Thrill or be Thrilled
The Rialto Theatre
August 19, 2016
The second edition of Chad Weaver’s Thrill or be Thrilled comedy show did not disappoint. It featured local comics Sam Dee, Ryne DiPerna, Jeremy Sheer, Kris Wernowsky, Josh Volchko, and Cody Cooper. Musician Nick Fleming performed, as well.
This show had the same energy, but a different rhythm, then the first. Weaver opened with standup and a pre-recorded bit. He did a nice job getting over a self-deprecating bit built around high-fiving an audience member paired with the “Hit it!” catchphrase. He followed with a bit about having sex with a stool that started live but continued on video. It was bizarre and dirty but very funny. Like most of Weaver’s bits, it is hard to describe in detail but he commits to it so fiercely that he gets it over with the audience.
Next up was Sam Dee. She performed a terrific send-up of the popular TED Talks series. Riffing off of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s anti-immigration platform, she delivered an impassioned PowerPoint lecture railing against the illegal “migration” of Canadian geese into the United States. The bit was clever and she played it note-perfect. She had a great bossy, authoritarian air as she delivered the material and barked out “SLIDE” when she wanted one changed. This was so good.
Nick Fleming followed. He played a cover of MGMT’s “Kids.” Since I’m sure he will use it in the future I won’t repeat it, but he opened with a one-liner that got the biggest single laugh of the night.
Next was the first round of comedians competing against one another with a stipulation attached to their performance. This round was entitled “Romeo and Juliet.” The two comedian’s each had a few minutes to roast Weaver. Kris Wernowsky went first. Ryne DiPerna slammed Weaver pretty good. Wernowsky was deemed the “loser” and had to perform a skit about Romeo and Juliet that Chad wrote. I believe that Jeremy Sheer played Juliet. It ended with a big laugh.
An intermission was next. Weaver wisely limited it to 8-minutes. To keep the crowd entertained, he ran a slideshow of Tweets he sent to The University of Akron all-male acapella group, Nuance. What amounted to a one-sided Twitter war, Weaver tried to goad the organization into a social media war.
The evening clipped on at a brisk pace. Nick Fleming performed another song. Weaver had a computer “glitch” that “accidentally” revealed to the audience some embarrassing online searches. There was also a bit involving four of the comedians about a proposed pitch for Space Jam 1.5.
Sarah Jones was pitted against Jeremy Sheer in the second round of challenges. Each performed standup until Chad stepped in. He then would continue performing their sets while they at a pie that he gave them. The loser would be the one who at the least amount of pie. Sarah Jones made the least possible effort to do so. She was NOT eating this pie. Whether she wasn’t hungry, didn’t want to get messy, or didn’t want to embarrass herself, she could not hide the disdain on her face for what Weaver wanted her to do. Because of this, she lost the round. She had to sing the national anthem and then smash a cream pie in Weaver’s face, which was a rather lenient punishment.
Nick Fleming performed while the pie was cleaned off the stage floor.
The evening closed with a bit called “Mom Fight.” Josh Volchko and Cody Cooper stood while the mother’s of their significant other’s roasted them with jokes written by Chad Weaver. The mothers were super good sports and came across like a million bucks.
As a reward, Volchko and Cooper got to spank Chad. This quickly got out of hand to hilarious results.
The audience gave Weaver and the rest of the comics a standing ovation to close the evening.
I think I liked this show just a bit more than the first. Breaking up the musical performances throughout the night was a good call. Doing something as simple as running a slideshow during intermission helped keep the energy up for the second half of the evening.
Weaver’s pre-recorded bits continue to shine.
The most interesting moments are the unscripted ones. Jones not wanting to eat that pie was great because it was real. I feel like Weaver either backed off the punishments or took them himself this time around. I think enforcing the stipulations is key to the success of the format. Consequences are interesting.
Overall, this was a fun, fun night filled with a ton of laughs.
Reviewer: Zep the Bear