words & photos by David Andrako
"I will erase all of the fun that you've had tonight. You didn't pay to see me. I should do 40 minutes of broken jokes." Surprise headliner Louis CK
The first night of the 3rd Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival was billed as "An Evening of Comedy from 1986" and featured sets from Emo Phillips, Tony V, Larry Murphy, Ron Lynch and Jon Glaser. As mentioned above, Louis CK was the unannounced headliner and he worked out some new material in a 45 minute plus set. Eugene Mirman acted as emcee, dj and Teddy Ruxpin operator.
During the 10 minute walk from my apartment to The Bell House I surveyed the damage caused by the fast moving storms that tore through Brooklyn and Queens several hours before the show began. Downed trees, crushed cars and closed streets were rampant as residents were returning home to a neighborhood that was affected by one of the most powerful storms in recent history.
Eugene Mirman kicked off the evening with a 3D film that he made, offered the audience duck (which he'd ordered from a local Chinese restaurant) and directed everyone towards the merch tables which featured everything from festival posters to personal items that Eugene brought from his apartment and had priced "a little high, so that no one would buy them." Tony V, a Boston comedian whom Eugene admired as a young comedian, followed with a tight set that set the mood for the evening. Larry Murphy, another Boston comedian best know for his work on Adult Swim's "Delocated" and "Assy Mcgee", performed as "Sandy Gorbin" the world's greatest impressionist.
Ron Lynch, yet another Boston comic and one who was a working comedian in 1986 turned in a varied set that featured jokes from his 1986 set, slight of hand magic and the playing of Louis CK's 1986 audition tape that Louie recorded in an attempt to be booked at Ron's comedy club. Louie interrupted Ron's set and chastised him for playing the tape and retreated backstage. Dr. Attitude aka Jon Glaser (aka the creator of Delocated) appeared on stage in doctor's scrubs with FUCK YOU spelled out in electrical tape and Van Halen's "Panama" as his intro song. Glaser's attitude heavy set ended with him mocking the audience and interrupting Eugene as he introduced Emo Phillips, the much beloved comedian. Emo, making his first appearance at the festival, was a ball of manic energy that worked his way through topics including religion, greeting cards and marriage. His 20-minute set was punctuated by biting social commentary mixed in with clever wordplay and a stage presence that could best be described as elastic.
Louis CK, one of the most respected working stand-ups today, closed the show with a set of new material that was both familiar and fresh. Unafraid to attack the audience Louie pointed out that "You all hate everything real. You're a bunch of meta motherfuckers" as he worked through material as varied as the origins of the Roman calendar and back to school clothes shopping with his daughters.
More pictures from last night, below...