Sketchfest Review: You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes at Marines Memorial Theater, 1/23/2015

by Marie Carney on January 25, 2015

Rhea Butcher, Pete Holmes, Emo Philips, Cameron Esposito and Charlie Sanders after the show. (Photo from Pete Holmes' Instagram @peteholmes)

Rhea Butcher, Pete Holmes, Emo Philips, Cameron Esposito and Charlie Sanders after the show. (Photo from Pete Holmes’ Instagram @peteholmes)

You Made it Weird is a podcast where comedian host Pete Holmes talks at great length with his guest about love, sex and god, mixing in a lot about life in general. It can often get spiritual and deep which makes it a little more interesting and introspective than other comedian led interview style podcasts. But the live format is a little different, focusing more on the weird bits of life side than the deep talks about sex, love and spirituality. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With five guests to get through in two hours and a theater full of people it is hard to get to the intimate places the podcast can get to, but it does allow for a lot more amazing jokes.

Pete Holmes started the show by talking a bit, then inviting the audience to ask him questions. In such a large impersonal theater I was quite surprised at how well this went. There were a lot of open, honest and funny answers. For some reason it kind of turned into a little bit of an advice column from Pete. If you want to have great vivid dreams there were two suggestions; take a lot of melatonin before bed and if someone offers you drugs in a dream, take them. Of course, some of the deep spiritual stuff came out here when Pete talked about D.P. Chups (Deepak Chopra) and the idea of trying to be happy in the moment. He said he thinks about this a lot as he just wants one thing to be different to be happy but “Happiness dependent on something is another form of misery” and he is working on that. Like how do you sit and traffic and just be happy to be alive instead of thinking “I’ll be so happy if I could just get home.” I would have liked to sit with that for a minute, and I’m sure I will for the foreseeable future, but alas, this is Sketchfest so it is on with the show!

The first guest was, from what I can tell, an old stand-up friend of Pete Holmes’ from New York, Charlie Sanders. He was funny and they had a great repartee. They talked a lot about running into each other in the neighborhood they both live in. They ended with a great story about how they became friends on an audition for Pizza Hut. I wish I could have seen them on the commercial instead of the other guys who actually booked it. It would have been hilarious.

Then Charlie Sanders moved over for the next guest to take the coveted seat next to Mr. Holmes. It was Rhea Butcher, a comedian in LA that I hadn’t heard of before but who was super sharp and hilarious and I will be looking out for her from now on. They talked a lot about her relationship history and coming out as a lesbian and of course managed to keep the subjects funny, real and fascinating.

Next up was Cameron Esposito, who I’ve been hearing on other podcasts a lot lately and liking her more and more. Tonight was no exception to that. She’s a big talker and a ham like Pete Holmes himself and it was super fun to watch them riff off of each other almost like they forgot everyone was there. Also, since You Made it Weird is about going there, they talked a bit about her relationship with Rhea, who was able to occasionally chime in.

Last and certainly not least was guest Emo Philips who came out doing bits right away. At first I was disappointed by this and wanted to see something more personal, but then as it went deeper into it, somehow the bits did start to feel personal, like they meant something more than just a joke. Or maybe it was just the honor of watching a comedian who is so sharp and so powerful really do his work with other comedians watching. Often I would watch Cameron Esposito’s face for her reactions, she was so happy to be witnessing his greatness. And through that it made it feel more magical for me too.

I’d say more, but really you just have to listen to the podcast. That is the good news about these, that even if you missed the moment, and the moment was great, there is still the chance to hear it. And if even a little bit of the fun translates through, it will be well worth your time.

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