Comedy Meltdown 2: Electric Boogaloo

Meltdown Comics, January 25th

Who needs too-tightly packed tables and a two drink minimum, especially if there’s an option to pick up a Buffy The Vampire Slayer omnibus and a maquette of Sub-Mariner before the show? Arguably LA’s best recurring comedy show in town is tucked away in the back of Meltdown Comics on Sunset once a month, a free Friday night lineup in the store’s gallery featuring top-notch talent riffing large under the harsh glare of a bank of fluorescents instead of the usual spotlight. (Which might not help when it gets a little chilly in that back room, particularly on stormy January nights, but the open bar warms things up a bit. Yeah, I know… free and an open bar. Dude!) (Above right: Blaine Capatch)

Booker Linda Pine secures ace talent, which for the event’s sophomore outing on Friday night was emceed by lightning-quick Blaine Capatch; after his own set, including a terrific bit on deep and abiding loathing of personalized license plates (So “U2POOH” is definitely expressing one’s love of the Disney bear, right? And not a scatological request), Capatch managed to work some terrific improv into the night’s ongoing trivia contest with properly geektastic questions including which Batman villain was a zoologist (Man-Bat) and which band originally owned the rights to A Clockwork Orange (that’d be the Rolling Stones – and I got that one right, dammit, only I didn’t speak up loud enough to be heard over the peanut gallery in the first row… more on them later.

(Above: Jonah Ray)

Next up, Jonah Ray, Tecate in hand, singing the praises of internet downloads and laying into Lars Ulrich something good; and a grousing Mark Voyce scoffing sarcastically at how far he’s come to get to the back room of a comics store.


(Above: Mark Voyce)

The manic, pacing stylings of Howard Kremer were arguably the crowd favorite, as the comic waxed curious about the future of the White Stripes (“I guess [Meg] would just need to find another singer… guitar player… songwriter…visionary… who wears red pants. She’ll probably get Sammy Hagar.”) and consistently promised a roster of song stylings that never came. But man, great titles. (“A Strip Joint Shouldn’t Smell Like Perogies”, “I Don’t Want to Pay $500 to Watch Douchebags Eat Turkey,” and my personal favorite, “You Wouldn’t Sass Me So Much If I Could Summon Wolves.”)

(Above: Howard Kremer)

(Above: Maria Bamford)

The always brilliant Maria Bamford, hunkered down under the black beanie she’d just bought in the store to keep warm, rendered perhaps the greatest ever stream-of-consciousness, multi-accented finger-puppet staging of World War III and gave an encore of #1 favorite joke from the Comedians of Comedy lineup at LA Weekly’s Detour fest. (“Here’s an impression…’Hhhhuuuuuhhhuuuuhhhuuuuh? Uhuh? Hhhhuh?!” Anyone? Yeah, it’s GOD! During the years 1986 through 1994.)

Full points, however, to headliner Dana Gould for managing a venue-appropriate bit of prop comedy centered around the latest issue of G-FAN, the Godzilla fan magazine. (“It’s just not the G-FAN I remember,” Gould lambasted, before calling strict attention to the cartoon centerfold.)

He also held down the best comeback to the tipsy young group of would-be hecklers down front, or their female member in particular. (With a long sigh.. “Someone’s daughter.” Okay, you had to hear the setup earlier but honestly, it was a riot.) Hey, whaddaya gonna do… open bar and awesome comedy is still totally worth the occasional goofball making an ass of themselves, just behave yourselves next time, kids.

(Above: Dana Gould)

All photos and review by Nicole Campos.

Here's a few shots of the art currently hanging in the MeltGallery as well:

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