Jon Glaser at The Bell House
On Tuesday night at The Bell House it was hipster heaven, as comedian and star of Adult Swim’s Delocated – Jon Glaser – threw a book-reading of sorts to promote his new book ‘My Dead Dad was in ZZ Top.’ It’s a collection of stories and anecdotes from rock and roll history. Let’s rephrase that, it’s a collection of fictitious stories and anecdotes from rock and roll history. For example, the Butthole Surfers did not derive their name from a secret government plan to create actual rectal surfers from shrunken Navy Seals, their mission being to invade the rectums of certain dictators and wreak havoc, similar to Taco Bell. Then again, maybe that was in fact how they got their name. This is not the time for nay-saying.
The showcase included comedians Ira Kaplan, Zoe Lister-Jones, that guy from 30 Rock (Scott Adsit), that guy from all Judd Apatow movies (not Seth Rogen, but Paul Rudd), and lastly Jon Hamm. (Pause) Holy crap, are you serious? Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame at the Bell House in Brooklyn? Yes, yes he was.
The evening began a little late, we’ll call it the official Late Show, but then Ira Kaplan walked onstage and sprung the show into action. He introduced Jon Glaser, who took a seat to stage right with a laptop and a cup of liquid, and proceeded to take the audience on a trip through his latest project. His first reader guest was Mr. John Hodgman, of ‘I’m a Mac and I’m a PC’ and ‘Daily Show’ fame. The bespectacled and be-moustached Mr. Hodgman went on to relay a story about Pablo Picasso being called an asshole, with an emphasis on the hole.
Next up was Mr. Scott Adsit, currently of 30 Rock fame, although before that he was known as the guy in that commercial who got hit in the groin with a bowling ball. Scott went on to read the audience a letter of correspondence between Jack White and his mother/wife/sister Meg, describing what would happen if they formed a band. Mr. Adsit was followed by Zoey Lister-Jones, she also of Delocated fame on Adult Swim. Ms. ZL-J had a copy of a journal that Bob Seger’s therapist recorded during his therapy sessions. It appears as though Bob Seger is obsessed with and believes that he is, in fact, a werewolf.
After Zoey left the stage, the one, the only, the very serious and yet kind of shady and haggard-looking Jon Hamm entered the reading arena to the delight of the standing room audience. If you went to the bar and ordered a ‘Jon Hamm’ and the bartender asked, ‘what’s in that?’ you’d reply ‘one part serious, two parts sexy. With a dash of ice.’ Mr. Mad Men himself began to tell the tale of the group known as The Butthole Surfers. As I stated before, the book suggests that the surfers are a covert team of Navy Seal operatives created to fit into and surf the rectums of unruly dictators. I’m not saying it’s true, but when you hear Jon Hamm read it, you seem pretty convinced – at least the women and gay men did.
The last star of the night was Mr. Paul Rudd. There’s not much you can say about Paul Rudd, except that he’s a funny dude and he does a wicked good Jay Leno impersonation. Mr. Rudd read the tale of Jay Leno looking for a new band leader once Kevin Eubanks retired. We can’t all be Frank Caliendo, but if we could be Paul Rudd, it would be damn close. It was a real crowd pleaser. He probably could have read out of Mein Kampf and received a similar reaction of admiration – or not.
The evening wrapped with Jon Glaser and his musical buddy Chris Anderson singing some re-worked rock classics. Think of what it would sound like if Led Zeppelin had written Kashmir as a jingle for a carpet store. Once you have that song in your head, put on your pants and shoes, head out the door, and buy “My Dead Dad was in ZZ Top.’ It’ll all make sense, trust me.