(Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI - October 3rd, 2014)
Chris D'Elia, best known as a comedic actor/writer on such TV shows as both 'Whitney' (2011) and 'Undateable' (2014), came to town Friday night - and we all wished he hadn't!
A few minutes later than advertised, D’Elia’s opening comedic act introduces him to the stage - and promptly manages to screw his name up at the same time! As “Delia” slouches on from stage left, dressed in ill-fitting dark blue jeans, a faded black t-shirt, for the most part his unkempt hair slicked back, the sold-out audience loudly applause. It also turned out to be the last time they felt the desire to do it again.
Sadly, this is also the very same moment that stand-up comedy, as we know it, died a horrible death for the next hour!
Simply put, when Chris D’Elia is scripted on TV shows like ‘Whitney’ and ‘Undateable’ he is very funny. Very funny. He is fast-thinking, he is fleet of foot, he is the comeback king. But put D’Elia on stage alone in front of a live audience, each who have paid $30 a ticket to see him, and suddenly not one of those things applies to him!
Indeed, for the first seven minutes he said barely anything! Holding his microphone close to his mouth, he giggled, he mumbled, he grunted, he shuffled from one side of the small stage to the other, and all with his head bowed down. Add to this most pathetic of live comedic openings the fact that he then spots someone taking flash photography of him, whom he then proceeds to seriously berate, and you could sense that tonight was going to be a train wreck early on.
D’Elia begins his act, if that is indeed the correct word to use for someone aimlessly rambling on stage about school boy smut, talking about his early days in the business. We get stories of him working a Laundromat and a 20 minute retelling of the night he performed to just 14 people at a boarded up bar in LA. Inclusive of a woman that reminded him of 'Blanka' from the Street Fighter II video game, D’Elia loses his way several times. As too does the wholly inane story.
He then lets us know he is just back from South Florida, where he was surrounded by Cubans. “Never ask a Cuban for directions unless you want to have the best time of your life along the way,” he remarks, as he flails his arms around his ever-twisting body in a vain attempt to portray what the visual would look like. Another needlessly long segment, he ends it by telling us the opposite of a Cuban is a Russian!
Together with his horrible Russian accent, he launches into a skit about why, in his mind, they are so rightly perceived as being anti-fun, when a shout from the audience telling him he is wrong suddenly disrupts his so-called comedic process. “Shut up!,” he immediately fires back at the shocked audience member. “This is not TED talk, so shut the f**k up.“ Meant with complete venom, D’Elia quickly refocuses on his act. With his chin down, he puts a faux giddy smile back on his face, takes a sharp intake of breath, and adds that Russians never show their necks; as the neck is for family only.
As his punchline lands into silence, he then comes front of stage and tells the audience that he thinks what he just said was the shit! The best! Obviously now seeing that he was losing his audience, he then pays mention to the fact that a lot of people were obviously dragged out tonight who didn’t even know who he was. So, of course people weren’t laughing as they didn’t know when to, he supposed.
D’Elia then says he has one word for all the women of the world: “Relax”. He admits that’s how he had wanted to start the show and then shovels the hole deeper for himself by doing a impression of a girl replying to a guy asking what was wrong: “I can’t … I can’t even … you wouldn’t even know what happened even if I told you!” D’Elia comments that at that moment if a dragon had f**ked her he would have to know more, because he would need to comprehend it all!
Next up is a 20 minute section on any girlfriend’s best friend, usually named Lisa, and how it is always, in a guys mind, the mental middle finger towards her of, “F**k, Lisa!” He explains that whenever a girlfriend is talking to him, that she’ll always reference a Lisa. And that when said girlfriend is talking to Lisa, all Lisa is thinking is, “When she’s done telling me her story, I’m going to tell her mine.” Next we get the difference in a hard days work between the sexes when Lisa says to anyone who will listen that she’s “… literally been running around all day!” D’Elia then does his what-if-she-really-had-been-running-around-all-day hop, skip and run routine; arms flailing, high-pitched voice at the max to enable us to seemingly recognize that he’s doing an impression of a flaky girl!
Yet again camera flashes come from the same area of the audience they had before and yet again D’Elia angrily launches into the culprit. He tells him he wasn’t joking the first time, he was dead serious and he was getting very angry. An accidental, yet perfectly timed segue way, he then moves into a section on arguments and awkward encounters with ex-girlfriends. He recants a seemingly-true story of the day he purchased an orange shirt, how he wore it out with his girlfriend, and how she constantly told him it was actually pink! This bleeds into meeting her mother, a whole bit on him saying, “Hello, mom” to her, and his girlfriend having to tell him that wasn’t his mother, but hers! It’s another 20 minute, needlessly elongated pile of drivel without a punch line.
Next, D’Elia takes the level of the show to the well-trodden fodder of the gutter by informing women that the only reason men associate with them is because they want to be in them! “If there’s a guy hanging with you, he wants to get in you. If he says he just wants to be friends with you, he’s lying … he wants to get in you! We all want to get in you, but there’s nothing in there when we get there!” He then goes on to suggest that women should put things inside their pu**ies as treats for men. Like a roll of quarters, tickets to Coachella, and other such items of wonderment. D’Elia then does his tried and tested Nicholas Cage cum face and head flip to show what all men seemingly look like at that moment, before adding that even a Blue Jay or a ring pop would be nice to find down there!
D’Elia then talks about the only thing that comes out of pu**ies, … babies! “A baby is the worst prize, ever,” he loudly laughs, albeit by himself. He then distinguishes the birth of a baby as something beneath the birth of a baby deer. A baby comes out, it’s not dressed, it can’t talk. It wants help. It needs help. But a baby deer pops out and straight away it’s saying, I’m here to help! I’m going to get some berries! “Women should just give birth to fully grown, fully dressed adult men and women who when they pop out immediately say they’re late for work!"
Next, D’Elia talks about when you have a daughter you have to be a constant dick blocker, but to have a son would be harder for him. He’s not a sports guy, so if his son asked him how to throw a ball he would have to find out for himself first! He then reveals he has a soft side by talking about the old Shaquille O’Neal movie, ‘Kazaam’ where come the end, with the little boy dying, cradled in Shaq’s arms, D’Elia broke some tears free. In much the same vein as a Japanese anime, they seemingly fired up and out at great speed and with great distance!
Continuing his lack of sports interest, D’Elia then says he would get much more fun out of watching a football game between REAL Dolphins and REAL Bears! He then suggests other match ups such as actual Cowboys vs. actual Jaguers, actual Pirates vs. actual Vikings, and actual removal Packers vs. tall-ass Giants! Then he tells anyone who wears a jersey with another mans name across the back that they are a “f**king loser!” He adds that it’s a “bitch move” and that it means that the named person should have the right to butt f**k you whenever they wanted to!
Again, someone from the audience breaks his stride, but this time all they do is whoop, in a fleeting moment of either overly-excited enjoyment or the release of trapped gas! However, D’Elia doesn’t like even that so-called interruption and tells the person to “Shut up,” and quickly adds, “Just let me get through this show. You’re not gonna suck my dick!” As if to tip him over the edge, somebody else shouts out his catchphrase from ‘Undateable,’ Baby Bird, but D’Elia thankfully chooses to ignore it.
D’Elia then brings us the overly-mined theme of the fact he believes that girls want sex some of the time, whereas all the guys in the world want sex all of the time … and with every woman on the planet! And even with the ones they have just invented in their heads! To prove his point, D’Elia picks a woman from the audience, gets her to stand up, then picks a guy, gets him to stand up, and then asks the woman if she would f**k him! She leans to look, politely shakes her head no, and D’Elia quickly responds that the guy has already said yes without even looking at her!
Now, for some unknown reason, D’Elia then does his entire last act in a Keanu Reeves ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’-esque voice! Even the women he portrays seem to simply be a female version of said same character. He then gives us, in a very unnecessarily long-winded fashion, the 3 Rules to getting into a woman’s pu**y: Firstly, you have to take her to a restaurant she wants to go to, but you have to know what it is and choose it yourself! Secondly, you have to take her to a movie she wants to see, but have to already know what it is without asking! And, thirdly, you have go to a museum with her, even though she doesn’t want to go, because all she wants to do is watch the look on your face as you dislike it all as much as she does!
Finally, and thankfully, D’Elia then begins to wrap up his act, but again it’s nothing but a regurgitated old standard. He warns us to be careful about who we talk to online. He relates another supposedly true story about how someone posted a comment under one of his YouTube videos that simply said, “You’re not funny.” D’Elia responded with, “Dude, whatever. I’ll f**k your whole family!” This then escalates, with D’Elia saying worse and worse things, until the mystery poster suddenly ends with, “But I’m only 7!”
So, what does D’Elia do in both this supposedly true story and for his finale of a punch line. Well, he simply tells us he went and found this kids personal YouTube page of cute videos of him bouncing up and down on a trampoline, and added under one of them, “F**k you, you’re ugly!”
An hour ago, when the opening comedian introduced Chris D’Elia to the stage he also announced that the latter comedian’s show was full of "never-heard-before, all-new material". Not only did he blatantly lie, but D’Elia obviously couldn’t string a coherent patchwork of solid jokes together if his life depended on it.
I applauded as hard as anyone when D’Elia first came onstage, thus I truly wanted to walk out of the venue smiling, my jaw and belly both aching from laughing. But sadly for everyone there, as we walked out there wasn’t a positive element to be heard in anyone’s summaries. As one woman put it to her friend on the phone, I too wish I’d stayed at home and watched him on ‘Whitney’ reruns instead!
BTW, when you Google Chris D’Elia’s name it immediately comes up as ‘Stand-up Comic’! Ahhhh, Google, thank you for giving me my first real laugh of the night!
Review & Photos by: Russell A. Trunk
The highly-impressive Royal Oak Music Theatre is located at 318 W. Fourth Street, Royal Oak, Michigan. It was built as a vaudeville theatre and opened in 1928.
Get Royal Oak Music Theatre tickets at AXS.com