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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Komedy + Chop Suey = Red, Red Love

posted by on July 12 at 11:42 AM

First of all: You know who hated air conditioning? William Faulkner, who said that people who used it “were trying to get rid of the weather” and forbade it from his Mississippi home. You know who hated William Faulkner? His wife, who, the day after his funeral, got her revenge and bought a window unit.

More about Faulkner, his wife, and climate control at Maud Newton.


Second of all: Last night was the big debut for People’s Republic of Komedy at Chop Suey and the air conditioning worked fine.

In fact, it felt like a debutante ball, with the PROK guys all nervous and twitchy and the crowd all loud and drunky. (In a friendly way.) Some notes:

• The crowd was sizable for a debut night of standup comedy. The door guy said there were around 120 people there, which would have maxed out PROK’s old home at CHAC.

• Chop Suey’s interior design allows the audience to be more vicious. At CHAC, there was a wall between the stage and the bar, so the bored and the chatty could leave bad comics to torture their audiences undisturbed. In Chop Suey’s one big room, when the comic starts bombing, the decibel level shoots up, the comic crashes, and the satisfying smell of schadenfreude fills the air.

• There was a drink holder made of black wire on the mic stand, which, sadly, went unused.

• The lurid red light of Chop Suey gave Emmett Montgomery’s clown monologue (that starts with “listen Timmy, I know you’re a good kid because I’ve been living under your bed for five years and can hear your dreams” and ends with “there are two kinds of clowns in the world—the ones who put on makeup to look like clowns so they can go to the birthday parties and the clowns who put on makeup to look like people so they can go to the liquor store”) a whole new glaze of creepy.

• There were, as there must be, some bombers. The guy on tour from Nashville was wretched. It’s always gratifying to watch the macho, old-style comedians begin to sweat when they realize their dick jokes and chick jokes and “what’s up with Quizno’s?” routines aren’t going anywhere with the Laff Hole crowd. Again: schadenfreude!

• Happily, Nashville guy was the lone stinker. Andy Peters was one of my favorites with his raving, sad weirdness, ending every joke with “fuck you dad” and a sip of beer. Delivery is everything so it’s no use transcribing jokes, but his commercials for gas (“it makes your car go, so fuck you) were fantastic.

• As the last comics walked on stage, Emmett stood in the back, checked his watch, and gasped a little. “It’s after midnight,” he marveled. “It not my fault these bitches don’t know when to leave.” But us bitches weren’t going anywhere. We stayed for the last joke and clapped big.

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I totally agree about Andy Peters. He makes me cry laughing. I love him longtime.

Posted by trent moorman | July 12, 2007 12:30 PM

Kiley, I likes your style.

Faulkner was kind of a misogynist as well. His comments on the popularity of the novel "Gone With the Wind" hinted at such when he called the book the introduction into the literary Age of Kotex. Nobel Prize or not, that doesn't sound very wimmyn-friendly, does it?

Perhaps his wife celebrated his death with an air-conditioner. "Good," I imagine her saying, "Now I can do some things that cranky, old, vainglorious boozer wouldn't allow me to do."

I don't want to say Faulkner is overrated as a writer. It's almost heresy to even think it. It'd be like saying Shakespeare's overrated.

But I bet Shakespeare was a nicer guy.

Posted by Bauhaus | July 12, 2007 12:51 PM

Faulkner would roll over in his grave if he visited his house/museum in Oxford, Mississippi. Sometime between my visits in 1991 and 2004 they installed air conditioning.

Posted by Cyclops | July 12, 2007 1:18 PM

Aww, Emmett. A couple friends and I went to the open mic night at Comedy Underground on Sunday (or was it Monday? Everyone should just be there always) and met Emmett, along with some of the other talented comics working Seattle's scene. I had no idea this world existed... Now that I know, I'll be keeping closer tabs. And attending Laff Hole's next Thing.

Posted by Katelyn | July 12, 2007 1:33 PM

who cares if faulkner was a mysoginist?

jefferson owned slaves.

i mean really, holding people up to a cultural standard of our time is ridiculous.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 12, 2007 1:58 PM

Nice image to go with the story, but it isn't the grave stone of the William Faulkner to whom you refer. He died in 1962, and was in the RAF rather than the US Army.

Posted by Clem Snopes | July 12, 2007 2:07 PM

and his middile initial starts with "C."

Posted by aarons | July 12, 2007 2:29 PM

Right. Sorry. New photo coming up.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | July 12, 2007 2:32 PM

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