It is a challenge to one’s journalistic impartiality to merely say comedian Mort Sahl will be having a tribute June 28th at the Wadsworth Theatre in Brentwood. Reason one to go: Sahl deserves the epithet “legendary” more than any other comedian, outliving his contemporary Lenny Bruce in the field of political and social standup. Reason two: He turns 80 and this is a benefit for the Heartland Comedy Foundation, a provider of support to those in the comedy profession who require financial support.
Reason three: His work has made it possible for current comedy commentators Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and of course, Bill Maher, with the latter performing at Wadsworth. Reason four: Joining Maher will be an astounding line up of talent, including Albert Brooks, Jay Leno, Drew Carey, Paula Poundstone, David Steinberg, Jonathan Winters and, on tape, Mort’s longtime pal Woody Allen.
Reason five: I am fortunate to know Mort, to get to banter with him on occasion at my local Starbucks. He generously gave me a blurb on my humor how-to What Are You Laughing At?. His incisive wit skewers all sides, not easy targets. His willingness to make us think twice about our longheld notions is embodied in his line, “A liberal is just a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet.”
Tickets are available here, with a discount for using the code “MORT80.” Come, laugh and acknowledge the man who ascended the stage at San Francisco’s Hungry I in 1953, with the day’s newspaper rolled up in his hand and lightly, humorously has been swatting us with the absurdity of our world. You have more than enough reasons.