I got a rare night out with my sister last night, and we headed to the Improv for a comedy show. It was nice to see the show opened by local comedian Jaime Utley before moving on to feature Jake Iannarino and headliner Dan Cummins. Utley warmed the audience up with some humor about his dysfunctional family and promises of a drawing at the end of the show.
"It all goes downhill from here" is how Ohio born Iannarino warned the audience after asking a moving audience member if they were "going to drop a deuce" right when he took the stage. The audience certainly didn't mind and even took it a step further during his act. He sported a really calm stage presence compared to many comedians who come across as hyper or angry. He was laid back but quick witted - perhaps because of the weed he mentioned several times. He showed off just how quick his wit was by offering mostly "crowd work" in his act. Crowd work is a form of comedy that is based largely on interacting with the audience, and carrying on conversations with them. It intimidates many younger comedians and is sometimes hard to maintain control of the audience during. He nailed it, picking on specific audience members without offending/angering anyone. He made my sister glad that we asked for seats other than the two we were originally shown to that were touching the stage .
In addition to being a full time road comic, Iannarino now produces a podcast, which you can check out at his web site. I am not usually a fan of material that consists mostly of race, pot, or stereotypes but I found myself captivated by his quick witted yet laid back stage presence and enjoyed his set. I especially enjoyed his statement about removing pacifist pot smokers from prison, because it costs 9 million dollars to keep them there. He said he could keep them confined to their apartment for $200; it's called an x-box. Something about his smooth demeanor makes the quick wit unexpected. The aforementioned "step further" took place when an audience member randomly shouted out, telling the comedian that his table mate is a laser hair removal specialist and that he "lasers p****s all day". For some reason, the audience member felt the need to continue telling him that. It wasn't unbelievable when Iannarino replied that was the first time that has ever happened to him in twenty years of comedy experience. He managed the situation with grace, keeping the audience under his control.