Just for Laughs Festival, July 21, 2004
In keeping with our annual tradition, my Mum and I went to the all-female JFL show, this year bringing along Irene, Kate, and Jeannine, a.k.a. the world’s greatest mother-in-law.
The 2004 edition of Eve’s was at Kola Note, which was, once upon a time, Club Soda, so the show was returning to its birthplace. Mum and Kate and I seem to agree that we liked this year better than last. The theme, if there was one, was the futility of dieting – we’ve noticed that the show tends toward an unannounced, unintentional theme topic that coincidentally appears in some form in most of the sets. Two years ago the theme was peeing… last year, motherhood in various guises was popular, as was the female orgasm (no kidding).
The host: Susie Essman, famous for telling people to go fuck themselves on Curb Your Enthusiasm. She was good, raunchy, very New York. Lots of audience interaction. Susie Essman is the reason not to sit in the front row of a comedy show. Highlight: “Men always lie when they have a hard-on. ‘Baby, this is the best I’ve ever had’ for example. I’m not that good.”
The line-up, with commentary:
You know how some stand-ups do the fast talking thing? And others do the lots of angry yelling thing? Cassella is a fast, angry yeller. But she had great pants.
Best line: Multiple life sentences – does that make any sense for anyone other than Shirley Maclaine?
Old material – not that I’ve seen it, but she’s riffing on bombing Spain. If you want to do political, news-oriented comedy, keep it relevant and recent.
Best line: I was eating at Wendy’s in the Middle East when I realized… they don’t have cows.
Initially scary, ultimately very funny. Good self-deprecating stuff on the lisp, great stuff on social norms (I grew up in a trailer park… ah, it’s coming together now, isn’t it?)
Best line: Comedian always joke about trailer parks – ‘Why did they build it in Hurricane Alley, ha ha?’ Cuz we’re POOR. Land comes cheap when there’s a 60% chance of death.
Gorgeous, smart and funny. She presents herself as a little prudish but her material is raunch without the swear words.
Best line: Did you guys have sex ed? I grew up in Virginia. My mother told me if you touch a penis it will burn you. It won’t. But I spent a lot of time looking for hot cock.
Best line (she was really good): Ok, we fake orgasm – but have you ever exaggerated orgasm? Like it’s a 10, but it’s really a 5.3? You throw a pillow that didn’t need to be thrown? And then, when it’s over, you look over at the dog and you both roll your eyes?
Lots of stuff about being a New Zealander in Australia, all good.
Best line: a platypus looks like a duck wearing an otter costume but the zipper’s stuck.
McFarlane would have been a lot funnier if she hadn’t been so apologetic about having a bad set. The only thing that made it bad was the constant “Man, this is going badly.” Every one else killed, she would have too, if we weren’t all so self-conscious about whether or not we were laughing.
Best line: Cops shouldn’t wear mirrored sunglasses. I got pulled over and the whole time the cop was talking to me, all I could think was “Wow. I need to get my bangs cut.”
Very funny, lots of stuff about being part of a large Irish Catholic family.
Best line: My dad’s friends are killing themselves laughing, and one of them says to me “Hey Megan – how come you don’t have any kids? That husband of yours got a low sperm count?” I said “I don’t think so – it doesn’t taste that way.”
Great way to end the show on a high note. Pescatelli is a funny, smart woman, and believes that everyone can be smart if they choose to be.
Best line: Janet Jackson – I’ve been getting myself dressed for a couple of decades now, and my boobs don’t pop out unannounced. Sorry, grandma, it was a wardrobe malfunction.
Best line, too: My brother made me be part of his stupid wedding. I had to wear one of those awful $400 dresses. They said “you can wear it again.” Where? Adult prom?