Thursday, March 01, 2007

HOT TUB VARIETY SHOW
Comix 2/22/07, with David Cross, Eugene Mirman, Rhys Darby, and Striking Viking Story Pirates


Photo by Lisa Whiteman



Man, it's been a week since I saw this show and I still can't stop thinking about it. From start to finish, it was so much fun that it had me in a good mood until the following day, which is extremely difficult to accomplish. Now that I think of it, so much happened at this show it might be difficult to have a cohesive review. OK, here goes.

I didn't realize it going in, but this installment of the Hot Tub Variety Show was to be it's last ever at Comix. Hosts Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler reassured the sold out crowd that they would indeed have a new locale in the near future (one without a hefty cover and two item minimum, no less).

The show kicked off with an absurd but extremely funny bit where Kurt was screaming "Kristen Schaal is a horse!!" over and over again while Kristen did a weird jig around the stage. It went on and on and on and just when you thought it would stop, they'd keep right on going. They did it for such an insanely long time that Kurt was absolutely dripping with sweat. LUCKILY, they did the same thing at Sketchfest NYC 2006 and it's LUCKILY on youtube, so watch it!




This manic moment lead right into the appearance of Miss Saturn, a burlesque hula-hoop performer with serious cameltoe and nip-slippage. Though I don't find myself ever enjoying burlesque whatsoever, I can't deny her prodigal skills with the hula-hoop.

Miss Saturn was followed by Eugene Mirman who was easily the highlight of the evening. From start to finish, he absolutely killed. And it wasn't an audience of the usual Eugene Mirman fans; these were people who no doubt never even heard of him. But they absolutely love him. I have seen a lot of Mirman the past few weeks and had heard a lot of this material already, but it was all still very vunny.

After Eugene, Kurt and Kristen came out and showed a video called Penelope Princess of Pets. The video featured music by Reggie Watts and starred Kurt and Kristen. Words will never do justice as to just how funny this video really was. The second it's on youtube or on their site I will post it. The video shall speak for itself.

Rhys Darby came out after the video and I guarantee not more than three people in the room knew who the hell he was; I was one of the three. He was funny, but his schtick is sound effects a la Michael Winslow. I think that one thing I learned at this show is that I don't like burlesque and funny man-made noises in my comedy shows. Though, it is a variety show, so I have no right to complain. Anyhow, he was funny and I can tell already that he is going to be so good in the Flight of the Conchords TV show.

I'm going to skip right over the Striking Viking Story Pirates. I went to the bathroom about 5 minutes into their set and when I came back they were about finished. Next time, dudes.

So this leaves us with the final act and probably the reason the show sold out; David Cross. I've actually seen a lot of David lately and though he has been funny as hell, something about his delivery has gotten really indirect and meandering. It's hard to describe, because he's funny, but his delivery has changed. The build ups are slower, the stories get sort of tangential, and the payoff isn't as big. He has admitted in a recent interview that he is rusty, his material isn't great yet, and that the next few months will be kind of sucky as he gets himself back in the saddle again. So I'm not worried. He was good, but not David Cross good.

But the entertainment didn't end with David Cross. As the house lights went up and people started gathering their coats and shuffling off, there was a commotion at a table a few feet away from me. I don't know what the hell happened, but the next thing I know a girl had another girl in a headlock, two dudes were grappling with each other, the table was knocked over, drinking glasses smashed, ice spilled, and my waitress was screaming "security! security!" at the top of her lungs. Security rushed in there pell mell and broke these drunken bridge-n-tunnel meatheads up and escorted them out. Real classy.



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