I was sad to hear a few weeks ago that Stand Up NY Labs is scaling back their live show roster to keep focus on their podcasts and other content creating pursuits. But luckily Luis Gomez's #DarkComedyShow remains intact. I really like this show. It won over all my skepticism last time and I'm looking forward to "seeing" it again.
Since I know most of you won't bother to click that link to find out what the deal is, here's the deal: The room is completely blacked out and the audience is asked to wear blindfolds so their eyes don't adjust to the darkness. Complete visual deprivation. The only light is a tiny pen light Luis uses to get the comedians safely to the stage and back. So you get to experience what is a half-visual medium with that half taken away. And in a lot of cases, you get that Blind Effect of heightening everything else.
The guy who made the most use of the space and situation this time was Dan Soder, who first addressed that we were basically doing comedy in a giant's armpit (the A/C was struggling to keep the tiny, packed room cool), then compared the anonymity of the show with YouTube commenters, which he called back at the end of his set to thank us for being nice ones. He also lapsed into a Luis impression and told us he was considering coming out and doing his whole set as Joe Machi, because how would we know?
The darkness also may have actually helped his joke about how black comedians miss the cuntiness note when they do impressions of white people. He talks about how rich middle aged women just live to complain at restaurants and they probably get off on it. Then he does an act out. Hard to do in the dark, but the vocal part of it is so dead on that it was impossible NOT to get a mental picture. But it might not be quite as vivid when you're busy looking at Dan's face saying those words.
Jay Oakerson also dealt with the situation well, and earned extra difficulty points, since he does so much crowdwork and that just wasn't gonna happen. He used the opportunity to go metaphorically dark and tell all three of his rape jokes in one fell swoop then run through the story he's working on for Ari Shaffir's upcoming show.
With Jay's story, I think the vivid mental images might have hurt him a little. I thought the story got a perfectly good response, though he said it was less than he was hoping for. And, without giving anything about the story away, I said "Well, I definitely want to picture [that one part], maybe don't mention it was Kurt Metzger by name. Just say it's your buddy Kurt and we can all imagine whatever we'd like best."
PS Since The Lab (PPS I'm gonna start calling it "The Lab" because too many syllables) is focusing on content, you should definitely give a listen to their many fine podcasts. I'd highly recommend Race Wars, Guys We Fucked, Tuesdays with Stories, and Moonlighting. I'm also just starting to listen to We Know Nothing and Lust for Life and they seem pretty cool.