Kevin & Bean's 7th annual April Foolishness show played out at the Shrine Auditorium for the second year in a row with all of the proceeds being donated to Fisher House and Cedars-Sinai NICU. Okay, now that we have those details out of the way, let's break down the show because it was phenomenal once again.
The doors of the Shrine opened at 6p.m. and with the show starting at 8p.m., everyone was good and saucy when Mike Relm got on the turntables to mix extraordinary music with video clips. Of course putting up his tribute to "School of Rock" was the biggest crowd pleaser because, well, Tenacious D. Honestly though, we sense he could've put up a video of a gal barfing and mixed it to music and people would've loved it. Oh wait, he did. Mike Relm is a god damn wizard.
After an intro via video from Bob Saget that included an adorable (read: cum guzzling) tip on how to tell your friends you got an acting job, Kevin and Bean hit the stage and were met by 6,000 screaming (and we do mean screaming) fans. Well, Bean opted to stay near the back of the stage as he didn't want to have another mishap like he did at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. Good idea, Bean! They thanked everyone for the turnout and brought out the winner of their "Opening Act Contest," Eddie Pence. His set included stories about raising kids, Star Wars, dog attacks (poor Chihuahua), and his thoughts on what should and should not be on "lost cat signs." Pence was topical, personal, and hilarious. Thank you to all of the people who voted for him because he was great choice.
KROQ fan favorite Ralph Garman came out and got crazy love from the audience. And just when you thought it could get no louder, he intro'd Gabriel Iglesias (aka Fluffy) and man oh man, the place went ape shit! He told the crowd that he flew in especially for the event and went on to talk about taco trucks, his hate for water fountains and censors on toilets, mentioned his son isn't as impressed with him as his friends are, that he considers laughing so hard you snort a compliment, and bragged about no one ever physically dying of laughter at one of his shows. He did however admit that a woman passed out and told us the amusing story that unfolded after it happened and also included a hysterical impression of the woman. Fluffy received a standing ovation from the crowd which was no surprise at all. He. Is. Awesome.
Keeping the funny going and without missing a beat, first timer to the April Foolishness line-up was Adam Ray who came right out of the gates hating on Vegas. But for good reason of course. He waxed about wanting a tattoo, farting chicks, got in some pot talk, explained the "double dick" hand gesture and told us where he'd like to use it if given the chance, and broke down a few lyrics that absolutely make no sense. The crowd ate this newbie ass up. It also became clear that ladies really love Adam as one in front couldn't seem to stop screaming, sit down, or keep her arms down even though she was holding a cocktail. Simmer down chicka, he said he was single. We're sure you totally have a chance.
We can only assume that if Jonah Ray performed like originally planned, he would've gone in this slot. But he didn't. So Jay Mohr did. Can you say, upgrade? Getting everyone in the room pregnant, Mohr received uproarious responses from stories he told about U2 being the worst and best concert you can see, artists that stop singing to push their agenda, the ridiculousness of paying for show tickets with canned food, and tickets being affordable for The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith because, well, they might die. Jay also mentioned that he'd like to now be referred to as "Eagle," threw in a couple of glorious impressions, a "don't tell Jeffery" shout out (that I felt was just for me), and when he left the stage, he showed an incredible amount of love to the crowd that 100% gave it right back to him. You go Eagle!
Adding some much needed estrogen to the line-up, Iliza Shlesinger came out and held her own by trashing twenty-year-olds, delivering a few impressions, telling us that subliminal messages can start a fight, what make-up really says about you, and killed it with a "goat noise" throughout her set. Trust us, you had to be there. And that blows if you weren't because you really missed out. Beautifully gut-bustingly funny is the only we can describe Iliza. We also hope "gut-bustingly" is a word.
Southern Cali native Brad Williams has become a total favorite when it comes to the listeners of KROQ so when he graces the April Foolishness stage, they really let him hear it. He quickly apologized for moving to San Francisco, conveyed his love for the Dodgers, and quipped that he'd never wear a Giants jersey for obvious reasons. He got a little racial (sorry about the "little" part) talking about black, white, and Mexican kids, took a quick jab at Ralphie May's weight, talked about the happiness and excitement midgets bring people, advised us to check out midget porn, ran down the "top five little people," and proclaimed himself to be the Dyson vacuum of dwarf pussy. Before leaving he rewarded the attentive crowd with a brilliantly funny story involving John Stamos and in turn, the crowd then rewarded Williams with a much deserved standing ovation.
Ralphie May apparently heard what Williams had said about him because when he got on stage, all guns were blazing. Kicking off with a "midget inspired" rant, he mentioned there's nothing wrong with being a midget because, "good for you midget," told us about hate mail he got from a midget (and proceeded to act it out), and said in order to be a dwarf you should be on a quest or carry a battle axe because he keeps it old school. Fucking hilarious. On to bigger things (pun intended Brad), Ralphie then talked about gay weddings being so gay, Cirque du So-gay, the gay wedding he and his wife attended, fielding questions from his son about the gay wedding, and the food and party favors at this gay wedding. Spoiler alert: he had a blast. And speaking of blast, May ending his set with a finger blasting sing-a-long to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" left the crowd roaring and frankly, would've been the perfect time to just drop the mic and exit the stage. Alas, he thanked everyone. No Ralphie. Thank YOU.
There could only be one magnificent act tapped to follow a performance that grand so the whole KROQ crew came out to introduce them. This "them" is Tenacious D. We noticed all of the comics came out into the audience to see the D (aka Jack Black and Kyle Gass) rock out also and even though they did it acoustically, they certainly did rock by treating our ears to "Tribute," "Rize of the Fenix," "Low Hanging Fruit," and "Rock Is Dead." Their utterly amazing time on stage also included three semi-wardrobe changes of cat themed t-shirts for Black, a sweet reenactment which lead into "Dude (I Totally Miss You)," and then was topped off by belting out "Fuck Her Gently" which sent the crowd into a tizzy. Well played, well done, well of course because that's exactly what you'd expect from Tenacious fucking D!
Critic's Bias: I personally look forward to April Foolishness every year because as a comedy junkie, being able to watch a handful of great comedians on one stage makes me ooze with happiness. I also always love the "drunk in a good way" April Foolishness audience for adding extra entertainment. This year there were no issues (that I noticed), everyone (including me) had a great time, and I'd also like to give a shout out to the caterer in the "VIP party area" for those delicious meatballs. I haven't stopped thinking about those damn meatballs since April 4th at 7:38pm.
The Crowd: A show like this always attracts all walks of life and the Shrine was filled to the brim with everyone and their mama. Like for real, there were even families there. Hey, everyone enjoys a good laugh and there were plenty to be had all in the name of charity. We didn't do any heavy checking but we do suspect there are plenty pictures and videos on-line due to the amount of cell phone cameras that were seen in the air basically at every second of the show. Heaven forbid you actually watch it unfold in front of you instead of making a video to watch later.
Overheard in the Crowd:
"I can't wait to see Ralphie! His Netflix special was hilarious! I'm so excited!"
"God damn Iliza is hot!"
"I wish Brad Williams did a dance. I was really looking forward to that!"
"FUCK YOU BEER MUG!!"
Random notebook dump: I am aware that not everyone feels the way I do about Tenacious D but, WTF was up with people leaving when they got on stage? I'm all for beating traffic but this is Tenacious D for fuck sake! Hello? The headliner of the event? And while they can no doubt find a video of it on-line, I was genuinely surprised and openly hope that everyone who left ended up getting pulled over and let go with a warning (I'm not a total asshole) on the way home.