A good comedy show is equal parts good venue, good vibe, talented comedians and the unpredictable variable of a fun audience. At local comedian Jason Harris’ comedy show to kick off the Neon Reverb festival all of these pieces fell into place.
The Fiesta Room at El Cortez proved to be a solid comedy venue with adequate lighting and sound and plenty of room for the small but lively crowd to laugh its collective ass off.
Harris, an entertaining performer in his own right, had assembled a fun group to join him, including Todd Paul, formerly of Hooters Casino, Anton Knight and local band The Forget Me Nows.
LA-based comedian Jonny Loquasto happened to be in town, about to return home for a commercial callback, but he stuck around to do a guest spot and open his friend Harris’ show. While all the comedians performed very solid sets, it was an audience member who really stole the show.
Harris called out to a member of the crowd in one of his jokes only to discover the thickly accented man he chose was a force to be reckoned with. Harris’ selection was an Armenian named Krikor, and on top of his accent, Krikor had jokes—lots of jokes.
Harris skillfully handled the would-be distraction of an over-active audience member and kept the rapport going by allowing Krikor to tell a couple of jokes as his set progressed. With a few zingers about priests and rabbis and inappropriate sexual situations, the Armenian jokester really highlighted how important a comedian’s audience is.
Despite Todd Paul’s impressive juggling and unicycling and Harris’ hilarious quips about bottleneck dolphins and pouring “champagne on that ass,” Krikor’s antics stood out. At the end of the night, Harris summed it up well with, “You’ve known me long enough to know these people just find me. It’s amazing. Krikor is going on tour with me!”