Tuesday, August 21, 2012

8/3/12 Al Madrigal, Jimmy LeChase and Ralph Tetta

The evening began in the capable and familiar hands of Ralph Tetta, who handled the celebrations and housekeeping with aplomb. He then bought to the stage the evening’s guest spot, Jimmy LeChase.

I’ve been hearing great things about Jimmy for at least six months but, because I hadn’t yet made my way to Boulder or any of the other open mics around the city, I hadn’t yet had the privilege. Fortunately, Jimmy brought his “wedding chunk” material, and I could completely relate. He started discussing the difference in his feelings toward getting married to his best friend (like lying in a field of grass, looking up at clouds, where cherubs are riding unicorns as they jump over rainbows) versus the process of planning a wedding (like getting stabbed with a sword made of a million 9/11s). He went on to cover the cost of feeding guests and what he could have bought instead. Finally, he closed his set by sharing the brilliance of marrying someone who cleans when angry. I won’t recite it here, because Jimmy can be found all around town, and it is worth the effort to hear it straight from him. Next month, look for the first monthly installment of “After Bedtime with Jimmy LeChase.” Find the details at afterbedtimeshow.com, and learn more about Jimmy by friending him on Facebook or following him on Twitter.

At the heart of Al Madrigal’s current show are his wife and children, and the crazy characters that orbit around them. He explains married shorthand, when a couple doesn’t speak, but uses touch to communicate. He rubs the back of his wife’s thumb and she knows it means Cholo at 3 o’clock. In this case, it’s Cholo Soccer Dad, Coach Louis. He brings the snack list, centered under the header in Arial, and says inappropriate things to the kids. “You guys are gonna pay attention or you’re gonna have bad dreams.” His 6 year old son tells him “That’s how I roll,” and Al assumes he learned it from television. “My wife doesn’t say that. It’s one of the reasons I married her.” He made the mistake of teaching his son how to do comebacks, and now regrets it when the pint-sized wit is turned on him.

As the hour continues, we meet the Blue Tarp neighbors, the mushroom-tripping college cleaning lady (“On Sunday I was reading the Bible to the children, and now I’m on the droges.”) and the finalists in the day laborer contest, Hector and Jesus. The stories have an easy flow, like a conversation that lasts into the night. Al’s voices bring the characters to life. I could see him and Jesus sitting in that truck, staring at the chichis negra and bonding like frat brothers. Rapid, nonstop storytelling with smart references and engaging accents, that’s the simple breakdown of what Al Madrigal brought to The Comedy Club. To check it out yourself, pick up his cd, “Cholos on a Moped,” and check out his podcast, “Minivan Man.”

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