"Live at Gotham
May 19, 12 a.m., Comedy Central
Standup comedy is amazing when it’s done well, but as you’ll see on the Season Two premiere of Live at Gotham, it’s hard to do well. In fact, other than sets by host Artie Lange and the oddly appealing Kurt Metzger, it’s done fairly poorly. The point of Live at Gotham is to introduce the country to six up-and-coming comics each week. In the season opener, a former teacher named Al Jackson, Jeremy Schachter (member of a comedy troupe called Perv Griffin) and Amanda Melson, who’s written jokes for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, present undistinguished sets. Melson says she created a new word, “procrasturbate,” while Schachter says “cockroaches” sounds like the worst sexually transmitted disease ever. Eh.
Geoff Keith, voted “the funniest person in Orange County,” talks about getting drunk and making out with an old woman at a wedding, which makes you wonder how unfunny the second-funniest person in Orange County is. And Joey Gay jokes about walking into a job interview and saying, “I’m J.J. Fad and I’m here to rock,” and introducing yourself by saying, “My name is Humpty” — which must have been hilarious 15 years ago when those song references were current.
Metzger, at least, exhibits a talent for making you laugh at things you know you shouldn’t be laughing at — like the hot girl with the deformed arm he met in Canada. Normally, she’d be out of his league, but “I can get her at a discount because she’s slightly irregular.” He also has a funny bit about how humans are the only animals that stick other animals in their rectums. He’s worth watching and so is Howard Stern sidekick Lange, the first guest host in a season set to include Lewis Black, Jeffrey Ross and Robert Schimmel, among others.
The 300-pound Lange says he’s never been swimming “because it’s never been more than a half hour since I ate” and was dismayed when his mother lied to him by saying “hugs are better than drugs.”
“I never drove to Harlem at 4 a.m.,” he says, “to get somebody to hug me.”