The first time I saw Greg Giraldo

One of the greatest standup performances I've ever seen in my life was Greg Giraldo years ago at Crash Test at UCB (before I ever started doing standup).

A lot of the alt guys who performed on Crash Test were alt-y and got by with being clever. Giraldo was on a different plane.

He came out like a tornado. Stalking all over the stage, full of venom. He was really fucking smart. He was talking about important things. It wasn't setup/punch and then setup/punch. You couldn't even tell where one joke ended and another began. It all flowed together seamlessly. He was angry and right and hilarious and didn't give a fuck. It didn't seem preplanned or scripted. The words just seemed to tumble out of his mouth in perfect order. I was a comedy naif at the time, but I remember feeling that it was downright shamanic. He just pummeled the crowd.

This was right after I moved to NYC and I'd only just begun to watch live standup regularly. And that Giraldo set, along with a Patton Oswalt set I saw at Rififi right around the same time, opened my eyes up to the power and magic that live standup can deliver. There was something mystical about it. I was entranced. And that's when I decided I wanted to try it too.

When I think about Greg Giraldo, that set is what I'll always remember. I'm thankful I was in the room that night and grateful for the impact it had on my life.

1 comment:

Andrew Hicks said...

Giraldo will be missed. Every time someone with talent dies young, a big grin washes over Yoko Ono's face.

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