published Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Each year, more comedy shows and events enliven North Texas. It’s a good trend. Bit by bit, the conservative façade of comedy in Dallas is eroding. Here’s what stood out in 2014.
Toward that end, the rise of one-person comedy theater is pushing boundaries. Dallas Solo Fest dug right in with comedy obsessive David Mogolov in May. TheaterJones Review. Comedy offerings tend to make the biggest splashes at Out of the Loop and Oral Fixation. Highlighting the one-person appeal was Colin Quinn in Unconstitutional packing the Wyly Theatre in February. TheaterJones Review.
Most Prescient Shows
In his February show, Craig Ferguson mocked Jimmy Fallon in a semi-falsetto and mincing dance step: “I’m a punk rocker. I don’t want to be in anyone’s club. I don’t want to be in your late night club.” And within a few months he announced that he indeed was not. TheaterJones Review. . . Chelsea Handler’s show in March evoked Dave Chappelle at his worst: insulated by massive money with no inspiration for material. TheaterJones Review. She seemed tired of it all. Sure enough, she soon announced her departure from late night television.
Best Comedy Festival
Dallas Comedy Festival got off to a very creative start with Rory Scovel as choice to headline the stand-up at the. His set was so weird it was odd to see him headlining later that year at the Addison Improv. TheaterJones Review. Nine-year-old Saffron Herndon made a big splash in the stand-up showcase. TheaterJones Review. A very strong improv night included Samurai Drunk, f.a.c.e. and the musical Night Rhymers from the OKC Improv consortium. The festival finale, Messing w/Duffy, with Susan Messing and Kate Duffy, was eye opening to see just how much two decades of experience could do for improv. TheaterJones Review.
Most Fun Comedy Phenomenons
Conan comics hit a variety of clubs when the show taped at the Majestic in the spring. Described as “a breath of comedic fresh air is wafting over the prairie,” comedians included Josh Comers, Brian Kiley and Laurie Kilmartin. . TheaterJones Review. . . Always great to enjoy stand-up from Robert Hawkins, Dustin Ybarra and Nick Guerra when they come home for holidays.
Best Touring Side Benefit
Good to see the success of the East Texas Comedy Festival each June in Tyler. Especially since it brings guest artists who pass through DFW on their way. This year we were treated to improv by Frank Caeti and Susan Messing at Dallas Comedy House and what a treat it was. TheaterJones Review.
Best Comedy Fest that could be Better
Loved the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival with Hannibal Buress, Whitney Cummings, Sarah Silverman and Louis CK. But nobody, absolutely nobody, responded with enthusiasm to the curiosity trappings (a lame version of a side show) or the deejay between acts. Just comics would be just fine. Longer comedy sets would make everyone happy. TheaterJones Review.
Most Wanted: Sketch Comedy
Second City fills theaters whenever they come to town and City Performance Hall proved to be an excellent venue for them. TheaterJones Review. . . Perhaps it helped stimulate the current sketch boon with The Band and Matt Lyle’s House Party. . . Dallas Comedy House unveils a second year of sketch comedy writing classes in January. . . More, more!