NOW MAGAZINE -Stage Scenes
Jon Kaplan and Glenn Sumi
It was alpha male night at Yuk Yuk’s Downtown last Friday, as a testosterone-charged lineup including host Kenny Robinson, Jon Dore, Alan Park and an exciting new comic named Massimo took to the mic. Despite the date – Friday the 13th – those of us in the crowd felt pretty lucky, even if there were a few weird things happening in the front row, including a woman who got up and crossed the stage on the way to the washroom.
Aaron Berg was the featured act, and he’s grown tremendously since we saw him last – and we’re not talking about his physique, although that’s part of his shtick. He’s been honing his comedy in Manhattan clubs, and it shows. For the first half he’s like an angry motivational speaker – think Tom Cruise in Magnolia – pacing the stage, ranting about capitalism and Vin Diesel movies, dropping obscure names like Elia Kazan.
He’s full of anger and hate – but most of it’s directed at himself and his wild contradictions. “I’m so superficial I’ve convinced myself I’m not superficial,” he says, before launching into a vitriolic “semantic shitstorm” about Kosovo, Rwanda, suburbs, Crocs.
You gotta love a comic who uses the word “semantic.”
For the second half he delivered a long story about his temporary time as a male stripper, delivered with lots of theatricality and the kind of probing psychological depth you mostly find in modern fiction.
There are few comics around doing this material. Lenny Bruce would approve.
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