The last time I saw The Comedians of Comedy tour, I decided to stand in the front and I don't know why. Perhaps I wanted Patton Oswalt to look in my general direction, as if that would've meant anything at all.
This time, I stood in the back and took it all in. Before the show there was a just a mic on stage, hinting at the mayhem that was soon to come. And when Patton finally came out to start the show, it was a great image with the lighting to see just one person on stage with a microphone where there are usually gyrating, swollen, should've-broken-up-years-ago (I hold this opinion for most) bands at the TLA. So glorious it almost brought a tear to my eye.
The crowds at these shows can be a little depressing because a lot of the people look like me and I'm sick of looking at myself. By this I mean soft white guys with beards and black-rimmed glasses. But hey, I can't help that I've needed glasses since the third grade and that the ladies love my beard. Luckily the lights aren't too bright.
Patton opened the night by asking if there were any local comics that would want to come on stage and mess around. Immediately a hand in the very front shoots up and Patton immediately picks him. Why, I think it was a setup, because it was radio-star and former President of Wawa Records "Philly Boy" Roy Zeigler! PBR talked to Patton about all things Philly and didn't get much of a reaction out of the crowd. There are probably a few reasons for this, one being that PBR was on his home court for once instead of fat, diseased wild orangutan Tom Scharpling's radio show, so there was no tension. Second, PBR thrives on the medium of radio and the concentration that you have to put on just a voice, so his personality doesn't quite work on a stage in front of people. And lastly, PBR was preaching to the choir- everyone here knows how awesome TastyKakes, The Hooters and Wawa hoagies are. A little disappointing, but still interesting to see him go through the the usual bit with someone that wasn't the aforementioned Tom Scharpling.
The night was a solid showing of debauchery and nerdiness that one can expect from this tour. When purchasing your ticket, you know you are set for a night of cynicism, odd animals references and strange quirks wrapped in a delicious, hilarious bun. Patton's opening set was all new material, which is pretty amazing considering he's got two albums now, one of which was recently released. It was all new to my ears, but none of it failed and it didn't seem like he was testing out any of it, which again, was amazing. His subpar jokes are better than most comedians best jokes by this point. Eugene Mirman was great as well doing all new material even though he too has had two albums released. Ridiculous. Brian Posehn was solid as well, and managed to get in new metal jokes (this one being about yelling "Slayer!" at an unique time). But it was Maria Bamford that really stole the night.
I've always like Maria and her first album is a good mix of the characters in her head (don't have the second one, will have to get it now), but now she's taking it to a whole new galaxy. While she's always been adept at doing voices, her bit where she sums up the different cultures of the world with her fingers in such a rapid-fire delivery was the highlight of the night. A few of her jokes faltered ("that one was more sad than funny") and were obviously things she was experimenting with, but she quickly roped it all in. She could do no wrong in my book.
There was no Zach Galifianakis crowd-surfing in his underwear this time, but it was a great show