Whose Live Anyway?, which took place at Kingston’s Ulster Performing Arts Center on April 12, 2019, is an atypical event for NYS Music to cover. Hell, the skit comedy show is an atypical event, period.
In lieu of a traditional review of the night’s proceedings, we have compiled the “Top Ten Things Learned At Whose Live?
1) Drew Carey has a dirty mouth. When he’s not giving away cars on national midday broadcast television, Carey loves saying “fuck.” He dropped more f-bombs than the Bad News Bears dropped pop-ups. The curses were perhaps gratuitous, but never malicious. He seemed like a genuinely jovial guy who loves and appreciates his enviable job.
2) Greg Proops likes audience participation– when it’s asked for. Sure, the event called for audience participation. Sometimes, people chimed in and he apparently didn’t hear, like when a zealous Oliver Twist fan called out his favorite book several times. Other times, unsolicited engagement came and Proops had no problem demanding people to “Shut up!” (perhaps slightly maliciously), while mocking them in the process.
3) Any action can be made sexual. In the evening’s first skit, Carey and Jeff B. Davis came out with a bang… or a blow. Audience members were asked to provide them with non-sexual actions to perform on stage while telling a story. Carey was tasked with sit-ups while Davis was given jumping jacks. It turns out, if you’re doing sit-ups and your friend starts doing jumping jacks while straddling your midsection, the amalgamation looks quite sexual. Who knew?
4) Kids say the darndest things. Twelve-year-old Skylar, who already witnessed his grandmother being wooed (we’ll get to Hester), was called onto stage during the encore to create a fairy tale called “Shmoogley Poogley” (or something) on the spot with Carey and the crew. Skylar– rightfully so– questioned “What parent names their kid Shmoogley? Or Poogley?!” Later in the story, when Poogley was being chased by Shmoogley, Skylar exclaimed, “…and Poogley ran to a bridge and jumped off!” That’s one way to end a story abruptly.
5) Kids make the most monophonic sound effects. During another sketch, Proops and Joel Murray played construction workers filling in Kingston’s infamous potholes, while a couple of young volunteers were called up to make sound effects. As it were, wings flapping, beers cracking, steamrollers starting and ice swishing all sounded incredibly alike.
6) “Bucharest, Bitch!” The cast played Jeopardy and, when the answer was “Bucharest,” Carey’s– I mean space skydiver Felix Bumgartner’s– question was, “What do I say after a killer dunk? Bucharest, bitch!” That’s right, Bucharest is not the nap one takes after chowing down at Buca di Beppo. And definitely not the capital of Romania.
7) Comedians acting drunk are much funnier than actual drunk people. We’ve all been out and seen (or been) people whose motor skills look like they’re being controlled by someone else. During a skit, Carey and Davis impersonated Kingstonians over-imbibing at the annual St. Patrick’s Day festival. The funny part? Their movements were controlled by random participants who pushed or pulled their arms, legs, hands and feet as they saw fit. They moved like robots and slurred like…apparently, Kingstonians.
8) Juuling ain’t allowed in school. A Kingston high-schooler was asked to provide a title for a fake soap opera. The crew would narrate based on the biggest drama going on at her school. The title she provided? “Juuling In the Bathroom.” The skit was funny, the prevalence of kids huffing USBs in school is distressing.
9) Grandmas make great babysitters. The reason Skylar was on stage telling stories with famous comedians who love dropping F-bombs and telling people to shut up; His parents were out and Grandma Hester was babysitting. She was the first audience participant called on stage and was serenaded by Davis. Davis concluded the ballad by bragging he would give Grandma her own “scarlet A” and Skylar must have seen her blush from his seat, halfway back in the crowd. In about five years, he may be the first high-schooler to enjoy Hawthorne when he realizes “that’s what that guy meant!”
10) Ariana Grande and Jim Belushi love library songs. Or, at least when being portrayed by Carey and Murray, respectively, and attempting to sell “greatest library-song hits.” This is a two-for-one point– Greg Proops just may do Elvis Costello better than Elvis Costello does Elvis Costello.
Here’s a bonus takeaway from the evening: laughter is damn good medicine. Go see a comedy show. Your side might hurt from all the laughter, but your soul will feel refreshed.