“Jon” took to Largo's stage last night in a ski mask and with his voice altered. He's a fictional character under an assumed identity, a man whose hunger for fame cannot be quelled by a pesky thing like the Witness Protection Program. No mask or vocal manipulation device can keep his bravado in check. He stood in front of the crowd dressed in Coors Light pajama bottoms, which prompted a litany of “Silver Bullet” jokes that went on for much of the performance. His t-shirt read “Fuxy” in bold letters. Underneath the logo was the definition “Funny AND Sexy.” “If the and were not in all caps, I would not have bought this shirt,” he explained.
“Jon” is the brainchild of Jon Glaser, who you might recall as the guy who picked up some coke for Hannah Horvath on a recent episode of Girls. Glaser created and starred in the Adult Swim comedy Delocated, which follows the misadventures of “Jon” as he stars in a reality show about his life in Witness Protection. Every now and again, Glaser brings “Jon” to the stage for Delocated Live events.
“It's fun to play someone who is that different and that much of a dick,” says Glaser. “Even doing these live shows, it's so freeing because you can say whatever you and not worry about it because that's just the character and it's expected.”
The Delocated Live events aren't quite like the show. There is no plot. It's more of a variety show hosted by “Jon.” Sometimes there are musical guests — Ben Gibbard, Bob Mould and Corin Tucker have played with him in the past — or burlesque performers. Last night, it was all stand-up with pals like Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Schaal and many more. There were some stand-out performances during the course of the night. Schaal pushed the crowd into fits of laughter with her parody of The Vagina Monologues, “Taintalogues.” Brett Gelman, of Go On and Eagleheart, brought the voice of self-loathing to life in a bit that was as bizarre as it was really relatable.
As much of a blast as Delocated Live was last night, it was a bittersweet affair. On March 7, Adult Swim will air Delocated's series finale. After three seasons, the chronicles of “Jon's” not-so-quiet life will cease.
A week before Delocated Live, I met with Glaser at Earl's Gourmet Grub, a Mar Vista restaurant with Delocated references on the storefront and a sandwich called The Glaze. Over sandwiches, Glaser says that, while it wasn't his decision to end the show, he's okay with the network's call. “It was a really good run,” he says. “Story-wise, it was a really good place for the show to end.”
Glaser carefully phrases his thoughts on the finale. “I'll just say that a lot of things get resolved,” he offers. “I don't want to tip anything because there are a lot of nice moments and surprises in the final episode.”
He adds, “I truly think fans will love it. If they don't, oh, well. I really love it, as a singular episode and a series finale.”
This isn't just the end of a series, it's the end of an era for a character that has been living with Glaser for a long time. The initial concept, an impressionist who keeps performing despite landing in witness protection, was part of a submission packet that Glaser sent to write for Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He got the gig. After leaving Conan, Glaser shopped around the idea for a television show. He pitched the concept to Adult Swim right around the time the late night network was incorporating more live action programming into the line-up.
Glaser's show landed in a place where we was afforded a lot of creative freedom. “For the most part, what we wanted to do ended up in [Delocated],” he says. “That's one of the reasons why it's such a bummer to not do the show anymore. It is so much fun and I know that's a big part of it.”
Glaser admits that he doesn't know if he'll have a work experience like this again. “Hopefully, I will, whether it's there — meaning Adult Swim — or somewhere else. As a creative experience, it was pretty amazing. “
Meanwhile, the future of Delocated Live performances remains unknown. Says Glaser, “If people want to do them and the network wants to do it, I'll be happy to do it.”