Patton Oswalt is one of the hardest working comedians in America. He doesn’t make millions of dollars for a half-hour sketch show, and he doesn’t even bother with comedy clubs. In a decision similar to a rock band deciding there’s more to be gained from putting on their own tours, Patton Oswalt chose to bring his comedy to the people.
The result of his decision, the odd, geeky, “Comedians of Comedy” tour, spawned a Showtime documentary and a brief Comedy Central miniseries; both programs followed the original quartet of offbeat comedians (Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford and Zach Galifianakis) on a cross-country tour of rock clubs and small theaters, finding an ever-growing audience among those who just don’t think what passes for comedy is all that funny.
At a Comedians of Comedy show, you probably won’t hear about the hilarious differences between men and women or different races; what’s more likely is a joke like, “My girlfriend and I played charades with a deaf couple the other night. They kicked our asses.” (That one comes from Galifianakis). What else would you expect from a group whose collective resume includes “Mr. Show with Bob and David,” “Reno 911!,” and “Space Ghost: Coast to Coast”?
Comedians of Comedy might not be for everyone; if, for example, you’re a Carlos Mencia fan, you may not find stand-up comedy about Scrabble laugh-out-loud funny; I can’t imagine any “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” fans really moving in droves to the venue to hear a pale, round-faced man talk about why Midwesterners should be afraid of sharks (The answer? Genetics.).
If this all sounds appealing to you, the tour arrives in D.C. next week with a lineup change, bringing in Eugene Mirman and Morgan Murphy to replace Bamford and Galifianakis. The Comedians will appear at the Black Cat on September 12, and the show promises to be just as awkward and innovative as the Comedians of Comedy strive to be.