Friday, September 25, 2009

...Will Make You Jump, Jump (With Laughter)

Portland's cultural offerings don't usually inspire envy in my siblings but Kyle and I at least got to make Pete jealous by seeing David Cross at the Newmark Theater last night. And Cross, it should be said, does a really funny live comedy routine.

Kyle and I both left the show a little surprised at how physically funny he is on stage. And I'm not sure why that was surprising to me, since he did enough physical comedy in the twin pillars of his television career, Mr. Show and Arrested Development -- especially as Tobias on A.D. in which his every move brims with almost balletic awkwardness. I know less of his stand-up, and that mainly from audio recordings, so maybe I just wasn't associating the man in person with what I've seen on TV. At any rate, he really sells it when he pretends to romp around the stage hand-in-hand with a useless product he saw in SkyMall, or imitates the junkies in the park next to a methadone clinic near his home who can't stand upright but never take a knee, or whatever. So it's fun to have this reaction like, Oh, he can do that in real life too. Makes sense.

It's tempting to just try to summarize all the funny parts of his show (including the sort of corny set piece with an audience plant who pretends to be a deaf sign-language interpreter telling his own jokes) but that would be lame, right? I will add that he varied his on-stage presentation a lot -- breezily anecdotal; fake-innocently offensive; politically angry; incredulous at one or another consumer-culture found object -- which I think kept his act's energy up, especially after an extended, enjoyable but only mostly-comical rant about the health care debate and a couple of major religions at about the halfway point of the show.

Also, I'm still curious about why whenever I go to a stand-up show at a theater (which I have done exactly twice in my life) there's always a little cloud of fog-machine output on the stage. My guess is that it's supposed to recall the idea of being in a comedy club (which we're not) full of people smoking cigarettes (probably also not the case these days). Or maybe the meager stage presence of a table, a mic stand, and a person is deemed too visually uninteresting to stand up to the unimpeded glare of the stage lights. I will probably never know; uninformed ruminations on questions that I'm too lazy to seek out actual answers to, this is what the Internet is for.

(The reluctant computer geek in me wants to point out that this marks our blog's 1K post milestone, if you count them like you do computer memory, in that this is post number 1064. But instead I should probably stop entering time-delayed posts from earlier today and finish packing for camping. Happy weekend, all.)


Blogger Don said...

1064? What strange difference engine are you toiling upon in Port-land where each counting-bit is capable of 2.00767847 states?

9/26/2009 5:09 PM  
Blogger nate said...

Well, shit. That's what happens when you try to use knowledge at 4:30 on Friday, minutes before you leave town.

The 1Kversary should in fact have been noted at post #1024, not at # approximately (2.00767847) ^ 10. So now my already limited geek cred is revoked and if any prospective employers google me they'll read this post and send me away...

9/28/2009 2:32 AM  
Blogger Don said...

I think the classical music and baseball knowledge probably still give you a pretty high geek cred score...

9/28/2009 5:05 PM  
Blogger nate said...

Probably. I guess I'm thinking of my geek credibility relative to my brothers, since the computer stuff is what differentiates me there.

9/28/2009 8:43 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

I really think of myself as having nerd cred, rather than geek cred (which also, probably, has to do with computers).

9/30/2009 4:10 PM  

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