Brent Weinbach is Fucking Weird
His set begins with choppy non sequiturs. He is slight. His demeanor, deadpan and detached somewhat a la Stephen Wright in seeming content not to relate or even to appear comfortable. Sometimes, more like Zach Galifianakis, he deliberately forces awkwardness upon the audience. His stage character is almost wholly without affectation. And fucking weird.
But Brent Weinbach's slot at last year's Bridgetown Comedy Fest was gaining momentum. The San Francisco based comedian sensed it: this crowd was ready go with him just about anywhere. (It was, after-all, a tribute show to Andy Kaufman, and Weinbach, like Reggie Watts before him, is a recipient of the prestigious Kaufman Award).
From his dry, colorless delivery Weinbach launched suddenly into frenetic, screaming ghetto drawl (remembering his days as an Oakland-area substitute teacher where the kids made fun of his tight pants). From there he bounced to an extended bit as a frail sociopathic creep (deliberately creepier than his own on-stage persona) before splashing in bits of physical comedy, pre-recorded bits, 1980's Nintendo references and god knows what else. Traditional punch-lines were rarely relied upon nor necessary in Weinbach's stunning act. The palpable strangeness and surprise are alone to make one cringe, cry and howl. It was as if Weinbach began putting around in first gear only to jam the shifter immediately up to fifth, then continued lurching around without gradation—From third to reverse, to fourth then jamming on the breaks. It was a thrilling, if not dangerous show. And somehow it never stalled.
As Brent's comedy is so varied, here are a few clips to get a better feeling for it.
"Weinbach In Wonderland" (Brent playing himself in grade school)
Dance Moves (with a Nintendo soundtrack!)
Brent plays the Bagdad Theater tonight. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8:00pm. $10. There are a few openers.