Courtesy of Philly “Art” Blog.
Performing at POLYGON COMEDY PRESENTS: THE FRINGE! were Rosen and Milkshake and Alex Pearlman, local acts with previous stand-up credentials and unpretentious indie appeal. Rosen and Milkshake were up first, and absolutely killed. Bravely facing a nearly empty room, these guys took the standard “suggest a scenario” improv situation and Blew. It. Up. Rosen’s awkward delivery and oddly sweet sincerity carry this act—Milkshake is funny in his own right, but Rosen brings a highly memorable Napoleon Dynamite twist to what might otherwise be two funny guys doing jokes. The audience suggestion was “An Elephant”, leading the pair to dream up a nearly 20 minute routine featuring the King of Frankfort receiving, riding, and eventually killing the “last Asian elephant”, all with the help of Rosen’s toadying butler. Imaginary cannons, flashbacks, revelations, and witty one-liners had me in sincere stitches for the entire act. Perhaps the wittiest line of the entire show: Milkshake demands, “Are you FILMING me on your iPhone?!?” Rosen quips, “no im holding up an iCandle”. Fucking A, these guys are funny.
Second up was Alex Pearlman, a guy who looks so much like a young Conan O’Brien he’s GOT to hear this every single day. His set was a more straightforward comedian routine with a roster of anecdotes and life observations. Pearlman kept it short and sweet, punchy, and didn’t milk gags past their sell-by date; he ran through his routine with the obvious poise of a practiced performer. Not all of his gags were A-grade material, but his blunt, honest, and open dialog worked especially well in this intimate situation. He’s a younger guy with a good approach to comedy: talk honestly about life, joke about the pain (his dog needed expensive surgery, so he’s staging a benefit… plus, applying for a job at Loews), and above all, don’t be afraid to “go there” for the risk-laughs payoff (I asked the Israeli vet, “when you walled off and snipped out the cancer in my dog, did you call it Palestine?”). Overall, a short and sweet Fringe-style event (lowbrow, affordable, accessible). [Studio 34, other Polygon Fringe shows at O'Neals Pub and L'Etage] September 6-22, 2013 (review of September 8 show), fringearts.ticketleap.com/polygon-comedy-presents-the-fringe