Summer! What does it mean to you? Sun in your eyes? Sand in your crack? Comedian Howard Kremer has a few ideas, which he's been trumpeting since right around the time spring petered out if you follow him on Twitter or caught his “Have A Summah!” short (co-starring a game Zooey Deschanel) on Funny Or Die:
It seems only fitting that Kremer would take over the reigns of this month's Meltdown Comics' comedy showcase from regular emcee Jonah Ray – oh, but the sultan of SUMMAH! wasn't the only special feature of Saturday's stand-up shindig. Free barbecue and brew w/ admission? Oh, yes please.
Kicking off an hour before the usual start time, the crowd gathered in Meltdown's back parking lot to grub on chicken and ribs while comedy singer/songwriter Eli Braden serenaded them with a setlist of songs with 'Summer' in the title… or songs that were played non-stop during summer. (Which explains “Wonderwall,” we guess, though it's hard to top “Boys of Summer.” Oh, po-faced Don Henley. You were on top of the world for three months in 1985.) Some folks enjoyed the bean-bag toss while attempting not to spill their beers, and a well-placed neighbor having a smoke on his balcony nearby occasionally belted out a chorus or two in time (and in tune!) with the music. (If you're reading this and were there, did that dude ever come down and attempt to crash? We were kind of hoping he would.)
Eventually it was back into Meltdown's gallery space, bellies full of BBQ, for one of the best lineups the show's put together so far – headlined by one of the best comedy character actors working today, Dave Koechner (doing what he does best, not so much standup as monologueing in ingeniously oddball character); the legend that is MST3K's Frank Conniff; Mike Phirman, tearing it up with tracks off his seriously hilarious new album; the eternally smooth, soulful, and sweaty musical stylings of Har Mar Superstar; plus Anthony Jeselnik, April Richardson, more beer, a side-order of thoroughly entertaining technical difficulties… damn good times, all around.
You know, guys, we get it – this was a special edition show, for SUMMAH! We hardly expect you to do this every month, that would defeat the purpose and make it infinitely less special. Nobody wants that. So bearing all of that in mind, feel free to ignore the advice but we're going to throw this out there anyway: Do this every month!
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.