Bugly and two Johnsons

Since Jennifer Lopez seems to be the latest illustration of the maxim that, with certain public figures, actual talent exists in inverse proportion to media exposure, Scene thought it would do its small part in whacking away at what little talent remains in La Lopez by adding to her overexposure. Take that, Jello.

No, comedy is not pretty. In fact, it’s often downright bugly, which is a contraction of the words “butt” and “ugly”—an appellation that needn’t be applied to the rather callipygian caboose of Ms. Jello, but that can be hung on other disturbances in the space-time continuum.

For example, take the troupe I Can’t Believe It’s Not Comedy’s seasonal show, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Christmas. The specter of drag queen Britney Spares lip-synching to a holiday tune that was originally lip-synched by the other, better-known Britney is one thing. The specter of Ben Miller telling parents Keith Lowell Jensen and Syd Heberger that he isn’t exactly gay but that he does like to be rode hard and put up wet is another. Add Emily Yay’s terrific stand-up comedy routine (the finest stand-up comedy routine Scene has ever heard); a bunch of other skits, some of which work and some of which don’t; plus the music of acoustic duo Xenophilia, and you’ve got a nifty—perhaps even bugly—night out.

You have three more chances to see Not Christmas: Friday, December 6, at 8 p.m.; or Saturday, December 7, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., at Gallery Horse Cow, 1409 Del Paso Boulevard. That’s it. Tickets are $10.

On another tip, cue that Twilight Zone-style Theremin riff. You know, the one that goes “oo-weee-ooo.” A local record producer named Philip Howard called and asked Scene to meet for coffee. Once there, he pitched an instrumental CD titled In the Spirit of Christmas by pianist Steven Johnson, on which Howard had worked. Back at the office, the phone rang, and someone named Steve Johnson inquired if Scene had received his CD. “Yeah, Philip just handed it over,” Scene told him. “Who? My CD is called Songs From the Seventh House,” Johnson the singer-songwriter said.

Both of them are throwing CD-release parties on Tuesday, December 10. Pianist Johnson’s is at 7 p.m. at 516 22nd Street, a private residence. It’s free, but Howard would like any attendees to R.S.V.P. first via e-mail to Philip@therightmusic.com. Singer-songwriter Johnson has rented out the Delta King theater, on the boat that’s moored at 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento. His event starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $12.50 or two for $20. “I’m encouraging couples to attend,” he said. Wonder if Ben and his beloved callipygian Jello will make it.