I may have mentioned once or twice before that I have dabbled in stand-up comedy. I’ll probably keep mentioning it as often as possible so I can get the most mileage out of my three performances before I quit and decided I had stage fright. I feel it gives me a bit of comedy cred. It allows me to watch the new season of “Comedy Central Presents” with a critical eye and not be completely inept to what it actually takes for some one to have a good performance.
I was lucky enough to be apart of the audience for the taping of “Comedy Central Presents: Rob Riggle.” It was taped a few months ago but it aired this past Friday, March 5th. At the taping, I thought Rob had a great set. I laughed, everyone in the audience laughed, and Rob fed off of that. Even though actual laughing never translates quite as well on television, his “Comedy Central Presents” got the point across: Rob Riggle is a funny motha-f*cka. (I think cursing in a review is inappropriate, but placing a star over one letter makes it okay.)
Riggle’s stage persona is that he’s “a real man’s man.” In his stand-up he talks about surviving the bathrooms at football stadiums, not caring about the same things his wife cares about and in his opening line he announces who he would “do” in the audience. He calls senior citizens, “cotton tops” and dreads a 5 hour flight with a bunch of GTL-esk long island guys (can’t say I blame him on that one.) While a typically a guy like this might come off as annoying or a bit of a meat head, Riggle comes off lovable and like he could be your brother or cousin. He’s the type of guy that says something extremely disgusting with such a proud look on his face; all you can do in return is fight off the laughter instead of making gagging sounds like instinct tells you to. He makes men feel like he’s their buddy and he makes women feel like they are extremely glad not to be men (especially when he describes a football stadium bathroom.)
Rob works fairly clean, with an occasional curse word here or there. Unlike many comedians looking for an easy laugh, the set isn’t heavy with penis jokes, blow job talk or descriptions of what he’s like in bed. I was a bit sad to find out that one of my favorite bits was cut. Let’s just say it involved him being naked in the shower and avoiding a section of his bathroom named “pubic ally.” Riggle is extremely marketable. He looks like the family man that he is, and he could easily fit into a sitcom role that is reminiscent of Kevin James on “the King of Queens” or Home Simpson on “the Simpsons.”
Despite the fact that Comedy Central chops up the act, bleeps the curses and uses fake audience reaction shots (even though we were really laughing) Riggle still brings on the laughter. “Comedy Central Presents” is not the best vehicle for judging his stand-up, his live show is really the place to do it. But as far as the season goes, this was my favorite comic thus far. And I would know, I performed stand-up three times.