Walking into Cobb’s Comedy Club is like taking a trip into Narnia. It looks like hell on the outside. About the size of your favorite pillow fort’s little sister with a zesty urine smell to boot. On the inside though, it’s huge, and the acts that they bring in are consistently top-notch.
I’d been there before, to see David Alan Grier (who’s chuckle inducing standup paled in comparison to his opener, “This Week in Blackness’” own Elon James White, performing nearly the exact set he’d done six months earlier at SF Sketchfest 2010. That is to say I could have performed the hilarious act myself, and it was still roughly 113 times funnier than David Alan Grier’s – no offense to David Alan Grier, who’s doing his thing on Broadway!). This time I was there to see the incomparable DAVE EFFING CHAPPELLE IN REAL LIFE DUDE WTF OMGZ !!!@$#%^&
::BREATHE:: Ok. Back to life.
Having purchased my tickets in a harried frenzy (before confirming that anyone else was up for going), I was by myself, and was therefore seated at a table with another party of four. These four seemed nice enough; they were made up of two couples: One fine man and his girl who cut her eyes at me the entire night, and a pretty late-20 something lady and her Aren’t-You-A-Little-GIGANTIC-
The second couple though, was way more laid back. As a matter of fact, this is how we met:
Rachel: Hi, I’m Rachel*! My boyfriend’s about to come in- He’s wasted! [bf enters] This is dubs.*!
Roger: [seating himself] Hi, I’m Roger*! How old are you?
Me: [laughing] Jeez!
Rachel: Don’t ask her that!
Roger: What?! She’s not old! You’re not old enough to be embarrassed!
Me: I’m 22. It’s embarrassing in the other direction.
Rachel: Wow! You’re a baby!
Roger: [to lady] Guess I can’t say she’s pretty either huh?! I can’t do nothing! [George Lopez impression noted sir. Good on ya.]
Rachel: Sure you can!
Me: [blushes … chokes … laughs]
Roger: [spotting the guys at the table on the other side of me *whom he has never met*] Hey guys! This is Dara! She’s cool! Have you met her?!
[at this point, all five guys introduce themselves, and handshakes go all around. The last guy I shake with yelps.]
Yelper: Wow! That’s a nice, strong handshake! A good handshake with a cold hand, man …
Friend: Yeah, none of the sweaty nervous hand …
Yelper: Like effing Cool Hand Luke!
Me: How’d you know my nickname?
Rachel: Oh snap girl! You’re cool! I’m the head manager at [an amazing club in SF*]. We’re gonna be best friends!
At this point, Cherchez Laghost fades out, I stop grooving in my seat, and the opener comes on stage. This was Reggie Steele. I’d seen him at the very same Sketchfest 2010 event where I’d seen Elon (read: negro-median shortage in the Bay) and was happy to hear him again. What you need to know about Reggie Steele is that he is
pretty funny, and disarmingly charming and accessible and has a beautiful smile. He’d done a great opening, and sensing the audience was sufficiently warmed, brought on the main act: The Man, the Legend, Mr. Dave Chappelle (!!!!!!!!!!!!).
He walked on stage. Took out a pack of cigarettes – a joint fell out- he says “oops; a joint fell out of my pack.” The audience dies with laughter. I marvel how different it must feel to do standup in front of a crowd who trusts you’ll be funny as opposed to expecting you not to be.
It felt like he was trying out a bunch of new material, but didn’t have anything in the way of a full polished set yet:
“Why did I decide to come out to San Francisco? I was sitting on the couch and thought: ‘I’m hilarious!’ [Beat] It wasn’t a random thought; I was watching Jimmy Fallon at the time.”
It didn’t matter what he’d prepared or not though, because the man is a master of improvisation. Looking down at someone in the front of the room, he asked “Hablas espanol?” Apparently the person was not Latino at all, but from Afghanistan. Figuring this out, Dave asked
“What do you think about what’s happening in Egypt? [Silence … To non-Latina] I’m sorry, that wasn’t right for me to ask. [To audience] She sittin’ here looking at me like ‘What I think about Egypt? N**ga what you think about Swaziland?!”
At around this time, Roger began to shout things at Dave (yeah I said Dave. 1st Names all day). He was offering real gems like “my girlfriend’s feet are cold!” To which Dave replied “In life? Or right now? What is going on??” Eventually, our hero Roger gets shown out of the club. Cobb’s has a no nonsense policy when it comes to heckling or making a lot of noise or talking about feet (this makes sense, ‘cuz the biggest acts want to perform without fear, and feet are gross).
“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. If you believe that, you never came against me n*gga! Yall know me as a comedian; I use my powers for good. If I wanted to, I would make you wish I had beat that @ss with sticks and stones!”
Dave Chappelle is one of the coolest men walking on this planet. He pulled out an $8 corncob pipe on stage. He complained about a twitter beef between Katt Williams and someone pretending to be Dave Chappelle saying, “He’s saying things to the fake Dave Chappelle, but they hurt the real Dave Chappelle.” He says, “Why not Usher or someone like this?” instead of “someone like that.” When a girl trying to delay his exit off-stage walked to the front of the room and flashed him, he screamed “titty-balls!” and said, “It’s not even my birthday … thanks lady.” As she walked away he quipped, “Hey Soldier! Tell them titties I said ‘At Ease.’” The man ended his show with a sing-a-long of Barney’s “I Love you.”
Near the end of Dave’s set, I took out my little notebook and started scribbling down some notes, so that I could remember every detail. The handshaking dudes at the table next to me stage-whispered “LOOK! She’s the press! Oh my god! We were talking to the press!” I smiled over at them knowingly, hooked arms with my new best friend Rachel, and left the club to find Roger. Six Foot Seven Foot blared as we exited.
Photo Credit [Source: TV Popcrunch]
* Names changed for the protection of wastey-faces and my new friendship. I’m not kidding.