Last time I saw Brian Posehnwas at the now defunct Lakeshore Theaterwhen he headlined the venue back in January of 2010 and it was a beautiful disaster. Not Brian Posehn, he was freaking great, but behind the scenes it was a chaotic cluster-fuck of epic proportions of which I was proud to be part of. I was the house manager of the Lakeshore at the time and had a nice front row ticket to the shit show. First of all, the crowd was insanely drunk. For some reason at least 50% of the rowdy crowd showed up shit faced. The heat was on the fritz, bathroom stalls were backed up, lobby lights had burned out and the men's bathroom only had one working urinal, which due to poor layout design resulted in insanely long lines that backed up right into the already packed main bar causing the most beautiful traffic jams, which in turn fucked the waitstaff trying to hustle drinks to an increasingly hostile crowd. To top it all off we ran out of seats. Yep, there were not enough seats for paying customers who are standing there with a ticket in hand screaming at you "where the fuck is my seat?!". So it's at that fun moment when you get to run around desperately scrambling to find any type of seats you can locate, office chairs, bar stools, benches, a shabby couch from the green room, whatever might work. Somehow we got everyone seated, and despite the madness behind the scenes Posehn still put on one hell of show.
I only bring that up to make a point which is this: It ain't easy to put on a good show. Lots of moving parts involved and a whole lot of shit that can go wrong. Potential for disaster lurks around every corner. That's why I always try to give props where props are due. For the last three weeks I have been checking out shows at The Up Comedy Club including the "Grand Opening" which went down last Friday night. Let me tell you something, they got that place running like a Swiss watch. Everything was smooth like butter, the seating, the service, all top notch. Now I've already written a few articles on this multimillion dollar venue and have stated on record how plush the place is, so I wont blow too much smoke up Up's ass (ha...) other than to say this. It doesn't matter how nice your venue is if you don't know how to run a show. If you can't get people seated, their drinks served and the show started on TIME then all the money invested in a cutting edge theater doesn't mean shit. So kudos for the folks at Up for having it together.
OK, I know some of you are like.. "yeah, yeah, but how was Brian Posehn?" Freaking great. Dan Telfer was the feature and he was rock solid (won't get into the host cause sadly he was a little hack). Dan Telfer if you don't know is a writer, comic and all around mad scientist super nerd. He's been busting his hump in the Chicago stand up comedy scene for over ten years and helps produce Chicago Underground Comedy. Dan comes out guns blazing with his militant nerd comedy styling, literally kicks over a microphone and gets the crowd nice and hype for Brian Posehn who killed. Posehn will say it himself, "I hope your ready for dick and fart jokes", and yeah for sure, there's a lot of that, but don't be fooled. There's an fierce intelligence working behind the jokes. Posehn might look like a special needs heavy metal fan, but he's smart enough to use metaphors and irony when talking about his penis. His sharp wit and perfect timing hits the funny mark almost every time but never in a obvious or clumsy way. He coaxes the laughs out of you, mostly through his self deprecating punchlines. Before you know it your thinking "yeah he does kind of look like an inbred hillbilly serial killer" and then you unconsciously laugh out loud. And that's how he gets you.