Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Michelle Biloon and Maria Bamford at the Helium Comedy Club, Philadelphia, 13 May 2018

Impressions of the show: Helium didn't say anywhere who would be opening for Bamford...the will-call clerk didn't know, as I picked up my ticket (the not really Comedy Nerd nature of the ownership/management of Helium apparently extends to the staff). So, as I'm in the line get led to tables/seats, I ask one of bouncers if he knows. "Maria Biloon?" I thank him, don't correct him, having been both informed and amused by the fusion.

Helium has the low ceilings that comedians apparently appreciate, as opposed to the Punchline, the Other major we're-professional-showbiz comedy club in Philadelphia, which has the warehouse-space/high ceiling approach of a music venue (it's kind of the smaller annex of a multi-purpose theater where Jackie Kashian and Maria played on Bamford's previous appearance in Philly). Low ceilings good for spoken word, but unfortunately that means they're also good for audience spoken word. (And other extraneous sound...last time I was at Helium, it was for a in-concert Sunday afternoon NEVER NOT FUNNY/PLAYERS CLUB podcast recording, and Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap could barely be heard at my table because of the sound of the dishwasher, I suspect it was, roaring in the kitchen just off that wing of the room...the party that was at the table with me all had the same problem.)(Also, the PA system was turned way down on that side of the club, not a problem last night or at my other Helum shows.) But the table of latter-day yuppies at my left (much chatter about who was working for Berkshire Hathaway as real estate agents while in the seating line) were pretty well-behaved...the latter-day hippies at my left a bit less so, quite aside from being a bit more sweatily aromatic. The one closest to me, as I sat off the tables in back corner of the audience space, kept disapprovingly noting during Bamford's set, "Well, That's a trigger." Ah, for the audience that needs their trigger warnings.

Michelle Biloon did an unsurprisingly great twenty minutes, Bamford an unsurprisingly great hour, the latter seeming in better spirits than even in the previous Philly show, despite a few tremors. Biloon unfortunately had the even worse health news, a fairly recent MS diagnosis. Notable that both comedians are/were in Philadelphia, Biloon to live these years, to some degree because of their husbands' roots/family.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I have only been to a comedy show once that I remember. I do watch a lot of them on TV though.

Todd Mason said...

If there are comedians whose work you particularly enjoy...there is a certain something about seeing them in performance, without filter otherwise...