Marking his first show on a tour of Florida shows, naturally comedian Eric Andre performed began the run of shows in his hometown of Boca Raton at the intimate Respectable Street Cafe.
With doors opening at 8, the show began around 9:30 with Respectables’ regular Patrick Smash, whose usual act revolves around burlesque shows but tonight had narrowed his set down to more observational humor. Taking a very self-deprecating look on relationships, with one particularly striking anecdote about a heroin addicted OkCupid date.
Another local act, Clifford Martineau, also riffed heavily on romance while also getting topical on issues like race and the upcoming election. His deadpan demeanor and wide range of expressions come off as reminiscent of Donald Glover’s stand-up. Like Andre, Martineau is also of Haitian descent and resides in WPB.
For those familiar with Andre for the surrealist, neo-Dada humor of his late night Adult Swim show, the nature of the show seemed as wildcard as Andre himself. Whether or not the show would be a “traditional stand-up” or just a live version of his TV show was speculated up until Andre came on-stage. With season 4 of the show premiering this Friday, the comedian walked onto the stage to rousing applause and chants of “Bird Up” and “Ranch It Up.” However, knowing the mistakes of performers like Dave Chappelle with similarly innocuous catchphrases, Andre stated “let’s get this shit out of the way right now” to those who came to hear him spout lines from the show.
As a Boca native (the only local celebrity rivaling only Ariana Grande), his parents as well as, many non-incarcerated high school friends were in the audience but did not stop him from pushing the envelope as he does with grace. If anything, Andre riffed primarily on his Blewish (Black-Jewish) heritage and upbringing in WPB. As well as, his usual jokes about annillingus, Jerry Sandusky, and legalizing crystal meth. As for his TV show, Andre spoke little about it except for their attempt to get Waka Flocka on this season, however from this clip it looks like this season won’t be devoid of rap luminaries.
Having been out of the stand-up spotlight for awhile, some of the age of his material showed its age with jokes about Fugazi and even Spike TV seemed to be lost on some of the younger members of the crowd.
In his work, there is an heir of the overt meta-ness of everything that stems from both a place of self-awareness (i.e. Andre being a fan of 311 and Korn in his youth) and self-parody (visor-clad frat bros dressed as Andre’s “Ranch It Up” character), which overall felt like the evening was one big inside joke you were either in on or not. That’s not to say the show wasn’t amazing, but to his droves of dedicated fans he made the evening spectacular, or at least a spectacle.