His set begins with choppy non sequiturs. He is slight. His demeanor is deadpan and detached à la Steven Wright; he seems content not to relate with the audience or even to appear the least bit comfortable. Sometimes, more like Zach Galifianakis, he forces awkwardness upon the audience deliberately. He 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 must've sensed it: The 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).

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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 onstage persona), before splashing in bits of physical comedy, pre-recorded bits, 1980s Nintendo references, and god knows what else. Traditional punchlines were rarely relied upon nor necessary in Weinbach's stunning act. The palpable strangeness and surprise are alone enough 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.

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