By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
FRIDAY, December 26
It isn’t just because the week between Christmas and New Year’s is notoriously slow for things to do. And it’s not because we’re feeling do-goody all of a sudden. Okay, it’s both those things. But if you give blood at the Laugh Factory Blood Drive, you’ll help save lives. You’ll also receive coupons for Clippers games (speaking of needing blood) and free Cold Stone ice cream. Also, every time you drive by the Laugh Factory, you can remember how you nearly fainted from blood loss while lying down gazing at a gigantic poster of Dane Cook. The Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call Mika for appointment: (323) 656-1336.
SATURDAY, December 27
Now that Xmess is finally over, we can get down to the business of Kwanzaa. And since I have no idea what Kwanzaa is really about, nor have I ever met one single person who actually celebrates it, this Kwanzaa Celebration and Leon Mobley Second Annual Drum Giveaway sounds like a fine place to start telling people, “Why, yes, I celebrate Kwanzaa. Doesn’t everybody? Jeez.” Local drum legend Leon Mobley, known as a master of the djembe, hosts the event, highlighted by a performance from his group, Da Lion. Bring a can of food, or other nonperishable food item, and get in free. Kaos Network, 4343 Leimert Blvd., Leimert Park; Sat., Dec. 27; drum giveaway 4-7 p.m.; performance 7-11 p.m. (323) 296-5717.
SUNDAY, December 28
Paul Newman — who didn’t love his acting? But it has to be said that that man could wear a suit. See him rocking a three-piece Armani in The Verdict in his silver-haired ball-busting period. Then compare how extremely hot he looked in dirty white jeans on that motorcycle in Sometimes a Great Notion. Part of Paul Newman Memorial Tribute Weekend. Thank you, American Cinematheque. The Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-FILM.
MONDAY, December 29
Buy George? Can someone tell me why George Lopez is so popular? Seriously, I really would like to know. Does he make you laugh? Please enlighten me. ’Cause he’s doing a ton of dates — way more than Kathy Griffin even. Nokia Theatre, 777 Chick Hearn Court, downtown; Fri.-Wed., Dec. 26-31, 8 p.m.; $55.50 & $79.50. (213) 763-6020.
TUESDAY, December 30
Did 2008 suck? Perhaps. The hosts behind The It Sucked! Awards, Bristol and Willow Palin, a.k.a. Dannah Feinglass and Danielle Schneider, have given the subject much thoughtful consideration, for your cut-and-paste pleasure: “2008: The year of champions. Michael Phelps won medals, Sarah Palin won our hearts, Obama won our vote, and gay marriage won ... well, not everyone can be a winner. So, let’s celebrate the winners and the losers of 2008, from the bailout to Britney, as we reflect on the moments that made us say to ourselves, ‘That sucked!’” With Neil Campbell & Paul Rust, Matt Besser, Brett Gelman, Mike Phirman, Josh Fadem, others. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Tues., Dec. 30, 10 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702.
WEDNESDAY, December 31
Please, everyone, can we all agree that there should be no more burlesque dancing in rock clubs in 2009? If we can just pull together and make that dream a reality, our future looks brighter. Yes, we can! With any luck, “Daddy, why is Mommy still asleep?” will be the oft-repeated sentence at my house on New Year’s Day. Too bad wee ones don’t get to stay up too late and go crazy with noisemakers and countdown revelry. But they can get an early start on 2009 at Kidspace Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve. While the sun blares through Mommy’s heavy-duty sunglasses, kids can count down to 12 (noon) and enjoy streamers, sparkling cider and music. Sneak in some champagne in sippy cups — wasted tots are really funny! Kidspace Children’s Museum, 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena; Wed., Dec. 31, 11 a.m.; $9. (626) 449-9144.
If the songs of Pink Martini were given to a million people of widely varying musical tastes, it’s a sure bet fewer than .000000001 percent of the testees (ha, I said “testees”) would find anything objectionable in their mix of sounds — rock, folk, bossa nova, jazz, classical, Broadway, classy, unclassy. In fact, if all world leaders were to sit down together at a Pink Martini show, there would be no more war. Just happy feelings, unlike those bitter chicks from the It Sucked! Awards. Pink Martini will be joined by legendary otherworldly vocalist Jimmy Scott. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Wed., Dec. 31, 7 & 10:30 p.m.; $65-$195. (323) 850-2000.
“It’s painful for me to watch someone who isn’t funny. It’s horrifying to sit in the back and watch some guy who just totally sucks.” Joe Rogan is talking about whom, I wonder? His show is not a bad choice for your last outing of 2008. The Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Wed., Dec. 31, 10 p.m.; $60. ($100 includes dinner — if you dare.) (323) 651-2583.
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