When you walk up to the Highdive and there’s a line out the door it’s going to be a good night. As I walked in excited for Thursday night’s Brian Posehn performance there was an atmosphere of anticipation. The crowd was already packed towards the front row of seats and tables ready with drinks in hand. It was a bit strange to see chairs and tables packed into the room for someone like me who knows the high dive as a palace of heavy metal and indie-pop-ska-folk artists to see chairs and tables covering the floor, but as the crowd settled in I felt the anticipation of the night’s hilarity settle comfortably.
An announcer spoke up over the loudspeaker to introduce Jeremy Essig. As he took the stage decked out in an ensemble he notes “looks like a Claire’s boutique exploded” many people were ready to nod and clap politely as a somewhat unknown comedian warmed up the crowd. That polite attitude soon fell apart in a hysterical fit of laughter as Jeremy launched into several ridiculously comical tangents. He touched on the current state of society noting things like: “The world is changing, but where are the people marrying animals? …If a guy wants to marry his horse, guess what, he’s already fucking that horse.”, “There’s no such thing as a Busch beer connoisseur.”, and “Pedophiles have to have jobs. Do you think that vans and candy just fall out of the sky? Why do you think R. Kelly keeps making albums?”.
Essig had a knack of getting a crowd who mostly didn’t know him to warm up to him. Right off the bat he had caught the crowd’s attention and had people laughing. His slightly dark sense of humor was a great compliment for Posehn’s set.
Many people know Posehn from his hilarious viral video Metal By Numbers or his many tv and film credits on shows like The Sarah Silverman Show and The New Girl. He’s got his style down to a science. A hilarious, self-deprecating, dark but likable science. In short, he’s been doing his thing for a while. He mentioned, “One of the reasons I feel so old is I never know what Weird Al is making fun of anymore.” His self-criticisms tend to have a light touch too, though.
“One of the dumbest things I ever did was stop smoking pot. Now I’m back super hard.”
“My tits are sweaty right now, and I haven’t even done anything. I walked over here a bit, then walked over here."
But he wasn’t just here to hate on himself for laughs, no he’s here to make fun of you and me too. “I don’t hate hipsters…ah who am I kidding?” "The first time I heard the term ‘foodie’ like eight years ago I got douche chills.” At the end of the day that’s one of my favorite things about him. He’s here to shit on all of us equally. He’s an equal opportunist of sorts. Posehn’s darker sense of humor has just a light enough touch to make you laugh rather than hate your flaws.
After the show Posehn mentioned he had a good time. He stuck around for fans like me to get a chance to shake his hand and shoot the shit. If you missed the chance to catch Posehn and Essig's set you should do your self a favor and check them out. Posehn has a comedy special, The Fartist, which you can catch on Netflix, and Essig has a slew of great sets uploaded on his website.
Photos provided courtesy of Tom Chandler and Odd World Photography.