It was a steamy 92 degrees in the car on the way down to Burgettstown, Pa., last Saturday. Our windows were rolled down to desperately catch some air, as the A/C unit in Crotty’s car was broken. Our unofficial fourth roommate had won us all tickets to Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy Festival – a triumph considering I almost had to suffer through a Kings of Leon concert at the same venue the night before until it was abruptly canceled.
To give you some context, my roommates and I live for standup comedy. We probably watch an average of one special a day and have exhausted most Netflix options – or at least the ones with any appeal. (I wouldn’t watch a Dane Cook special if it were my last chance at laughing before the apocalypse.) We’ve been working on standup to debut at Open Mic Night at the Knight Club in the coming weeks, so we were all going crazy over the idea of getting the experience in person.
We researched the tour lineup and found five comedians on the bill – Bill Burr, Sarah Silverman, Chris D’elia, Hannibal Burress and Brody Stevens – all of whom I am familiar with and four of whom I am a fan of. More on that later.
So we made the trek to Burgettstown with Red Bull in our veins.
“We’ll get something to eat when we get to Burgettstown,” we said. “There’s bound to be somewhere,” we said.
Picture the backwoods of Pennsylvania. Picture the fear as you drive through an abandoned town while the evening light quickly approaches. Now multiply the fear by 10, remove any building that might sell something edible and you have Burgettstown.
The place was zombie-apocalypse scary. We passed a steakhouse of sorts that was open, but rusting and with fewer than five cars in the parking lot. We ultimately decided against being kidnapped.
Anyway, after finally coming across a less-kidnappy Chinese place, we hit the festival, which we didn’t actually realize was a festival. There were sideshows everywhere leading up to the main event, and seeing as the show was circus-themed, the smaller attractions were literally carnival sideshows. I mean, I watched a girl hammer a nail into her nasal cavity. It was terrifyingly awesome. After hours of meandering, we grabbed our seats and awaited the start of the show.
To our amazement, the bill actually featured four more comedians than originally thought: Michael Che (a “Daily Show” correspondent), Chris Hardwick (of “Talking Dead” and “@Midnight”), Jim Jeffries and some guy named Brent.
It would not be appropriate of me to recall any of the jokes said that evening in this particular blog, but allow me to give a rundown of the night’s highs and lows and provide some recommendations.
- Michael Che’s downright insightful thoughts on racism
- Chris Hardwick’s new character, “Bane Jovi”
- Hannibal Burress’ custom-made jumpsuit featuring his own face
- Hannibal Burress kicking out a heckler who loved baseball
- Lost two pounds in pure sweat
- Chris D’elia is Dane Cook incarnate
- The Brent guy was forgettable
- Lost two pounds in pure sweat
Check it out on Netflix: Tom Segura’s “Completely Normal” (explicit), Mike Birbiglia’s “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” anything by Aziz Ansari (explicit)