When the rules were being re-written for the modern generation of stand-up comedians, an odd thing happened. Many decreed that it was an audience's place to laugh, not the comedian's. There's a sense (or so it seems from today's hyper-cynical, humbler-than though comedy scene) that for a jester to admit his own wit by laughing is a bad business practice.
So with great doses of refreshing disregard for comedic dogma came precocious New York City comedian Andrew Schulz to Club Deluxe Monday night. Schulz, part of the tireless next generation of NYC comedy club regulars, reminded us that the medium is supposed to be for everyone’s amusement, performer included. Laugh away, Mr. Schulz, you’re a funny bastard.
Schulz comes equipped with a growing résumé that includes spots on MTV and credits on various TV pilots and short films. At the mic, his greatest insights delve into the bedroom pirouette, where he would prefer nothing remain sacred. Like swallowing, which he says must be damn confusing for sperm, as he brilliantly acted out for us. Where’s the egg?, they must wonder. “Wait a second… That. Whore!”
Yes, winking misogyny creeps into his ideology, and he takes issue with female entitlement and double standards between the sheets with unabashed partisanship. The transaction is confusing, he says, especially when it comes to pleasing a woman. Men can climax over a nasty-toed bum, so why do women need the bedroom exactly 72 degrees, Usher playing in the background, a lava lamp, and…uh…a smack in the face?
He does it all with zealous charm, and his self-described sightliness may be part of why he gets away with it. Like the greats, you’d think he were just riffing with a friend, as if he’s just trying to one-up the previous joke.
Schulz also manages a growing number of characters, aside from his quasi-not-him Alpha Male. His drunk girls, his Mexican friends (his favorite type of Latino) and his two-tongued Portuguese accents were careful studies in parody.
Schulz brought with him fellow NYC comedian Mike Rogan, a lanky, confident and cool drink of unfiltered water, who originally hails from Connecticuit. Rogan plays a self-deprecating hand and gets results, allowing the madness and crudeness of his adopted city to paint its own ugly pictures. But his best bit discussed the ass-backwardsness of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” which he realizes now communicates a terrible moral: have little-to-no drive, zero personality or charisma and hope that your opponents in life are sociopaths who pass out 30 feet before the finish line. Got it?
Five other local comedians took the stage, each a reminder of the rich diversity of style and substance we have in the Bay Area comedy scene.
Host and S.F. comedy club regular Justin Harrison got laughs for his observations of club life — “When you’re alone at a club, there’s only one way to appear, and that’s creepy as shit.”
Oakland’s Joseph Anolin discussed life on the other side of the Bay Bridge, and how even the Discovery Channel hates on his hometown — the misinformed show “Gangs of Oakland,” which pits the uber-affluent Piedmont as gangland. Anolin, a gymnastics teacher, won the crowd with a surreal story of a student with the first name Gangster and the last name Ass-Mother&$^%er, and his sister Fine.
Cameron Vanini started off with some hit-or-miss material but came on strong with a harsh riff on internet dating, reasoning that even the homeless have girlfriends, so why should we need computers to meet people. Words do not do it justice.