Last night was a warmer night for November in New York City on East 3rd Street, and especially fitting for the second night of New York’s famed Comedy Festival. Fans of comedy and alike filtered in and out of “The Hot Chick’s Room,” a bar at the back of UCBeast where interesting choices of canned beer were plentiful and the prices: great. A couple of aspiring local comedians and I chatted for a while, waiting to take our seats for an hour-long set from Glenn Wool, one of North America’s most exciting comedians.
The doors opened and the audience found their seats, looking around to see the room half-full, but I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say that we were in good company. Glenn Wool was quick to come on stage and enthusiastically introduce one his fellow comedians, Rojo Perez. The bearded Puerto Rican New Yorker entered from stage left and brightened up the room quickly with a bit about an arrogant band from Brooklyn and other very funny material. I’d look out for his shows in the New York area.
Soon enough, it was time for the Canadian. He bounced up on stage, PBR in hand, and began by telling about his ramblin’ man nature. A vagabond comedian, Wool has had the experience of dealing with a variety of people, especially airport security. “You’re a comedian, eh? …Not funny,” an airport security guard once informed him. Wool takes it in stride though, showing a variety of funny faces that ultimately show his own; the face of a true commentator on the times of today.
Yes, he told a “20 minute joke about a beaver” and a wonderful story about being too drunk to wake up for the Iron Maiden concert, but there was most definitely content along the wild ride. He criticized Americans who call Mexicans lazy, the unmotivated people at Occupy Wall Street, and wonders why Jesus turned water into wine; “weren’t they thirsty in the desert?” Criticize Wool for dressing like a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but he claims to have one of the hardest jobs in the world. “Do you know how hard it is to make people laugh all over the world?” The question’s rhetorical. Making several different cultures laugh is a difficult task.
The relatively small 124-seat space at UCBeast was quite the intimate setting for Wool. When each of us laughed, we all knew who each other were and so did Wool, reading the audience’s gestures to smile at all the approval. He also saw our uncertain faces that eventually carried over in to laughter as he joked about 9/11.
The show felt old-fashioned, like one big great story you never hear anymore, and it was great. It will surely remain a memorable highlight throughout my New York Comedy Festival adventures. At the end of the show, Wool humbly invited the supportive audience back to “The Hot Chicks Room” for drinks and conversation. I bought his latest CD/DVD combo, Let Your Hands Go, and I encourage you to do so also. Traveling around the world probably gets expensive. Visit his website for more information and tour dates.