Reggie Watts live in Central Park
by Ryan Meehan
Wednesday I was pleased to receive a pre-release of the new Reggie Watts album and acompanying DVD, out May 15th on Comedy Central Records. His new special of the same name is set to air next Friday night at midnight in the Secret Stash. For those of you who are not familiar with Reggie, he’s a Brooklyn-based comedian and musician that performs in the styles of stream of consciousness and improvisational comedy.
Humor along with music can be confusing to a comedy fan, even if you love music which most of us do. I liken it to the way that most people feel about mixing entertainment and politics: It’s not really necessary, but when it’s done well it can be very effective. Although it’s not my first style choice when it comes to standup or sketch, I fancy myself a big Tenacious D fan, and it’s probably important to mention that without Dick and Tom Smothers comedy wouldn’t be what it is today.
Reggie’s stage setup consists of his microphone two stools covered with different processors and pedals, as well as a sampler. He uses the sampler to create background music that he beatboxes, and then sings or raps over the sample. He looks a little bit like Wesley Willis if he had Questlove from the Roots’ hairdo. To say the least, he’s a very interesting fellow.
CD/DVD Combo Pack
CD/DVD REVIEW: REGGIE WATTS – “LIVE IN CENTRAL PARK” Original Release Date: May 15th, 2012
This was recorded and filmed in Central Park for Comedy Central Records home entertainment. Throughout the DVD, Reggie goes in and out of different dream sequences where he meets other people and discusses that his performance in Central Park may not even be real. I thought this was a great concept because since Watts doesn’t exactly have a huge following, one might wonder why he’s performing at the same location other entertainment legends have played.
I’m all for less humans…
My favorite part of the CD is where he does an imitation of Radiohead, I love that band to death but the impression is spot on. The DVD is full of topics that are standard standup bits but they are presented in a very unique manner. (For example, in the track “Having Sex” – “Cause if ya fuckin, then you probablyt fuckin’, if ya not fuckin, then ya definitely not fuckin”…) Watts uses a lot of “How come I didn’t think of that?” type of humor that may remind people of Mitch Hedberg, in the sense that there’s a lot of non-sequitirs.
The humor that Watts is trying to convey is very much not whoopie cushion stuff. You have to be smart to catch it and it has a definite Demetri Martin type of dryness to it. If you absolutely demand that your comedians be delivering sidesplitting punchlines every ten seconds then Reggie probably isn’t what you are looking for. That being said, we’ve all been at comedy clubs before where someone like that is on stage and it’s annoying as hell. Watts is more the Bonarroo or Lollapalooza type crowd, because it’s comedy but it’s also performance art. And he is really, really good at what he does.
Don’t forget to catch Reggie’s special this upcoming Friday night, and if you can catch a repeat of the Comedy Awards, he’s on that as well…
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