I started on the JFL42 wrap up article this afternoon, but it’s gonna take more futzing about than I can accomplish in 30 minutes. One hell of a festival. Having to truck all the way over to Second City for Andy Kindler’s Alt Show was a bit fucky, but outside of that, it ran like a dream.
4.15pm – Versus.
A trial filming of a comedy game show would’ve well fit the word “madcap”. A great cast of comedians local and international. It was nuts, while a bunch of jokes had obviously been pre-written, comedians let fly with a flurry of improvised material and antics obviously fuelled by the wine filled coffee mugs at their table. The format was really fun and with a bit of polish, it looks like the show could take off. Fingers crossed.
7pm- Tim Meadows.
To be honest, I didn’t know Tim Meadows. Turns out he’s an SNL alum and he’s done a few movies over the years (The Ladies Man, Mean Girls, etc). The crowd certainly knew who he was though. The set was fine, but not mindblowing. He had some fun visual gags and a few good lines. You ever go to a stand up gig where you find the performer really affable, but not crushingly funny? That’s how I felt about Tim Meadows. He was without a doubt talented, but after being spoiled rotten with talent for the past 9 days I was getting a little performance fatigue. He had a couple of great lines about Detroit, where he grew up. Towards the end of the set, however, he started to lose steam a little. I dunno, maybe the Ladies Man character bit he did would’ve hit harder if I’d been familiar with the character and that’s on me, not him. Enjoyable enough, is the best approximation.
9pm – Emo Phillips.
Emo Phillips on the other hand was mindblowing. Emo was another act I didn’t know, but knew that he’d been kicking around for a while. 60 years old, he’s still at the top of his game. Plus it’s because of him that I just learned the word “paraprosdokian” (which I’ll forget in 20 minutes). One liners. All clever one liners that played on the premise they introduced. There were a couple of rolling gags and pseudo clowning aspects, but goddamn did he ever have the crowd in stitches. Examples:
- A religious person is like a Civil War re-enactor. They’re harmless until they start believing it’s real.
- I like the South. Of course, I’m prejudiced.
- The bellboy asked if there was anything I needed. I said “more pillows”, so he brought some. How much do you tip on sarcasm?
- I hate being divorced. I’d rather be a widower.
Etc, etc, etc. He showed a film he made back in 1992 and provided musical accompaniment. Emo was a fucking legend.
11.59pm – Alt Show with Andy Kindler.
More like 12.30pm, it took a while to get everyone in. Once it started though, holy shit. A surprise appearance from Craig Robinson to give Kindler musical accompaniment. Sets from Moshe Kasher (who called me “young and fuckable”. I’m taking that one all the way to the bank), Mark Little, Dawn Whitwell and the always colossal Mark Forward (have I raved about him enough this festival?). Things got loose real fast. Hecklers were taken to task, particularly the mouthy dudebro at stage right. It was an insane show, the kind that leaves you sweaty from laughter. I couldn’t think of a single better way to close out JFL42 for another year.
Fuck, does this mean I need to be a contributing member of society again?