This week on The Meltdown, Jonah and Kumail start the show by talking about party fouls. Jonah recalls a time when he thought he’d do something magical for a party he was attending. On the way there he found a Christmas tree, and when he arrived he threw it into the party and screamed “Christmas is back!” It was a thoughtful idea until a bunch of spiders emerged, ruining the party. Too often do drunken good ideas turn into much, much worse drunken ideas. I think everyone can relate to this.
Hanging out backstage is comedy great David Wain (The State, Wet Hot American Summer). Not only is Wain an accomplished writer, director and comedian, but, as we learn from the episode, he’s also a talented magician. He performs magic tricks for some of the comics and does a great job at playing the role of the stereotypically enthusiastic magician. It’s a lot of fun seeing all of the comics just goof around together.
Emily Heller takes the stage first and talks about weed and being single. She has a great set of jokes for both topics but my favorite is one about how she loves telling her married friends she wants be single forever. Her married friend responds by saying, “Really? Forever? You can’t know that you will want something forever.” To which Heller replies, “And I don’t need to spend $50,000 to prove that point.”
The great thing about this show is that it’s not just straight stand-up. Jon Daly, who is known for his characters, comes out and does a horrible-on-purpose Ryan Gosling impression that plays really well. This is followed by Nick Offerman singing a song about his handkerchief, and the audience seems to eat both of these bits up. You just really never know who will drop in at The Meltdown, it might be (someone doing an impression of) Ryan Gosling or (the real life) Nick Offerman.
The room is also a great spot for Eugene Mirman, who has always had a unique approach to stand-up. He shows the audience some paintings he did to hang up in the new Whole Foods in Brooklyn. My favorite painting is “Vegan On His Way To the Complain Store.” It’s a bit that might not work in your typical comedy club or on a typical stand-up showcase, but in the back of a comic book store, anything goes.
Backstage, TJ Miller and Mirman are talking about stand-up and a bad set Miller had recently. Mirman describes how stand-up can immediately gratify success while also being an immediate reinforcement of failure. Miller suggests “Immediate Reinforcement of Failure” should be the name of someone’s album before taking the stage with a bit about Grandpa’s Death Bed. The bit leans more on the side of immediate gratification of success, however, just like The Meltdown as a whole.