The Delocated Witness Protection Variety Show at 2012 Just for Laughs | Comedy review
It takes a certain kind of person to don a ski mask, mesh hoodie and an uncomfortably small pair of American flag shorts and take the stage at the Hideout, but Jon Glaser is that sort of guy. Performing as his character "Jon," a man in the Witness Protection Program who is the subject of the Adult Swim series Delocated, Glaser hosted a variety show Saturday at the Just for Laughs fest which included short sets by a selection of his friends and collaborators.
"I pulled up to this place and I was like, fuck yes!" Glaser deadpanned through a comically pitch-shifted vocal effect. Never removing his mask, he fearlessly inhabited his "Jon" persona—a man obsessed with sex, beer and outdated catchphrases such as "Crunch, no judgement." After acknowledging that his real-life mother was in the audience, Glaser launched into a Powerpoint presentation which detailed his sexual how-to book entitled "Ready…Set…Cum." A parody of a similar publication by Sex and the City actor Kim Cattrall, "Jon" described the intricacies of various illustrated sexual positions in the most profane ways possible. "Once the word 'cooze' hits the screen, you realize how rough that word is when your mom is around," he observed later in the show.
Though Glaser's hijinks were amusing, it was his slate of guests that made the evening special. The onslaught began as an agitated Patton Oswalt took the stage, immediately bursting into an anecdote about the extremely sensitive automatically flushing toilets at the Grand Luxe Cafe on Michigan Avenue. While his impassioned rants garnered the best reactions, Oswalt's set also included some touching observations on fatherhood as he described afternoons spent with his daughter. Delocated co-star Amy Schumer was next, armed with a list of the worst things that had happened to her in life thus far which she recounted in detail. "I don't want anyone else in Chicago to ask me if I like deep dish pizza," she pleaded in-between recollections of childhood trauma and awkward romantic encounters.
The introduction of a local performer brought Chicago native Kevin Dorff to the stage under the guise of "Deep Dish," a male stripper who can only disrobe after consuming an entire Lou Malnati's pie. Well before his performance could reach its climax, he was forced to exit and make way for Janeane Garofalo, another member of the expansive Delocated cast. Though her largely observational humor, which poked fun at everything from Zooey Deschanel to Whole Foods, wasn't as immediately gratifying as some of the evening's more absurd antics, she did get in a few good barbs. "Here's one thing you'll never hear at Shenanigans: 'Wow, that's so interesting!'" she exclaimed, poking fun at the maligned Gold Coast bar.
Clad in ski masks, a band which called themselves "The Flea and Rake" ended the evening with a selection of songs that sounded suspiciously like those of Chicago stalwarts The Sea and Cake (with their vocals filtered through Glaser's pitch-shifting effect). As "Jon" took the stage one final time, he led the crowd in a variety of chants, the most poignant of which referenced that wonderfully outdated catchphrase, "Keep it crunch." Treating the ridiculous and the profane with equal reverence, the Delocated Witness Protection Program Variety Show wasn't something you'd bring your mother to—no judgement.