Comedy Bang Bang is a podcast I’ve been listening to for about a year now. I’d been aware of it for a long time, but it’s one of those podcasts it takes some time to get into. Once I got it, though, I went back and listened to almost every episode. It’s a mix of interview and improv character work, and it gets me every time.
My favorite episode ever is #120. It’s the only podcast that never leaves my iPhone (and space there is limited, so it’s competitive). It would be silly to describe it here, but it makes me laugh every time, and at this point I have listened to it so many times that when I’m in a bad mood, it’s a comfort to hear something familiar. I’ve discovered through all of this that I’m pretty much the easiest person to cheer up. Make me laugh and that’s all it takes.
As I’ve gotten more and more interested in comedy, primarily through podcasts, it has become increasingly more ridiculous that I live near LA where comedy is performed almost every night of the week and yet I never go. One time I had tickets to see Paul F. Tompkins, but then that show was canceled and that was the end of that. I gave into all of those silly thoughts like I don’t want to pay for a ticket and no one I know cares about comedy and I’ll have to drive an hour and what about parking and then I’ll get home late and be tired at work the next day.
But when Comedy Bang Bang announced a live tour, I knew I had to go. So I bought a ticket. Just one, because after years of dragging friends to concerts and shows they didn’t care about, I decided it was time to just go enjoy something by myself. I borrowed a ZipCar, there was traffic, parking sucked, the show started later than I expected, and every other annoying thing I had predicted.
But but but as soon as I arrived at the church–yeah, it was held in a church–I knew that I should be there. The bathroom reminded me of the scary bathrooms at the Lutheran church we attended when I was little. The sanctuary smelled really strongly of incense. I bought a beer, which felt like a weird thing to drink in a church, but immediately felt less weird as soon as the show began and every word you’re not supposed to say in church was repeated over and over.
To top off the awesome, two of the people on my favorite episode of Comedy Bang Bang were also guests on the live show: Adam Scott and Harris Wittels. They referenced their characters from that episode and then created a couple new ones, and anyway, it was just delightful and Adam Scott was wearing a tux.
There’s this thing about writing in general and blogging specifically where you always want to attach a nice conclusion–a lesson learned or an experience that transcended somehow–and even though I am as guilty of this as anyone, it always makes me uncomfortable. Except, this time there is nothing forced about it.
I did a thing I have been meaning to do for a long time. I indulged an interest of mine that no one I know shares. I laughed with strangers. I took comfort in something that was both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. And, I did have a transcendent experience. I drove home blasting David Gray, Peter Gabriel, and Vampire Weekend, and began to see my way through some of the problems that have been clouding my vision this Summer.
As my six year California anniversary approaches and I think more seriously about moving, I also keep thinking of all the things I want to take advantage of while I’m still here. The plan is to eat all the In ‘n Out and see all the comedy. I’ve already purchased tickets to two more shows!
So I study theology and yet it was comedy that got me back in a church.