We toddled over to Comix last night to catch the Fresh Meat set by Gawker founding editor Elizabeth Spiers. Shockingly, given our well-known affinity for the Meatpacking District, we had never been to the venue before, and found its "Albert Speer designs a comedy club" aesthetic a little bizarre. The lineup was pretty strong: Apart from Ms. Spiers, the talents of Jessi Klein (decent bit about Lindsay Lohan as a "slutty little unicorn" and mom Dina as a "skanky old Rockette"), Annabelle Gurwitch (oddly mannered TV-person style; told some interminable cat story), Jonathan Ames (if you've seen one Jonathan Ames performance, you've seen them all, i.e., he told a story involving his mom and his dick; he did keep the crowd happy, though) and David Rakoff (what does it say about the world that David Sedaris can write for the New Yorker whenever he wants but David Rakoff is forced to share a stage with a blogger and the chick from "Dinner and a Movie"? Nothing good, that's for sure. The man is a genius.) But how was Elizabeth?
Unfortunately, she was much better than expected, which gives us very little to write about in the snarky manner which she invented. She started off self-deprecating and nervous (the trembling died down about halfway through), explaining that while she wasn't at all a stand-up comic, she had made a New Year's resolution to do one thing a week that scared her. ("Next week I'm having unprotected sex with a hooker.") The bulk of her routine consisted of jokes about her mother, whose passive-aggressive behavior takes the form of e-mailing cat photos to remind her daughter of her impending spinsterhood. ("If I won the Nobel Prize, my mom would say, 'How nice! That much take some of the sting out of not winning it last year.'") The whole thing lasted about six minutes, and while she's clearly not practiced in the skills of the professional comedian, she was in charge through it all, her timing was terrific, and she never lost her rhythm, or the audience. It's incredibly difficult to do something that is clearly out of your comfort zone in front of a group of strangers; it's even harder to do it well. Much as we wish we could say something mean, Elizabeth did a great job, and was for sure brave in so doing. Also, she kept the racially-insensitive material to a minmum; we hear she saved that for the second show. Nice work.
Earlier: The Button-Down Mind of Liz Spiers