‘Throwing Shade’ sheds irreverent comedic light on some important issues

ENTB_Throwing_0827
Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi fist the butts of inequality

The term “throwing shade” is a term all the kids are using to describe the fine art of putting someone down in public.
Examples range from Taylor Swift’s unmistakable diss during Harry Styles’ acceptance speech at Sunday’s VMAs (awesomely caught on camera) to Lloyd Bentsen telling young Dan Quayle that he is “no Jack Kennedy” at a vice presidential debate. When it comes down to it, if you’re throwing shade, you’d better have the attitude to back it up. Some are more talented at this than others.

Enter Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi, two L.A.-based comics best known for “Throwing Shade,” a podcast that combines their respective feminist and gay-rights segments from the Current TV program “InfoMania.”

“We are superficial people who give a s—,” says Safi over the phone from California. “But Erin and I definitely do not keep up with the Kardashians. Our L.A. people are down-to-earth.”

“It’s lowbrow and highbrow,” adds Gibson. “All we care about with the podcast is being entertaining. We did a whole tribute to [Scientology defector] Leah Rimini. We are pop culture addicts.”

One recurring “InfoMania” segment, “Modern Lady.” served as a vehicle for Gibson’s sex-positive, whip-smart brand of feminism, where the comedienne railed against attitudes about women (from the makings of a sexy Halloween costume to those of a perfect wife).

Likewise, Safi’s “That’s Gay” was the perfect vehicle for his brilliant dismantlements of homophobia in the media, be it gay-therapy apps for iPhone (yes, that existed, though it’s now banned) or troglodytic DOMA comments from politicians. It’s shade thrown so well, you want to watch it in slow motion.

And while Current TV is now defunct (it recently became, somewhat controversially, Al Jazeera America) fans of Gibson (who has appeared on “Chelsea Lately” and “Parks and Recreation”) and Emmy-winner Safi (who has written for Funny or Die and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”) can still keep up with these lovable degenerates at their website (www.throwingshade.com).

And, according to Gibson, it’s not so bad starring on an Internet show. “Now we are back to talking about things like putting hands in butts,” she says.

Gibson and Safi are taking “Throwing Shade” on the road, hitting Cambridge’s Oberon, where the two promise to both delight and horrify audience members with a discussion that might include anything from an adult version of “Would You Rather,” to a serious breakdown of this week in media to a roast of Cambridge’s denizens.

But, ultimately, by throwing shade, what Gibson and Safi are really doing is shedding light. “I think that [women’s and gay issues] intersect in that homophobia is just misplaced misogyny. People are afraid of femininity. We are both huge groups of people who have been maligned,” says Safi, reflecting on the abundance of hate and ignorance that people in power throw out into the media every week. “Unfortunately, and fortunately, there is always something to talk about.”

If you go
‘Throwing Shade Live’
August 29, 8 p.m.
Oberon
2 Arrow St., Cambridge
$15-$20, 617-496-2000
americanrepertorytheater.org/oberon


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.