The Oddball Tour

Two weekends ago I ventured to the nowhere-land south of the city to listen to the likes of Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords. Since the comedy tour was organized by Funny or Die, most of the comedians were mainstream (Flight, Dave, and Demetri have all had their own shows, while the others have been widely featured on the big and small screens).

In between birthday-cake-flavored Oreos (which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend – it’s that really odd fake cake flavor that you’ll find at Baskin Robbins & etc.), I laughed at Jeff Ross’s lewd jokes, gaped at Kirsten Schaal’s “Flashdance” performance, and snuck to the bathroom during Demetri Martin’s set (sorry, Demetri). Dave Chappelle was insightful and hilarious, as expected, and Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement were just as quirky as their “characters” on Flight of the Conchords, though I found myself missing the visual antics of the HBO show.

The standout of the night, though, was Hannibal Buress. His set was so hilarious and unexpected that I can’t remember much about it except that he wore MC Hammer pants (which he promptly made fun of, calling himself an astronaut) and pointed out several times that he was from Chicago. As depressing as Chicago can be, especially during the winter, I’m not surprised that the city has produced some fantastic comedians. Oh, and Buress yelled. A lot. Which actually had the effect of amplifying his jokes. I highly recommend checking him out.

Another standout from the night was Jemaine’s musings about the audience members seated in the “boxes” high above the stage. It went something like this (not exact quotes):

Jemaine: Do you suppose those people up there in the boxes are the poor people or the rich people?         Bret: I dunno.                                                                                                                                                                               Jemaine: Well, they’re either the rich people, because they can afford to stay away from everyone else, or they’re the poor people, because they have to stay away from everyone else.

So there you go, a little bit of class humor for ya.

All said and done, the tickets only cost $33 for lawn seating, and it was a great value for the price considering the length of the show and the number of comedians who performed. And a tip for future attendees: arrive fairly late so that you get a spot at the back of the parking lot near the entrance.

I considered making this post a summer humor roundup, but didn’t want to advertise a bunch of things that have been, well, advertised already. So I thought I would limit it to my favorite summer movie, book, and show:

At World’s End: Currently in theaters. I didn’t think that the British duo who made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz could produce anything funnier, but here it is, with am amazing and completely unexpected twist to boot.

Obama’s Blackberry: I bought this used at a public library book sale and thought it would probably be a hack. I gave it to a friend for Christmas and we started reading it, only to realize that it was insanely funny. Granted, it’s nerdy political humor, so it might not be for some. But people on either side of the aisle would enjoy it, I think.

Louie: This one probably needs the least recommending, since Louis C.K. is a national phenomenon now and his show is regularly lauded by critics. I understand that some people won’t care for the show because it’s on the slower side, but the humor is honest and rarely feels contrived. Plus, it’s streaming on Netflix.

What are your comedy favorites from the summer?


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