As part of his cross North American tour, actor/comedian David Cross brought his latest stand up show, Oh Come On, to Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival. He led off his 75 minute set by telling us that he has a special place in his heart for the city of Montreal as it was the first place he went to outside of his home country – the United States. While his last tour was based mostly on poking fun at the Republican Party and politics in general in the U.S. this one had a more personal slant to it with a majority of his time on stage talking about his young daughter and his wife, actress/author/activist Amber Tamblyn.
After telling us that he had become a father for the first time a while back he was not going to be one of those annoying comedians whose every joke is about being a father, he proceeded to do about 20-30 minutes of material about his daughter and being a father. Hmmm….
He did go on to do a rather funny bit (which involved some rather physical stuff) about going for a couple colonic with his wife and another on his idea of the next candidate the Democrats should run as President (actor Ron Perlman) and the subsequent debate. When he was doing this kind of material it was great. Funny.
While Cross is very comfortable on stage, though he does pace a lot back and forth while not looking at the audience, some of his material will surely make some in the audience very uncomfortable. He most certainly is a provocateur with his intelligence but sarcasm on full display. Definitely a guy who says what he thinks with precious little self editing and damn the consequences. Though that is a dangerous tightrope to walk when you say you believe you are a sensitive, moral and humane person. Sometimes you have to swallow your words in the realization that someone is going to be hurt and not in a momentary stinging type of way. Rather your words will do damage.
While most of the more controversial stuff (like the dribble about being the creator of a companion movement for Time’s Up (in which his wife is one of the founders) and it is one for feminists called Time Out, in which they just go into a corner and stop talking. Offensive! And damaging! And not funny…at all. Humans are complex and none more so than stand up comedians apparently, who all seem to be damaged humans working out their stuff on stage. So there are different sides to everyone. Well, except maybe Trump and Hitler. But most of us have good and bad sides. Same with David Cross. Much of his set was funny and witty. However, there was just enough of an undercurrent of “I am a dick who thinks he is better than most people” in it to make my hesitant about saying I enjoyed the show.
I have to admit I went into the show with some reservations because of the trouble he has been in over the past couple of years and his response to it. His support of the abusive Jeffrey Tambor and fellow comedian Aziz Anzari. A racist statement he has made on social media. Then there was the whole racist thing he said to a young Charlyne Yi at a party in 2007. The guy definitely has a douchebag side to him. There is an odor of white, CIS, economically elevated male about him at all times despite all the stories he might bring up about living in the South as a child and being beaten up because he was the only Jewish kid in his school.