Sam Guttman

musician, artist, comedian
laugh, learn, love
Excerpted from Santa Rosa Press Democrat, January 2014:

On Saturday, Jan. 11, Sam Guttman, a Sonoma County-based comedian and musician, will perform at the Northwest Santa Rosa Library.​ Guttman, an instrumental fingerstyle guitarist, said his style is kind of Celtic and gypsy, “a cross between Leo Kottke and John Fahey (a steel string acoustic guitarist).”  

Guttman, who has performed in Las Vegas and across the United States, said he will likely play his guitar, “bass, melody, and rhythm all on the same instrument,” as well as tell a few jokes and stories.  Guttman said although he has performed with comedy greats George Carlin and Will Durst, he is “a real Sonoma County guy – I can fix your sink.”  “I’ve had over 55 different jobs. You could drop me in Syria with a butter knife and I’d get out.”  Guttman said his comedy focuses on everything from family to the Sonoma County lifestyle.  “I talk about my mom; she’s at that squirrely age where she’s had 8 car accidents in the past 2 years. Six of them were in her own driveway.”  Guttman said his stories are the ones that other comedians can’t steal because they are based on his real life experiences.  “Sometimes (you think family members differ but) people just bypass generations. I hear my children talking and I realize, “Oh my God, my parents are still here. They’re in my children!”

Guttman said the key to his success has been to keep creating. “Your music is like your comedy. People want to hear the same stuff over and over. You have to move forward with the next thing”.  Guttman said paying attention to the world around him, particularly to the environmental movement and politics, helps him keep his material fresh.  “(Recently) I did a bit about how my next guitar will be made out of a thrashed Toyota Prius. The best thing about this guitar is it’ll be really quiet.”

A virtual tour of Windows and Doors Art Exhibition in the Main Gallery at Sebastopol Center for The Arts, Sebastopol, California. Feb-March 2020.  Sam's art, Kosher Schwein, is at location 1 min 25 seconds 

Excerpted from the Benecia Herald, January 25, 1989:

​…A veteran of the local comedy circuit, Guttman has an extensive background as a musician and actor. He says he spent many years avoiding comedy. “I was afraid it would take away what I enjoy, and that’s humor. If it became a business then it wouldn’t be spontaneous.”

​… But Guttman needn’t worry about losing the humor. The man is hilarious and exudes a natural sense of comedy through stories with a wide range of appeal. Guttman refers to himself as looking like a “good ol’ terrorist or Abdul the Rug Merchant” and says he often makes airport personnel nervous. His act is accompanied by some guitar playing and a variety of anecdotes that hit home.
Excerpted from The Napa Valley Register:

Any good comedy has its basis in tragedy. It is a hair’s breadth removed - not the tragedy of death, but the abiding one of life .”Let’s face it - most comedy is cruel, which is why we like it so much. Yet, as Woody Allen points out, “comedy teases a problem - it pokes fun at it - yet it never really confronts it.”

…The Napa Valley Comedy Café… greeted its first audience last evening …Headliner Ellen DeGeneres, a 27-year-old looker from L.A., spent 45 minutes talking about family, friends, pets, fears, foibles, and relationships. In fact she picked on her grandmother a lot. “My 97-year-old grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60” DeGeneres told us. “Now we don’t know where the hell she is!”

For my taste, however, I felt that DeGeneres forced a number of her laughs and seemed to go on much too long with too little to say. She is a funny lady, but should confine her stint on stage to about 20 or 25 minutes. The rest is just filler.

​The guy that stole the show was Santa Rosa’s Sam Guttman, an average guy with better-than-average looks and a fantastic wit. Case in point: “I managed to save a couple of hundred dollars. Then my car found out about it.”

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