Most fascinating set was Aziz Ansari's though. With Parks and Rec and Funny People, dude is really a celeb now. And it's odd to see how that impacts a standup set. He handled it well, but still...it was a real obstacle.
First off, people kept taking flash photos. To the point of distraction. And finally Aziz asked them all to take photos at once and then stop. He even offered to do a funny pose of him lashing out at an audience member so they'd have something fun to shoot. Photos continued after that, but not as bad.
Then someone yelled out "Raaaaaaaandy!" at him. He told 'em that he wasn't going to do any Raaaaaaaandy stuff though. Then he followed it up with some fun bits about mistakenly thinking he was being recognized as a celebrity when it was actually 1) someone spotting a friend named "Rodney" and 2) two girls wanting him to take their photo, not be in it. Well played again.
At the end he asked, "What do you want to hear about?" And someone yelled out, "Kanye." So Aziz went into a 5-minute bit about Kanye's recent outburst and how he got to hang with Kanye and Jay Z at club in LA and then performed standup at Kanye's home for a group of 20. Tough to make "hanging with famous people" stuff funny, but it was genuinely really funny and the crowd ate it up.
I remember Aziz doing Monday night Crash Tests at UCB in front of a few dozen people not that long ago. So seeing him get the full-on star treatment from a crowd was kinda crazy. I'm not saying he's at Steve-Martin-playing-arenas mode but it was a real thing.
And you can see how that response from a crowd can be destructive if what you really love to do is standup. I think Aziz handled it great, but I can also see how that sorta response would start to kill one's enjoyment of standup after a while.
Reminded me of going to see Joe Rogan perform at Caroline's a while back. It was not all that fun since crowd had a lot of mooks constantly shouting out stuff about UFC and Fear Factor. Rogan can be a thougtful guy. But that night, he had to be a babysitter more than anything else.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 9/24/2009