I’ve been a fan of Anthony Jeselnik ever since I saw him in person as the opening act for Brian Posehn at Laughs Unlimited in Sacramento. At the time, I failed to realize how hilarious he really was because I thought his monotone style was unispired and he came off as being bored with his job.
But eventually I began quoting his jokes and realized how perfect his style matched his dark humor. I was hooked on his unique style of joke telling where you’re never really quite sure the direction a joke will take, until you find yourself spitting out your beverage of choice all over your friend.
Last night’s presentation of a Chicago performance titled Caligula, which aired on Comedy Central, was no different. Whether he was making light of rape, making fun of retarded people or confessing to the crowd that he’d rather spend a night with a dog than with his girlfriend, this stand-up show has something for everyone.
There’s no doubt about it, when you watch an Anthony Jeselnik show, you’re in for a lot of jokes with punch lines you won’t see coming. There are always a lot of jokes like this: “Yesterday, I accidently hit a little kid with my car—it wasn’t serious—nobody saw me.”
Probably the best part about Jeselnik’s shows is his interactions with the crowd. Just about every show I’ve seen from him has included some sort of audience participation. Whether it’s him thanking the crowd for a laugh, in his humble, monotone voice or picking out a lady in the front row to make fun of, Jeselnik brings the crowd into his show like no other comedian I’ve seen.
At one point he asked a couple how long they had been together. After they answered, he asked whether the man sucks his girlfriend’s toes. He followed it up by asking if the gentleman would do so if he were with someone else.
He opened the show with a rape joke and explained it’s important to do that so he can get a feel for his audience. Later on, after saying his girlfriend looks like her mom when she isn’t wearing makeup, he pointed at that he loved that particular joke. His reason was because the audience reacted as if it was the worst joke he had told so far, despite the fact that he told three rape jokes.
The rest of the show was filled with cracks at his girlfriend, his parents, and a series of jokes, which he pointed out, would get increasingly offensive. “I’ve spent the last 2 years looking for my ex-girlfriend’s killer, but no one will do it.”
With jokes about his dad giving him the sex talk and how he learned his dad is into some crazy shit, to saying that his mom filled her room with pictures of Princess Diana—after the accident—his set definitely doesn’t disappoint.
A new series from Jeselnik called, The Jeselnik Offensive will begin February 19 on Comedy Central, but in the meantime, Caligula will provide a fix for your addiction to sick, twisted comedy and awesome one-liners.
But remember, if you don’t check out a rerun of Caligula, as Comedy Central’s stand-up Twitter account said prior to the show’s premiere, “You’re a bad person.”
Don’t worry though, because if you miss the special on Comedy Central and still don’t want to be a bad person, Anthony’s Caligula comedy CD will be available on iTunes tomorrow for $9.99.