Friday, May 2, 2008

Nick Swardson: RAGE!

I went to see Nick Swardson last night at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. Most people know him as the dude who hooked up with the silverfox in “Grandma’s Boy,” the stalker from “Blades of Glory,” or Terry from “Reno 9-1-1.” Beyond that, he’s a damn funny stand-up comedian. In fact, I laughed so hard that I realized I was out of laughing-shape. Remind to request a class at 24 Hour Fitness to build up endurance and strength for my diaphragm. Highlights from the set include:

- He mentioned the old school (5 years ago) Sacramento Kings teams. Jason Williams is not white- his parents are definitely black-albino.
- His trip to the Asian massage parlor at age 19. Age of his “masseuse”- between 68-80.
- On the set of “Grandma’s Boy” the dude who played Dante smoked real weed instead of the fake movie weed. This was a bad idea because they would do 20 takes in a row and Dante would be way too high.
- His affinity for blacking out drunk. He loves getting the night recapped to him when he can’t remember it. It feels like he was a secret double agent.
- He hates cocky girls who claim they can out drink guys. They drink hard for an hour and then end up crying and throwing up.
- On Myspace his sexual orientation is “Not Sure” even though he is straight. It’s only because he thinks it is hilarious that “Not Sure” is an option.
- His story about the high-fiving monkey in Vegas was ridiculously funny. He kept paying a monkey a dollar and the monkey would high-five him. He started upping the ante hoping something new would happen (he was wasted) and then paid the monkey a $100 bill and still got a high five. Then, a beautiful woman came up and give $1 to the monkey. It ran up to her shoulder and started dancing on her shoulder. He was pissed that the monkey didn’t dance on this shoulder (contemplated getting a wig and a dress to get it done.) He went back to his buddies and they asked, “How are you doing?” He replied, “I’m down $300.” “Damn. Was it poker or blackjack?” “Neither. Monkey high-fives.”
- The end of “Blades of Glory” was originally going to be his stalker character setting up a sniper rifle and killing Jimmy’s adopted dad.

It was a really great show. But of course, no event is complete without its pitfalls. The biggest negative was the two girls that were placed behind us about ¾ of the way through the show. I can only theorize that these chatty-Kathy’s were moved from another spot due to complaints. The problems were many-fold. First, if they were familiar with a bit that Nick was doing, they would try to say the joke in unison with him. We’ve all seen his Comedy Central special. That’s why we’re here. We all know the bit about how he loves the word “retarded” but unfortunately I paid money to hear him tell his own joke, not to hear you double his voice (best case scenario) or more likely, stumble though the bit making you the worst super-reverb echo box I’ve ever heard.

Second, one of the girls was talking to someone else on their cell-phone at some point. You do realize that comedy shows and movies require the same courtesy, right? People are paying money to be entertained, not to hear you talk to your friend about how funny the show is and your recent doctor’s visit diagnosing you with a bladder infection. C’mon!

Third, one girl was showing the other girl some pictures on her camera. Either, these were previously taken photos that clearly didn’t need explanations right in the middle of the Nick Swardson show, or they were pictures that she had just taken, which again, do not need any explanation. “Look at this great picture I just took! I’m so excited about this picture that I don’t give a shit what the comedian on stage that I won’t get another chance to see live in a long time is saying! Yay for cute pictures!”

So of course, I looked back a couple times (which I hate because there’s no need to make a stand while at a comedy show) and eventually mouthed “Keep it down!” Then I get smart-ass remarks directed my way, “Oh, can we laugh? Is that ok?” YES! In fact it’s preferred to your mindless jibber-jabber during jokes that distract everyone in the near vicinity. I once saw Dave Chappelle and he could barely tell jokes because people kept yelling “I’m Rick James, Bitch!” or “Charlie Murphy!” at him. He almost walked off canceled the show. He explained that they way it works is that we (the audience) paid money to hear him tell jokes. He’ll say something, we mull it over. If it’s funny, then we laugh. If not, we don’t. Then we move on to the next joke. The girls from last night took it to a new level because they were so self-absorbed that they couldn’t go an hour and half without making everything about them. Their conversation, their versions of Swardson’s act, their pictures on their camera. Why don’t we add their mistaken sense of how important they think they are to the list.

One last thing bothered me about the situation. The two girls were sitting with a guy. That guy sat there and did nothing- NOTHING I tell ya! If your girlfriend, sister, friend with benefits, or girl that he’s hanging out with because he likes her but has found his way into the “friend-zone” is talking through a comedy performance, you have the responsibility to rationally tell her to shut up. He just sat there with his arms folded thinking “give me cancer now, God!” It felt like the old SNL sketch where Chris Farley is that woman going through the Zagat’s restaurant guide and Adam Sandler is the husband who can’t take the yapping. Grow some backbone or please mimic Sandler’s character from the skit by taking sleeping pills and putting yourself out of your misery. You’re just as responsible as the bimbo-brigade.

Phew! I know that was a lot of negative stuff, but I overall had a great time. Swardson is hilarious! Check him out ASAP.

Update: On top of all that, my girlfriend sent Nick a Myspace message after the show, and he already responded saying, “Thanks for coming. I also had fun. Party.” It’s pretty awesome that someone would take time out to respond to the fans.


GMoney said...

He was priceless in Grandma's Boy which was surprisingly funny.

Tony B. said...

I have to agree, G. Caught it randomly on HBO awhile back and have loved it ever since.