Saturday, March 29, 2008

All You Need Is Life

Not normally one for comedy, be it movies or standup, it’s just not my first choice. But with Moms in town, we set out for a night at the Comedy Cellar near my old Washington Square Park stomping ground, the heart of NYU’s cityscape campus. John Fisch was our host of the evening, attempting to fill in the gaps between guest comedians with a balance of clean jokes including personal tales of bed-wetters and laundry day.

Kicking off the evening’s lineup was Gregg Rogell, who had my preferred sense of humor: dry and demented. While others groaned at him for pushing the envelope again and again, I could have listened to him all night long. He took part in a movie called The Aristocrats if you’d like to see him for yourself, though I’ll not vouch for the quality of those jokes as I’ve not seen the film yet myself. All I can say is that this guy can make anything dirty but it's only as disturbing as it is impressive and I love it.

Todd Lynn was up next. His claim to fame is Tough Crowd and it was also the running joke of his set. Several of his jokes fell flat and he dropped the F bomb maybe five times a sentence. But I will say his bit about Obama was bold and hilarious. The idea of this prim and proper “black” (though really multiracial) man being inaugurated only to completely flip the script on the "white liberals that voted for him" and rip off his suit revealing a jersey, baggy pants and a whole lot of bling- well that’s some fun imagery. So a few rough spots were endured before we got to the worthwhile gems of his act.

Mike DeStefano from Last Comic Standing, he was one of my mom’s faves but he didn’t mix with me at all. There was one joke that hit my funny bone about finding money on the street right in front of a sleeping homeless man and the irony of that situation. Besides that it was a lot of “cunt punching” and cabby punching which I could have done without.

Lisa Landry was the only woman comic of the night, I wanted to like her just because of that. Good for her! You know? But after the extreme styles that came before her, the jokes coming out of her mouth seemed a little elementary. From muffin tops to not being maternal, nothing really struck a chord with me. But apparently she has her own show called Premium Blend if you ever want to see a blond Louisiana chick do her thing.

Kevin Brenner was second to last and he came at just the right time, livening things up with jokes covering every topic you could imagine in a respectably playful way. He’s been seen on HBO and was my second favorite and my mom’s #1. By the end of the act you felt like you knew him and maybe even had the urge to buy him a drink.

Kurt Metzger was the final performer and reminded me of that guy everyone knows. Not quite the life of the party type but definitely that funny guy in the group who isn’t afraid to say what everyone else is thinking because he’ll deliver it in a way that makes the room laugh. Quirky and awkwardly charming or maybe charmingly awkward, you can see him in White Boys in the Hood.

In the end, you gotta love New York for everything it has to offer. Every day, even the smallest moments can be inspiring if you look at them the right way and this night of comedy reminded me of that: the importance of perspective. If you’re an artist, a creative of any kind, what these people proved to me tonight is that there is no point in sitting around and waiting for whatever you believe a muse to be. Life itself is a muse; if we could only remember to look at it that way.

For info on this venue and other sources of comedic musings go to: NYC COMEDY

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