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Straight from the Lipp
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Dave Lippman bills himself as “America’s foremost non-corporate comedian.” His sharp send-ups cover topical subjects such as weapons of mass distraction and the threatening scourge of Wal-Mart. Then there’s Lippman’s performances as George Shrub, the World’s Only Known Singing C.I.A. Agent. Shrub presents his Point of View (the Right One) in satirical songs.

Lippman is bringing Shrub and his “anti-folk songs” and “interventionary anthems” to Savannah on May 28 at 8 p.m. at The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave. A $5 donation is suggested.

Connect caught up with Lippman to ask a few questions.

Connect Savannah:
What are “anti-folk songs” and “interventionary anthems”?

Dave Lippman: Those are from the CIA (Committee to Intervene Anywhere) lexicon. Naturally, they are against folks, so they have anti-folk songs. And songs to intervene by. George Shrub is the master of those genres.

Connect Savannah: George Shrub has been a part of your act since the time of Ronald Reagan.

Dave Lippman: Yes, George was with us (and against us) from the time W’s daddy ran against Reagan in the primaries in 1980. Contrary to rumor, I don’t do impressions. To paraphrase Lennon, Shrub is a concept by which we measure our pain by biting the tongue in our cheek. During the Clinton years, it was necessary to show how Democrats were becoming Republicans.

Connect Savannah: Why a singing C.I.A. agent?

Dave Lippman: Well, initially it just seemed very odd, sinister really, that the former head of the secret intelligence agency would become Prez. But more to the point, the idea of a secret agent getting on stage and telling the truth -- well, that’s funny even without good lines. Almost.

Connect Savannah: How did your visit to Israel and Palestine in 2004 affect your philosophy and your work?

Dave Lippman: In satire, you have to know a little about a lot. When you concentate on one issue or country, it’s the other way around. So I had to read up, and think, and it’s become an ongoing process. I interact with the audience, soliciting their feedback and anger and so forth, and then bring it all back to my informal think tank, where I sound out my ideas and see if they have any bounce.

Connect Savannah: Ever been arrested?

Dave Lippman: Oh yeah. I was an un-indicted co-conspirator for one song in 1969, where a bad-boy company recruiter got run off the campus for overthrowing governments. But they chose not to get me. Got my brother instead. Later a couple of minor fracases involving attempts to educate high school students without the school’s permission and passing motorists without the building’s permission, and some demonstrations.

Connect Savannah: Have you ever had to defend your point of view -- or your life -- at a performance?

Dave Lippman: Well, these days all the time, with the Middle East piece. A couple of times it got sketchy.

Connect Savannah: What is the usual reaction of audiences toward your work?

Dave Lippman: They just have no idea what a pleasure it is for them to be with me. So I try to persuade them. You know, if they are part of my community of political understandings, or I am part of theirs, it’s a near riot, in a positive sense. For those who are just looking into these politics, or know a bit about it, but haven’t been involved, I think they get more out of it, really. For one thing, they won’t have heard it before. Because after hearing me, people invariably sign up for full-time political activity. I think it’s mandatory in Georgia. w

Dave Lippman performs May 28 at 8 p.m. at The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave. A $5 donation is suggested.