Hip Shot: Crime Buster Blast-Off 3000
Saturday, July 20, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 21, 11:15 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 27, 12:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 28, 5:00 p.m.
They Say: "By hogging out on the very makeup of the digital universe, the Porker Chomper has struck a sharp chord with Buster Blast, Earth’s last remaining rock band and its true savior. Consciousness is at stake. Indeed, it is rare."
Brett's Take: Four guys are sitting around their living room, smoking pot, and talking about like, what if there was a pig that could eat data, and hey guys I'm totally writing a song about the Internet, and look at Ian he's dancing with a robot head on his head.
That's not what happens in Crime Buster Blast-Off 3000. Nor is it the actual origin of this loose mix of sketches and ridiculousness, probably, but I'd believe it if you told me it was. Four guys get up on stage, "play" the members of "Earth's Last Rock Band," and "follow" a "plot" about nothing I can remember coherently because the whole point is for the quartet to display their particular brand of self-aware, unpredictable humor. They are Ian McDermott as Tobby, credited as writer/director/composer, Matt Hagerty as The Loaf, the self-described star of the show, Mason Trappio as Emperor Gungo, Alex Zito as The Chief, and Timantha B. Kertzer, a creepy three-foot doll, as Velveeta, also a doll, or maybe the keyboard player.
Their humor brand may or may not be for you. It's a little bit Lonely Island (there's even a Dick in a Box reference), but not as pop-culture-y. It's a little bit Monty Python in its fuck-with-the-structure bent, but not as satirical or observational. It's humor that gifts us with song lyrics like "I'll stuff my sausage in this series of tubes/ And use your credit score as my personal lube," and lines like "throbbing ovary of idea eggs." It's humor that can't really be criticized because it's for you or it's not for you, and even when they're awkward at delivering it or when the sound effects don't quite line up, that's probably what they want you to laugh at anyways. So...
See it if: You laugh at creative ways of saying dirty things.
Skip it if: You don't think making a joke about how the joke you are making is dumb makes it any smarter.
Sometimes the show exhibits an experimental daring atypical even of many Fringe shows, and tempts me to say that it has signs of brilliance; or at least, that this company debuting under the name of The Bradford Guild (with an umlaut over the 'u') could produce some brilliantly meta humor in the future. The four performers are completely shameless, willing to keep going with the joke, or even the whole show, long after you think it's already over. So...
See it if: You laugh at that joke in Family Guy where Peter hurts his knee and goes "ow, ooh" for like five minutes.
Skip it if: You demand discipline even in your off-the-wall comedy.
And then again, maybe comedy has already been deconstructed enough, and put back together again, and Jesus jokes and Internet jokes and guy-laughs-too-long-with-a-robot-voice jokes are nothing new anymore, and maybe we just need good old fashioned funny stories now. Maybe a guy in a too-tight leotard dancing in a cardboard robot head is been-there-done-that. Or maybe it's all a matter of context, and the context here is four guys here trying hard not too appear like they're trying as hard as they really, truly are, and the fact that they paradoxically succeed at that and have fun doing it is swell enough. So, actually...
See it if: You like formal experiments in sweaty-guy-rubs-his-nipples humor.
Skip it if: You got the point and stopped reading this review before the last word of this sentence.