Seth Meyers at the Pabst Theater

By - Oct 22nd, 2011 02:47 pm
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Seth Meyers at the Pabst Theater on Oct. 20th, 2011. Photos courtesy the Pabst Foundation.

What is it about comedy shows that make people willingly subject ourselves to things they’d be vehemently opposed to under ordinary circumstances? I’m still trying to figure that out after seeing Seth Meyers at the Pabst on Thursday. Amidst the sea of sumptuous red velvet and wintering Midwestern faces, the frat-boy-turned-comedian wreaked havoc on the collective spirits of Brew City.

Meyers started off strong with a slew of celebratory Brewers references, and then took the easy way out by rubbing the recent loss in our tear-stained faces. His knowledge of Milwaukee baseball culture would have been impressive if going off the cuff weren’t one of Meyer’s specialties, but in this instance, it felt cheap and calculated.

True to form for the lead writer of an iconic sketch comedy show, Meyers delivered anticipated material on Republican presidential candidates, referring to (Minnesota Rep.) Michele Bachmann’s eyes bearing an uncanny resemblance to someone who had just been told Michele Bachmann had just won the presidency. Sprinkled in were (President) Obama quips revolving mostly around Meyers’ own conflicting feelings of being star-struck and arrogant at the same time.

Having exhausted his political material, Meyers moved into quintessential bro territory, regaling the audience with his wisdom regarding live-in relationships and the perils of bar fights. He waxed poetic on the difficulty of animal control officers, questioning the emotional reaction of putting down animals that escape from captivity. This was followed by a mixed bag of jokes about women, Meyers’ time living in Amsterdam, and a spattering of SNL material with multiple punchlines.

My overall impression of the set was that Meyers reached for the lowest-hanging fruit: one side of his humor was surprisingly underwhelming, while the other threw caution to the wind. In his finest moments, Meyers joked about things that made him laugh. At his worst, self-edifying tales of frat-boy shenanigans came to the surface as predictably as eruptions from Old Faithful. Maybe I don’t get it, but I left the show feeling as if though we’d been cheated. Meyers left something to be desired, adding insult to injury when he started texting even before he left the stage. Perhaps the fact that he’s so well-received as an SNL writer has taken away some of his glisten, but chances are he’s pulled the wool over our pop-culture-saturated eyes.

Categories: Rock

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