Sketchfest Review: The Meltdown with Kumail Nanjiani, Jonah Ray and many more at Cobb’s Comedy Club, 1/28/2012

by Gordon Elgart on January 30, 2012

This one was taken in the actual world famous comic book store.

On Wednesdays, in Los Angeles, you can go to Meltdown Comics and see comedy in the back of a comic book store. On Saturday night in San Francisco, hosts Kumail Nanjiani and Jonah Ray brought the comics but left the store behind. What this meant is that  we were treated to a  long and varied night of stand-up from a number of Meltdown regulars without a single back issue in sight.  A small group of Spinning Platters writers were there, and Marie Carney and I are going to take on the task of telling you as much as possible about each comedian while saying as little as possible, and of course not burning material. That’s right: capsule reviews!

Kumail Nanjiani

Gordon Elgart: My current favorite comedian. Everything he says is funny. My stated current goal is to be a guest on his and his wife’s video game podcast, Indoor Kids.

Marie Carney: Kumail is the funniest guy out there right now.  Even though I’ve heard most of his jokes before I still laughed so hard I cried.

Jonah Ray

GE: Got to tell some funny stories, but didn’t do much in the way of “material.” Or at least it didn’t seem that way. Maybe that’s his genius. (Question for Marie: is he the one who’s a Red Sox fan? Or is that Matt Mira? Go Sox!)

MC: That would be Matt Mira Gordon.  I’ve heard Jonah Ray’s stand-up before and the stories are just his style.  I think he’s funny but in comparison to all the other people he is somewhere in the middle.

Mike Drucker

GE: Came on stage and immediately started killing with self deprecating nerd humor. I’m a self deprecating nerd at times. Loved it.

MC: He was good but didn’t really stand out of the pack for me.  Maybe it was because he was up first and it was two hours later before the show was over?  He was funny though.  I’d see him again.

Leo Allen

GE: His pace was so much slower than the comic before, it took me a while to slow down and listen. Wasn’t a big fan; don’t think I could tell you what his topics were. (And no, we can’t take notes during the performance. My entire notes for the evening were writing down the comics’ names in the order in which they appeared.)

MC:  I know I laughed, but two days later I can’t remember why.  Would not see him again on purpose, but if it happened by accident I wouldn’t be mad.

Thomas Lennon

GE: He read most of his material, all of which was great. He was on stage for at most ten minutes, and at least three times I was wondering when I’d get to see an entire performance of this stuff.

MC: I am in love with this man now.  He was so dirty but in such a matter of fact way that it never felt gross or overdone.  But mostly it’s his level of confidence on stage that just blows everyone else out of the water. And he sang part of a song from The Music Man. That part was really important.

Dan Mintz

GE: Well this is embarrassing. I don’t remember who this is. (Checks Google Images) Oh! This guy. Lots of unrelated one liners. His hit rate with me was about 30%. Found myself zoning out during this set.

MC:  I totally remember him because he seemed so nervous!  It always makes me a little sad when I can see someone shaking on stage. He was alright but I felt like he needed to “find himself.”  All his dry one liners seemed more like a gimmick than a stage persona. 

Jon Dore

GE: Deconstructionist comedy was just about perfect at this time of the night. Loved that he tried different stuff. Disappointed that he went for a cheap rape-based laugh; he can be better than this.

MC:  I loved that he had a completely different style than everyone else on the bill.  He was very funny and adventurous.  His first bit was so out there that it has been stuck in my brain ever since.  Good stuff.

Natasha Leggero

GE: Did a bit or chunk (it’s a fine line) about a Sirius XM Channel that no one in the audience whooped for. Maybe she should have dropped it because it fell flat. Simply not a fan.

MC:  Meh.  I always want to like the girl, but no.  Not this time.

Matt Braunger

GE: I’ve seen him before as a headliner, and I think he’s best in short doses. He has some killer material, but his flow is weird. He’s surprisingly good at physical humor.

MC:  I love Matt Braunger but this was not his best set for sure.  He seemed, distracted maybe? He didn’t kill like I expected but he was still very funny.

Steve Agee

GE: This is what I remember about Steve Agee: he’s tall, was wearing an ill-fitting sweatshirt, and he was really funny. This two-drink minimum can be a killer at times.  It was getting late.

MC:  Yeah, by this time I just remember my butt hurting.  Though I do remember putting him in the top half of my ranked list of the performers, I don’t remember why.  Sorry!

Eddie Pepitone

GE:  Whoa, a wake up call. Eddie likes to YELL! ABOUT! STUFF! As the last act of the night, he was perfect. Angry, bitter material. He did scare off one of the Spinning Platters, though, who “went to the back of the room until he stopped yelling at me.”

MC:  Yeah, Eddie Pepitone is intense to say the least.  I thought he was a perfect closer after such a long show.  Really woke up the crowd.  I think 10-15 minutes is a perfect set time for him. Any longer and I would have had to hide from the yelling too.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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