The members of Fordham Stand-Up are very savvy marketers.
Friday night’s comedy show was advertised to feature one “PB Kettles.” It turned out that Kettles was just a creation of Stand-Up member James Murtagh.
Having said that, nobody in the Blackbox audience went away disappointed, as the characters created by this talented troupe enlivened a cold night.
Besides his brief appearance as Kettles, Murtagh also played a Southern bumpkin, riffing on everything from superheroes to Wyoming with great aplomb.
Liam Paris was also a highlight, giving the most improbable halftime speech any coach has ever given and selling it with funny, fiery passion.
Shattering the appearance of suburban bliss, Amanda Pell and Dan Stracquadanio played a husband and wife who try to work out their troubles through song. It didn’t work out, which was too bad for them — but great for the audience, as they watched the laugh-filled implosion.
Several of the comics riffed on well-known characters. AJ Golio played an Italian Dora the Explorer, whose clues led to Ray Romano’s house (among other places). Golio tickled the nostalgic funny bone with his hilarious riffs on topics anyone who’s been to Arthur Avenue would understand.
Gollum tried his hand at stand-up comedy, in the person of Jeff Sharkey. While it’s highly doubtful The Nutty Professor ever made its way to Middle Earth, the hobbit’s thoughts on this and many other subjects were filled with comedic genius.
The evening was emceed by Nick Pappas, as “two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz” (he continually reminded the audience of the Academy’s recognition). Just the way Pappas moved his arms in mock merriment was enough to put the audiences in stitches, but his lines were pretty great too — particularly the sung “CSI” audition that ended the show.
The many YouTube clips of Fordham Stand-Up have never made this reviewer laugh all that hard. But in the Blackbox, seen live, these comics created many truly hilarious moments.
With or without PB Kettles, they were a pleasure to watch.