Comedy has always been a part of my life. I don’t remember this, but my parents have told me Toonces upset me as a small child (although for real, why are you letting a small child watch Toonces). I’d go to middle school on four hours sleep because I stayed up and watched Conan (four sounds ok now but as a slightly larger child?!?!?). I was rewatching a recording of Lewis Black when my dad told me he was getting a divorce. I’m terrible at listening to podcasts, but I do subscribe, and now I can go to as many stand-up shows as I can (afford).
And now I have attended the Oddball Comedy Fest.
At first I thought that there’d be no way I could attend. Big venues = big ass price, not to mention I’d be going by myself, I didn’t know how to drive there, and the weather might be hurricane. But lo and behold! LiveNation had a July 4th e-mail special for twenty dollars. I asked my dad if he wanted to go. No luck.
I bought a ticket anyway and pushed any problems from my mind bar low anxiety when looking at maps to the venue on a few occasions. I was going to see Marc Maron, Brody Stevens, Reggie Watts, Hannibal Buress, Chris Hardwick, Aziz Ansari, and Louis C.K.
I must’ve misunderstood the timing because I completely missed the second stage hosted by Brody which I do feel kind of bad about. I did catch him closing, doing some crowd work, and a freshly shaved Jeff Ross. Definitely #EnjoyedIt.
Rain drops had started falling on my way into the venue, and by the time it was time to take our seats, it was coming down fairly hard. Me, being an nervous idiot, didn’t notice that the lawn seat entrances were actually blocked off and stood around thinking everybody had seats. They must not have sold out the show (which I also feel bad about) or something because everybody on the lawn got upgraded to actual (covered) seats (I had got soaked for nothing)!
I was seeing all these comics in an actual seat for $20. In my citytown, in my state. I’ve paid more than that to see one comic in a theater (and I’ll probably do it again in November). The first half of the bill comics had about 15 minutes each. I couldn’t believe Maron was second after Brent Morin and a hosting Ross. I’m not a big fan of Ross, but I freaking appreciated his joke about oral sex and cancer. SORRY BREAST CANCER!
A “Funt” t-shirt-clad Reggie Watts befuddled us with claims of Dave Chappelle coming up next. Hannibal Buress… HANNIBAL BURESS! In terms, of energy, Hannibal killed. I was surprised at how much of a rapport there immediately was with the audience. If Hannibal didn’t go over 15, it felt like he did in a good way. He did some great riffs about the weather, talked about getting lasik, wore shiny pants, and closed with “Gibberish Rap.”
It was a good segue for the intermission with DJ Trauma. Thought it was kind of weird, but my ass did hurt, and the Jeff Ross was telling us to tweet about it. I was more than happy to give free publicity, but people were literally tweeting that they were getting kicked out for tweeting.
I was also quite surprised at how excited people were to see Chris Hardwick as well given that the area hasn’t had the best time with comedians taking the piss with them. They must like their Talking shows. He opened with his dancing joke that I’d just seen on The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail and talked about his dad and past relationships.
At some point in my life I did not like Aziz Ansari, and since I can’t even remember why I can only assume it was because there was an oversaturation of him. Seems impossible to me right now, but I still felt indifferent to him because it just appeared that he sold out large arenas and talked about his cousin and 50 Cent. Holy shit, did that change.
Aziz straight up called out rape culture. He didn’t name it, but you could fucking feel tension in the crowd. And you know what that tension is? That’s that shit when you know something wrong is going down but you feel powerless to stop it. Would you be angry if you were powerless? Unfortunately, if someone told you that you were, you might shoot the messenger.
As much as I enjoy the personal, storytelling format of many of the comics I follow, it is a bit disappointing to see so few willing to take (FIGURATIVE!!!) shots at politicians and other people in power beside the hacky celeb zinger of the week. I feel like as recently as 10 years ago, people’d at least have a joke or two about commercialism, and I can’t help but wonder how this will influence the next generation. Aziz also managed to talk about relationships and how crazy immigrants must have to be.
What can I say about Louis? I think at this point, you know if you love him or hate him. He shaved his facial hair and had trouble with the camera guy. 🙂
Although I agree with Cridlin’s first critique (link above) and getting out of the parking lot was an ordeal (arguably normal), my Oddball experience was amazing. I’m so glad I went. I’d no way say to go events by yourself that you’re not comfortable with since I can make excuses all day, but weigh your pros and cons and do try to ask people your know if they’d like to go. I did try through Facebook and didn’t get a response but did afterwards (TAKE THAT, SUCKERS!). If such an event were to reoccur in following years– atthesameprice coughcough– I’ll be going.