"Blah! Blah! Blah! (A Talk Show)" (which returns to the Dark Room Theater Saturday night, 2/2/08, at 10 pm) is a deceptively simple event. Creator and host Kevin O'Shea opens the show with a 10-12 minute monologue, and then he welcomes his guests, all comedians in the SF Bay Area. What happens after that is basically controlled chaos. It's like Iron Comic in that preparation goes out the window, and it's all about thinking on your feet and being funny in the moment.
When Blah! Blah! Blah! first started, I think we all had a vague idea that we could simply do our material the same way, only while seated. However, we quickly learned that doing scripted material in that format was quite awkward. The rhythm is off, the audience can tell it's planned, and the BYOB nature of the Dark Rom seems to put performers and audience alike more in the mood for improvisation. The result is that every show is unique. Even if you've seen a certain comic many times, he's pretty much guaranteed to bring out something new for the talk show.
At the last show I performed at, Matt Morales and Jason Downs discussed the awkwardness of Matt living with Jason's mother, Mary Van Note talked about working for a professional ultimate fighter, and I busted out my Nicolas Cage impression (normally reserved for private gatherings and movie theaters advertising National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets). The most recent Blah! Blah! Blah! featured members of the sketch group Boomtime! (one of whom, Alex Koll, returns Saturday night.) and somehow led to a moment of pantslessness where we learned that Moshe Kasher and Mr. O'Shea wear the same style of briefs.
This year, Blah! Blah! Blah! is getting more elaborate with the addition of a sketch duo (Substandard Comix) and critical commentary from comedy coach Kurt Weitzmann. Add those to the already-formidable lineup of Kevin Camia, Chris Garcia, Sean Keane, and the aforementioned Alex Koll, and what you've got is a hootenanny waiting to happen, especially if you grew up in the rural South and never adjusted your slang. There have been rumors of mariachi bands at future shows, which will be held on the first Saturday of each month this spring.
Tickets are $7, BYOB. The Dark Room is on Mission Street at 19th, across the street from >Cancun Taqueria, the traditional home of the Blah! Blah! Blah! burrito afterparty. Bear in mind, the show does occur on Groundhog Day, so until we do the show perfectly, we might be trapped in an infinite loop of blah, blah, and blah. Just a head's up.