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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter Got PWNED

posted by on May 27 at 16:23 PM

Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and Eugene Mirman were the last three comedians to perform in the Comedy Tent at this year’s Sasquatch!, and while I was really looking forward to the Michaels closing out the weekend, it was Mirman FTW.


The Michaels were lackluster. Showalter was “deathly ill.” His set was moved back 45 minutes, he sat down for much of his performance, he looked tired, and he was sweating profusely under the hot lights. He was clearly sick. But he gave it an ol’ college try, reading some old material from his laptop, including a list of music related thoughts that he published on almost a month ago.

Best Band That Was Once Uncle Tupelo: Wilco

Worst Band That Was Once Uncle Tupelo: Sun Volt

Best Slow & Sleepy Fuck Music: Sade

Best Really Fast & Socially Conscious Fuck Music: Fugazi

He apologized for it not being the best show and the crowd still adored him anyway.


Michael Ian Black was not sick, be he wasn’t well. I’ve seen his stand up act quite a few times now, and he’s just not as funny alone as he is with other people (Stella, for example). His sarcastic humor works best when he’s using it to spar against others.

By the time he took the stage, the Flight of the Conchords had just wrapped up on the mainstage, and he used that opportunity to proclaim “I could be that famous too, if I had an accent.” Then he told the story about how he met the FotC at the premier for his new movie Run, Fatboy, Run, and they sorta blew him off. He introduced himself to them, said he wrote the movie they just saw, and they were like “Oh.” They could’ve said they liked the movie, but they didn’t say that. Then he walked around the stage a little bit, pretending to be hurt.

The crowd laughed, he turned pouted, then he turned towards the mainstage and flipped them off. It was a little more bitter than funny, and definitely awkward. But whatever, Michael Ian Black loves awkward.

The rest of his performance, I can’t remember, because it was pretty unmemorable. And I’m a big fan, I was trying really hard to like it. But maybe I was trying too hard. I dunno.


Eugene Mirman, though, killed it. Brian Posehn is still my favorite for the weekend, but Mirman had a bunch of new material, and chatted with the crowd a lot of the time. It was a battle of wits at one point. He mentioned Ayn Rand and then a number of people watching had to prove they knew who she was by yelling out names of her books. He made fun of them, everyone laughed.

He had some new suggestions for those annoying pop-up polls on MySpace, he read aloud the letter he wrote to the gas company when they shut off his gas, he showed a video of his recent primary coverage (referring to the Liberty Bell: “It’s cracked, like America’s government.”), and did a powerpoint presentation of some of the world’s rarest animals (that he made up).

As he left the stage, he announced he’ll probably be returning to Seattle in July. I can’t wait.

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Michael Ian Black was terrific and loose, but overall much better than on his album. His children's story was a highlight of the whole day.

While not his best set, Marc Maron, after he let himself warm up, was also excellent.

"You're offended? Really? This is the most ethnically undiverse festival crowd in the world."

Eugene Mirman's return to Seattle, by the way, is for the Sub Pop comedy night at the Moore, which also includes Todd Barry, Patton Oswalt, and, just added, David Cross, making for quite possibly the best comic line-up of all-time.

Posted by Fawkes | May 27, 2008 5:31 PM


I'm not sure you are using the correct useage of PWNED. Showalter was ill. I think the wordage you are looking for is fail.

Posted by Jeff | May 28, 2008 9:18 AM

To nitpick: It's Son Volt.

Posted by Brian | May 28, 2008 1:34 PM

Follow up: Don't use the term PWNED.

Posted by Brian | May 28, 2008 1:36 PM

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