Saturday, April 29, 2006


Comedians of Comedy Tour, Logan Square Auditorium 4/28/06

Well, up there's my one-word review of Patton Oswalt's mighty, Scotch-fueled set last night. I got out of bartending school at 10 and hauled ass up to Logan Square. Apparently I missed a short opening bit by Patton. I got there about 10 minutes before Maria Bamford's set ended. She makes me laugh a little, but I don't like her constantly-nervous act. I guess it brings a little variety, what with Patton, Eugene Mirman and Brian Posehn being the most casual comedians I've ever seen. I like this tour because I think a good stand-up set should resemble a conversation with my friend Matt, only with more comic refinement and less Denny's.

So next was Posehn, who talked about being married and owning a house and dogs, pretending to be a retard when telemarketers call, and the secret emotions of his stomach. Mirman did a lot of stuff I've already heard on his album, but I actually enjoyed him more live. For some reason his mannerisms just make it funnier. I'm unfortunately going to neglect these two because I don't know their stuff very well. I was on the fence about what little I'd seen and heard of them, but now I'm willing and glad to give them my money.

Nice thing about comedy shows--the acts come on one right after the other and you don't have to spend a bunch of awkward 30-minute intervals staring at show kids and sweating your ass off. So right after Mirman, Patton got up, slammed down some "funny potion" and plowed right into it.

Great Mother Fuck, I love that man. He doesn't really have a schtick--just a few trademark mannerisms--so he's always exactly as good as his writing, which is consistently awesome. He ran through some familiar bits from Feelin' Kinda Patton--patchouli oil, serial killers, the morning-after pill--but instead of pulling out bulldozer sessions like "easter eggs" and "Black Angus," he tried a bunch of what he said were new bits. He started with a tirade against the "three shittiest songs in the world," first noting his #2 song, Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" The narrator of the song is wearing a watch, so, Patton said, "Does anybody really know what time it is? Fuckin' YOU DO!"

Several bits built on his hatred of the "safe Hollywood version of crazy." The third shittiest song in the world, for example, was Train's "Meet Virginia." I haven't heard this song and wouldn't want to, because I've heard two or three of Train's radio singles, and, well, if that's what people buy those albums for, I don't even want to hear the stuff that isn't a strong selling point. In fact, I haven't heard any of Patton's three shittiest songs. Patton said (paraphrasing all thru this post, too lazy to take notes when I'm exhausted) that "Meet Virginia" has the kind of lyrics the sorta-clever but mostly just annoying guy at the Jiffy Lube would write:

She only drinks coffee at midnight, when the moment is not/
Right, her timing is quite-unusual/
You see her confidence is tragic, but her intuition magic/
And the shape of her body - unusual/
Meet virginia-i can’t wait to/
Meet virginia-yea

He finished his set with a bit about the irony of old right-wingers who enjoy Cirque du Soleil--"what a tired gay French guy sees in his head," I think, was his description"--concluding with this:

"Do you mind if my partner and I wear tuxedos and kiss and pledge eternal love?"

"Fuck you, faggot!"

"Do you mind if I blow my partner on a tightrope?"


However, my favorite of the evening was "Death Bed," which I think is going to become an epic audience favorite, right up there with "Stella d'Oro Breakfast Treats" and "Robert Evans." Studios have bought and permanently shelved four of Patton's screenplays, he says, yet somehow Death Bed: The Bed That Eats managed to get made. He imagines the life of the film, from the writer's moments of doubt to a carpenter who injures his hand making the bed--which, way back when, absorbed some demon blood and now eats people after they have sex on it--and can't play catch with his son, spoiling their relationship forever. It sounds like such a simple rant about Hollywood, but the way Patton imagines and delivers it turns it into something else altogether.

After his set, Patton got the other three up on stage to do some in-jokes the group has developed on the tour bus. These take too much explanation for me to make them even remotely funny in writing, but Jesus, they could keep this shit going forever.

In the little interlude before everybody came up, Patton recited, on a "nerd honor" bet with Posehn, Rutger Hauer's final speech from Blade Runner:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

See, coming from anyone else, this would have just been dumb. Maybe what makes that funny is the same mysterious force that draws a thousand people to stand up for two hours just to watch a crazy little Hobbit-man and his friends.