Comic stew

11 Mar

Prettier with rainbows?

After last night’s visit to the Laughing Skull Lounge, I am thinking that their iconic logo should be retooled with all the colors of the rainbow replacing the black and red sunburst behind the skull.

Tushar Singh

Tushar Singh, our Hindi host, stirred a mixing pot of comics: an ex-con, a gay fella, a tranny, a Korean lady and a black guy.  Say what?

Felon O'Reilly

An ex-con?  Felon O’Reilly is like one of those Scared Straight guys.  Anything you’ve done, he’s done it more.  On paper, I’d be terrified of him: seventy something arrests, seven jail stints, and a generous number of rehab and detox centers complete his resume.  Felon, whose real name is Al, told me that when he first started stand-up he had to book and perform under a fake name because there were outstanding warrants out for him.  Yikes!!!  But something clicked and now he’s just a felon by name only.  Felon is like the Henny Youngman of drunks and jailbirds.  His set is peppered with his experiences of growing up in Boston, his first sexual encounter, evading police questioning with the truth and loving Grandmas.

Trey Toler

Now, I love the gays.  Gay men are total bff material for women.  You get a man’s perspective with a woman’s sensibility and ability to spot a good handbag.  Trey Toler is my total gay package.  Anyone who carries around Xanax to feed to shaking purse dogs has me at “Hello”.  I have maintained for years that if you caught your dog with a fishing pole and would throw it back in the lake based on size, it’s not a dog.  Trey has a different standard of measure for the threshold of acceptable pooch sizes…and it has to do with an entirely different pole.  Trey closed his set with his tribute to dating infomercials.  It’s the third time I’ve seen him do it and it never gets old for me.  I dare say, just this one part of his set is worth the price of admission.  Swear!

Regular dude Ian Harvie

Did I say something about a tranny up there in that first bit?  Well, the Laughing Skull is in Midtown after all.  If you’re going to see a transgender comedian anywhere, this is likely going to be place.  When Ian Harvie started up, my first thought was that he might be gay because he had a lilt to his voice.  But when he said he was a she now living as a he I almost fell off of my bar bench.  Cue the needle scratching the record sound.  I immediately did a boob-crotch scan and was stumped.  As you could well imagine, when you are a butch chick who decides to start living like a dude, hilarity ensues.  Ian talks a lot about some of the practical, everyday conundrums of having a foot in both worlds.  It’s one of those things that I file under “Funny When It’s Other People”.  I can’t imagine the dedication it takes to stick with having to use a men’s public restroom.  How grody.  Or going to a high school reunion and knowing you’ll win “Most Changed”?  Or giving a name to your prosthetic wiener, only to have your dog mistake it for a chew toy.  Yes.  But he was a normal, funny guy with a fairly regular life…for the most part.

Margaret Cho

And who was the nice, demure Korean lady?  As if you don’t already know, Margaret Cho is back in the A-town hizzy.  Big Daddy was with me and he had to swallow his “Female comedians just aren’t funny” thing once again.  Margaret can get all kinds of personal and graphic, but she’s so dang adorable that you kinda don’t really know what just happened until you realize what her grooming regimen is.  And did you know that she was nominated for a Grammy?  She put out an album called Cho Dependent and collaborated with some really amazing musicians like Brendan Benson, A.C. Newman, Fiona Apple and Ben Lee.  She brought out her banjo and performed  “Hey Big Dog”, a song that she wrote as an imaginary duet between her and her dog.  Ian sang the dog part.  If the whole acting, comic thing doesn’t pan out, I think she could be on to something.  Who knew?

And finally, the black finale: Baron Vaughn. And he prefers just black, because to say “African-American” just takes too damn long. For that matter, pretty much all racial monikers are inefficient time wasters.  What. A. Cutie.  I don’t really know what his dramatic background/ training is, but he is super flexible, going from high Shakespeare, beat boxing to reenacting Pat Benetar’s dancing from her “Love is a Battlefield” video.  How could he have known that is my all-time favorite video for silly taking itself seriously dancing?  And, he does a spot on breakdown of L’il Wayne and Weezy Jefferson on a warped cassette tape, with lower and upper nasal morphing into Droopy Dog then to Truman Capote.  Baron covered a lot of material and answered some nagging questions like how a normal person becomes a cat hoarder (would you believe that watching CSPAN is at the root of it?), the secret ingredient to “black people spaghetti”, or what it would be like to have Ed Wynn deliver bad post-op news.

The Thursday night show was SOLD OUT.  I don’t know if you can still even buy tickets.  Heck, get out there on Cypress Street behind the club and hustle if you have to…You really do not want to miss Baron Vaughn.

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2 Responses to “Comic stew”

  1. Laurel March 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    I really really really want to join you one of these Thursday nights.

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