Friday, February 17, 2012

Alonzo Bodden and Chet Wild

I can’t say anything bad about Chet Wild that isn’t already part of his act. No, really, even if I were to come up with something novel, it would be in his act tomorrow. And that’s what I adore about Chet’s comedy. He can take the depression and anxiety of every day life and make it laugh-worthy.

I guess I need a disclaimer right about now, so here it is: over the past two years, I’ve spent time getting to know Chet to the point of comfortably calling him a friend. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll still bust his balls if the punchlines aren’t solid, but I’ll do it in a kind way, so as not to tip the delicate balance between confidence and catastrophe on which he seems to teeter. Chet’s personality makes him play well with audiences, who mostly enjoy being part of his show. His quick wit allows him to riff off whatever they give him. His scripted humor can be dark, but not despairing, even when he’s being way too self-deprecating. Chet sometimes strikes me as a live action Bad Luck Schleprock. He used to describe himself as looking like Hurley from “Lost” and wasn’t too far off. After taking much grief for his unruly long hair and uber-casual fashion sense, he currently can be seen sporting button down pinstripes and a lovely pageboy. As a frequent MC for the Comedy Club, you’ll read more about Chet as the weeks ensue. (Hey, Chet, notice I used Arial?)

At 6’4”, Alonzo Bodden is tall, but somehow not as tall as he seemed on season 2 of Last Comic Standing. Heffron be damned, I thought at the time that Alonzo should have won; of course, I’m partial to that smart/funny/sexy trifecta. He has the ability to talk about race, religion and politics in a way that feels neither condescending nor uncultured. He doesn’t have to tell you he’s a liberal – his description of a black conservative as a “unicorn in the mist” gives it away. His breakdown of the GOP primary candidates is both enlightening and funny, and when he says he used to be someone who hated Sarah Palin, then tells you why he doesn’t anymore, you think he’s sincere.

Bodden’s strength as a comedian, to me, has always been the way he can mix smart, silly and salty into pure entertainment. His word choices seem specific enough that even people who don’t enjoy a little cursing won’t feel too offended to get the point. Playing to a Thursday night crowd that included one very loud birthday party, Alonzo made allies of the audience while good-naturedly ribbing the hecklers. Although he had had a busy day, he graciously stuck around to take photos and autograph his DVD. I enjoyed the show so much, I bought one for myself and one for my possible future ex-husband.

But don’t just take my word for it. Go to and read a few of his blogs. If you enjoy any of them, you’ll enjoy the show. Fortunately, there are two more tonight and Saturday.

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