Bethany Van Delft
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Bethany Van Delft

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Band Comedy


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The best kept secret in music


"Dance, Monkey: Bethany Van Delft We put a comic on the hot seat. This week’s victim . . ."

By MARC HIRSH | July 15, 2008 |

MH:Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t just up and call you a communist right here and now.

BVD:You shouldn’t because my parents are, and they’re already on a list, and that might draw more attention to us from the . . . oops, I’ve already said too much.

MH:Which would you rather eat: a cup of salt or four sticks of butter? Please make sure that your answer involves an animal somehow.

BVD:I’d eat a cup of salt so that I might come close to experiencing what a dolphin frolicking in the ocean might experience.

MH:Do you ever look at your last name and think, “Van Delft is a pretty good name, but i really wish it were more Dutch”?

BVD:I do, actually. I do sometimes wish that there were a lot more consonants in a row with no vowels.

MH:Are you more or less likely to join a polygamous cult now than you were six months ago?

BVD:I’m more likely now because the HBO show Big Love makes it seem a lot more cool. A lot more friendly and community-oriented. So I’m more likely now, I suppose. But we should probably ask my husband what he thought of that.

BETHANY VAN DELFT | Middle East corner, Cambridge | July 22 | 617.864.EAST | Comedy Studio, Cambridge | July 23 | 617.661.6507 | “Colorstruck: Women of Color in Comedy” at Midway Café, Jamaica Plain | August 2 | 617.524.9038 - The Phoenix

"A hilarious alternative"

By Katie Johnston Chase
Globe Staff / December 20, 2008

Robin Williams was at the Orpheum just before Thanksgiving, and Cheech and Chong were there last week. But neither of those shows made me laugh as much as the Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Festival did Wednesday night.


There were no stars on the lineup at the Paradise, unless you count the very funny Shane Mauss, who's appeared on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" three times, and the Walsh Brothers, now trying to make a go of it in LA. And thank goodness for the unfamous. The nine comedians who took the stage clearly wanted to make their mark, and they did just that with sets that were smart, silly, surprising, and, praise be, original.

"Combat-dancing" was the name of the game for one of Chris Coxen's many characters, Danny Morsel, a mustachioed macho man with a "war doll" who destroys pictures of things he doesn't like instead of fighting. He grooved to Gloria Estefan's "Conga" as he tore apart a picture of a solar-powered calculator - "because sometimes the war doll and I like to compute in the dark."

The husky-voiced Bethany Van Delft got a lot of mileage out of her black/Dutch heritage and her small chest. "I got my height from my mom's side of the family," she said. "And I got my boobs from my dad." Mehran, a gay man of Iranian descent, also mined his ethnicity for humor: "Like you weren't voted most likely to kill, behead, and restyle someone's hair."

They were tough acts to follow, and an amped-up Robby Roadsteamer could not overcome. He croaked out a few songs, but the overall effect was anger. What ever happened to the pudgy guy with the fanny pack who used to stuff his mouth with Kashi and sing "Heavy Metal With a Mouthful of Cereal"?

Host Shane Webb wandered around between sets, talking about nothing in particular in a nervous voice. "This is alternative comedy - I just gotta be weird, right?" she said. Not really, actually. The "alternative" label seems to encompass just about everything these days - from traditional standup to men in suit jackets and tighty whities singing "I'm Not Wearing Pants for Christmas." And judging from the array of talent onstage at the Paradise, I'd take local alternative acts over mainstream stars any day of the week. - The Boston Globe

"'Colorstruck' women"

'Colorstruck' women
When the "Colorstruck! Women of Color in Comedy" show started eight years ago, it was seven comics playing one night at the Comedy Studio, trying to get some attention for one of the most racially diverse comedy scenes Boston has produced so far. It caught on and over the years has morphed into the show audiences will see this weekend at Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway theater, with nine comics playing three shows in three nights.

Some of the original comics have moved out of Boston and on to bigger things -- Tissa Hami and Alana Devich are in San Francisco, Malene Welch in Los Angeles. But all of the comics will be familiar to those who have followed the show.

"We all sort of had a bond before the WOC started, just from seeing each other out at comedy rooms, and there being so few women of color in comedy in Boston," says Bethany Van Delft, one of the original Colorstruck comics. "But it's grown very strong, especially since we've taken over producing the show."

"Colorstruck! Women of Color in Comedy" at Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway (255 Elm St., Somerville) tonight at 8 ($18), tomorrow at 8 p.m. ($20), and Sunday at 7 p.m. ($18). 866-811-4111. - Boston Globe- Nick Zaino III

"Model Citizen- Metro Fashion Pages"

Name: Bethany Van Delft
Agency: Maggie Inc.
Neighborhood: South End

Which fall trend do you have to have this coming season?

The Man Look, with awesome heels.

What stores do you find yourself splurging at?

Filene's Basement. But alas, no more!

What stores do you always find great buys at?

Filene's Basement, see last lamentation.

What makeup brand are you loyal to?
MAC and Nars

Where do you get your hair done?

Mostly in the shower, with a giant wide tooth comb and a gallon of conditioner, but sometimes I bring Belinda Jaundoo in to help.

What are the essentials in your shoe bag for this fall?

A sexy, high, stack-heeled lace up oxford, silver sneakers

Which accessories are the most important to you -- you wouldn't leave home without it? Altoids.

What fitness routine keeps you in top model form?

Walking EVERYWHERE at a very brisk pace.

What is you favorite place to hangout? and why?

My house, cuz I love to cook and entertain. And NYC.

What would be one tip you'd give a woman to help her achieve that model edge?

Starve. Kidding. Be bold and confident in your fashion choices. There isn't anything you “can't” wear, just things you don't look uncomfortable in.

PHOTOGRAPH: Melissa Mahoney

- Metro International

"Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Festival"

By Rob Turbovsky

If the Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Festival had a thesis statement, it would have been organizer Robby Roadsteamer’s mid-set appeal to the audience of the Paradise Rock Club: “You need to support this scene or else the Dane Cooks and everyone else you hate are gonna win.” It wasn’t a knock on Cook – that dead horse was long ago beaten into nothingness, copies of the Retaliation album along with it. No, Roadsteamer’s insistence made the line sound more like a plea. The purpose of the night was not to continue or even contribute to the handwringing in the comedy community about just what “alternative” is or isn’t. It was to serve as a kind of grassroots challenge, channeling the unpretentious parts of the area’s hipster thing into something real, active and (gasp) sincerely unironic: the DIY cultivation of a local comedy scene in Boston that matters as much to audiences as it does to performers.
The “alternative” label seems to be far less important than what it’s labeling. For one of the performers, Mehran Khaghani, being alternative meant exploring his life as a gay Iranian-American with an enthusiastic fearlessness that’s infectious. For the Anderson Comedy team, which has built its own underground following by bringing its stand-up/sketch/talk show hybrid to dive bars usually reserved for bands, alternative was the harmonizing and arm-in-arm swaying during their song, “I’m Not Wearing Pants for Christmas” (sung, appropriately enough, by four people without any pants on). But, even in the comparison, the question of whether opener Bethany Van Delft or show-closer Shane Mauss are weird enough to be considered alternative wasn’t as important as the fact that each delivered a solid performance.

“Alternative comedy is just a term that helps the teenagers and housewives understand you might not just see a comic trying out a safe, five minute, ready-for-Jay-Leno set,” Roadsteamer said later, “but rather one who wants to see what they can do with their art form.”
Van Delft’s onstage demeanor is that of an engaging cynic, while Mauss, thrice featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, has the innocent-faced dirty comedy thing down to a science. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a smart, tight joke-writer and an engaging presence on the mic, especially in a well-received bit riffing on how phone sex can turn into phone rape. Neither of the sets would have been out of place at a reasonably diverse comedy club, but that’s not to say that the night’s range rendered the show’s title meaningless.
“No one should be saying ‘I want to be an alternative comic!’ The whole thing is more of an inadvertent result than a goal,” comedian Chris Coxen said afterwards. “My act is a little weird and could probably be considered alternative.” If “alternative” is a “know-it-when-you-see-it” sort of thing, Coxen is more than probably right. He performed on the bill as several members of his diverse troupe of insane, straight-faced characters, including lounge singer Barry Tattle (who referenced his “tattlesnake” at least once) and Danny Morsel, equal parts furious dancer and – I’m guessing – ninja warrior.
Backstage, the vibe from the comics was upbeat and excited. Certainly, the turnout was healthy, with an audience willing to be surprised. “It proved that there are a lot of people out there that crave something different,” Coxen said. “Now is the time to remind people that this wonderful and different type of comedy exists and that it is worth supporting.” Roadsteamer hopes the show – and the others he wants to stage – builds a comedy community in Boston that rivals that of New York or Los Angeles, not just a place people come to see comedy, but one where comedians want to be to work on their art. “You can be a relevant artist and live in the area you would want to create in,” he said. “Comedy still is filtered through New York or L.A., and that destroys a lot of otherwise really talented people who had to get suckered into the machine and end up pouring their work out on VH1’s “I Love The 80’s” or on E!”
Roadsteamer’s act itself is difficult to categorize or even describe. “I wanted to tackle the idea of a comedy song in a different way than I’ve seen,” he said, and his act is filled with songs that aren’t supposed to be taken seriously. “I wanted to make reality comedy songs about the people and places around me, but I would hope my songs could make you feel other things too.” When Roadsteamer is onstage, his face fills with an earnest seriousness-of-purpose. He doesn’t toss off the songs like little ditties. “I hate saying I do comedy songs,” he explained, “because most of the time, people think of fat guys in Hawaiian shirts, and I think I have a different feel than a lot of those people. Songs about boys giving heart containers to beautiful princesses, or angry dudes putting on construction boots; those aren’t comedy songs. They’re reality songs.”
Coxen made note of the generosity in Robby’s approach to the evening. Roadsteamer opted to put both the Walsh Brothers and Mauss after him. In the dressing room, I heard him tell comics not to worry about sticking to their assigned set lengths – virtually unheard of at comedy shows – and simply enjoy the night, which probably explains why the show ended with all of the performers onstage in an appropriately chaotic and jubilant rendition of “We Are The World.”
“Coming from the music side of the tracks, putting labels on comedy or music is just a big ol’ waste of time,” Roadsteamer said. “It allows yourself to be boxed into a genre with expectations now put upon your work.” During his set, Roadsteamer introduced a song called “Christmas in Allston” by saying, “It’s about a beautiful boy who chokes himself off to orgasm at night, cries alone and blogs.” Later, during a song about a lost cat poster at a supermarket, he encouraged the crowd to sing along by shouting, “One more time…you’re gonna die alone!” But, Roadsteamer has a point – splitting hairs over the show’s “alternativeness” was nearly as useless as debating its “Greater Bostonness.” The Walsh Brothers don’t live in the city anymore, nor does the evening’s host Shane Webb, who opened the night on an appropriately tongue-in-cheek note by asking the crowd if it was “ready to get all alternative and shit?” But geographical differences didn’t seem to impede Chris and Dave Walsh’s ability to deliver the kind of breakneck brilliance that makes them such standouts on the comedy scene wherever they are. To hear these guys talk about anything, from the dangers of the discount Chinatown bus to a story of a half-naked woman shouting drunken come-ons at them from a hotel balcony, is to witness something close to comedic perfection: invisible writing that’s unfailingly crisp, manic energy and the kind of timing only siblings (with, I presume, a touch of telepathy) could develop. Understandably, Steven Wright is a big fan.
In a terrific coincidence (for this article anyway), the Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Festival took place two days after the induction of Wright into the just-created Boston Comedy Hall of Fame. At that event, Wright was saluted with short comedy sets from nearly a dozen of the performers who are inextricably linked with the first major wave of Boston comedy in the late 1970s/early 1980s, including Lenny Clarke, Jimmy Tingle, Steve Sweeney and Tony V. These men were all considered exciting and edgy in those heady days. But, seeing them all perform in rapid-fire succession at a slick concert venue next to the stadium that hosts the home games of the New England Patriots, it was impossible not to think of them as what they were: the old guard, joking to uniformly appreciative crowds about the mayor, midgets, and Arabs at Dunkin’ Donuts.
How did it happen? How does a movement go from “alternative” to mainstream, and, more importantly, is that a change to be welcomed? Perhaps the relationship is best understood in terms other than oppositional. Robert Altman, the maverick director of films like Nashville, M*A*S*H and Short Cuts, frequently described the way he viewed the Hollywood establishment’s relation to his work like this: “We’re not against each other. They sell shoes, and I make gloves.” The dynamic could well apply to the comedy world, as well. “Art, like comedy, is always evolving,” Coxen said. “Some comedians naturally introduce new concepts and styles and voices that are truly innovative. Some of these new acts attract attention, become popular and now that line has shifted in a way that no longer makes that performer alternative.”
Rob Turbovsky is a writer from Boston. Visit - The Comedians


Internet Clips
Rooftop Comedy
Comedy Time TV
Hulu Comedy Brew

Comedy Clubs
The Comedy Studio, MA
Mottley’s Comedy Club, MA
Nick's Comedy Stop, MA
Comedy Club @ Cheers, MA
The Comedy Connection, MA
Improv Boston, MA
Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway Theatre, MA
Comix, NY
Gotham Comedy Club, NY
Laugh Lounge, NY
Broadway Comedy Club, NY
Stand Up New York, NY
Time Out NY Lounge, NY

College Engagements
U Mass Boston
U Mass Amherst
Northeastern University
Wellesley College
University of Rhode Island
Plymouth University
Boston College

Comedy Tours
5 Funny Females
Colorstruck: Women of Color in Comedy
Merry Wives of Comedy w/Roz Browne

Just For Laughs Festival, Montreal
Boston Comedy Festival
New York Underground Comedy Festival
Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Festival

Opened for
Hari Kondabolu
Baron Vaughn
Esther Ku
Joey Vega
Bernadette Pauley
Al Ducharme
Todd Barry
Michelle Buteau
DJ Hazard

Appeared With
Jimmy Tingle
Tony V
Louie CK
Jeff Dye
Eugene Mirman
Mike Birbiglia
Karith Foster
Erin Judge
Myq Kaplan
Shane Mauss

The Comedy Studio Comic in Residence August 2007
Catch A Rising Star Contest Finalist
Rooftop Comedy College Contest judge



Bethany Van Delft is a founding member/producer of “Colorstruck: Women of Color in Comedy”, New England’s first and only women of color comedy showcase. She has been featured in the Boston Comedy Festival, New York Underground Comedy Festival, and The Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Festival and is a core member of the touring show “5 Funny Females”. She was a finalist in the inaugural 'Comedy Leagues' at The 2010 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and can currently be seen on Comedy Central Mobile's "Funaticos". She will definitely win something and/or be on TV by next year.