Mary Lynn Rajskub at Laugh Factory
They say some people say funny things, and some say things funny. This weekend’s headliner at the newly opened Laugh Factory, Mary Lynn Rajskub—known by many as Chloe from the hit series 24—might be a good example of the latter. But given that her “headlining” set was only 15 minutes long, it’s hard to form a solid opinion.
The 9:30 show Saturday night was hosted by local funnyman Scott King, who introduced himself by acknowledging—accurately—that his face is too big for his head. It’s probably a blessing, though, as King’s Muppet-like idiosyncrasy might be the natural edge that helps him stand out from his peers going forward. His material, while not the highlight of the night, was as strong as anyone else’s and covered some peculiar topics, like etiquette at a swingers’ party.
Up next was Brian Babylon. His observational humor included his fear of black people who wear contact lenses, “because they look like Thundercats,” and how hipsters wear the opposite of hand-me-downs, “hand-me-up clothes,” seemingly taken off the backs of little kids. His material was good, but there was a bit of a disconnect that felt more like the audience was merely watching Babylon rather than sharing an experience with him.
New Jersey’s Russ Williamson was arguably the co-headliner of the evening, as he seemed to have just as much stage time as Rajskub, though the show wasn’t billed that way. Unlike the closer, Williamson (along with King and Babylon) would fall more into the category of people who say funny things. He compares talking to a Cubs fan with talking to a battered wife (“You don’t understand; they can change!”) and complains about his “under-the-titty dew” in summer, the season all fat people hate.
When Rajskub took the stage, it was apparent that her presence justified her performing last. With her, the audience seemed at ease, on board and more like they were involved in a conversation than looking at a performer on stage. She spoke engagingly about her life, how her husband is the father of her child (“I know, it’s so taboo”), and shared a few celebrity stories like getting compliments on her anatomy at the Playboy mansion. Still, her set didn’t hit significant peaks, and those who like their comics to have more things to get off their chest or compelling points to make might would have felt disappointed.