On a freezing night in January, comedian Matt McCarthy brought his band of Irish (and non-Irish) rebels to The Ace Hotel for the first installment of ‘Marking Out,’ his new monthly comedy series.
This is the type of show where if you show up late, you won’t get a seat. Not necessarily because it’s sold out, but because arriving late is rude and McCarthy and his bearded buddy Sean Donnelly will probably berate you and ask you to leave. McCarthy, of Verizon FiOS and ‘The Other Guys’ fame, is basically a hyper kid in a grown mans’ body who has access to a microphone. He’s a very physically active comedian, never too still for too long, and the audience is usually giggling even if he’s not speaking. Not to give too much away, but he ended his set with ‘ and that is not the first time I’ve had sex with a woman while picturing a chubby 12-year old.’
The night also included comedy tidbits from Vince Averill, Anthony Jeselnick, Hannibal Buress, and headliner Mike DeStefano. DeStefano, fresh off his appearance on Last Comic Standing, has an intense real life experience that he confronts the audience with. He talks about his heroin addiction, losing loved ones to illness, and also compares having AIDS to being Catholic – which is funny if you’re Jewish. The great thing about DeStefano is that he approaches his set as though he doesn’t care how the audience feels. He’s telling a story, and if you don’t like it, then fuck off! At one point he very bluntly states ‘you know, I should probably be booing you guys.’ But he’s Mike DeStefano, and just as he shocks the audience with his tale of family illness, he brings them back in with his humor.
The show is a mixture of stand-up, short videos by Front Page Films, and a very ‘in yo face’ performance by Adira Amram and The Experience. One cannot really describe The Experience, except for the extensive neon outfits that help dilate your pupils. Adira and her fabulous dances come at you, back up a little bit, and then come back at you again. The Experience would have an easy time holding up a banks, since the audience is half entertained and half ‘what the hell is going on?’