I checked out Comedy Juice NY at Gotham last night. I really like the setup of Gotham, even though it's got somewhat high ceilings and is a little too well lit for my taste, it's more wide than deep, which is way better for getting a cohesive, laughing audience. Last night's crowd were laughers, but kind of weird. They were Full Stop Laughers, as in they came to a full silent stop after laughing at each joke, only once or twice did it really keep rolling and start to have momentum. And it wasn't for lack of talent and trying on the lineup's part.
Gibran Saleem was hosting. I caught most of his set at Frantic Mondays and I'm kind of glad I went a whole extra day without hearing his opener, since I was thinking "hey, that guy's got a solid set" and now I'm just going to think of him as Ross from Friends. (Even his voice started to sound like Ross after he pointed it out). Jade Cata-Pretta is out from LA and started the show. They liked the dirty and almost managed to come together as a great crowd just before Jade finished her set. Like I said, full stop laughers.
Brooks Wheelan has a great self-deprecating opener, "Not the guy from SNL you were hoping for, hunh? I am NOT crushing it this season." Though his bit listing rejected SNL sketch ideas was great - most of them sounded better than most of the sketches that actually made it to air and I for sure want to see Undercover Boss (with Bruce Springsteen). Of course, most of his set is non-SNL themed and I could particularly relate to his new-to-NYC "don't you realize leaving trash on the sidewalk is how rat-based societies come to exist??!!"
Sheng Wang crushed. Of course. Man, that guy is so good. He even made me laugh with a pants pooping bit (a feat only Ari Shaffir has succeeded at up til now). I don't know what else to say, the guy's a beast.
Oh yeah, and remember how this crowd likes dirty? Well they really showed that off during Wil Sylvince's set. They responded all right to his bits about being Haitian and his embarrassing uncle, but boy did they LOVE his bits about booty clapping and pulling out too far to find your way back in in the dark. Like, they floor-stampingly loved it.
Thanks to Gibran and Rus Gutin (in absentia) for a great show!