Tomorrow night, the famous Daniel Tosh is bringing his “Tosh Tour on Ice” act to Missoula for two shows. I first want to say good for Missoula in attracting such a respected and A-list type performer to come to our small city. We need to bring more people of his caliber to Zoo Town. Secondly, I must admit that I personally have no interest in seeing him perform.
Now this is nothing personal against Daniel Tosh. I absolutely love Tosh.0. It is a hilarious, creative show that is sure to brighten my day whenever I am in a bad mood. I think the guy is a genius and is to be commended for his saviness in picking up on the interest people have in weird web videos and taking it to the bank in a huge way.
You see, the thing is, live comedy shows just don’t do it for me. As someone who is willing to throw inflated amounts of money for premium concert and sporting event tickets, I am very, very stingy when it comes to comedy shows. To me, live comedy lacks the adrenaline and spontaneity of a sporting event or concert.
I think you can liken a comedy show to a concert in many ways but while it works for a concert format, it does not work for a comedy format. When a comedian comes out, he/she is going to do exactly what a band does and open with something big, something that is going to grab the audience’s attention. Many bands will open with a hit song, something everyone knows. In the same way, comedians will open with one of their trademark jokes/routines. I want to stop right now and say that I find no joy in listening to an old joke, no matter how popular it is. When I listen to a hit song by one of my favorite artists I am flooded with adrenaline and a bunch of good memories that I associate with the song. When I hear a comedian say one of his old jokes there is absolutely no suspense at all, I know what is coming. A joke is funny because of that split second when the punch line registers in your mind and your body responds with laughter. This physiological process is not there with old jokes. The middle of a show is also similar, yet different, for concerts and comedy shows. And actually, comedy shows have the advantage on this one. During the middle of the show, bands will usually start playing their new stuff, you know, the stuff off of their new album. Much of this stuff you have never heard before and you could kind of care less for. However, your excitement is still there because you know more hits are coming. Likewise, during the middle of a comedian’s show, he/she is going to get into some new material as well. This is actually a good thing because the opportunity to genuinely laugh at something unexpected is there. At the end of a concert, the act is going to blow you away with their best stuff, the songs that their careers were made on. At a comedy act, the comedian will once again resort to their old material…yawn.
I have seen Gabriel Iglesias, Ron White, and David Letterman perform so I do know a little bit about comedy shows and their structure. Besides the lack of suspense, I just really can’t get up for them. Even if you get a good buzz going, it is not going to enhance the show as much as it is at a sporting event or concert. You are just so restricted in your seat. There are not opportunities to jump around and go crazy. Yes, you can clap your hands and laugh until you are blue in the face but it is just not the experience I crave when I see an event live. I gave credit to comedy shows for entertaining me during the middle of the act. But really, that is not going to convince me to go to a show. While the content is there, the excitement is not. I do realize that this is totally a “me thing” but I just can’t get amped for comedy.
So unless I got free tickets or a hot date who happens to love comedy, I am not interested in seeing Daniel Tosh in person. Perhaps when 10pm rolls around tomorrow an episode of Tosh.0 will be on Comedy Central. As a nod to Mr. Tosh for coming to Missoula I will watch it, but I am not getting close to the University Theater. Don’t Blink.