I mean, look, who hasn't had a comedian ask them to put on a blindfold at one point or another? But not usually at the start of a show. That's exactly what Luis J Gomez asked us all to do at the beginning of the Dark Comedy Show.
The show featured not only "dark" comedians, but was held in a completely blacked out room at Stand Up NY Labs. And the reason we were asked to wear blindfolds (actually just rolled up bandanas) was so that our eyes couldn't adjust. It was awkward and uncomfortable, but it was actually pretty cool.
So much of a comedian's job is to connect with the audience, how would they do that when we couldn't even see them? Sam Morril, Dave Smith, Yamaneika Saunders, Joe List, Mike Vecchione and Luis somehow did it. Some bits hit hard, others that normally do well fell flat, but a surprising majority of the material worked (congrats on your writing skills, fellas! [used in a gender-neutral sense]).
There were so many interesting things about the show. I think the crowd got used to the strange situation about halfway through Sam's set, but each comedian had to adjust at the top of their set, so the crowd definitely had the upper hand. And without visual cues, you could almost pick out every single person's reactions, like "Well, that joke got four laughs, two groans, a pffft and maybe everyone else fell asleep?"
I think Joe played with the space/circumstances the best. The whole time, I was just picturing the comedians standing in front of a mic like usual, but Joe walked over and tinkled on the piano we'd all forgotten/not noticed and then quietly sat down for some or all of his set, but didn't mention it until the very end.
It was a cool experiment, one that Luis says he'll probably repeat monthly. It's far from your standard comedy experience, but definitely worth checking out if you aren't scared of the dark or what a comedian might do to you in it.