This review is for a specific comedian and not necessarily about Laughs Comedy Spot itself, which seems like a fine establishment, with nice, friendly staff. On Saturday Nov. 6, we went to see Al Madrigal; word on the street was he’s funny. And maybe he is. But on this night he proved to be not funny at all, but simply mean. Maybe the second show of the night after doing this for three nights finally got to him. At one point he told the crowd that it was the worst he had ever performed before. He said he feeds off his audience and that we were giving him nothing, as if we had paid to entertain him. I’d always thought it was the other way around, that the audience feeds off a good comedian and gives back the energy it receives. Every other word was the “f” word, which to me is the first sign of a weak comedian. Three quarters if his material was about kids, which would bore anyone who didn’t have kids after the first two jokes. The rest of his material was race jokes. I’m sure written somewhere in the comedian manual are rules about knowing thy audience. Luv ’em or hate ’em, Seattle people are very politically correct; they like to think of themselves as enlightened and progressive. So race jokes don’t play well here. So because Mr. Madrigal stunk up the joint and couldn’t draw energy from his audience, he decided to humiliate them instead. He set his sights on one young girl near the front and embarrased her so mercilessly, that she ran out the club at the end. What was interesting about the whole exchange is that he aimed his venom on the only table that was truly engaging him and laughing at his weak jokes. He even recognized that, but told them they were annoying him and he needed them to stfu. Granted the group of four had gotten a bit obnoxious at one point – the same girl’s phone went off and one of the guys was obviously drunk. But Al kept at them, especially the girl, talking about her cleavage like a stupid 12-year-old boy and encouraging everyone to look at her breasts on their way out. He also embarrassed a middle age woman in the
crowd, telling her she had obviously put on some weight and might consider doing sit ups.
I appreciate and enjoy good, clever humor. It doesn’t have to be high-brow intellectual stuff. This guy had neither.
That’s a Yelp review that I can only imagine will soon be removed. I flagged it (it brings down the Laughs star average on Yelp without actually being about the club) and I imagine the owner of the Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland flagged it too.
As someone who whines almost constantly (to the point of worrying that I sound like a broken record to my girlfriend) about missing things in this town (Last night I missed Bronze Fawn’s final show and Kyle Kinane, tonight I’m missing Shannon Stephens), I take some solace in knowing that I missed that Al Madrigal show. I had wanted to go. I contacted his people for media passes, and got no response. I would have written a glowing preview for it because Al Madrigal is funny as shit. In the end, money and travel prevented me from going. I didn’t write the preview.
When I sent Madrigal the link on twitter, he responded with “That’s awesome. Yes, that was one of the shittiest shows I’ve done in a long time.”
He blames the audience, and they apparently blame him. I’m just glad I didn’t make the drive to Kirkland or take Beth with me.