Articles Los Angeles

The Laugh Factory

microphone_phone_music_264750_l.jpgIt’s no accident that the Laugh Factory is one of the only places that you can find household name comedians performing short 15 minute sets in between concert appearances or TV specials.

The Laugh Factory books the best talent and sells out almost every weekend night show. For travelers, the Laugh Factory is recommended because during any of the All-Star Comedy shows, you are almost sure to see someone you recognize or have heard before. If you only have one night to invest in seeing stand-up, the Laugh Factory is your best bet. It’s a bit more expensive than the other venues in town, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for (and then you have to buy two drinks).

Jamie Masada owns the Laugh Factory and runs the nightly shows on the Sunset Strip. The Laugh Factory opened in West Hollywood in 1979 and rumor has it that Richard Pryor was the first to perform on the stage. Rumor also has it that when Masada tried to pay Pryor for the performance, Pryor instead gave Masada a hundred dollar bill and said, “You’re going to need it.”

Now, the Laugh Factory runs shows every night of the week and two or three on the weekends. They also do a comic camp in the summer for kids and every Tuesday there is an open mic night and comedy showcase for new talent trying to earn a spot in the regular rotation.

Sign ups for the open mics start at 5:00 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30. Comedy for the open mics is limited to clean, “TV friendly” material and is regulated by a host.

The Laugh Factory is located at 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90046. Parking is extremely tight around the Laugh Factory and the best option is to carpool and split the cost of the valet. Parking can be found in the neighborhood to the east, but the parking laws are extremely strict and cars do get towed. If you do park among the houses read the parking signs carefully.

Shows are 18 and over and the cover charge is generally $20. There is also a two drink minimum for every show. Drinks run between $6.50 and $8.

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Los Angeles

Newport Beach

lagunanewport.jpgNewport Beach is a city at the heart of Orange County with much more personality than the narrow focus of reality shows or teen soap operas have given it in the eyes of the rest of the world.

The main attraction in Newport Beach, as the name suggests, is the beach. The picturesque coast brings tourists in from around the city and the beach is one of the most popular with body boarders and surfers as well. The famous Wedge, a challenging set of waves that break right off the Balboa peninsula, attract surfers and athletes to play in the curling waves.

Articles Los Angeles

Cheap Laughs at the Downtown Comedy Club


The Downtown Comedy Club is Los Angeles’ newest stand-up venue, a start up trying to get laughs from scratch in an area that is on its way back to life. Although it can’t match the big name talent of other comedy clubs in Los Angeles, the club offers a night of stand-up comedy for significantly less than the $40 the other places demand.

Articles Los Angeles

Museum of Television and Radio

interiors_white_front_282431_m.jpgThe Museum of Television and Radio is a befitting tribute for a city whose fortunes and future were constructed by mass media entertainment.

Now named the Paley Center, the location in Beverly Hills is part reference library, part movie theater and part celebration of Television culture. Visitors have the option of looking up old video clips and pulling them up on individual screens or watching them in a “family room” for four people. The Paley Center also screens films and shows daily in their movie theater sized screening room. Visitors might find shorts looking at the work of Jim Henson, Saturday Night Live over the years, or an exploration of another theme having to do with TV.

The Museum of Television and Radio is a tribute to the media’s past, but it also weighs in on contemporary shows and trends in the industry. Every so often the center offers a Media as Lens series, which assembles a room of people in the television industry and has them weigh in on current topics in the entertainment industry and world at large.

The Museum of Television and Radio is one of those free museums with a suggested donation of $10. Although you don’t have to pay it to enter, the museum is run off of donations in addition to the trust of William S. Paley, whom the museum is now named for.

Unlike typical museums, the Paley Center does not collect artifacts and mementos from Television shows. In fact, there is almost nothing tangible in the Paley Center. The museum exists as a way for future generations to see the shows that established television into the media giant that it is today. With over 140,000 shows selected by the museum staff for their influence, innovation, quality, or success, the museum supplies a way for scholars, historians, and the general public to look into what sort of shows were popular throughout the last century and what those shows looked like.

Unfortunately, the public cannot view the museum’s collection before arriving. Visitors can contact a curator with specific questions at 212.621.6600 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST.

The radio component of the Museum of Television and Radio operates much the same way that the television part does. Visitors can look through a catalogue of available shows and programs and choose one to listen to. Unfortunately, copies of programs or even clips of shows are not available for the public as part of the donation agreement with the museum.

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Articles Los Angeles

Walk of Fame

donald_duck_donald_233468_l.jpgThe Hollywood Walk of Fame stretches 3.5 miles around Hollywood Boulevard and Vine streets in downtown Hollywood and presents more than 2,000 names who have achieved fame and prominence in one of the five entertainment categories.

Created as part of a Hollywood “Face Lift” in 1958, the Hollywood Walk of fame is another way to walk the streets “seeing stars” in Hollywood. The Walk also connects the community with the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. People tromp up and down the street, literally staring at the ground and reading names as they go.

Nominations are due every May and the committee then meets to award stars to chosen every year in June in five categories. The categories are: film, television, the recording industry, broadcasting, and live theater. Recently, the selection committee has been accepting nominations for corporations and businesses on the Walk of Fame, so long as the company is active in Hollywood and at least 50 years old. Disneyland was the first recipient and now The Los Angeles Times and the KTLA TV station each has their own star.

Walk of Fame Trivia

The Walk of fame ends with stars for The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

There are two stars for Harrison Ford, for two different actors of the same name.

Gene Autry is the only person to have a star awarded to him in each of the five categories.

The Walk of Fame became a cultural landmark in Hollywood in 1978.

The first star on the walk was awarded on February 9, 1960, to Joanne Woodward

The best way to see the Walk of Fame is to drive in to Hollywood, park and walk. The best parking is available at Hollywood and Highland, in the giant underground parking structure. From there, the walk of fame is on Hollywood Blvd and extends east toward Vine St. The Walk of Fame is even more accessible by public transportation. The Red Line, which runs between North Hollywood and Downtown, stops at Hollywood and Vine, the heart of the Walk of Fame.

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Articles Croatia


paintball.jpgDescribe Croatia and you might come up with adjectives like relaxing, laid-back, chill, even sedate. A typical Croatian vacation consists of hanging out on the beach or people watching in a cafe. But a significant number of people are now turning toward adding thrills to their vacations, and to paintball as a way to get that adrenaline rush.

Paintball has ridden the wave of popularity of other outdoor sports like river rafting and mountain biking and now several companies split the duties of providing outdoor recreation opportunities to the travelers and locals who want to add them to their vacation itinerary.

Most paintball competition in Croatia is outdoor, in fields or forests with built in obstacles and cover for players. Mediterano offers paintball on Korcula island and provides vests and coveralls to help lessen the sting when you get hit. Mediterano advertises paintball as a team-building activity and says that corporate groups receive a huge benefit from the activity. Cause who doesn’t sometimes want to shoot their coworkers with paint?

There are also paintball clubs in Porec, Kustosija and a few leagues that travel up and down the country to play teams from other cities. Czech travel company Dalmacija Tour offers a trip through Croatia emphasizing action sports and adventures, paintball included.

Recreational paintball for travelers is available near any major city in Croatia, although you may have to travel outside the city into the country to actually play. Jarun Lake, outside of Zagreb, for example, runs paintball games on its huge course everyday from 9am to midnight and sometimes later. Dune buggy’s and quads are also available to facilitate an added adrenaline rush.

If you find playing war games in a country that was fighting for its independence only a decade ago a little unsettling, you’re not alone. But be aware that most paintball clubs treat paintball as a game and emphasize having fun over shooting each other. Most call it “marking” each other and paintball guns are “markers.” It’s a small distinction that may seem smaller when you’re crouching through the brush doing your best Rambo impression, but in the end it is just a game. Paintball in Croatia is a response to the demand created by the ban of the sport in Germany. Croatia hosts many German tourists each year and providing paintball is a way for Croatia to give their guests an experience they can’t get in their home country.