Mrs Vache Folle and I went out Saturday to the comedy club “Bananas in Poughkeepsie. It’s not so much a club as a conference space in the Best Western where they stuff in plywood tables on weekends and have comedians come in. The patrons are packed in like sardines, and you are lucky if you get anyone to sell you a drink. Nobody served us on Saturday. So we saved a few bucks.
The featured performer was Jim Norton, whom we had seen down in Greenwich Village back in 2001 and who had been a regular on Colin Quinn’s Comedy Central show “Tough Crowd”. Lately, Jim has been sitting in with Opie and Anthony, a couple of clowns with an entertaining radio show during the morning drive time. I listen just about every day since I can’t get Air America any more, and the news is too damn depressing. It is a guilty pleasure, and I usually claim to listen to NPR. It is a seriously puerile show, and the crowd at Bananas was composed mainly of an unsavory collection of what I figure is the typical Opie and Anthony constituent. Twenty-something, mostly dateless white blue collar guys with baseball caps worn askew. Salt of the earth, if you will.
Jim killed. His performance this time centered almost entirely on sex, and it was very graphic and very funny. Jim’s comic persona, and perhaps Jim in real life, is a sex maniac, and he is absolutely unapologetic about it. His shamelessness and vulnerability are key to his performance. He speaks of the unspeakable without hesitation or embarrassment, and this leads to some of the funniest observations ever about human sexuality.
Jim handled a table of chatterers in an entertaining manner, much to the room’s delight. He called them out and booted them from the show, even though one of them was proclaimed to be a “breast cancer survivor”. She supposed that this status entitled her to talk incessantly during the performance. Jim skillfully deflected the breast cancer survivor card and a claim that he liked to belittle women with wit. It was an uncomfortable moment, and I fretted a little that a Michael Richard’s moment was unfolding with the “C-bomb” instead of the “N-word”. But it passed quickly without escalating. Kudos to the Bananas staff for ejecting them.
I laughed until tears ran down my face. I was exhausted from laughter by the time the show ended. I wish Jim got to speak more on Opie and Anthony.