The Ad Hominem Attack Show went down at East End Bistro in Birdtown Saturday night. And it exceeded our expectations.
Here's what we saw...
The crowd was good. It began slightly late as they had to put down plastic to shield the carpet from all the blood. Our hosts are Ryne DiPerna and Chris Paugh. I would describe DiPerna as the ringmaster and Paugh as more the referee/commentator hybrid.
This was round one of a tournament.
The winners move on and the losers...well they lose. And get called loser. So, pretty high stakes.
DiPerna embraced his inner Thunder Dome and really brought home the gladiator vibe. Paugh laid low and picked his shots. The dynamic not only works, it's pretty hilarious and doesn't get stale.
The show actually opens with a quick song by Andy Bar. Song is a bit of a strong word here but it was an original way to open the show.
Bill Squire was next. We're all familiar with Bill. He is really funny and he puts in work.
But even he is sick of us talking about him so much...on to the matchups!
Psych! One more comic did a short prelim. It was Jess Faulstich. It sounds weird but this woman is pretty misogynistic! In that she made a few sexist jokes against herself and her very own gender. But she soon moved on to defending The Land against not-so-timely haters.
And then it was time!
DiPerna and Paugh appeared. DiPerna described Paugh's reserved demeanor as "a walking nap." Paugh awoke and declared that if one could "grind up and smoke being a douchebag, the resin would be Ryne DiPerna." DiPerna used the term "blood-boner" at least once. So that's why the plastic.
The rules were read. Head-to-head battles of five jokes per contestant.
Sudden death if necessary.
Matchup number one was Mike Drago vs Matt Scott. Drago struck first by alleging that Scott was only there as part of the Make-A-Wish program. Scott got physical by congratulating Drago on getting out of his full-body cast, thus explaining his lack of muscle tone. A few accusations of incest and teenage breastfeeding later and Mike Drago's hand was raised as the winner.
Next up was Sam LaTourette vs Kris Wernowsky. Round one was both guys working the inside. Jokes that is. But then it happened. Wernowsky unleashed a shot about LaTourette's recently-deceased father that mentioned his death was extra sad because he "had a failing pancreas AND you". Yep. No mercy here. Wernowsky wasn't satisfied. He took a shot at DiPerna to which DiPerna replied "that's a lot of sass coming from Bruce Vilanch's even gayer cousin." Sam closed his own attack by noting that
"the only thing higher than Wernowsky's horse is his cholesterol." Wernowsky went back to the dad-well one last time and we then had our first sudden death of the night! After the smoke cleared it was... SUDDEN, SUDDEN DEATH!!!!
More smoke cleared and LaTourette was finally the winner.
By any means necessary.
Dylan Lusk took on Ray Hyclack next.
Hyclack calls Lusk a "pop-punk starter kit." Lusk counters with attacks on Hyclack's poor taste in both music and tattoos combined. It was funny but the highlight of his offense was when he said that if Ray Hyclack was a professional wrestler then his finishing move would be the "open mic bomb." And Lusk's finishing move must have been that joke because Dylan Lusk was our winner Saturday night.
Cody Cooper vs Logan Rishaw was next with continued friendship on the line. Cody noted that Logan not only looks a bit like Chucky, but also that all of his sexual experiences have been "child's play." Logan gave a warning to all of us that Cody had used his degree in physics and comedic writing wit to amass "an immense stockpile of bombs." Cody also had a warning in return stating that if Logan dates your daughter it is just because he really wants your son. Though Cody said it in a more vividly-graphic way. Logan Rishaw said this..."Cody has been hitting the gym pretty hard lately. He keeps trying to bulk-up and hopes that one day he can build enough mass to create a gravitational pull strong enough to bring his father back into his life." Ouch. Tough night for dads. After this one, and the night's second sudden death, Logan Rishaw was declared the winner.
Next up was Kyle Haunhorst vs Mike Calhoun. Kyle thinks it is no coincidence that Mike dresses well, considering he has "spent his entire life in a closet." Mike did not dispel any rumors when he later proposed to Kyle with a hamburger. Despite a distinct height and reach disadvantage, Kyle Haunhorst was the winner.
Our next matchup was Walter Hemmelgarn vs Chris Gayner. Walter gave props to Chris for being a stay-at-home dad. He just wishes he was also a "stay-at-home comedian." Chris claimed he saw Walter's face running in the Kentucky Derby. But this race also went to sudden death (#3!) and the win went to Chris Gayner.
Ray Roberts took on Jason Moliterno next.
Jason accused Ray of being less like the "Ice Cube of Kent" and more like the "Nissan Cube of Kent" and a few other things. After a decisive TKO victory, Jason Moliterno was still wearing a crappy Ray Roberts shirt.
In the Ricky Melton vs Chris Harvey matchup, Ricky went right for the low-blow joke and insisted he must be at a pig roast. Chris accused Ricky of virginity and being the object of every Elton John love song. Ricky went back to the fat joke well a few more times. And apparently it paid off as Ricky was declared victorious.
Our last man up was Mr. Jeremy sheer with a roast recap. A few highlights from this rapid-fire attack:
-Ryan DiPerna looks like he "transforms into a Prius when the moon is full."
-Andy Bar looks like he was "caught masturbating in a library, but not at the computer."
-Cody Cooper should have a vanity license plate that says "opener".
-Ricky Melton strikes Jeremy as the type of guy who doesn't "take the dip out of your mouth before you kiss your kid at night."
-He thinks Chris Harvey was likely "breastfed with Boone's Farm and sausage gravy."
And that is what the first round of The Ad Hominem Attack Show looked like on Saturday night. The next round is back at the same spot on Saturday, June 3rd. It's a good time. Check it out and support local comedy!