Arts and Culture

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A "comic's comic" usually refers to a veteran comedian who is respected among their peers in the stand-up business, but may have not attained commercial success.  

After 25 years in the business, Adam Ferrara has the distinction of not only being a commercially successful comic, but also one who is known as a veteran "comic's comic" by his peers. When he's not touring the country performing stand-up, Adam has had recurring acting roles on hit TV shows like Nurse Jackie and Rescue Me. Adam is an avid car enthusiast, and in 2010 he was tapped to be the host of Top Gear USA, the American version of the popular British automotive racing show. This Comedian's Life talked to Adam about cars, cursing, and the meaning of the phrase "no-pants weekend." Adam will appear at the Kansas City Improv July 14-17. To find out more about Adam, visit his website at, or follow him on Twitter @adamferrara.

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back TODD DAVISON, Artistic Director of Maples Repertory Theatre. Their latest production, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," is running in rep with "Ring of Fire" beginning this Friday! 'Joseph' Narrator, MELISSA BOHON, sings "A Pharaoh's Story" at [3:50] - watch! July 13, 2016

Central Missouri Humane Society

A mass release of plastic ducks makes for a day at the races. On a recent episode of Thinking Out Loud, KBIA's Darren Hellwege previewed the upcoming COMO Duck Derby, a fundraiser for the Central Missouri Humane Society.

Missouri Department of Conservation

This week on Discover Nature, take a trip to a stream or pond near you, and observe the colorful dance of mating dragonflies across the surface of the water. 

Today Paul Pepper welcomes first-time guest, ROY FOX, author of the introspective book, "Facing the Sky: Composing Through Trauma in Word and Image." Roy says that folks should read this book "if they have issues or traumas that they don't understand and want to work through." At [4:48] PAULA SCHULTE, Marketing Coordinator at Missouri River Regional Library, returns with a whole calendar of events that will keep you and/or your kids engaged for the rest of the summer! Enjoy a good scavenger hunt? Try Passport Jefferson City! Watch for details. July 12, 2016

Richard King and Darren Hellwege looked ahead to the 2015 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.

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Phillip Keene has always been a hard worker. He started working day jobs at age 12, and his work ethic eventually propelled him to a successful acting career. He played Buzz Watson for seven seasons on The Closer on TNT, and reprised the role in its spin-off series Major Crimes, currently airing Monday nights on TNT. Phillip didn't start professionally acting until later in life, but along the way he has had a host of different jobs. One of his most memorable was for Pan Am World Airways, which eventually led him to a current place on the board of the Pan Am Museum Foundation. The foundation seeks to create a museum on Long Island, NY, and help to train and educate students in lower-income areas around the city. Phillip can be seen on Major Crimes at 10/9c on TNT. For more information, visit Phillip's Twitter account @phillipkeene.

Root N Blues N BBQ

Blues in the Schools is part of Columbia's annual Roots N Blues N BBQ music festival. On a recent episode of Thinking out Loud, KBIA's Darren Hellwege visited with Richard King about the work King is doing to spread blues music to school area school children.

Getting affordable pet care to underserved pet owners is part of the new Community Outreach Program of the Central Missouri Humane Society. Executive Director Michelle Casey visited with Darren Hellwege on a recent episode of KBIA's Thinking Out Loud.

Today Paul Pepper visits with JODY COOK, Recreation Specialist for the City of Columbia, about composting (sign up and get a free bin!); household hazardous waste (you don't have to get out of your car!); and volunteering (got a few hours to spare?)! At [4:45] ASHLEY GUILLEMETTE, Director of MU's Family Impact Center, talks about the many helpful (and free!) programs - such youth camps and MedZou - offered by FIC! Ashley says, "as long as you can get to Family Impact Center, we will serve you." July 11, 2016

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Jake "The Snake" Roberts is one of the most notorious figures in professional wrestling history. Jake was born in Gainesville, TX and started competing in several Southern-based wrestling circuits in the 1970s. Jake quickly rose up the wrestling ranks. In 1986 he joined the top professional wrestling organization in the world: the World Wrestling Federation. Jake's dark persona, intensity and famous "DDT" finishing move made him one of the most popular villains in the WWF. For almost every match, Jake brought a 15-foot python into the ring with him, and used it to wage psychological warfare against his opponents. Near the end of his wrestling career, Jake fought a long-time addiction to drugs and alcohol. Jake got sober in 2012, and was inducted into the WWE hall of fame in 2014. He now tours the country using humor to talk about addiction, life, and wrestling stories. Jake is also the subject of the 2015 documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake. Jake will be at the Kansas City Improv on July 11. For more information about Jake, visit

This week, Doctor Watson regales us with a colorful account of one of his finest adventures with detective Sherlock Holmes: The Speckled Band.

Today Paul Pepper visits with DR. MAR DOERING, DVM, All Paws, about her life's work studying animal behavior. Mar says, "whether it's a dog or whether it's a cat, if you understand what they need, and you open yourself up to being that calm person they want to be makes a difference." July 8, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and JACK SCHULTZ, Director of MU's Bond Life Sciences Center, talk about some of the technology featured in shows like 'Star Trek', 50 years later. Like members of the USS Enterprise, it's now commonplace to read books on portable screens, and their 'communicators' are our current cell phones. But what about teleportation or parallel universes? Jack explains the reality of that which was once considered to be only science fiction  - watch! July 7, 2016

Today Paul Pepper visits with MARGARET TOLLERTON, State Outreach Director at Missouri Cures, about the latest breakthroughs in medical advancements. Today's headlines come from the University of Ottawa, Texas A&M and MU's Bond Life Sciences Center! At [3:48] DINGANI BEZA and CARLY FISCHER invite everyone to come see "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," the latest production from Capital City Players. Curtain goes up July 8th - get your tickets today! July 6, 2016

Missouri Department of Conservation

As we head into the middle of summer, keep an eye out in the woods for ripening blackberries.

Today Paul Pepper visits with CATHERINE PARKE about 'Second Saturday for Kids', a thrice-annual multi-art workshop for children at Orr Street Studios in Columbia. The theme for the next class is "Color Music Music Color." Find out what that means and how to sign up in five short minutes! At [4:56] DANIELLE DOYEN invites everyone to come see "Buyer and Cellar," a hilarious, one-man show about working at a shop in Barbra Streisand's basement. It opens July 8th at Talking Horse Productions - don't miss it! July 5, 2016

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back pianist MICHAEL BUTTERWORTH, who plays two Independence Day-themed selections, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "God Bless the USA." Happy 4th, everyone! July 4, 2016

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

On a late Friday in June, Charley Joe Dill casually smokes a cigarette outside the Retroplex skating rink in Saint Robert, Missouri. He stands back a bit from the door, but people still flock to him - stopping to say “Hi” on their way in.

While spending a summer night at the skating rink isn’t anything too unusual in rural Missouri, this particular skate night is special – it’s part of the Pulaski County Pride festival.

Today Paul Pepper visits with LIZ SCHMIDT, League of Women Voters, about the upcoming August primary. Not up to speed on the candidates or the issues? Don't worry, the League has you covered with two upcoming forums! Watch for details. At [4:30] DAVE WHITE invites everyone to come see MU Theatre's production of "Greater Tuna," running in rep at the Corner Playhouse until July 22nd. This hilarious, two-man, 20+ characters show is an unforgettable experience you won't want to miss! July 1, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and VERA MASSEY, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, talk about 'compassion'. Vera says, "to be a compassionate person with others and situations starts within, with our own compassion." June 30, 2016

Today Paul Pepper chats with BARBIE BANKS, Director of the Citizen Jane Film Festival, about 'Camp Citizen Jane' for girls 'going into the 6th grade through going into the 9th grade'. This camp is all-things filmmaking: they'll work with professionals from Stephens College, and have the opportunity to see their work on the big screen! Watch for details. At [3:40] NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Voluntary Action Center, updates us on some important summer programs, including the 'Fan Club' and 'Christmas in July'. Consider making a donation or taking part today! June 29, 2016

Missouri Department of Conservation

Spend much time near a Missouri waterbody in summer, and chances are you’ll spot see reptiles galore including water snakes basking on a sunny day.

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It's difficult to describe Faith Salie's career in just a few words. Earlier in life she attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. In Los Angeles, Faith appeared on TV shows like Married...with Children, Sweet Valley High and Sex and the City. After leaving the acting world, Faith set her sights on journalism. Now, she is a contributor for CBS News Sunday Morning and a panelist on NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! During her time with CBS News Sunday Morning, the show received two Daytime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Morning Program." Faith recently released a book called Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring too Much. Through several hilarious and personal stories, Faith talks about her lifelong need for approval. This Comedian's Life talked to Faith about her new book, fake eyelashes, and working with Potsie from Happy Days.  For more information about Faith or to buy her book, visit You can find Faith on Twitter @Faith_Salie.

Today Paul Pepper visits with CAROL THOMPSON about the Veterans Mental Health Council. Did you know that everyday 22 veterans commit suicide? Carol says it's because of 'stigma'. If you know of a veteran struggling to adapt to life outside of the military, VMHC is here to help! At [4:35] actresses ERICA BRUINGTON and KAYLA JESTIS invite everyone to come see Maplewood Barn Theatre's "Steel Magnolias," opening June 30th in Columbia. This small cast delivers both laughs and tears, so don't miss it! June 28, 2016

Today Paul Pepper visits with MU Health Care's KRISTIN BARNES, RN about fall prevention. Feeling dizzy? Low blood pressure? You might be a risk! Follow Kristin's easy-to-do tips to prevent a fall in your home. At [4:07] TODD DAVISON, Artistic Director of Maples Rep Theatre, and BRANDON McSHAFFREY, Director, "Of Mice and Men," discuss that play, on stage now, as well as the rest of the summer season! June 27, 2016

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back local folk musicians, CATHY BARTON and DAVE PARA, who perform "Oh My Little Darling" (with a little "Lady On the Green" thrown in at the end) on banjo and guitar. See them in person on July 2nd in Alma, Missouri. June 24, 2016

AV Club

Actor and improviser Horatio Sanz was born in Santiago, Chile and raised in Chicago. As he got older, Horatio made a name for himself on the improv stages around town. Horatio’s improv prowess led to an eight-year tenure as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. During his years on the show, Horatio was a part of some  famous sketches, including “Debbie Downer” and the legendary “Cowbell” sketch.

Horatio continues to perform improv today, and hosts his own podcast, The Hooray Show with producer Chad Krueger. This Comedian’s Life talked to Horatio about his I Dream of Jeannie-inspired nickname, his SNL audition, and how he got arrested in the name of comedy. To listen to The Hooray Show visit You can also follow Horatio on Twitter @MrHoratioSanz. 

Today Paul Pepper visits with LORENZO LAWSON, Executive Director of the Youth Empowerment Zone (YEZ), about a ribbon cutting for YEZ's 'Inspiring Academy' tomorrow in Columbia! This new program aims to work with children from a very young age all the way through college, ideally. Find out more! At [3:36] MU Theatre Department Dramaturge, CARRIE WINSHIP, invites everyone to see "Crimes of the Heart," opening tomorrow night on the stage of the Rhynsburger Theatre on the MU Campus! Carrie also tells us about the "Arts as a Portal to Science" summer camp happening next month. June 23, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and KRISTEN EIFFERT, Central Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, celebrate National Ice Cream Month early by making homemade ice cream! Your kids can too, thanks to a class next month at the Columbia Public Library. Get details on that, plus an easy-to-make recipe you can do at home! At [3:38] LIZ SENSINTAFFAR invites everyone to help break ground on Woodhaven's planned age-in-place apartments this Sunday at Rock Bridge Christian Church. Make plans to attend this special dedication! June 22, 2016