November 23, 2009
He walked into court like it was just another day. Other than the jingling of his shackles, nothing in Costa Mesa-native and white supremacist Billy Joe Johnson’s appearance — an untucked, wrinkled dress shirt and blue pants — or demeanor — joking with his lawyer and the prosecutor — indicated that he was about to be sentenced to death. “A lot of people say it and are full of it, but Billy Joe just doesn’t care,” said his attorney, Michael Molfetta.
April 27, 2009
Irrelevant Week, the weeklong party in its 34th year, celebrates the underdog, the last pick of the NFL Draft. Yet also much of the hoopla includes a great deal of playfully roasting Mr. Irrelevant. The jokes will come easy this year and it’s not because the Kansas City Chiefs used their final pick, No. 256 of the draft, to take a kicker from the University of South Carolina, home of the Gamecocks. The comedy is actually in the kicker’s name. He’s Ryan Succop, pronounced, “Suck-up.
April 22, 2009
The Orange County Restaurant Assn.’s Happy Hour week bar-joke contest’s winners are ... drum roll, please ... John Chapman, C. Howie and William A. O’Conner. Oddly enough, they all have one thing in common: They’re pithy. Punchline: The jokes, that is. “What’s red and smells like blue paint? Red paint.” (from Chapman); “A seal walked into a club...” (Howie); “Two men walk into a bar ... the second guy should have seen it coming.
March 3, 2009
For Steve Virgen's blog, click here. NEWPORT BEACH — Lee Trevino raised his left hand with a clinched fist and smiled as he said the words that summed up his life. “Only in America, baby!” Trevino’s phrase resulted in a vibrant round of applause while he spoke at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa Tuesday morning. The golf legend, who has won 29 times, including six majors on the PGA Tour, was the keynote speaker during the Toshiba Classic Breakfast with a Champion.
November 18, 2008
Olympic volleyball champion Misty May-Treanor is no stranger to accolades from politicians. President Bush congratulated her and her partner Kerri Walsh personally after they defended their gold medal in beach volleyball against the second-place Chinese team in Beijing, undeniably placing themselves as one of the best teams ever to play the game. But fame didn’t stop Costa Mesa-raised May-Treanor and a few other local Olympians from stopping by Costa Mesa City Hall to receive the praise of the City Council on Tuesday night.
October 15, 2008
If anyone on this planet doesn’t know the power Tiger Woods has over an audience it was displayed loudly Saturday at Pelican Hill. Woods was addressing the 200 or so people as part of the Block Party festivities that raises an approximate $1 million annually for the Tiger Woods Learning Center. The people that were there were about to play golf and had paid a nice chunk of change for the privilege. The guest of honor arrived in khaki shorts and a windbreaker and headed to the practice facility, bringing Fred Couples and Chris Riley with him. Though Woods can’t hit a ball because of his left knee, he can swing a club and he certainly can tell a story.
June 17, 2008
A Huntington Beach woman is in good spirits despite being injured in a weekend biking accident at Crystal Cove State Park. Karen Joyce, 39, suffered head trauma, bruises and facial swelling after she hit a bump and crashed during a Saturday morning bike ride. However, she said she was in good shape Monday. “[I’m] improving. The swelling is going down and I’m taking on many interesting colors,” she said with a chuckle. A Costa Mesa police helicopter with two officers found Joyce in a remote area of the park, police said.
June 5, 2008
Sherron Newberg and Richard Willis bought Costa Mesa’s “House of Humor” 15 years ago, but the store has undergone plenty of changes since: moving, staying open as other branches of the chain went out of business, and broadening its market to include party entertainment, magic kits and costumes. I sat down with Newberg, who is also an independent clown and magician, to pick her brain about the humor industry and her career. Q. Would you say the humor industry is recession-proof?