We were afraid our brains would burst like over-ripe blackberries if we listened to any more 2012 pathetic political humor -- before we walked up the stairs at the Marsh to see Will Durst's "Elect to Laugh." Could we bear any more Rick Perry jokes? Michelle Bachmann? Herman Cain? DONALD TRUMP? No, dear Jesus, no.
But guess what -- "Elect to Laugh" is one of the funniest ninety minute joke-a-second laughaloozas this normally upstanding reviewer has seen in years. Will Durst is not only a terrific joke teller but he's a master performer with a great voice. And like he says -- "you can't make this s**t up."
Our favorite jokes (that we can remember):
-- Durst's description of the Obama victory celebration in Mill Valley -- "they were like happy little hobbits celebrating the destruction of the ring."
-- Explaining what a newspaper is to people under thirty: "It's like a Huffington Post you can hold."
OK, no more punch lines:
-- Obama and the Aflac duck. You really have to see this one.
-- Where smokers have to go to smoke in San Francisco.
-- Oh, God, the grieving beekeepers at the mall.
We lied about the punch lines. Here are two more, but without the setups:
-- "The Queen of the Illiterati" and "Mr. Rogers with rabies."
Durst has a happy stage demeanor -- you kind of want to hug him, once he takes off that purple tie. "Elect to Laugh" is nothing like what we feared -- Mark Russell without the piano, with shovelfuls of West Coast Smug -- instead, Durst is hysterical, brilliant and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
But why DIDN'T Anthony Weiner change the pronunciation of his name?
RATINGS ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ BOEHNER
The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division admits "Elect to Laugh" is a comedy bit, not a theater piece. But you can't miss it, because Will Durst may never again have so many buffoons to lampoon. Plus, he smokes. He needs your money.
We award this ninety minute celebration of banana-peel politics Four Stars with a Boehner. You'll have to come to the show to see how to pronounce it.
Will Durst "Elect To Laugh"
The Marsh (Studio Theater upstairs)
1062 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Tuesday nights until the November election, 8pm
$15-$35 sliding scale
(The Studio Theater is only three rows deep. Do you really need the more costly seats?)