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Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday Recap: Andy Dick Considered, Emily Heller, Ron Funches, & More

Posted by Alison Hallett on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 3:27 PM

A few things that stood out at Bridgetown last night—linked names go to Bridgetown performer pages where you'll find more details on the comics' upcoming shows.

First off, I (somewhat inadvertently) caught Andy Dick's set at the Eagle's Lodge last night. And while I can't say that I found him particularly funny, it was an interesting study in image management: He copped an accent and introduced himself as a Brit snob named Dorian, whom he claimed invented an outlandish, out-of-control character named Andy Dick. This gave him a chance to address some of his own notorious bad behavior—to say, basically, "Yeah, I know you guys think I'm an asshole." But the device fell flat for me—I'm glad to know that Andy Dick is a self-aware being, but it felt like a disingenuous and too-clever way of handling a subject that could've been really compelling if addressed more honestly.

The Snob Theater showcase at The Hawthorne Theater was pretty solid gold: Host Shawn Robbins successfully fingered the drunkest dude in the room for audience participation that required reading aloud off of cue cards—it didn't go well, though at least dude didn't puke until AFTER he was offstage. San Francisco comic Chris Thayer (who needs to make himself a website with videos on it, unless he doesn't want to be successful) did a charming, laconic set, and Moshe Kasher has an intensity and presence that basically demand that you laugh at him, but it was local comic Ron Funches and SF comic Emily Heller who really sold the night for me. Funches is a stoner and a dad and he jokes with equal frankness about both; he has an oddly gracious stage presence that makes ever-so-easy to go wherever he goes, even (especially) if it's toward a discussion of Oreos and bacon. Emily Heller won me over when she opened with "I'm a feminist... and I understand why no one ever claps when I say that," then tore through a smart, confident set, offering perspective that was distinctly female without being, well, annoying about it. Oh, and the night closed out with funny songs from the typically hilarious Brent Weinbach. I don't think I like funny songs.

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