[ATTENDED: April 3, 2016] David Cross
I have enjoyed David Cross since the old days of Mr. Show, and the as Tobias on Arrested Development and even in Alvin and the, well, actually I’m just happy for him that he got a lot of money for it.
When he released his previous stand up album, Bigger and Blackerer, Sarah and I listened to it in the car on a long trip and we had tears in our eyes from laughing so hard.
So when I heard he was touring I thought it would be fun to see him live. And, yes, it was.
But we ran into a few bumps along the way. We had to leave very late because our babysitter had car trouble. She arrived just late enough that we weren’t sure if it was worth still driving the hour to Philly. We decided if traffic was terrible we would just stop somewhere and have dinner instead. I even called the Theatre to see if there was an opening act (nope) and if the show really started at 7:30 and not 8 (yup, he would start at exactly 7:30). Traffic was light and the GPS said we’d get to the garage at 7:35. I missed the turn for the alley that our garage was on, and then we got slightly lost on the walk from garage to theater and as we got there at 7:40… there were still a whole bunch of people milling about in the lobby. And then they flashed the lights telling us to get to our seats. We missed nothing!
And we even got to tsk at people who arrived later than us. Cross even joked that he would wait to start his joke because “it’s not fucking distracting or anything” when people are being seated. I was frankly shocked that people seemed to still be arriving around 8PM!
So the name of this tour is Making America Great Again!, so I knew that there would be lots of politics, which was great. But I was also delighted by the few opening bits which were more observational.
He had a very funny extended joke about a tattoo parlor in Santa Rosa (Faith Tattoo) who had the really terrible slogan of “the get what you get” tattoo. His description of the kind of tattoo some one might want (a baby… she would be 6 years old today) and what the lady gets (a devil with huge tits…you get what you get) was hilarious.
As was his lengthy bit about vaping, starting with “What do you think all those vape lounges will be next year?” He went into a lengthy comparison of cigarette smoke and vape smoke and how unnatural vape smoke is. His aside that he never once smoked a cigarette and wished it tasted like a cinnabon was a great capper.
He also had a very funny bit about going home for Thanksgiving. It sounded like an intensely personal anecdote, but the punchline was hilarious.
There was also a very funny story about a guy he saw walking down the street muttering all kind of obscenities, then stating “Hi Hitler,” and then cursing some more. He said there were only two possibilities about why he said this and the second one was awesome.
Then he got into politics. The anti-Trump bit was quite long and really spot on. He had so many great summaries of the Trump fan (complete with accents) and how he may speak it like it is, but that Trump doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. That his appeal is emotional not rational, and that he is most successful with under-educated voters: “His words, not mine, well, mine too.”
I was pleasantly surprised by his wondering what would happen as the media and history begin to accept that this is not really an aberration, that there are 20% of Americans who are truly racist.
Then he made some great jokes about “patriots,” jerking off to the Statue of Liberty. He read the poem at the base of the Statue (I never knew the whole thing).
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
and presumed that none of the republican candidates had ever read it nor would they be able to acknowledge it: “Is this a joke? Did you put this here?”
Then he did a lengthy bit about gun control. He said that he was for gun control and gun safety and was not one of those people who wants to take everyone’s guns away because…”they don’t exist.” He bashed the NRA for not giving an inch on safety measures that could prevent all kinds of killing, but also said that shooting guns is fun (which got applause from one person).
His jokes are profane and he is bound to say something that will offend everyone. But he is not just saying offensive things to be offensive. Well, yes he is, but his statements are well thought out and intelligent. They’re also hard to argue with.
So the NRA bit had two jokes that were pretty hard to handle–the graphic description of a Senator’s child being shot (yes, this actually was kind of funny) and the punchline to why innocent children are killed–it got the biggest groan/shocked reaction from an audience that I’ve ever heard.
He also ha a lengthy rant about racist cops and how Blue Lives Murder. He actually messed up the routine at this point and had to repeat bit which was very well handled (and funny in itself). He of course stated that most cops are decent, ethical people and that they hate to be branded with a brush that applies to all people like them–hmm, if only there was a similar comparison to make. Excellent.
Then he got onto religion. He stated in the beginning that he was an atheist and one person clapped. He laughed and said that it was a rally –“John, get up and lock the doors…don’t let anyone out until they renounce Christ.” On his album he dug into Mormonism pretty hard and this time he went after Judaism and Catholicism. Particularly transubstantiation. That people believe that the host literally turns into Jesus’ body (this belief os one of the reasons we have Lutherans). And then he started observing that they must believe that parts of Jesus body is in their body. And what body parts of Jesus they may be eating.
He concluded the religious section by saying that he wished that religious leaders would all get together and simply solve world peace, like they all purport to want. The various religious leaders could get together and look past their differences, and focus on the things that they have in common. And just when you think that David is going to have a sensitive moment, the punch line is more audacious than anything.
The final bit was about the Founding Fathers–how pundits are always saying “What would the Founding Fathers think of America now” and how it is such a stupid worthless question. I like that he said that if you actually brought a Founding Father back, he would simply never even understand the questions that people were asking them. So he used a member of the audience as an example. And after the audience participation (and a great ad lib in response to the man’s answer), he gave the guy a beer.
For the encore, he came out and simply read from a Restoration Hardware catalog about their new line of dinnerware. He simply read the pompous ad copy (which referenced Einstein) and it was hilarious. If his whole act was just reading stupid ad copy I would still see him. But his hilarious, profane and really spot-on comedy was awesome.
I’m so glad we made it on time. Although I’m not entirely sure about the beard. Sarah said it looked like a prop, like it was clipped on behind his ears, and I think she’s right.
The theater was adamant that there was no photographing or video taking during the show. So all I have is this promo shot to show off his new look.
On his Facebook site, he talks a bit about each show. It sounds like people were walking out on him in droves at different venues. I didn’t see anyone leave (well, people left but they all came back), but we were in Row J, so I don’t know what happened behind us. And at the end of each concert he takes a photo of the audience. It’s hard to tell for sure because it’s pixelly, but I’m pretty sure that’s us where I put the arrow.