Cantabrigians get honors as well as laughs; Mindy Kaling tweets to stardom; Amanda Palmer answers outrage

Lenny Clarke

Two Cambridge comedians are being honored in the Boston Comedy Festival under way in Somerville, and a slew of other local names are hosting or in the 96-comic competition that will send one home with $10,000.

Lenny Clarke, working as a janitor to put himself through the University of Massachusetts at Boston, got his start at the legendary Ding-Ho Restaurant in Inman Square (now Ole) in the 1970s. At 8 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, he get the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St., was once Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway Theater. Five years and a Harvard degree after its five-year run, Tingle returned Saturday to screen “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream,” take audience questions and perform “Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History.”

Sunday sees the start of the head-to-head preliminaries. Cambridge’s Laura Crawford is among the performers 9 p.m. Sunday at The Davis Square Theatre. Tuesday is a key day, with Joe List hosting at 7 p.m. with sets by Ted Pettingell and Sean Sullivan, among others, and a 9 p.m. show hosted by Tom Dustin with comics including Shawn Carter, Andrew Mayer and Jenny Zigrino. At 7 p.m. Wednesday comes a round hosted by Mehran Kaghani with special guest Joe Wong; Wong returns to host at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Mindy Kaling, who will be presenting at The Emmys on Sept. 23, is getting lots of attention for her fake tweets from New York Fashion Week. She’s also profiled in New York magazine, which has Gawker calling her “the human equivalent of a retweeted compliment” for her tendency to, well, retweet compliments about herself. “Self-aggrandizing and insecurity tend to come in tandem,” Rich Juzwiak writes. “It may seem weird that someone so accomplished and talented would need to remind people of it, but culture permits this now more than ever.”

A poll from Parade magazine and the omg! section of Yahoo! has only 12 percent of respondents saying Matt Damon should be elected to public office, and Ben Affleck does worse with 9 percent. (George Clooney came out best, with 36 percent.) The poll results are here in the Los Angeles Times, with another round of votes for conservative celebrities.

Affleck, meanwhile, says he wanted to direct “Argo” so much that he told Warner Bros. he had a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern studies, and that his planned drama about South Boston criminal James “Whitey” Bulger is one draft in — and that Bulger will be played by Damon. The Quincy Patriot  has more from Affleck:

It’s a movie I really want to make but it’s really a tough story because it’s too long … I want to go from Alcatraz where they experimented on [Bulger] with LSD and go all way to ending up in the farmer’s market in Santa Monica and he’s 83 years old. I don’t know about [FBI agent John] Connolly or [Stevie “The Rifleman”] Flemmi or any of these other characters. I don’t know how much we’ll end up featuring because something’s got to go. Some stuff just has to.

Amanda Palmer and her Grand Theft Orchestra, on tour behind the “Theater Is Evil” after raising more than $1 million on Kickstarter, is also raising a ruckus over asking musicians to volunteer to play on local stops. She‘s posted a long letter on her blog explaining her rationale for the policy (and that not everyone is playing for free).

“Especially in this day and age, it’s becoming more and more essential that artists allow each other space to figure out their own systems,” Palmer said.

She also broke down where all the Kickstarter money goes.

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