Thoughts on Oddball Festival Pittsburgh

The only picture I took at Oddball.

  • The secondary stage (which only had performances prior to the main stage show) was sponsored by Airheads, which signals a marked failure of the Laffy Taffy marketing department.
  • Kristen Schaal started her set as "Chris Schaal" the misogynist nephew of corn-rowed host Jeff Ross in order to gauge the sexism of the crowd as the only female performer. She finished her set ecstatically recreating Flashdance in honor of being in Pittsburgh. It was all pretty great.
  • I really don't understand the appeal of Jeff Ross..
  • John Mulany was not on this stop of the tour, which was pretty disappointing. 
  • Demetri Martin made a joke about how no one's thought about him since his television show was cancelled three years ago. Everyone awwed in pity, but we all knew it was true.  He's still hilarious, though.
  • Hannibal Buress finished his set with rap bit that was mostly gibberish ("Top of the charts in Iceland") flanked by randomly acting ballerinas. I'm not sure if the joke was any deeper than the surface silliness, but the surface silliness went a long way.
  • Yes, two instances of extended dance sequences.
  • Flight of the Conchords and Dave Chappelle both expressed interest in seeing Hartford, CT, bombed. Brett expressed concern that perhaps they shouldn't joke about it, since Americans take that thing too seriously.
  • Other things you shouldn't joke about? Someone shouted "Play Freebird!" Jemaine: "Never ever say that to anyone ever again."
  • None of the other comics mentioned the previous night, but the hosts, DJ, and signage were all very clear that heckling (or tweeting) would not be tolerated.  I think that's a sign that even the staff were afraid of offending Chappelle.
  • Speaking of which, most of Chappelle's set was spent being coddled by the audience. I don't want to suggest that he's not still as brilliant as he ever was, but as the man said himself, it's like he was a long-distance runner at the Special Olympics the way the audience kept cheering and proclaiming their love. In that regard, the set was deeply personal and exactly the sort of show he needed after the night before. Enjoyable, if a bit content-light.
  • Chappelle brought out his family to wish his wife a happy birthday. The DJ had 2 Chains Birthday Song cued up from Burgess's set in which he talked about how the song doesn't make sense. Chappelle yelled at the DJ to please not play the "big bootie hoes" song while his wife was on stage.