All the seats were filled with civilians, while all the comics stood in the back (nearly every comic stuck around for the entire 2 1/2 hour show too). And it was the rare night where the comics in the back of the room laughed harder than the real audience members in front. The audience seemed to be playing catch up (they didn't instantly recognize all the comics) but they still were having a great time.
I did my set as Rodney Dangerfield and had a blast.
I'm getting old. At my age, I want two girls at once so if I fall asleep they got each other to talk to. Are you kidding?
Standout sets came in two flavors: those who were accurate and those who brought their own flavor. Dan Soder's Dave Chappelle was pitch perfect. Gilad Foss' Woody Allen also was dead on. Sven Wechsler's Yakov Smirnoff had a delightful Russkieness. And Cheslee Calloway's Tom McCaffrey was pretty sweet...right? And McCaffrey (who did Louis CK) was even in the room to enjoy it, the only comic to both perform and be imitated.
As far as bringing their own flavor, I thought Ross Hyzer's Chris Rock was great. He went up pretending he didn't understand the concept and thought he was just going to show a clip of a bit he liked (even I bought it and yelled out, "You don't have to go.") He said he'd perform it anyway and then way into Rock's infamous n*****s vs. black people bit and meekly started explaining why he hates n*****s. Afterwards, he told me he's been waiting years to be able to pull off that idea. My cohost Mark Normand's Paula Poundstone was also great. Immense shoulder pads and lots of sprawling over a chair made the whole thing way funnier than the actual Poundstone.
Afterwards, a couple who had been in the audience came up to me and asked, "Who was the girl who told the joke about the banana? The one where it's red?" I realized she meant Mitch Hedberg (whom Chelsea White had performed). The woman asked me to write down both Mitch's name and Chelsea's name because she wanted to hear Mitch and also see Chelsea perform again sometime. That seems like the perfect outcome: audience members being introduced to both a legend and a local up and comer.
Overall, it was great to see the whole scene come together like that. It had a really pleasant, positive vibe and someone even commented, "If every show had this much positivity with comics getting along and having fun, a lot more people would come out to comedy shows in New York." I don't know about all that but it definitely felt like a cool, "you had to be there" moment. And you can bet we'll be schticking again in a year.