I went to snag my wristband at the Jupiter Hotel and looked around under this giant tent and got all starstruck. “That’s Bryan Cook! That’s Matt Braunger over there! Look it’s Nate Bargatze!” Just be thankful I kept all these giddy thoughts on the inside and didn’t embarrass myself.
Now, let me ask a question: Does everyone know just how effin’ brilliant Jon Daly is? Is that common knowledge yet or a closely guarded secret by the comedy nerd illuminati?
I bring this up because last night offered up a chance to see just how great Daly is as a comic actor. The Kroll Show writer/performer started off his night at Bridgetown at Bossanova, portraying Oscar Wilde as part of the Dead Authors Podcast recording there, and then moved over to the Alhambra to appear as Come On Now, a topical comic from Brooklyn who punctuates every joke with his namesake.
On paper, the latter performance sounds hacky as all get out, but it was all in the presentation and delivery. Daly came out wearing loose linen pants and a completely open button-up shirt. He had the swagger of Andrew “Dice” Clay at the height of his power and looked at the audience with a mixture of disdain and desire. He’d glide up to the mike, and say something, “That Malaysian plane?” Long pause. “Come on now.”
Okay... I’m really hoping someone has some video of that set last night or can find a YouTube clip of it to spare me the further embarrassment of trying to describe his set. Just know that for a full five minutes, he kept that up and had me laughing so hard, I could hardly breathe.
Daly’s Dead Authors appearance was even better, if only because he obviously came to the stage knowing the bare minimum about Wilde. So, he played the English playwright and author like a frolicking fop. He described all manner of sexual dalliances with almost every man he met in his life (he described his junk as a “museum of medical oddities”) and read little quips from a notebook, punctuating each by bowing and saying, smugly, “Oscar Wilde.” ‘Twas the Victorian version of a mic drop.
Of course half the fun of the podcast is hearing how hard it is for Tompkins to maintain his composure when faced with his guest’s ridiculousness. And sure enough, poor H.G. Wells damn near fell off his chair when Daly referred to a lady’s lady parts as an “unknowing bramble” or explained how Wilde’s play “The Importance of Being Earnest” laid the groundwork for Frasier: “This is why Lady Grantham was constantly eating tossed salad and scrambled eggs.”
Before I go, a quick note: Longtime Bridgetown fans might already be aware of this, but the great Amy Miller reminded me last night that, during the fest, there’s an ongoing open mic happening at the Tanker Bar on 49th and Hawthorne. The lineup tends to be heavy on the acts that just performed at the nearby Alhambra or Eagles Lodge, but due to the loose nature of the thing (Amy said she was physically yanking comics off the sidewalk outside to drop in and do five minutes), the sets tend to be much goofier and nastier than the comics’ scheduled set.