Imagine a room full of pleasantly drunk people, chanting in primal grunts and stomping the floor, with a middle-aged man mumbling the word ‘rap’ over and over again, as a naked Black Jewish man dances seductively in a comedy club located in an attic on Bishop street.
Just keep that image at the back of your head as you read this review of Eric André’s show at Comedyworks.
If you’ve ever been to Comedyworks, you’ll know that it is a very intimate space. People sitting knee-to-knee, comedians walking up to the stage squeezing their way through the audience. I even accidentally bumped into a waitress. Honestly, though, that feeling of intimacy makes the comedy experience all the better. Even though you’re listening to famous people do jokes, it feels like you’re simply hanging out with your friends at an open-mic night.
So, we were all there to see Eric André, but before him, there were two opening acts to prep the audience for what was to come. (I mean, absolutely nothing could have prepared us for that.)
The first act was Josh Rabinowitz, hailing from Brooklyn. Rabinowitz looks young and awkward, and obviously, he bases his entire act around his youngness and awkwardness. He said that he’s annoyed by ‘cool people’ who think it’s ‘hip to be awkward.’ You know, the kind of people who do something somewhat normal, but slightly weird, and just go “Oops awkward!”
“Cool people are gentrifying awkward,” he declared, and the audience burst into unstoppable laughter.
Next up was Jack Knight, from Los Angeles. Now, Knight was kind of unfortunate, because one of the audience members got a bit too drunk (and possibly too high?) and started hassling him on stage. That’s not a nice thing to do; but Knight managed to handle him pretty well.
Knight talked about a bunch of things. For instance, when he turned 18, his father told him that he was going to finally make him into a man, so he took him to vote. He has kind of a dry style that really suits his jokes; as if he’s telling the jokes, yet he’s incredulous that the audience finds them funny. But believe me, he’s funny. He’s a funny man.
Then finally, we get the absurd host of the Eric André Show. I don’t even know where to start with this guy. His laughter, maybe? Or his hair? Or maybe the fact that he kept poking that poor middle-aged man with the microphone stand the entire night to make sure he didn’t fall asleep.
I could also talk about the weird one-liners, like: “The last time I did LSD, I jerked off to anime and I came a Mario brother.” Or his list of band names, with phenomenal ideas like “Lionel Nietzsche, R&B for nihilists.”
André’s show is one heck of a roller coaster ride. I don’t think I stopped laughing even for a second. He engaged with the audience, the audience engaged with him, and then towards the end, we even had a religious epiphany all together. (Remember the image from the top?) It was truly beautiful.
If you haven’t already been watching the Eric André Show on Adult Swim, do it now. If you have been watching, and you know what a genius André is, DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW. I mean, seriously, do not miss this show regardless of who you are.
Eric André will be talking about things at the Comedyworks two more times tonight on July 25. Check out hahaha.com for more details.
Unfortunately, the featured image is not from the show, but was taken by Maryanne Ventrice in Brooklyn, NY.