Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Comedy Death Ray This Week: Sketchy

It's rare that you see an event hosted by a team made of more people than are performing in the actual show, but Comedy Death Ray is nothing if not a show about breaking down boundaries. This week's show was shockingly tight and ended in about 90 minutes, and pulled off with the kind of precision that you really don't expect in a live performance. In short, you shoulda been there.
  • The show was hosted by Birthday Boys, a sketch group with a few taped and live bits. While many sketch groups have a weak bit, the entire set was awesome. Bits involved a spoof of Mr. Rogers, a top-notch sketch about wearing white after labor day, and a few others we won't spoil just yet. This is a talented bunch that probably needs a TV deal.
  • Leo Allen kicked off the stand-up with great bit after great bit. He killed. He killed so hard we neglected to jot down notes of what he killed with.
  • Pete Holmes continued the evening by picking up where Leo left off and stabbing people in the neck with more funny. The young comic had tons of great material and also like Leo, should be in your queue of people to see should the chance arise. Assuming the venue is good, that is.
  • The great and hopefully soon to be ubiquitous Eddie Pepitone also had a great set which ping ponged between what it means to be getting older-- he informed the audience that he is 50-- and the trappings of youth, specifically the pride of getting many responses on the Facebook. You may recognize him from Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Last Comic Standing, and The Sarah Silverman Program (as well as other places.) He's a great talent with an awesome set and you should absolutely go out of your way to see him perform if you haven't already.
  • The winner of the oddest set of the night is Howard Kremer, which managed to take the rule of threes, throw it out, and apply the rule of fourteens. By stretching a simple phrase-- "have a summer"-- into an entire set, Kremer went from being a one-note performer to greatness. Zig-zagging between subjects of outdoor leisure and things to do throughout the year left some of the audience bewildered-- or so the looks on their faces seemed to say-- while others were laughing to the point of what one can assume is pain.
  • Finally, the headlining Eugene Mirman kicked ass as he is known to do. Some of his bits (presumably) will be found on his new album, and we make this assumption because the title was invoked. If you know his style of comedy, odds are you already know you like him and have made some effort to see him perform. He's enjoyable as always and has a lot of fun little things to pull out and show the audience-- or hand out, in the case of some cards he got from Linens & Things. We'll be picking up his new CD when it hits, but until then, may we suggest you pick up his earlier work? The performer had a great set.

All in all this was probably one of the stronger weeks for the show-- everything moved like clockwork and everything seemed surprisingly polished for a show where the audience is generally treated to earlier drafts. Perhaps the first passes were just really good this time? Either way, it was a solid week and if you're in LA and missing out on these shows, perhaps it's time you go drop in and check one out. As always, it's five bucks.

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