Travis Laurence Naught saw David Cross perform stand-up in Spokane and wrote a review. You can still catch Cross, he’s on tour and might be in your city next.
Men in Black came out in 1997. I was a 14-year-old with parents who made me purchase music with the bad words edited out. Will Smith was big on my playlist because there were no blank spaces that sounded like the CD was skipping. Needless to say, I was VERY excited about this new movie. Turns out, it’s also my first memory of David Cross. His deadpan delivery as the Morgue Attendant still stands as the perfect satirical display of governmental red tape. This character took on another level of depth in Men in Black II, growing an actual name (Newton) and timidly watching cheesy conspiracy shows with a woman who seems just as deadpan as he. Ah, yeah … awkward love.
Now, what’s left of my non-digital music selection mostly sports very large Parental Advisory stickers. Mom still shakes her finger at me. Browsing the IMDb actor credits shows me exactly how many great, and terrible, movies I’ve enjoyed David Cross in. They are not all nice roles, looking at you Dwight in Scary Movie 2, but his presence is always positively noteworthy. His appearances and stints on popular television series Just Shoot Me, The Colbert Report, and Arrested Development are always a little more edgy than the rest of the material, tickling my deviant side. I’ve matured just enough to appreciate satire in all of its glorious horrors.
That’s how I knew I needed to get tickets to experience Cross’s glorious opinions when I had the opportunity. Spokane was the 11th stop on his current tour. Roughly 45 more shows are scheduled across the nation. Many of them are already sold out. After my experience I can totally understand why, but I do hope to better prepare an audience to allay some of their greater morals to the side in hopes of having the most fun night out possible. Spokane gave him positive feedback, but there was definitely an air of nervousness alongside it.
Making America Great Again! One hell of a prospect. One hell of a powerful phrase. One hell of a division in agendas for people who think they have all the ideas on how to get it done. Let it be known, shocker, that David Cross is situated on the left. Now, I know that won’t shock the majority of his fans, but there’s an outside chance somebody reading this is a Republican and I want to make it very easy for you to decide not to attend one of his shows that still has tickets available. Allow someone with looser belief systems, who is obviously going to hell (if there is one), to have access to that theater seat. No promises that they will leave with any more of a smile on their face than you would have, but I’m saying there is a chance.
Religion, racism, sexism, homophobia, work ethic, drugs, gun control, police issues, immigration, food, domestic violence, rape, tattoos … I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but it all piles upon itself after a while. Sometimes it piled up until I found myself chuckling over another punch line. I never did guffaw through a series of punch lines, but that’s arguably due to the 755 other people in the Bing Crosby Theater last night holding their breath in preparation for the next offensive thing to come out of Cross’s mouth.
But that’s just it, where the comedy is. He masterfully punches holes in these issues until they have no choice but to sink or be funny. Everybody there paid reasonable prices ($41 per ticket) to laugh for an hour and a half. Between the choices of being put out by what was happening on stage or having a good time while someone else was being audacious for our enjoyment, there is really no option. Who hasn’t told a joke that offended someone? Now, the question a person has to answer is whether or not they want to be subjected to that type of joke for 90 minutes.
I was ecstatic to have the opportunity! Then, because of a slow-ish pace, I was also provided the opportunity to think about why these jokes were so funny. It’s because these issues are so serious. Cross knows the lines he is leaping over and does so deftly. Early on in the show, there was the use of a certain N-word. He made sure it ended with an “a,” but it was probably not necessary. A lot of the words he used were not necessary. Fuck it, he must have figured. Fuck it all.
There were some pretty overviolent tones to his jokes, as well. At one point, a woman seated near me quietly exclaimed, “Gross.” I’d say that joke hit its mark. Being offensive in speech is one thing. Pointing out how people don’t find actions offensive enough to take action against them is another. David Cross would have us acting out better against those who propagate truly offensive actions. I’m right there with you, David.
Bottom line, if you like the content brought to you by The Big Smoke, you’re going to be on your way to liking the Making America Great Again! show. Make sure you are mentally prepared for things to get uncomfortable. Adult language is used throughout, in all of its English lexicon glory. The heckling is sometimes directed from the stage outward. The man on stage is undoubtedly a person I would agree with on so many issues, including what is just plain damn funny.
(Picture of Bing Crosby Theater audience taken from the stage by David Cross)