Monday, January 19, 2015

Riot LA 2015 For Small Big Fun

When I was leaving Riot LA Saturday night, fans were still in long lines waiting to check out acts like "This Is Not Happening" and "Roast Battle" in small venues on downtown's Main Street. Tables were filled with garbage and trash cans overflowed, the porta-potties were out of water in The Lot. The Lot was a makeshift playground with some food trucks, parlor games and a tent for more comedy acts. That and a few venues that don't house the largest numbers made big foot traffic with fans and people wanting to catch a podcast or a comedy segment show known operating elsewhere.

When I sat down at both Happy Contest Time and Super Ego there was hardly an empty seat. Both shows were so very different, but each drew in its own audience. Many of the shows were already sold out that night.

Michelle Wolf won Happy Contest Time. She won by making fun of how gross men are and how white and black people walk for different reasons.

Happy Contest Time is a show that had faint sounds of the latest Sentai Rangers theme in the background and started with "Night of Fire" from the anime Initial D with host Deborah Etta Robinson...just not stopping dancing to. Happy Contest Time has "Japanese school girls" judging who their favorite comedian of the night is. We were down two school girls and had a replacement of one with their Japanese father instead.

For those into anime or otaku culture forget it linking to you. The show is like if  someone sort of had a vague grasp of Japanese culture and instead added a lot of their improv friends to waste time in between acts.

There was nothing wrong with the comedians in this show, but the hostess and her cavalcade of characters could be turned into sushi and I wouldn't care. We didn't need Deborah Etta Robinson, we needed more Japanese school girls indifferent to comedians. The show promised it would be "determined by three Japanese women." There was one.

Super Ego, held in the Downtown Independent, had some veterans on the comedy scene with Paul F. Tompkins,  possibly being the most well known to me and you, followed by Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter, Mark McConville. The show's concept had them acting out strange characters of their own making in different segments under the guise of being in a Clinic for Analytical Pscience. Anyone on stage had a white lab coat on and dished out the funny. The hiring of a caregiver for the, in real-life deceased, H.R. Giger (art for Aliens) had me laughing over how creepy two people could be. From gas station ads to being on a murder scene tour the comedians came up with the people you would never would want to talk to in real life.

Riot LA grew out of Kickstarter in 2012 and though there's already a comedy festival that takes place in the general area... the other one is about comedy shorts.

Would we like to see some better ideas sketched out for the festival, yes. Hey, podcast that's great. How about doing something special for Riot LA that's different from your podcast?