Notes from the 2009 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival opening night gala

What kind of comedy festival offers free butterscotch pudding to its audience members? And if you're lucky enough to have a wristband like this, you also got to munch on turkey, potato salad and other savories. "VIPs" also could dine on caviar inside a cardboard room?! Then again, if you're wearing a wristband like this, then you must be at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival!

Eugenemirmanfest

The opening-night gala on Thursday, hosted by Mirman, opened with Pete Holmes, featured videos from Leo Allen, Max Silvestri, Seth Herzog, and Tim & Eric, live music from Jon Auer of the Posies (performing a solo version of Big Star's "Thirteen"), and if that wasn't enough, how about a half-hour or so of absurdity with Kristen Schaal followed by an hour of Daniel Kitson? Yes, you say. Splendid!

Schaal opened with a mime routine. "That was me seducing and then assassinating Adolf Hitler. It's a new dance move. I hope it catches on!" She also showed off the trailer for her pilot project, The Midwife, which is quite dramatic once you remove the boiling water; played a live game of MASH (in her Colorado rules, it's MASHO, where the O stands for Outhouse); and got possessed by the ghost of a sexist stand-up from the early 1980s.

I'd heard many good things about Daniel Kitson. Turns out these people saying good things about Kitson know of whence and what they speak. I'll have more to say about him after I see him perform his own show later this weekend. But I should probably tell you now that among last night's highlights were watching Kitson fall offstage and into the front row whilst making a point; comparing the people taking photos of him onstage to pedophiles; noticing that a woman trying to sneak a text message from inside her purse set her aglow as if she were conducting magic tricks; and making a necessary diversion to explain his Scrabble strategies.

Here is an older video of Kitson performing in Melbourne back in 2003. Since you probably don't have tickets to his sold-out shows this weekend, this may be the best you can get for now:

Related? Nerve.com asked Mirman for sex advice.

Related randomness: Here's a video from earlier this summer with Mirman and Schaal interviewing each other in advance of a June gig in Boston.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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One thought on “Notes from the 2009 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival opening night gala

  1. Daniel Kitson regularly visits Australia. The one time I had a chance to see him I had storm out in a huff to attend to girlfriend problems. Funny man, will need to watch a complete show.

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