Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · The dark side of Mike Stanley
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The dark side of Mike Stanley

Erin Cowell - January 25th, 2010
The Dark Side of Mike Stanley
By Erin Crowell
Stand-up comic Mike Stanley is a lot like the venue he’ll be performing at this weekend: dark and off-the-wall. The Detroit native and Last Comic Still Standing 2005 winner will be performing at InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City, Jan. 29 & 30.
“I love that place,” Stanley says of InsideOut. “I love the art, how the place is set up. I really dig that place.”
It’s a location that suits Stanley’s style of comedy.
“Somebody once did a review and called me dark and hilarious,” he says. “That’s probably the best way to sum it up.”
So, what exactly is dark comedy?
“I want to push you somewhere you don’t want to go. Then, I want to make you laugh about it,” he says. “People are just so serious about things, it’s ridiculous.”
It will be a return trip for the guy whose style of comedy has been called “high energy” and “fearless.” He’s proven to be an audience favorite as he was recently voted Best Comedian in Chicago – his now homebase on a busy touring schedule.
“I started in the Detroit area and it was always a pain in the ass to drive out of Michigan—it’s a peninsula—just to go to tour out of Chicago.”

Stanley says he grew up watching standup.
“I’ve always been a huge fan ever since I was a kid. I’d watch everything from Cosby to Carlin. As a kid, when you see someone like Gallagher you think it’s the funniest damn thing in the world.
“I did my first stand-up when I was in seventh grade. It was a talent show. I thought it was really bad, but I won third place. I didn’t know how to go about being a stand-up comic. I thought you had to be from Hollywood or something.”
As he got older, Stanley observed other comics at local open mic nights.
“I started watching people. They thought no matter what, if they have a microphone in their hand they thought people would laugh.”
He started out slow, but eventually Stanley got better, turning five minute stand-ups into 50. Bill Bushart, another comic at Joey’s Comedy Club in Livonia, asked Stanley if he’d be interested in touring with him.
“I went from the opening act to the guy headlining,” Stanley says.
Stanley has been touring relentlessly for the past five years, landing gigs all over the Midwest, including return bookings at the Chicago Improv.
“I’m pretty much booked solid through July.”

When he’s not touring, Stanley is co-host of the popular podcast Red Bar Radio, which in early 2009 earned number one on Podcast Alley, an online directory for thousands of podcasts, and is still currently holding in the top 10 list.
He also just signed a deal with Stand Up! Records and just finished shooting for his hour-long DVD, “Tough Luck, Chump!”, and has his documentary “Salty Language, Peppered Morals” (about the Boston Comedy Festival) available through Red Bar Radio.
So, what’s a guy with all these projects doing, coming to a small town like Traverse City?
“I really like the little beach towns,” he says. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter how big the crowd is, as long as the people are into the show.”
Having a good time is a two-way street for Stanley.
“(Onstage) is probably the most comfortable place I feel, other than being in the shower.”
See why Mike Stanley is one of the funniest guys onstage, when he performs January 29 & 30 at the InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City, located at 211 Garland Street in the Warehouse District. Both shows start at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. Visit insideoutgallery.com or check out Stanley’s podcast at

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