Comedy Apocalypse V at the Barn

KUCR continued its highly successful “Comedy Apocalypse” series Wednesday night at the Barn—this time as the “2012 Election Year Political Face-Melt edition.” For the fifth installment of the series, four critically-acclaimed comics were featured, and the audience couldn’t get enough.

While the theme of the evening was political, the performers used a wide range of comedic styles, making for a truly memorable show.

The MC, Omar Nava, set the tone for the show. He opened with jokes about how finals week makes it difficult to distinguish homeless people from students, due to students’ lack of hygiene and minimal effort to clothe themselves. He did a great job making jokes that were relevant to a college student’s life, and garnered an appropriately strong reaction from the audience. He went on to make light of his ambiguous racial identity, describing the awkward ways in which people ask him what race he is.

Nava’s biography for the show states, “A graduate of Rice University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Omar decided that mankind needed more comedy and fewer machines…Nava hopes one day to combine his interests in engineering and comedy by creating the ultimate ‘comedy machine,’ which would benevolently rule the planet, directing the fate of nations with clever puns and smart alec quipping.” This quirky personality shined during his performance.

Next up was Bobby Miyamoto, who has appeared on Comedy Central and CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Miyamoto continued the pattern of race-based jokes, with self-deprecating humor regarding his last name. He described a scenario in which a girl didn’t want to marry him because she didn’t want to take his last name—even though her last name happened to be pronounced like a type of male genetalia. He also used a lot of observational humor, saying, “fast food places now have 2 windows…I feel like if they wanted to speed it up more they’d add a third window there you could tell them where they fucked up your order.”

The headliner, Jimmy Dore, is a frequent late-night television guest on shows such as “Jimmy Kimmel Live,”  “Make Me Laugh,” “The Late Late Show on CBS” and NBC’s “Late Friday.” He is also a regular on Current TV’s “The Young Turks.” His one-hour Comedy Central special “Citizen Jimmy” was chosen as Best of the Year by iTunes, and after Wednesday’s performance, it was easy to see why.

Dore opened with making jokes regarding general society. He especially criticized the institution of marriage and how it ties people down, saying that  saying “I never thought I’d say this, but I just want the same rights as a gay guy!” Religion wasn’t off limits, either. Dore proclaimed, “I went to Catholic school for 12 years. People ask me why I’m not Catholic—it’s because I went to Catholic school for 12 years.”

Dore also performed his “Left, Right and Ridiculous” act, which functioned similar to “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. Dore provided comedic commentary between political video clips, and even invited up a guest, comedian Paul Gilmartin, who acted assumed the character of a conservative Congressman as Dore asked him questions. Gilmartin played the part of a stereotypical bigoted Southern Republican incredibly well. At one point, Dore had to turn to the audience and remind them “this is satire!” because people were getting so worked up over Gilmartin’s comments—the sign of a true comedic success.

The performance concluded by bringing the night’s three other comics onstage to participate in the commentary as a panel, often riffing off each other’s jokes. Gilmartin and Dore repeatedly roasted each other for their respective dated references to obscure 1980s films that didn’t land with the college crowd. The repeated bombing of their references and subsequent embarrassment generated as many laughs as any other point in the night.

Not one audience member could have left the Barn without cracking a smile. Once again, the Comedy Apocalypse comes out a winner, and further solidifies its unique position as a fun way to bring a long quarter to an end. UCR students would do themselves a disservice not to attend the next installment in the series.

 

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