The room was surprisingly packed when I got to the Mt. Tabor Theater on Saturday afternoon for the Humor Code. They were featuring four great comics (Pete Holmes, Myq Kaplan, Mary Mack and Jordan Morris), but the topic was kind of academic for 4pm on the third day of a 4-day comedy binge. Peter McGraw is a scientist and Joel Warner is a writer. Together, they're working on The Humor Code, a project and forthcoming book to determine what "funny" is and how comedy works. At the panel, the two of them tried to explain their research while the comics commented, questioned, and interjected.
It's pretty interesting stuff, but Pete Holmes put it well: "Comedy is this beautiful songbird, and you guys took it into a creepy lab and dissected it." The comics were great, McGraw the scientist was pretty funny himself, and there was a really interesting discussion of gender and comedy, both from the audience perspective and the comedian's perspective — a conversation during which Mary Mack was brilliant. She's got another show tonight at 8 at the Eagles Lodge. If you haven't seen her, do it.
At the Bagdad last night, Lance Bangs presented some of his favorite comics and a bunch of footage from film projects he's worked on. Emily Heller, Ron Funches, and Pete Holmes all had really solid sets. I was looking forward to seeing Mary Lynn Rajskub in her only scheduled appearance, but ended up kind of disappointed. She was funny, but was really uneven and didn't seem to be connecting. On the other hand, Brett Gelman was fucking fantastic, in his weird, antagonistic way. One of the show's highlights was Gelman's reaction to a heckler — a rant that went ON and included a description of the heckler having God's shit for brains.
The Bagdad's 10pm Delocated show didn't actually start until nearly 11:30. But the place was packed, and no one seemed to mind. The comics, including the delightful Amy Schumer, Kurt Braunohler and Todd Barry, were all really strong. But the show was pretty much stolen by Jon Glaser, in silver hotpants and Danner Boots. Why the focus on Danner? "It's a solid boot."