Comedy dorks were out in full force in Chicago over the weekend for the inaugural Just for Laughs fest. These dorks included us and a large group of other people packed under the Lakeshore Theater’s marquee on Friday night anxiously awaiting the Bob and David reunion. It was mostly young people (and their companions). The show started with Bob and David bumping into one another with boxes in their arms, each heading to their one man shows. David didn’t quite remember Bob. They called up local “judges” from the audience for a one man show-off. Bob’s was a heartfelt performance art piece including lipstick and yelling and Vietnam, while David danced in a Blues Brothers outfit singing “Sweet Home Chicago”. Of course David won. From there, the night consisted of mostly sketches and a few short sets from young comedians. The “friends” and comedians, including Nick Thune and John Mulaney, didn’t include any Mr. Show alum, but they were all solid.
The show was a lot looser than I would have thought, just because Mr. Show was so well-rehearsed, thanks to the meticulous Bob, who seemed pretty annoyed when lighting and sound cues were missed, but it wasn’t enough to affect the quality of the material. The highlight for me was an appearance by Senator Tankerbell in a sketch about torture at “Abu Grawby”, including a slideshow of Tankerbell in various positions with a dominatrix, and a play on Deal or No Deal called “Cash or Check”, in which Bob uses “help angels” to decide in which form he wants his prize money. Bob read a great letter from his recently deceased cousin which evolved into a sad remembrance of eating light ice cream all those years, and lamenting all the kinds of ice cream he should have been eating. Every time he said “ice cream” it became funnier. The weakest point was probably a sketch about a polite family confronting a killer in court, because I’ve seen the premise before (in The State’s “Tenement” - going off without swearing), and it just kind of fell flat. To close, they sang a song about laughter being the “final solution”…Bob became the voice of Satan and said this was all a setup and he was going to forever speak to us through the voices of dogs. Awesome. Bob commented that it was “a night of scenes without endings” and you could tell they were still working things out, but overall their chemistry and style was there, and it was absolutely great to see it again. I was gay all night and super thankful that I got to see them live.
Oh, and they played this great short: