Comic Mike Bridenstine has a show. That show and occasional podcast, out of L.A., is called Roast the Week. He gets a handful of comics together, adds in some current events, and together they make fun of the week's news and each other. Mostly, they make fun of each other.
And it's great.
Last night, he took his show to the Helium stage, with Pete Holmes, Myq Kaplan, Mike Burns, John Roy, Matt Braunger, Michelle Biloon, Emily Maya Mills, and Jay Larson. It was a fantastic lineup, and since most of them know each other pretty well, their blasts on each other landed perfectly.
Matt Braunger commented on the strange layout for the show, with all 9 comics on stage at the same time, looking out at the audience. "You have your own audience, and we're staring at you."
But for the most part they were staring at each other, waiting to chime in and comment on the success or failure of everyone else's jokes with digs like, "perfect joke" and "laser accuracy."
They were obviously having fun with material they'd only recently written, and it made for a great, casual show. It only got a little weird close to the end, when Mike Burns worked himself into a red-faced fury and made casualties out of anything he had that was actually a joke. Note to up-and-coming comics: get drunk after your set, OK?
Helium has a pretty strict no-heckling policy, and the crowds there are almost always super-polite and friendly anyway. Emily Maya Mills had a weird moment with a Baby Boomer heckler, but his embarrassed wife shut him up. Later, Bridenstine addressed him: "You're heckling? There are nine comics on stage. You're a fucking idiot."
Over at Hawthorne Theatre, Improv4Humans played to a packed room. Improv4Humans is a great podcast that Matt Besser started when Upright Citizen Brigade's Asssscat wanted to develop an improv show for the radio. With the incredible Brett Gelman, Jon Glaser and Joe Wengert, he's put together a really fantastic show. Last night's performance was the first time they'd ever done the show for a live audience. With nothing but stools and microphones (the show was also being recorded for the podcast), they improvised full scenes, sitting still the whole time.
It was hilarious, with scenes that included, among other things: an Olive Garden in an elevator, Brett Gelman's penis, puppet molestation, bangin' with Jesus, and cross-county travels in a bumper boat. And although it was damn funny, the best part was seeing their eye contact and interaction, something you don't get on the audio-only podcast.
If you get the chance to see any of these guys in anything else, do it. Gelman's got three more shows today and two tomorrow, Glaser's got one tonight (the 10pm Delocated show at Bagdad, with Gelman) and one tomorrow, Wengert's at the Hawthorne late-night tonight, and Besser's at tonight's 9pm Hawthorne Primetime.