Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fred, Jeff, and Jeff

I've again reached a schedule status of "if I don't write this now I will never make time for it," expected to be in effect for the next three weeks.  Between now mid-June posts might be anemic, but it's better than me forgetting everything!

After that tantalizing intro: on Sunday night I saw Jeff Garlin, Fred Armisen, and Jeff Tweedy at a benefit for Emanuel Congregation.  Last year's event also featured music and comedy, but this year the comedy component was more prominent.  I knew of Jeff Garlin going in, but wasn't familiar with his work.  It was a nice surprise that his participation (added after the benefit was announced) was a highlight for me.  Jeff Garlin is a funny man.  Between inappropriate airport stories, tales of the national anthem at Wrigley Field, and many Q&A answers (whether the Q was directed to him or not), I spent most of my time laughing when he was on the bimah.

Fred Armisen did many impressions: drummers by request (including Keith Moon, Glenn Kotche, Neil Peart), guitar players (Prince, John Lennon, Nels Cline), and then anyone at all (Jon Hamm, Barack Obama, Bjork) ... even some audience members (Magee!).  Seeing Fred play drums was a treat, and he accompanied Jeff Tweedy on performances of "Heavy Metal Drummer" and "Theologians."  Jeff Tweedy's responsibilities Sunday evening were relatively light: four and a half songs (if you count the Waffle House song), a few impression assists, and the night-ending Q&A.  It was fun to see him (and of course Susan played a huge part in organizing this event, as usual) but it was nice to see the spotlight on the comedians.  A true variety show!

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