Hot on the heels of my NYC trip, where I discovered so many things they do better than us, LA has been staging a real comeback for my affection. First, Wednesday's Metdown Show audience filled my comedy heart with gladness, then Thursday and Friday nights made it grown three sizes.
Thursday night was Rick Glassman's first OR set. He's not passed just yet, but this is usually the precursor to getting the full boat. And either way, it's a Thursday night set. If you aren't familiar with Rick Glassman, he's weird and meta and awesome. Many of his bits rely on playing with the very structure of stand-up that the audience is expecting. So it can go either way, especially in a standard club show where the audience isn't expecting it. This time it went very well.
Rick followed a fantastic set from Brent Morin (which followed a killer one from Chris D'Elia). The Comedy Store doesn't use an emcee, so each comedian introduces the next, no breaks. Rick and Brent used this to their advantage to prep the audience for what was to come. Rick's got a great opener that also helps let the audience know "This is going to be different" and it worked great, he had them from the start and held on to them basically all the way through. They got a little disinterested during a longer bit near the end, but were back on board for the close when Glassman then brought up Andrew Santino. The two improved some silliness for a good three or four minutes before Santino got into his usual set and then both Rick and Ron Funches came up at the end for a call back. And to give you an idea how silly it got, Brent once said "Those two could 'Yes, And' each other to death" and he's spot on.
It went well and was a lot of fun for the audience and the back row, which by the way was packed. Comedians came running in to watch the set like we do when there's a special pop in and everyone was super supportive. It was also very cool to witness this half hour of something completely different at 11 pm. The Store provides some great interactive on-the-spot comedy awesomeness, but usually not until Don Barris goes up to close out the show.
[Two notable exceptions - Chris D'Elia and Bryan Callen used to have the most ridiculous fun when they were back to back and Andrew Santino and Adam Ray have pulled out some pretty awesome "What's going on here?" sets together]
Santino headlined the Improv the following night and brought Jerrod Carmichael along for the fun. I know I gushed about Jerrod the last time he did The Improv and this time was even better. Turns out a lot of the crowd came from the staff of Santino's new show Mixology, so besides it being a packed room, this was a crowd that was primed and ready for some good comedy. And Jerrod delivered. Watching his delivery and mannerisms during this set, you could see this must be how he does it in packed theaters with Tosh. And the crowd ate it up, a couple of times the room literally roared with laughter. It was beautiful.