A week ago I went to see a standup comedy show in Seattle. Specifically I went to see Andy Zaltzman, who hosts The Bugle Podcast first with John Oliver now with a rotation of guests. It was one of his Satirist For Hire shows, it was kind of surprising to see him in Seattle. He is self-admittedly niche and joked about how if he was successful there would have been more than eight people on the upper level. The show was fine in and of itself but it was only the second comedy show I have ever seen until this point. The first was nearly ten years ago at Benaroya Hall when my dad took me out to see George Carlin.
Both events were defined by happenstance. I found out that George Carlin was going to do a show in Seattle in October of 2007. I do not remember how I found out but it was probably either the Seattle Times or some radio ad. Inclined to say the Seattle Times. I had been a fan of George Carlin for a long while, I had heard some of his sets listening to my dad’s first generation iPod when I was about 11 or 12. Far to young to understand some of it and I’m sure much to the annoyance of mother. But I’m fine. Mentioning that he was coming to town to my dad and he suggested we get tickets. We did and arrived the night of the show and found that our seats were in the center of the theatre in the third row. The tour he was on was his last, It’s Bad for Ya, so if you are curious the set I heard was nearly identical to that album. As my dad said at the time when we found out our seats were so close that we would be able to feel the spittle. It was a great night and my dad bought a shirt for me afterwards. On the 22nd of June 2008 George Carlin died. I was at my dad’s office with him; it was late and we were staying up because the next day I was flying to Spain for a school trip. It was strange thinking back about it; it was the only chance I had to see my favorite comedian.
The decision to see Andy Zaltzman was also kind of spur of the moment. I found out from one of the infrequent Bugle updates in September. I half heartedly attempted to coax from friends to join me but in the end I went alone. Thankfully I was able to spend the night at friend’s in Seattle. It is hard to describe his set but I enjoyed it. Though the title of this entry is one of his jokes. In reference to increasing use of acronyms he said a crowd in Manchester referred to him as a Comedian of Unbelievable Natural Talent.
I am not sure if anyone else will share this thought but I find it interesting to think about that decade bookended by two standup shows. I fear that George Carlin would be more melancholic than angry about current events. And I suspect Andy Zaltzman was happier with 2007 than 2016. But I digress.