Thrill or Be Thrilled
Host: Chad Weaver
October 14, 2014
Chad Weaver is out to begin the show. He introduced the venue owners and bartenders. There will be comedians from Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, and Chicago performing, as well as a live band to accompany them.
Weaver is out with a sheet over his head. He is wearing sunglasses. In a ghostly voice, he announced that he is the “Cool Ghost.” Cool Ghost is here to scare kids straight because he died from using drugs and alcohol. He informed the crowd that ghosts still need to use rubbers and that he now works for D.A.R.E. to maintain his child support payments.
He returned to being “Chad” and went into some stand-up material. He talked about how bowling and Alcoholics Anonymous are connected.
He then talked a bit about the difference between Kent State University and The University of Akron. KSU students see clowns that they think are murderers. Akron U students actually get murdered.
As he began to tell a story about attending his first college party, he is tackled by a guy in the audience. The two momentarily wrestle around before Chad announced the next performer.
Wimbels started out her set by pointing out that she isn’t a comedian, she just tells funny stories. She goes on to tell a story about finding herself single at the age of thirty. After breaking up with a recent boyfriend, she went on a drunken bender with a friend and finding herself locked out of her apartment.
She was funny, charming, and her story was just the right length.
A video package was screened next. It told the story of a boy who, at a young age, was abandoned at a museum dedicated to Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield. He grew up to become an insult comic obsessed with the portly feline.
Weaver came out wearing an orange shirt and black wig. Instead of speaking, he held up cards with thought balloons containing insults directed at crowd members.
While certainly a bizarre premise, I loved this sketch. The one-liners were corny but dirty. This bit shouldn’t have worked but it did.
Dustin Meadows v. Mike Kolar
Weaver will give random rimshots to jokes by the two comedians in an attempt to distract them.
Dustin Meadows, the founder of Whiskey Bear Comedy, was up first. Kolar left the room. Meadows is hilarious. He talked about performing at a pro-choice rally, attending a college party at the age of 32, and questioned why people still make fun of hipsters. He reveals that he used to love nu-metal. He also likened Weezer’s first three albums to stages in a relationship.
He is a sharp comedian who delivers big laughs.
Mike Kolar was next. He talked about graduating from OSU, bartenders v. mixologists, finding a bag of cocaine on the ground, and having shitty/stupid friends.
Kolar seemed more rattled by the rimshots than Meadows but Weaver declared Meadows the loser. His punishment? He had to read “Take my wife” jokes that Weaver wrote while being rimshot into oblivion. He actually made the “punishment” work and got laughs.
The improv group “Pizza Money” performed a bit called “Ghetto GPS.” They then aired a video they made entitled, “Ill-Timed Pizza Guy,” which got a huge laugh at the finish.
During the intermission, Weaver projected slides of his short-lived Instagram show, “You’ve been CHad,” which basically consisted of him sending harassing or annoying texts to various members of his family. Again, this is very smart to provide entertainment for the crowd during downtime.
Zach Durr began by dancing along to the live house music. He said he was into the vibe of the room because the audience were either seated weirdly high or weirdly low. He commented about how strange it was trying to perform comedy while two people were sitting behind him (the band). He continued with material about his appearance, the death of Kenny Baker, and an article he read stating that a man’s sexual prowess can be determined by how he eats his food.
This guy is great. He has a unique energy and delivery. I found him very entertaining.
Max Friedman v. Terence Hartnett
The premise for this round is that each comedian will be interrupted by someone taking the stage during their sets.
Max Friedman is from Chicago. He noted that “Akron” sounds like something used to treat arthritis. He talks about being a waiter and serving overpriced food.
His set was interrupted by a masked guy with a hostage (sent by Weaver) storming the stage. The masked guy kept demanding that Friedman “talk him down” from pepper spraying the hostage. Friedman simply replied that he didn’t have a dog in the fight. This just didn’t work and interrupted an otherwise good set.
Terence Harnett is from Chicago. His delivery reminded me a bit of Anthony Jeselnik. He was quickly interrupted by James Earl Brassfield in a robe and brandishing flowers. He said that Hartnett took his virginity and he wanted to marry him. Nonplussed by the distraction, Hartnett kissed him. This brought the house down. Hartnett went on to talk about his sexuality to some solid laughs.
Weaver deemed Friedman the “loser.” He had to read a “spooky, scary story” on stage while surrounded by a group of vapors blowing vape at him.
Co-owner of The Rialto Theater played a short set of music. Dude can sing.
Jasmyn Carter v. Chris Myrick
The crowd was instructed to laugh big during each performers’ set but be dead silent at the conclusion.
Jasmyn Carter described herself as a “retired” college student. She talked about being kicked out of the black community for acting a bit too wild at a party.
Carter has a boatload of charisma and attitude. Her material is dirty and funny. She is good.
Chris Myrick read a spooky story that he wrote. He told a great story about writing a nine-page text to a girl he had a crush on. The story was both cringe-worthy and hilarious.
Myrick was deemed the loser. Members of the audience were called to the front of the stage while Myrick crowd surfed.
Chad Weaver put on another fun night in Kenmore.
I would have changed the stipulation for the final round. It required too much energy and involvement from the crowd that late in the show. It was all but forgotten by the end of Wyrick’s set. It wasn’t a bad stipulation, it just earlier in the lineup.
There were some great comedians on the bill this time around. It’s neat to see talent from outside NE Ohio beginning to appear.
The mix of live comedy, live music, and pre-taped sketches continue to work. I’m stoked for the next show on November 24.
-Zep the Bear