Sunday, March 02, 2008

Jeffrey Ross at the Tampa Improv

So the wife and I went to see Jeffrey Ross at the Tampa Improv on Saturday night, and two things struck me first about the legendary roast master:

1.) he's a lot shorter than he appears on TV (as you can tell by him standing next to me)

2.) he's not nearly as funny, either

Perhaps it was the fact that he was on the third night of four in a small-time "city" like Tampa, or maybe because it was the early showing and he hadn't swilled his quota of liquid laughter yet, or maybe he's just not on top of his game unless he's skewering D-listers, but for whatever reason he just didn't kill it like we both thought he would.

Sure he had a couple good lines, like when he talked about having to unbutton his jeans after a meal: "I've got those button fly jeans, so it's one button for dinner, two buttons for dessert, three buttons for Hannah Montana..."

If that topical zinger didn't get an "oh my God, he didn't" reaction out of ya, then his combining of the tween sensation and the Oscar winning film "There Will be Blood" certainly would have.

But other than those edgy insults it was a pretty disappointing show. Ross plowed through the requisite comedian checklist with the attitude of a man on anti-depressants, ticking off the common elements we've all come to know and loathe from comics:

-airline jokes? Check

-witty banter with the victims in the front row seats? Check

-attempting to interject local landmarks into the shtick.? Check.

-mispronouncing said local landmarks? "Mods Venus" Check.

The best part of the act was when he had a few locals come up on stage and play a little background music while he read some of his "poems", as a girl at her bachelorette party and an old dude in suspenders provided more comic elements than the comedian himself could produce.

Following one of the old guy's many attempts at humour, Ross replied "Keep it up, you might even get some pussy tonight"

"I already did" the man shot back, eliciting a sly smile from Ross while delivering perhaps the best line of the whole night.

Sure didn't see that coming.

For some of what I expected to see from Ross, check out this classic clip from the Pam Anderson Roast. Maybe the guy just needs a celebrity around to be funny. Oh, and if you're at work, you want to turn the vol way down.

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