LIVE: Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show @ Proctors Underground, 7/30/16
Review by Kathy Conway
Photographs by Ed Conway
The evening began with host and comedian Ethan Ullman announcing the celebration of the second anniversary of Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show, which has become a monthly fixture on the calendar at Proctors’ Underground in Schenectady. Applause was heard from folks attending the near-capacity show. Ullman segued into some of his personal experiences and touched on some political discussion – changing America one comedy show at a time.
First up was Schenectady comedian Dee Watson, whose use of self-effacing humor set the tone. This was going to be a fine evening; covering topics ranging from how larger people can gracefully navigate a subway turnstile to the style choices of big girls vs. small girls. It was readily apparent why Watson did so well at the Ladies of Laughter Contest.
Feature comedian Mike Albanese, from Brooklyn, admitted to being a first timer in our area, and poked obligatory fun at the proper pronunciation of Schenectady. He shared stories about his travels on Megabus, as well as spending time with his two young nieces (let’s just say it can be hard to be an adult in a kid’s world). He was able to relate a personal medical diagnosis and his encounters with a heart specialist who couldn’t get his foot out of his mouth and an anesthesiologist who left him wondering if he just got out of a sex change operation. Albanese was hilarious, and it was great to have him in our neck of the woods.
For headliner Shane Torres, who also made the trip from Brooklyn, it was a “welcome back” to Schenectady and the PMTB Comedy Show. He has performed on “Conan,” “Last Comic Standing” and “Comedy Bang, Bang.” He reflected on NYC driving as being the single worst experience of his life, as well as the more common foibles of life; dating, standing in line at the post office and family – all to a hilarious effect. During his routine, he deftly dealt with hecklers, while never losing his place in the bit, even explaining the rule of three to audience members asking for his impression of his mother’s reaction to hearing the name George Clooney.
All of the performers displayed a talent for observing the things we all see, but shining a hilarious light on them.
And happy second anniversary to Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show. Long may you keep the laughs comin’ in Schenectady…