For those of you who missed the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, we have some good news and some bad news.
The good news: Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross closed out the four-hour stand-up special by thanking everyone for attending the "2013 Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival." That subtle denotative remark gives us hope that this won't be the only Oddball Fest to ever grace the stage.
Now for the bad news: You missed a fucking awesome show.
While headliners Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords appeared at all 15 stops on the first-ever comedy Woodstock, the rest of the lineup varied by city. Phoenix's set at Ak-Chin Pavilion featured Jeffrey Ross, Jim Jefferies, Stephen Rannazzisi, Chris D'Elia, and Hannibal Buress (who'll be returning to Phoenix for his own shows October 11 and 12 at Stand Up Live).
Oddball Phoenix also thew in a couple surprise acts including Fortune Feimster, who killed it, and Tony Woods, who physically and verbally informed the audience that he was trashed -- but that rare kind of trashed that can actually compliment a performance, and did.
Across the board it was a great showcase of comedy contemporaries, but that's not to say there weren't some highlights and some lowlights.
Highlights: Hannibal Buress rocking a metallic suit while rapping gibberish with presumably Kanye-inspired ballerinas on stage, and Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie jumping off stage and climbing onto a woman in the audience.
Lowlights: of the performers Chris D'Elia set was perhaps the weakest (though by no means did he have a bad set). And following intermission, Jeffrey Ross invited audience members up to the stage for an impromptu roast only that made one girl begin to tear up.
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But let's focus on the guy that everyone's been talking about: Dave Chappelle. The prodigal comedian returned with his signature, hypothetical-sketch-scenario style of comedy and, contrary some of the other cities on his tour, was welcomed warmly by the Phoenix crowd.
Between jokes about Arizona meth heads, pussy, and Paula Deen, Chappelle spoke openly about his comeback, the media, and the alleged meltdown he had early on in the tour in Hartford, Connecticut. Alongside his humor he brought the sincere impression that he was humbled by the positive response of fans on tour and to thank them for their support and their laughter, Chappelle finished his show and the tour by launching "Fuck Hartford" shirts into the audience.
Welcome back, Chappelle.