America’s $1 comedian, Neil Hamburger, played the Black Cat on Wednesday nite. this was my third time seeing him, and first as a headliner. the first two were April 2010, as emcee for the Faith No More reunion shows in San Fran. and then again in December 2010, when he opened for Tim & Eric.
before I talk about his set, let me talk about the two opening acts. first up was Mike H. he would tell a few jokes, and in between, he would do karaoke with help from his ipod. he covered Def Leppard’s “Love Bites” with screechy intermittent vocals, designed to entertain and annoy audience members at the same time. he had a sound effects machine, and a slide projector, where he would post various visual cues for the audience.
shortly in to his set, he had technical difficulties with his equipment, and had to stall for time. he said that he was given 40 minutes of time, so he needed the audience to continue applauding for him. I believe the whole “technical difficulties” bit was part of his schtick. the guy standing next to me, referred to him as an “absurdist comic” while he was stalling for time, he talked about how he’s 40, and gets paid to do this. he amended his comments by saying he gets paid in drink tokens.
he told the story of the previous nite’s show, where GWAR was in the front row. they had a look of total disgust on their faces, during his set. he talked about how him and Neil got to hang out with GWAR. they got to tour the Slave Pit, and see how GWAR makes all their costumes, and stage designs. I don’t think the audience understood how awesome it was.
he asked if there were any Slayer fans in the audience. I yelled out “Raining Blood” he asked what was the first lyric. so I yelled back “awaiting the hour of reprisal” he responded that’s not the first lyric, and then he started singing it, anyways. he asked if there were any punk rock fans, and covered a Germs song.
I’d give Mike H. a 6, but I give him a bonus point for our “Raining Blood” audience participation segment, and b/c he was wearing a GWAR shirt! a 7/10
Kenny “K-Strass” Strasser was up next. he is billed as the yo-yo master. he opened with a video montage of his appearances on several local morning news programs (mostly from his home state of Wisconsin). it definitely had a Tim & Eric vibe to it. the host would ask him a general question, and he would go of on a tangent about something completely unrelated. the host would ask him to do a trick, and he would give a long-winded description of what he was going to do, and then the trick would fail (ie yo-yos breaking, dropping yo-yos, etc.) he once performed at a school, but it went awry, and he was never asked back.
he brought a guy up on stage, and had him stand there, with a bucket on his head. Kenny placed a lemon on top of the bucket, and attempted to knock the lemon off with a yo-yo. he failed to do so several times, but in between he had some great material, about all of his other yo-yo related public appearances. at various points, he would whisper audibly into his microphone headset about how “terribly” the show was going. he had some good back-and-forth talks with his stage volunteer, as he tried to successfully perform the trick. he pulled it off on like the fifth attempt, which garnered a nice ovation from the crowd.
he had another video montage of all the ppl he’s lost in the past year, which was quite funny. he had a brief Q&A session with the audience. they asked him general questions about like where he lives, how he got started with yo-yos, etc. each time he would give some funny answers. I asked him if he had a twitter account, and he replied in a deadpan voice “no”
Kenny is great at what he does, and the fact that he has fooled so many local news yahoos, adds to the mystique of his act. an 8/10
Neil Hamburger was the main attraction. I recognized about 50% of his material, from the previous times I had seen him. even so, one of the great things about Neil, is his impeccable delivery. the way he constantly clears his throat, so as to dissuade audience members from yelling out his punchlines. Robin Williams, Gene Simmons, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Nickelback, The Jackson 5, and Terry Schiavo, were just a few of Neil’s targets.
he told a story about how he was booked to play a week’s worth of shows at an indian casino in…Council Bluffs, Iowa (hold for applause) during his first show, the indian chief came out on stage and asked him to leave. he told Neil his services were no longer needed, his contract was terminated, and that he wouldn’t be getting paid. so there he was for a whole week at his Super 8 Motel, with nothing to do, and no income. one of Neil’s favourite acts, Bill Haley & the Comets were playing at the Iowa State Fair. he was uber-disappointed to find out that it was Bill Haley’s Comets, which consisted of the original bass player, and his two grandsons, who wheeled him out on stage, before playing some terrible techno music.
he asked if any big-time comedy tours ever come around DC. I yelled out “no” and then he proceeded to name a few comedians. Dane Cook, Carrot Top, Demetri Martin, Gallagher, Aziz Ansari. after each one was mentioned, the audience would boo. sometimes he would throw in his trademark sarcastic “yeah!” he closed the show by asking us who the opening act was, and then said, yeah, he’s gonna go far, and called him by the wrong name.
I was one of the few ppl that thought Neil trumped Tim & Eric, when he opened for them in December. that time, he only got about 15 minutes. on this nite, he was on stage for probably about 45 minutes. I can best describe Neil, as a modern-day Tony Clifton. certainly an acquired taste, which most ppl might find off-putting, due to his edginess. (see his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel) this was an awesome show, and his two opening acts were solid.
a final score of 9/10
I had some Charlie Sheen jokes that I wanted to give to Neil, but we never got the chance to meet him. so, I’m just gonna unload them in this blogpost.
“why did Charlie Sheen ejaculate in to an empty beer can? well, b/c if he ejaculated on his girlfriend, she would’ve had to charge him extra.”
no??? ok, well how about this one…
“what do you call a hooker, who doesn’t get paid to watch Charlie Sheen’s kids? Denise Richards.”