Let’s skip the bit when I wank on about my withering mental acuity. Last night was magic.
4.30pm – Harmontown pre-show meetup.
Not an official anything, there’s a Harmontown fan group on Facebook, organised by the amazing Earthshine Janne. A known personality on the podcast, Janne brews her own Earthshine (moonshine, but for a podcast whose premise is leaving Earth to start a moon colony) and Absinthe (of Malice, as it’s known). She travelled across the border with a few fans and about 30-40 of us met up at the Brazen Head. It was something special to meet up with fellow fans of a show that’s niche enough to appeal to a select few. We had some drinks, laughs and tried the infamous Absinthe of Malice. Smooth stuff. It was cool to make some friends and build a sense of camaraderie before heading off to Kumail’s sold out show.
7pm – Kumail Nanjiani.
Kumail’s long been one of my favourites and this show was a barn burner right from the start. Kumail writes great jokes, but it’s his delivery that really kills. He has this beautiful, lilting voice, and he has a way with sarcasm and incredulity. There’s also something about his turn of phrase (like calling an emu an ostrich with the eyes of a sad human being) that’s unique and makes him stand out.
With an already great set, a perfect moment arrived when he started to tell a personal anecdote. “Wait, there’s nobody from Pakistan here, is there?” A small cheer rang out. “Shit.” He replied. “I don’t know anyone here do I?” Some guy called out that he’d gone to the same school, but one year younger. “Oh gawd. I’m not related to anyone am I?” A voice called out, his cousin Nather who’s been living in Dallas. Visibly flushed, Kumail started fretting. “I can’t tell this, I just can’t. Oh fuck.” After a roaring cheer from the crowd, he relented. “I’m gonna regret this. But this is the story about how I started wearing underwear.”
9pm – Harmontown.
Insane. A brilliant show from start to finish. Celtic, vegan, Mennonite improv, a quick spate of rapping, breakdancing and striptease. Former therapist (and Kumail’s wife) Emily V. Gordon doing some couple’s therapy on stage (and very well, I might add). Audience gifts, an audience member delivering Dan an absurdly large amount of Tums. Kumail completing the anecdote he was too bashful to tell after learning his cousin was in the crowd at the earlier show. Crazy amounts of riffing. As a real fan, I couldn’t believe how great the show went. I talked to a couple of people who’d never heard an episode but just liked Community/Rick and Morty. Chatting post show, it’s safe to say Harmontown has some new fans.
Post show a bunch of us went to Cabin Fever on Bloor for a few drinks. Dan, Jeff and Spencer came along to talk with fans and it was a blast meeting a bunch more Harmenians. Testament to the sense of community was how nobody was particularly interested in interrupting Jason Sudeikis from playing his pinball tournament in order to grab a selfie.
Like I said, a magical night.