This Sunday, comedy fans from OC and beyond descended on this year's Oddball Comedy N Curiosity Festival brought to us once again by the fine folks over at Funny or Die. Sure the temperature was a balmy 98 degrees but not to worry mom and dad, the masses stayed hydrated with $16 beers.
Hydration and tons of grub choices aside, this year's side "Festival Stage" was sponsored by Redd's Apple Ale and was ruled by comedian and host Big Jay Oakerson. While attempting to maneuver through the packed crowd, our ears were treated to this year's line-up that consisted of Joe Sib, Brady Matthews, Ester Steinberg, and Hampton Yount. They were great but come on now, we know why we're all here…
We were greeted on the Main Stage with beats by DJ Trauma and by Big Jay Oakerson. Hold on. We need to pause right now and say something if we may. Big Jay Oakerson stole the show. All of the shows. Sure there were a lot of great comics that thoroughly pleased the audience and we haven't even gotten into the "meat" of the review but, spoiler alert. When you boil it down, Big Jay Oakerson, who stepped up in place of previous host Jeff Ross, stole the mother fucking show. From gays and hot chicks to black chicks, black bootie and big dicks, Jay consistently kept the crowd howling. Well done.
OK then. First comic up was Rory Scovel and even with an empty-ish front section (but a packed lawn section), he was amazing with breaking down the inner workings of inventions, somehow discussed Frisbees, declared his affection for McDonalds and the McRib, and made it clear that molestation and youth pastors go hand-in-hand. At least, that's what we took away from his set. We loved him. In a non-molesting youth pastor type of way.
T.J. Miller's turn was next and not say the success of Silicon Valley has changed him but, he did have an Evian face mister thingy. Kidding, he explained it and it actually helped to keep his youthful glow. Forget the misting. T.J. informed the audience the top four reasons he doesn't give a fuck, his thoughts on weed versus booze and suicide (non-related), and also filled us in on what a "snarfgobbler" is. Apologies on the spelling but forgive us if we don't know how the fuck to spell a made up word for someone who sneezes and barfs at the same time.
*cues music* Nigga I ain't worried 'bout nuthin'! Hey calm down, we're just quoting! Donnell Rawlings came out to this song and got the crowd hyped. And of course since it was a mostly white crowd (I can say that because I'm white), not too many people sang along. Luckily for us (whitey), Donnell broke the song down for everyone comparing it to a church sermon. Hilarious. No race was actually safe in his set because he tapped on the way Asians walk, Indian accents, and his hunt for white chicks. At a farmers market obviously. Hiiiighlarious.
Bridgett Everett then sauntered out in a slinky red dress only the way she can to croon to the audience. In the audience. Her filth fueled lyrics meshed with her sexy swagger won over Irvine and led to uproarious applause. Full disclosure: I had to sneak away to the bathroom (number 1) during her set but I could hear the Irvine Meadows hooting and hollering for this woman in there LOUDLY. Bravissimo!
After a brief intermission to refuel with soft pretzels and shitty margaritas, Anthony Jeselnik hit the stage. To be fair, as a favorite, we knew he'd be fantastic and after his obligatory "Irvine banter," he massacred by dryly talking about his uncle running a camp for kids about to be molested, on-line sex offenders, family history, catholic school, and his granny. Adorable and so fucking dark oh my god we love him.
John Mulaney got to follow Jeselnik and we sensed that would be a tough thing to do but, the comic handled himself just fine. His set was mostly about his new (Jew) wife and their differences and the crowd was responsive so they clearly related. Especially about his analogy about "buying a cow." He also gave a shout out to Steve Harvey of sorts and yeah, you just kind of had to be there in that magic Mulaney moment.
The heavy hitters kept coming at us with Sebastian Maniscalco being overly animated and Irvine responding like they were over-ly flowing in their pants for him. But hey, it was for good reason. Maniscalco shit on Whole Foods (yay!), discussed the differences between him and his wife, and laid down the law on the activities his wife enjoys to throw on him. No shit, Irvine went wild. You go boy!
According to the sound resonating across Irvine all of the way to the San Fernando Valley and back, Amy Schumer stepped on stage. Good god she has gotten big lately and STFU, we're talking about her career. She looked gorgeous (see the detailed sketch above since we weren't allowed to take pictures) in a black dress sipping out of wine glass being the same gal she's always been but spouting off quips about meeting fans, the Glamor Awards, sitting with Katie Couric…wait. OK, maybe she isn't the same but believe us, Amy did bring her "Amy" with cum jokes a plenty, admitting Hillary Clinton wouldn't want her on the campaign trail, admitting she is fucking her friend, and putting a shitbag heckler in her place by kicking her out of the venue. She also talked about being labeled as a "sex comic" and how fucking stupid it is. And it is. Stop it. She rules. Standing O. Duh.
OMG the show is going to end and we all know it alas, Aziz Ansari is coming out so no one moves. For two minutes. Sorry, we just wanted you to feel like you were there. OK, Aziz iz awzome. That said, it seemed as if it wasn't easy to follow Amy here but mostly because the last spot is more commonly known as the "I hope you're OK with people heading to their cars because it's Irvine Meadows and the walk to the car is 3,669,235 miles away" spot. Poor Aziz. Poor, fantastic, audience missed the fuck out on, lovely, hilarious, Aziz.
Critic's Bias: Oddball has been so incredible for the last two years so why would this year be any different? Well…it was. Don't get us wrong, we did have fun. It just would be kinda sweet if a majority of the line-up for So. Cal. wasn't from So. Cal. Exposing people to a new batch of people would be fun too. Still, it was a stellar line-up and trust, we did laugh all night.
The Crowd: Well I will say this, there were a lot of people taking pictures because signs that say "don't take pictures" don't mean shit!! Look at Instagram right now! Look at Twitter and Facebook! OK, OK, I'm done. The crowd was cool and also, they seemed a bit younger as well as being a touch more "female." (I can say that because I'm a female) I suspect that was because a few gal crews came out to see Amy Schumer be amazing because after all, there are few bitches out there right now who DON'T want to be her. (I can say that because I'm a bitch.)
Random notebook dump: As someone who TOTALLY got busted taking a picture let me just say this, I saw the signs that said don't take a picture. And yes, I can read. I just wanted a picture. So I took it. WTF cares? I wasn't filming shit. I wasn't using the pics for this article obviously. And yes, I understand the struggle that comics deal with and shitty people tape their sets and post them and all but that doesn't have shit to do with me because I was just taking a pic. For me. As a fan. Who drove from Las Vegas to be there. The hoopla was unnecessary. It's a fucking picture. Get over yourselves, Irvine Meadows.
Festival Stage– Big Jay Oakerson, Joe Sib, Brady Matthews, Ester Steinberg, Hampton Yount
Main Stage– Big Jay Oakerson, Rory Scovel, T.J. Miller, Donnell Rawlings, Bridget Everett, Anthony Jeselnik, Sebastian Maniscalco, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari