PAUL MCDERMOTT: COMEDYOSCOPY (MICF 2002)

Well McDermott did something totally out of the ordinary – he sang. And why did he sing, he asked the audience, (Because you always fucking do someone yelled out). No, it was a deception, a means of bringing people together.

And so began McDermott’s Comedyoscopy, a look into what, by nature, makes us laugh. And at certain points, it wasn’t the show. Paul in his style, God love him, tends to ramble on and gets immersed in following his own train of thought to its somewhat logical conclusion. This at times loses the audience. But then he cracks an old joke and everything is alright again.

All of McDermott’s traits are there. In every mutation he has gone through (DAAS, Good News Week, Witches of Eastwick, GUD), there are some elements that always remain: physically abusing members of the audience, heckling them, using old material, but he can still charm the pants of any man or woman in the room, so per usual, no one seems bothered by his antics.

His show was very well done overall. He took us on a journey though the different kinds of laughs, encouraging the audience to join in and showing us the means in which to control your laughter,to know when it’s appropriate to piss yourself laughing.

Control the laughter or it will control you.

McDermott then went through the various types of comedy, or as I refer to them, the good and evil kinds. Evil being impersonators, Impressionists and improv artists.

In his demonstration of an improv artist, where he pretended to pull things out of his magic cat, he continued with his style of heckling and abusing the ones who gave stupid answers (like the deadshit who said mouse,oh please). After about 10 minutes, he informed us that we got the whole exercise wrong and that we should of asked him to pull out a joke. I was tempted to yell out for him to pull out another few inches (of height) but as I have learned from going to GNW tapings, when McDermott’s around, you keep your mouth shut.

His piece on heckling was quite good. According to “scientific research”, women heckle to get attention and men do it who are sexually impotent. Hmmm. Explains a lot. McDermott is an expert on heckling, because according to him he has been heckled all his life. One of the best I heard on the night was “Where’s Tim and Rich when you need them?”. Saucer of cream for that woman over there who refuses to live in the now. McDermott said that the reason people heckle is because they know the comedians are expecting it. I always thought you heckled when they were shit.

And of course interspersed with these points were the obligatory grabs of songs from McDermott (including the DAAS classic “I Sucked the Cock of Little baby Jesus”)

The highlight of the show was certainly McDermott forcing the audience to chant “Fuck Off”. Apparently on another night the show ran long,and instead of just stopping it there, Paul took the entire audience outside the Town Hall and really freaked out the bystanders as 60 people kept screaming out “Fuck Off”. How I wish I was there.

Paul referred to himself as an average comedian. As anyone who has seen some of his work will tell you. He is also full of shit. His ability to jump from thought provoking and intellectual pieces to smut and vaudeville in order to keep the audience, shows someone with a great ability and intellect and a skilled and varied repertoire.

 

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