Bitter, Party of One

Is this thing on? Our Girl on comics, the ladies of Venus and Lewis Black

Photo by Jack GouldYou know, women like to shop, and men like to have sex with lots of indiscriminate strangers! Are we right, ladies? Right? And, hey, guys, doesn't your girlfriend have a lot of shoes? What does she need so many pairs of shoes for? She only has two feet! Are we right, guys? And, hey! Does your lady ever get PMS? It's like, "Whoa, lady! Stop being such a bitch! What are you—on the rag?" Hey, do we have any pot smokers here tonight? Doesn't smoking pot make you want to eat lots of food? You're like, "Whoa! I wish I had some Doritos! Because I'm stoned!" Hey, here's Jim fromTaxi, if he were eating a bag of Doritos. . . . Jim fromTaxi, if he were eating a bag of Doritos. . . . "Hellllooooo. Oh, Doritos!" Hey, we bet Monica Lewinsky is a stoner because she's really fatand ugly. Isn't she fat and ugly?

Hello? Is this thing on?

We just love standup comedy. More precisely, we love sitting in the back of the room, glaring and then laughing at inappropriate times while taking our cocktail-napkin notes in an ostentatiously furtive manner so management will know it's us and take care of our bar tab. What's not to love?

Unfortunately, OC comedy is like a vile greasy stew of some vague substance that could possibly be gristly rat meat. Thinking about going to that open mic? Don't. Really. The only venue in the county that offers anything good at all is the Irvine Improv, which is now at the mally Irvine Spectrum.

(The Brea Improv occasionally has good acts, but it tends more toward smug, prissy white boys like the odious Jay Mohr and jokey Latin comics like Pablo Francisco. Telling jokes? That went out in 1994. If you've got the chance, though, do catch Venus Attacks at the unlikely Laguna Hills Holiday Inn. Although it's far too long—we were trapped in a second-floor meeting room for more than two hours—the self-help seminar features Sheila Kayand Debbie Kaspar as Minnesota matrons in caftans and beglittered, puff-painted T-shirts talkin' 'bout dick. They're really pretty good.)

Irvine pays LA comics wheelbarrows full of cash to make the commute, and the LA comics—who get a max of, like, $25 to play the Hollywood Improv, and that's if they're Jerry Seinfeld—appreciate it. Even more than the money, though, they like to come down to Irvine and make really good fun of it. There's material for days in its silly white-and-tan housing tracts. Oooh, hoo, hoo!

And so the Irvine Improv, which is run by hipsters, gets the best of LA's alternative comics—like bombastic and fearless Todd Glass, host of the running Tuesdays With Todd, and his friends, like Patton Oswald, a fabulously shrimpy little man who's got a murderously funny HBO special and a regular role as the virgin on King of Queens. We used to have Patton's home number, but he moved.

You see, the reason we have Patton's former home number is because we are really cool and have lots of famous friends. (We also have Glass' home number, but he never remembers us when we see him, which is a major buzz kill.) But more relevantly in this case, our dearly departed live-in boyfriend was a comic—and truly a very, very funny one; we were dreadfully proud of him—and guess whose career was more important? Three, four, 12 nights a week, we'd go see comedy. And we very quickly learned that Jim from Taxi impressions aren't funny no matter how funny they are.

And so we headed to the mall to catch The Daily Show's Lewis Black. The new Improv is cushier and bigger than the old one. It's also filled with people who like upscale malls and Dave & Buster's. (It's also filled with really cute waiters, but we no longer care. Bitter, party of one, which is a joke we just decided to steal—like we're Robin Williams!—from our sister. We wonder if she stole it from someone else and we're unknowingly repeating a cliché, like when the Weekly's own Rich Kaneused that Shaving Ryan's Privates bit and didn't know that even Leno had stopped using it months before.)

Black? Any comic who calls the audience pussies in the very first sentence and starts preaching about the rich to an audience in the Irvine Fucking Spectrum is okay by us. He had some nice observations about John Wayne Airport, too, noting that they wouldn't let him fly into it but made him fly to LAX instead. "Why don't you just drop me 180 miles offshore?!" he screamed before screaming a whole bunch more—about tranny hookers and the "fucking" traffic and the "fucking" ozone layer ("We've got men. We've got rockets. We've got Saran Wrap. FIX IT!") and "fucking" Las Vegas turning into salt and how nobody should be allowed to buy or sell "fucking" $12,000 pocketbooks and "fucking" rich people and "fucking" Tommy Hilfiger with a "fucking" crest on his clothes like we're in medieval "fucking" England and how "fucking" people who buy clothes with crests on them should live in "Tommy Fuck Hilfiger Village" and pay $25 for "fucking" underwear when your penis can't read and nobody can see it anyway because you're wearing . . . PANTS! Then he talked about Heaven's Gate, which is generally a bad sign because it happened two fucking years ago, and also we think it's in rotten taste to make fun of crazy people, but it was kind of okay in this instance because the whole thing upsets him. He was pissed they killed themselves when they had such nice weather and lived in a "fucking" mansion.

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