Friday, October 3, 2008

Dave Attell, Sherrod Small and Others at Comedy Cellar

One of the unique entertainment experiences New York can boast is a night at the Comedy Cellar. An 11:00PM show promises an eclectic assortment of back-to-back performances by headlining veterans in a cozy space. With so much packed in two hours, comedians give shorter sets than at other clubs, but it’s a perfect, star-studded event for the comedy fan and out-of-towner.

On Tues Aug 12 I went to the Cellar to watch the gang throw down. Ardie Fuqua opened with enough energy to power Vegas, warming up the crowd by listing the five races that can laugh at themselves.

Jim David led the night with topical political humor, a subject every comic would touch on, and capped his set off with a life lesson: “Life is short. Be nice to people.”

Before you could say sappy, he pulled a hilariously dirty British impression from his sleeve during interaction with foreigners and even told what sounded like a couple of street jokes (I don’t understand why pro comics ever do this, but maybe he thought the room needed a pick-me-up).

In keeping with the edgy bar that was set, Mike DeStefano theorized about race, why “cripples shouldn’t drive” and the spaciousness of Madonna’s vagina.

Kurt Metzger tried the Don Rickles approach to fun by cracking on triplets in the crowd and a girl with too much sunless tanner.

He got the biggest laugh of the night by raunchily dissecting the latest insole infomercial.

Without a "Hello," Sherrod Small observed, "A lot of black people are dead lately…" while pacing the floor. He periodically patted the wall, a piano, or the head of an audience member to emphasize his point.

He dealt with the first heckler citing, "Holy Matthew McConaughey this is hard. Breathe, Sherrod. Go back in. Make a friend."

Mike Vecchione explained his stocky physique by discussing life as a wrestler. This rolled right into his material on the summer Olympics.

His style of standing still and holding the mic was a contrast to Sherrod’s.

Vecchione’s dry social commentary paved the way for one of the room’s regulars, Dave Attell who casually opened with, “Good golly my c**k is hard…”

Leaning against the wall, he grabbed the mic stand and pointed it like a joystick. He explored the mundane (Halls medicine, CVS) and the colorful (gizz and the personalities of booze). Even though a bouncer shushed two belligerent women, Attell tried to win their attention with banter before leaving them alone.

I left before I could see Godfrey do his thing,

but watching six for the price of one is an excellent value. In tourist terms, it’s like bringing the television to life.

Photo credits:

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