LIVE: Julie Kottakis @ Proctors’ Underground, 3/31/18
Review by Kathy Conway
Photographs by Ed Conway
The evening began with host and comedian Thomas Attila Lewis announcing that the audience was in for a treat – being part of a live studio comedy album recording for headliner Julie Kottakis. (Applause from a near-capacity room.) This would be Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show’s first ever live recording since the monthly comedy series began at Proctors’ Underground in Schenectady back in 2014.
Lewis – from Pittsfield and a regular at PMTB Comedy Show – covered topics including whether Good Friday should be called bad Friday, weekend cheerleading and channeling energy like hot yoga. Conversation switched to sports Yankees vs. Mets and the recent passing of Rusty Staub (getting crowd reaction). Lewis talked about losing 43 pounds and eating one pound of sugar-free gummy bears for negative calories, only to find out they act as a laxative. As a spinning instructor, he was in a vulnerable position needing to go to the restroom. There he made all kinds of distracting noises – running water, circulating fans, human explosions (his own personal Vietnam) – before realizing that he had crapped his pants. So he grabbed the first clean pair he saw to wear and went back out to the class – only to discover that everyone had heard of his restroom experience of explosive diarrhea because he left his microphone on…
Comedian Ryan Shea – also from Pittsfield – was next up, and his comedy routine included such topics as there being no gay bars in a rural community, trans people who want to serve in the military, and there being no gay hikes where you might see folks hiking in suits.
Another regular at PMTB Comedy Show, Ethan Ullman riffed about his recent trip to Brooklyn and a restaurant called Grandma’s House where the breakfast menu included “Pauly’s Eggs in a Hole” with two big boxes around it on the menu. He also discussed AT&T Home Security for $59.99 and how you could just save money by going to Ebay and paying $1.99 for the sign and window stickers.
Brooklyn-based headliner Julie Kottakis talked about her trip from NYC to Schenectady via public transportation, screaming kid (her daughter), an only child (her daughter) with an imaginary friend (mommy) and a kid trying to steal her identity. A single mom, she also riffed about on-line dating (but the need to make eye contact), profile photos that pretend to be someone else and a first date on the Lifetime Channel.
She directed questions to the audience – What do you want to be when you grow up – in the movies? Anyone in therapy? – before slipping into a Russian accent skit as “Nadia” and talked about men and sexuality. Golden Girls relationship – cremated ashes spread all over their hair – ashes are good for your skin…
Ending with hope you don’t let your daughter do this…
UPCOMING: Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show returns to Proctors Underground with headliner Doug Smith at 8pm on Saturday, April 28, before moving over to Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany with Tim Dillon headlining at 8pm on Saturday, May 12. Tickets for both shows are on sale now, priced at $15 in advance; $20 at the door.