Oklahoma blossoms a comedic limb
I once worked at a silly newspaper where the editor was always short on content. One day, aforementioned editor was looking for someone to review an OutKast album. One particular writer volunteered to do it, and I made a mental note to check out her review.
I read it the next day. It was shit, man.
It went something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know much about ‘gangster rap,’ but I guess this is alright. Sometimes what they’re saying is hard to understand. And all this rap stuff sounds alike anyway. I guess if you’re into dancing to this kind of stuff, then you might like this CD.”
I only tell this story because I feel equally ignorant about writing a comedy review – and comedy in general. Don’t get me wrong – I like to laugh as much as any other person. I could watch stuff like this this and this all day, giggling and dribbling phlegm all over my chin.
I just don’t understand why it’s suddenly “hip” for bands to have random comics open for them, or why people would pay money to listen to Dane Cook yell at them. Maybe I’m just lame, or old, or something, but if I wanted to be put down by some obnoxious guy who looks like he shops at Buckle or Express, I’d go to Buckle – or Express.
Luckily for me, “The Comedy Underground and The Escape From Open Mic” goes beyond the usual ranting about typical predictable subject matter – for the most part, anyway.
Compiled by James Nghiem, a Norman comedian, the CD features 10 Oklahoma comedians spouting off about everything from typical comedy fodder (racism, blowjobs, beer), weird shit (Armenia, Bill Cosby, Laffy Taffy) to stuff that only locals would understand (LifeChurch, The Deli, the Hornets).
The diversity of the lineup allows for a wide array of comedic arsenals that range in style from dry sarcasm to outright obscenity, taken from live sets recorded last year and this year at the Opolis in Norman and the International Artists of Oklahoma gallery in Oklahoma City.
It’s already garnered the attention of publications across the state, our local comedians are good – though at times, yes, a little awkward or not-so-great – but still good at what they do.
The real standout of the compilation, however, is the insight into the history and growth of the stand up comedy scene that has exploded across the state in recent years.
Sandwiched between sets are interviews with the comedians – Nathan Anderson, Spencer Hicks, Leah Kayajanian, Anthony Cavazos, Derek Smith, Genevieve Rice, Brad Chad Porter, Seth Joseph, James Nghiem and Kevin Costello – conducted by Danny Marroquin.
This collection allows listeners to have a peek at what’s been churning in the minds and mouths of the state’s up-and-coming comedians, but without the drunk guy behind you laughing at all the wrong parts while kicking your chair and making passes at the waitress.
Along with the interviews, these comedians’ sets provide not only 77 minutes of material, but also a chance to own a glimpse into a piece of Oklahoma history unfolding in the present. We’ve all supported the state’s amazing bands, shitty bands, and less-shitty bands, and here lies an opportunity to support another blossoming limb of our local independent entertainers.
The CD is the highlight of a CD release show set to be held Friday night (February 15) at the Opolis, 113 N. Crawford. Doors open at 9 p.m., and there’s a $5 cover, with eight of the 10 comics on the CD performing. More information is available at www.myspace.com/escapefromopenmic.
That said, the final verdict for me – measured, of course, quantitatively by the total of audible laughs escaping from my chapped lips – is about 5.
Then again, what do I know? I’m just another pretentious Sophie Zine writer who hates everything – my brain is fried from too much electro in my ears and camera flashes in my eyes, raaaaar rar rar!
I’m going to go listen to OutKast.