J. Chris Newberg
Nice to see the line-up card making a second appearance at the Laugh Lounge…and in color. I’m diggin’ it. And I saw people taking it with them…I think it’s going to catch on. Also, cool to see a special slot on the line-up card dedicated to me for my birthday…no I didn’t do the card this week…thanks Matty! Loved the new seating set-up…I probably should have thought of this…but I’m glad someone did (I can’t think of jokes, line-up cards, how to deal with a guest appearance by Bret Ernst…and new seating arrangements – however – I think we should take Franjola’s advice from the last show and put a table up there for the comedians). They took one of the “couches” from the “Judges” section and put it out front. Good call. Sweet crowd…late arriving L.A. crowd as usual…but whattaya gonna do…ask the Dodgers. People don’t come till the third inning for their games…people don’t come till the third comedian for this show. On to the comedians…
Matty Ballgame – myspace.com/balaker
Ballgame kept it to a tight two minute set last night because of a stop in by Bret Ernst (more on him later). Gotta love Matty for sacrificing himself for the good of the show. No joke…he knows what’s good for the show…he knows Ernst is one of the best…and one of my favorites ; )…so he cut his own time. He did some standard jokes…kept it tight…and nailed his Lindsey Lohan joke. Can’t ask for much more than that. Ballgame knows how to wear the promoter hat when he needs to and that’s clutch. It is exactly why this is the best room in the city.
J. Chris Newberg – jchrisnewberg.com
At some point, I’ll give you my thoughts on what I believe a host of a comedy show should be. I believe it’s a special position that plays a pivotal role in the evening’s events. I won’t get into it now…but stay tuned for it. What I do know is that J. Chris Newberg is not a host. His material is good…I liked the short musical bits…but he’s not a host. And the notebook on the floor by the mic needs to go. Fitzsimmons, Silverman…even Gillearn can pull off the notes like that…but they are very special cases. This isn’t that type of room. I’m not trying to knock the guy…but truth be told…ditch the notebook and bring it back around for a smoother set.
Iliza Shlesinger – ilizashlesinger.com
Two takes on Iliza (who I’ve now seen 4 times) – even with a shortened set…she did new material. I like the house party jokes. And there is nobody in comedy better at handling non-laughter than Iliza. That may sound bad…but it’s not. Sometimes…you tell a joke…and it doesn’t work. Sometimes…you tell a great joke…and the crowd isn’t into it yet. Sometimes…shit just happens. Iliza handles those situations better than anyone I’ve seen because she has this sarcastic, “I don’t give a shit” attitude that works so well on stage…and actually helps loosen the crowd…and can create funny moments. She just powers through…it’s really incredible if you are paying close attention. Telling a joke and not getting a ton of laughs is tough…she says “Fuck it…you didn’t like that one…I got another one right here.” I like her a lot.
Bret Ernst – breternstlive.com
Bret has reached a point in his career where he doesn’t even have to think when he’s on stage. You can just tell…it just flows out of him. He’s hilarious. His jokes about his “guido” friends back on the East Coast are priceless…especially the jokes about bottle service. Christ…those had me rolling. And the “old man jokes”…just awesome. I love Ernst…loved him since ’04…and it’s great to see him just pop into places like Red Rock to help out Matty Ballgame. That’s a good guy. Because he’s top notch folks. If you ever get a chance to see the roller skating joke…it kills.
Sam Tripoli – myspace.com/crimefighter
I love the “Crime Fighter”. He’s really starting to be very consistent every time he goes up. Tripoli did a short set…but make no mistake about it…this guy has the ability to go on for a long time. Still love the “300” joke…just makes you want to go to Westwood and beat the shit out of Persians, he says. Hilarious!
Adam Gropman – myspace.com/gropman
First time seeing Gropman. He had a lot of material…but I just don’t think the tech jokes were playing with the crowd. His Sandler impression was good. And he definitely got thrown by some silent moments…tough set this time. No worries though. He’ll bring it back around.
Andrew Norelli – andrewnorelli.com
Norelli had such a great set…last time he performed…I performed…so I wasn’t fully concentrating on his stuff…but I did this time. His joke about wishing the Indians would just move here so we could just pick up the Mexicans and Indians outside of Home Depot in one trip might have been the joke of the night. Also, the chin to shoulder ratio being the determining factor of how gay you look in pictures is unreal. Plus his AIDS jokes were stellar. Norelli is great. So glad I could see him again and pay attention this time.
Bone Hampton – bonehampton.com
I just love this guy. Not just because he knows I write this blog and talked about during his set…but because he’s a riot and a hell of a good guy. There are very few comedians that I quote on a consistent basis…Tosh, Sickler, Gaffigan…and Bone. “FO’ FIFTY….BYE!!!” My girlfriend and I say that at least once a week. Now Bone grabbed me after the show and said he thought I would write something about him needing to do new material. The fact is…I could listen to his material all the time…just like a good song. But I want to hear new material because he’s that good. Just like I want to hear new material from Sickler and Gillearn. Because when they write new stuff…it’s awesome. Lookin’ forward to new material from Bone!
Next Show: August 7th