Barry Sobel refresher course

December 3rd, 2008 | San Francisco Comedy

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Pop icon-comedian Barry Sobel Barry Sobel, most recently seen on “Chocolate news”, is back on tour. Barry, who changed the face of comedy in the late 80’s and 90’s with his Beastie Boys rap and his homage to Soul Singer’s “I can’t do no more”, made his mark on HBO, and wowed Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Slamming on “Showtime at the Apollo” and rapping as the new nerd in “Revenge of the Nerds II”, Barry appeared in many movies, including “Punchline” – in which he wrote and acted with Tom Hanks. Other film credits include “Doc Hollywood”, “Martians Go Home”, “Blind Date”, and “That Thing You Do”. Barry Guest-VJ’ed for years on MTV and sat in on “Lip Service”. He also starred on NBC’s “227” as well as VH1’s “Vinyl Justice,” and was also nominated for an Emmy for his work on SNL.

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2 Responses to “Barry Sobel refresher course”

  1. James Sallito Says:

    I’m sorry. Am I missing something? Is there a desperate need for this guy to return? Is there any humor beyond the kitsch factor? You’re right to call him “Icon- Comedian” because without that qualifier it would be wrong to call him a comedian. I think he is a great symbol for a moment in time when tepid, mildly racist, and loosely ethnic comedy was tolerated by a few people who were afraid to love Eddie Murphy. You can tell that Carson thinks he’s an idiot. You can tell that Hanks wants to kill him right there on the Oprah set. The reason Hanks character in Punchline was brilliantly desperate was because Barry Sobel was the “stand up comedy advisor” that he had to deal with on Punchline, and he saw how sad and broken a person can be in that business.

    That bit he begins with on Carson is embarrassing. It’s like a half-committed Robin Williams bit without the edge. I don’t mind him doing the black thing, it just wasn’t funny. And the Eddie Murphy impression? Help us. I also don’t mind resurrecting a dead career if the career or person being resurrected is worthy of it. Let’s bring back a reliable Dennis Miller or Paula Poundstone or very early Judy Tenuta? Or Martin Mull for goddsakes. He’s an icon. He’s doing something funny right now and nobody is talking about it. Barry Sobel is an icon like Judd Nelson is an icon. Their value is that they trigger a memory of from High School when the virus of pretending you’re black took hold.

    I will give him this: he has stuck around. It’s better than I could do. And I don’t take that away from him. I think his only entrance back into culture is the same route the two Coreys took: make fun of the fact that you are who you are and it’s absurd that you were what you were. But unfortunately he was not in The Lost Boys and hasn’t built the steam up to let out.

    I invite other opinions. Point me to something to change my mind.

  2. A. Comedian Says:

    James Sallito.. Appearently your NOT an artist of any kind. The ONLY way you can put yourself out there is behind you words as a comment. I’m guessing you sit in a dark basement where the sunlight never shines.. you probably get off on pissing on others dreams and hopes. You should probably write down your thoughts on paper so when they find you they know what the cause of death was… How you had no real thoughts of your own so you took it upon yourself to shit on someone elses REALITY!
    good luck to yourself.. I hope you find yourself.. probably starts with looking inward… vs attacking everything else around you… Remember: resentment is the only thing that eats its own container!

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