Throughout the SXSW festival comedy shows run every evening. Due to COVID and restrictions there is no way to gather in Austin, so the shows are taking place all over the U.S. Famous comedy clubs like Acme Comedy Co in Minneapolis, Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles, Gotham Comedy Club in New York City, Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta, The Stand NYC in New York City, Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles, and Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago. Last night I took in the one at Zanies Comedy Club.
Each show is fairly similar and in a format familiar to comedy fans. There is a host and four stand-ups who perform an under 10 minute set. This evening the host was Calvin Evans. Like most of the comedians on the evening his short warm up set was mostly about the pandemic. He joked about hating wearing a mask (which I am not sure is funny to say even in the comedy world), that there was something about wearing a mask that makes him feel like an outlaw. Like he might hold up a bank.
A funnier observation was that during quarantine he has been playing a lot of video games. His girlfriend came in while he was playing and said, “You just gonna play make believe?” Do I go in when she is putting makeup on and say, “You just gonna play make believe?” and for me when the video game is over, it’s over. She goes out with her make believe face and accepts compliments for it.
First up was Sarah Perry who also did a lot of COVID humour. Saying she had spent a lot of the time alone. IT was driving her crazy. She lives alone. November was a bad month for her as she got 4 UTIs. So her doctor sent her to a urologist. In her office once Sarah was lying back and the doctor was conducting her exam. While inside her the doctor said, “Oh!” Which is something you don’t want to hear when someone is inside you. Like they just found their keys.
Em Brown was the weakest of the comedians with much of his stuff just not being funny. Short sets are tough. You have to make people laugh pretty fast or you have lost them.
Next up was Matty Ryan who talked about how he hadn’t flown in 6 months and he used to fly a lot to get to shows. He did come to the conclusion that he does not miss it. Being on a plane with hundreds of other uncomfortable people for hours brings out the worst in everyone. For example, if a 100-year-old man died on a flight and the plane had to turn back, everyone, even the nicest people, would be pissed. Would end up saying things like could we have pretended he was sleeping or couldn’t he have died in the Uber on the way to the airport.
The final comedian was Correy Bell and she was definitely worth the wait as she was the best of the night. She started off by explaining her outfit. Saying she had been doing this thing where she bought a whole bunch of workout clothes and just puts them on figuring they should just start doing what they’re made to. Meaning starts causing sweating and making her lose weight. However, it is false advertising cause it ain’t working.