Sketchfest Review: Will Durst and Killing My Lobster at the Eureka Theatre, 1/27/2011

by Joel Edelman on January 29, 2011

Let's just pretend Will Durst is Homer Simpson so I can use this picture.

The Eureka Theatre was much better than Eureeka’s Castle last night, thanks to Will Durst, who you might recognize from some radio PSAs he has done over the years, or more accurately, you may know him as a political standup comic.

Durst, one would think, would have little to talk about now that Dubya is out of office, but that wasn’t the case at all. He can be just as relevant no matter who’s in charge.

But first up we had San Francisco’s Killing My Lobster, which claim that funny means different things to different people. I can go along with that because I generally didn’t find them that funny, although the women in the group were all smokin’ hot. So, in other words, it was just like Saturday Night Live.

They did half a dozen sketches or so and would air a few “commercials” in between so they could clean off the stage, where appropriate. There were also a couple musicians stage right, which would provide accompaniment during some of the interludes and sketches.

The audience loved them. And why not? They did like ex-KSCU DJ Faco, making shoutouts to different neighborhoods in The City. There’s no better way to connect with the audience than to make localized pop culture references. Namedrop Philz? Why not? Now we love you!

Everyone in Killing My Lobster is white and under 40 so it was tired Soviet jokes, tired Chinese jokes, tired old lady jokes, etc. They did make fun of Carlos Mencia, though, which was much appreciated.

The final sketch was a simulation of a BLT being made, with one of the pieces of bread, the bacon and the tomato being the hot dames, while the rest were dudes. This wasn’t particularly noteworthy in and of itself, but I want an opportunity to point out the allure of the female actors in the troupe.

They were fine for an opener, but I would be afraid to see them again, because if you are bringing your A game when you open for Will Durst, what’s left for your other performances?

But, hey, at least they weren’t mimes.

After an hour of Lobster appetizer and a 10-minute intermission that took 15 minutes, Durst gave us a reason to use a knife and fork when he took the stage. Dressed in an unbuttoned coat, vest and shirt, Durst let it all hang out.

After being fairly bipartisan for about 15 minutes, Durst took a 90-degree turn to the MSNBC for the last half hour. But for every lukewarm joke about the previous administration, he had new material about the audience’s beloved President Obama.

Durst is a lot like our new governor, Jerry Brown. He really gives less than a shit what you think, because he is old, and his happiness does not depend on your acceptance or even respect. So when he said Bush 43 was a president you could have a beer with but Obama was one you could have a 40 with, well, you better not laugh nervously, because Durst will just make fun of you for that. And he did.

Like many political comics, Durst uses his act to educate, not just to lampoon. Being from The City (he lives in the Sunset, a name that, he said, makes about as much sense as “North Beach,” which of course has no beach), he could share with us his thoughts on the recent race for governor. Specifically, he pointed out the unusual repurposing of a campaign ad Meg Whitman had used in the GOP primary so it could be used in the general election against Jerry Brown.

At the end he decided to take a question from the audience, and a woman wanted to hear him talk about his days with Alex Bennett, a morning radio show host in the 1980s and 1990s. It was weird to see Durst act old (he is 58), but when you talk about something that happened 25 years ago, it’s hard not to.

Although Durst’s performance was as opposite of Killing My Lobster’s as it could be, the audience was equally raucous for both acts, despite a lack of a two-drink minimum. Surely everyone in attendance got something out of the night.

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