PowWow Comedy Jam

It can be difficult to shake the stereotype that Native Americans aren't funny, says Marc Yaffee, one of the creators of the Pow Wow Comedy Jam. "They see the pictures of the stoic natives," he explains. "Yeah, well, they took those pictures in 1850 right after their entire family was slaughtered. I'm guessing you wouldn't be smiling too much in those pictures either." Yaffee co-conceived the show with Vaughn Eaglebear; the two will be performing alongside newest member Howie Miller this weekend at the MinneHaha Comedy Club. All three appeared together on the 2009 Showtime special Goin' Native: The Indian Comedy Slam, which was hosted by the great Charlie Hill, who Yaffee calls their "comedy godfather." The group does perform for all-Native crowds on reservations, but Yaffee says it's not much different from playing to a more diverse audience, noting that "in the end, humor is pretty universal." He adds that people can actually get too hung up on the Native American angle—he does more observational comedy, while Miller does characters and impressions, and Eaglebear is a one-liner comic akin to Twin Cities comedy legend Mitch Hedberg. "It's three different people with a Native slant, but it's all very different styles and it makes for a great show." (Pictured: Marc Yeffee)
Sept. 17-18, 8 & 10:30 p.m., 2010

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