I only got to drop by for the second half of the last Invite Them Up and ended up watching most of it was the bar because Rififi was appropriately packed for this last show. Some highlights of what I saw:
- The last 30 Seconds of Stand-Up, which had no stand-up but instead had the chanting theme remixed. Audience members (mostly male, causing Craig Baldo to actually request girls) came on stage and they had a little dance party, including Bobby Tisdale reaching under some dancers to placing the microphone on their groins. (It was a repeat bit from Monday night’s show - they loved it that much.)
- Mike Birbiglia delivering a set that reminisced and skewered (he referred to the previous dance party as what was so great about alternative comedy - “it’s not funny. But it makes you smile.”)
- Eugene Mirman having some fun with a recent email correspondence. I unfortunately heard very little of due to the loudness at the bar. Many sssh-es made, but to little avail.
- Jon Glazer and Jon Benjamin as a pair of Chicago brothers named Dave who are relations of TV Cops Dennis Ferrina and Dennis Franz. They urged the audience to consider a vote for Mike Huckabee with an almost meditation-like song. It had Todd Barry in stitches.
- Demetri Martin, who like Birbiglia, had some fun with the show and a couple of jabs at Rififi’s expense. He tore down one of the pieces of paper that cover one of the most stained/destroyed parts of the movie screen behind the stage.
Another thing I saw: a sign informing the audience that they were shooting the show for a documentary. A lot of early movements in comedy there’s been very little documentation, other than the writings of some folks who were there. So you see the end product - what makes it to TV. Not the inspiration and work that made it. All I have of the landmark show “Eating It” are memories - being at Rebar, watching Louis CK threaten to throw a stool at people to discover if it was funny or not. With Invite Them Up, along with the CD/DVD set put out by Comedy Central Records and various web video, there might be a documentary of this final night. (I’ll catch that Eugene Mirman bit then.)
Afterwards, I made my way to the performance space and stood in the room for a minute. Nothing’s really changing - both the venue and the performers will be around. But it was a moment in time. I wanted to feel the shift in the scene for a second.
Then I went home. I was sleepy.