planned, but we can’t afford to set foot out the door without your support up front. As we said in the video we’re hitting six hot spots (with potentially more to be added):
Madison, Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s attempts to eliminate union rights for public workers have galvanized a student-labor movement to save the state. Governor Walker’s hubris may turn Wisconsin into the Waterloo of the Tea Party. But first the Tea Party will have to look up the word “Waterloo”.
Phoenix, Arizona From Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to banning ethnic studies, to the fact that it’s now so illegal to be Mexican that people are putting ketchup on their tacos, Arizona is now the heavyweight champion of crazy. Arizona has gotten too weird for people from Florida. Even Alabama is keeping its distance.
New Orleans, Louisiana Remember how New Orleans was destroyed by a hurricane and everybody said it would be rebuilt so college kids could keep getting drunk for Mardi Gras? And then remember how Kanye West called George W. out on TV? And then we got a black president? Everything must be back to normal down there now right? Hey, what’s that black spot in the ocean?
Dearborn/Detroit twofer, Michigan Dearborn is home to America’s largest Muslim community. LATM will prove once and for all that Islam is no scarier than Christianity...OK, good point. It’s probably way less scary. Meanwhile, is Detroit a decaying carcass of a rusty metropolis, or is something being born here more exciting than Eminem’s kids?
Washington, DC We’ll visit the people who live in the seat of our democracy, the denizens of the capital of the world’s last superpower...ok most recent superpower, until China decides to collect. DC is where even baristas have lobbyists. PS – Let’s see if we can get that President guy to show up. He’s supposed to have such a good sense of humor...
Oakland, CA Here we’ll perform for people who have a nice view of the most liberal city in the country, while experiencing crushing poverty, crime, and that rapid displacement of black people known as gentrification. LATM comes home to Oakland, bringing back the wisdom of our travels and lessons from the American heartland.
Like Doctors Without Borders, but with jokes instead of penicillin, LATM roams the country bringing humor to the people who need it the most.
Welcome to Laughter Against The Machine: Guerrilla Stand-up Comedy.