To my ultimate delight, I had the extreme pleasure of being the 7th caller during the Philly Morning Show on Philly’s Hot 107.9 with Shamara & Laiya. I bet you’re wondering what’s so special about my new lucky number 7. To what do I owe this pleasure, you ask? Hmmm…only winning two tickets to this year’s Oddball Comedy Tour with headliner and comedic genius DAVE CHAPPELLE!!!!!
I was thoroughly entertained from the opening announcements, all the way until the last curtain closed, however there were a couple things I could have done without. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
I arrived, as I always do, about 30 minutes early for the showtime on my ticket, 5:00pm. Parking was decent enough: helpful security staff and easy to remember parking space with a very short walk to my seating area. To my distaste,  I wasn’t allowed to bring in my lawn chair, even though I was sitting in the lawn section of the Susquehanna Bank Center (SBC). I was told that I could rent a lawn chair for the low, low price of $15. -___- yeah, no thanks. As the rest of the concert-goers and I stood by the entrance to our seating area waiting to be let in, I couldn’t help but imagine how much more comfortable I’d be waiting, if I was allowed to bring in my own chair that I had brought with me free of charge. But all that is neither here nor there, because I beat the system by bringing my own blanket to sit on AND a Wawa sandwich when the SBC website clearly said no outside food or drinks. That’s what I like to call stickin’ it to The Man. (It’s a good thing I used to be a Girl Scout, or I would have never remembered our “Be Prepared” motto.)
As the clock struck 5pm, we were STILL waiting to be let in the area to sit down. The crowd had not yet arrived in full regalia. The best things keeping me entertained were the Funny or Die promos for a Weird Al Yankovic movie, and Zach Galifiankis lip-syncing over Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’“. Fast-forward 6pm: OMG SHOWTIME!!!!! ^__^ Dish Nation’s Headkrack  from Atlanta’s Rickey Smiley Morning Show opened the show with a couple announcements, including who to expect at future shows headlining at the SBC. Not surprisingly, when comedian Dane Cook was announced for a future show, the audience erupted in “boo’s” at the mention of his name!!! Headkrack quickly recovered the situation by suggesting that Richard Pryor will be performing instead. If only…
Despite the name that was advertised, this Oddball stop in Camden, NJ was hosted by South Philly comedian Keith Robinson who intelligently warned the audience to “not be too sensitive”. He couldn’t have emphasized it enough as the main topics of the night were racism, sex, and there were even a few (hilarious) audience roasts.  
Kristen Schaal kicked off the laughs and applause in a fabulous red cocktail dress as she did her routine. For those who aren’t familar, Kristen Schaal is a comedienne & actress most recently known for the voice of Louise Belcher on FOX’s animated series “Bob’s Burgers”. Being that the show was in Camden, not the friendliest of towns, Kristen chose to assure the audience that as long as the weather was nice, anywhere is a great place to be. Her most lewd and feminist jokes were refreshing to hear, and she finished off her set by ripping away her red dress to reveal 80s dance-wear highly reminiscent of Flashdance! After a…riveting tribute to the film, it was time for Al Madrigal to take the stage.
This was my first time hearing anything from Al Madrigal, and I was quite pleased with what I heard. He is a regular sketch performer on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and has also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Al’s material pretty much centered on what it’s like being a dad of two 3 year olds, while having hippie neighbors that don’t believe kids should have sugar! Jokes about your family are always funny. Just know that the nipple kid & the pinata story…hilarious. You really had to be there for that one.
Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney was my favorite act of the show who wasn’t Dave. If you’re an SNL fan like I am, you could definitely tell he had written some of the Weekend Update skits. Mulaney’s most popular topic? Marijuana legalization. Psssh!!! Yeah, like 13,000 outdoor concert-goers are going to be interested in marijuana… *cough* You smell something…?
You might have seen him this past week on Comedy Central’s James Franco Roast (he was the white guy with the cornrows)… Jeff Ross. Continuing his specialty of roasts, the entire audience and the state of New Jersey was on the menu. I’m sick of every celebrity making light of my state, but this guy gets a pass because he was born and raised right here in Springfield. 
From reminding us how the Hudson River pilot wasn’t too keen on landing his plane in the Garden, to reminding us that although M&Ms are a Jersey thing, there’s nothing sweet about Camden, Ross definitely had my respect on this topic. He even solicited audience help from inviting members on stage to be willingly roasted, to singing a call/response song called “Have a Blessed F**king Day”.
The band from HBO’s hit series “Flight of the Conchords” was in attendance to much of the audience’s delight. Now…this was an entirely new experience to me, as I’m more of a Starz and Cinemax kinda girl. Flight of the Conchords is a New Zealand-based comedy duo composed of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. Simply put, they make funny songs, and sing them. As Wikipedia tells me, they used to refer to themselves as “New Zealand’s 4th most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo”, however now are “the almost award-winning fourth-most-popular folk duo in New Zealand.” I thoroughly enjoyed their set, especially as they started rapping along with their guitars to their song “Rappers Have Feelings, Too”. So touching.



It was finally time. This was it. He was here. The man I….didn’t pay to see. Dave Chappelle was about to come on stage! The curtain was back up, and they must have changed the DJ because the music stopped sucking, and I was actually jammin’! Once Jay Z’s “SomewhereInAmerica” came on, a silouhette of Dave appeared behind the backdrop and the crowd (myself included) gave a standing ovation as he took his rightful place at the mic.
As it was only right, Dave did assure us that what happened that night in Hartford, CT was not his fault. According to him, the crowd just wasn’t right. It happens to the best of ’em. He lit his first cigarette, and he was off. Other blogs certainly had him wrong, because it was classic Dave all over again, nothing short of raw. He laughed at his own jokes, and was very honest with his audience about everything from the Hartford fiasco, to his personal life after Chappelle’s Show. Speaking of the fiasco, Dave also brought out two models who were donning “F**K HARTFORD!!” t-shirts for sale in the lobby of the SBC. I like his style 😉 Topics of Dave’s routine included Paula Deen, Lil Wayne, President Obama personally calling his house, and the extreme differences between a meth addict and a pothead. Always the good guy, Dave even invited an audience member on stage for a hug after she shouted to him from the crowd.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Oddball Comedy Fest, and I definitely had a blast seeing Dave Chappelle live and in front of my face! I wish they’d had all the performers that were listed, but that’s how these things are run, I suppose.