Saturday, September 16, 2006

Boulger Rocks BCF FInal, is denied re-entry to Theater

In what has to perceived as an homage to honor the 2nd anniversary of Rodney Dangerfield's death, Dan Boulger was denied re-entry into the very theater in which he won 2006's Boston Comedy Festival Final.

The show was dynamite. Ryan Hamilton came out of the shoot firing darts, it was jokejokejokejoke, and they were all damn good. This guy is terrific. He won the 2005 Sierra Mist "Next Great Comic" and was tearing up this year's BCF, and tonight was no different. Shane Mauss was second, and had a solid set. I have performed with and watched Shane for a couple of years now, and this guy is one of my favorite performers. With his boy-next-door looks, you never expect the next things that comes out his mouth, the guy is a riot. Early BCF favorite Daryl Lenox was third, and had a great set with more serious topics than his earlier counterparts. Great stuff, but to this point, it looked like Hamilton's night. I sat there thinking it was going to take a Herculean...well, Hercules wasn't really that funny... a Carlinian effort to take this away from Hamilton.

Boulger shuffled onto the stage wearing a red hoodie and sneakers, just being Dan Boulger. For a second, I felt like my father as I wondered why the kid couldn't dress up for the biggest night of his life... "dress up and what? be someone else, maybe?" the other voice in my head replied.

I laughed and said, "^&#$% Boulger, a red hoodie" and my friend Dot, who actually predicted he would win said, "that's how he dresses" and all of a sudden I realized that a 20 year old kid, doing comedy for 2 years, had captured what I had mumbled a million times and never grasped... be yourself.

Dan was up there just being himself... and he f***ing destroyed. He looked like he hadn't a care in the world, almost like he had something better to do, but he was supposed to be here for now, so he'd take care of this and go do whatever later.

Boulger mixed brilliant observations and some of the best-written jokes in town with periodic profanity, seemingly always timed just right. The kid looks so innocent, it's hard to imagine what he could say that would be offensive, nothing comes to mind. His pacing was fantastic, he was never in a rush, he could wait until the crowd was ready to get blindsided all over again.

Comedy legend Norm Crosby took the stage to announce the winner. When Dan Boulger emerged to take the crown, BCF grandmaster Jim McCue asked him if he would like to say a few words. In a moment of humility and right in step with Dan's character, he used his time to thank the people that have given him stage time by name. This kid is a peach.

After the contest final, "Lewis Black and Friends" had another show, the final piece of the BCF puzzle for 2006. Dan milled around Remington's (sight of the after party, which would really kick into gear when the Lewis Black show ended) for a while and decided to go back to the Theater to catch the end of the Lewis Black show. He asked him if I felt like going. I said sure, and fellow BCF contestant Rob O'Reilly came along.

We entered the back stage door and were greeted by a cute Asian chick working the door behind a glass booth. Rob confidently signed in, but I think Dan and I looked like we didn;t know what we were doing. She asked, "Um... are you guys supposed to be here?"

Rob was full of confidence, "This is Dan Boulger, he just WON the festival, this is the guy."

Girl: Oh the earlier show... yeah, are you supposed to be here now though?

Rob: No, you don;t understand, this is the guy, he's a superstar, he won the festival, he won the thing.

At this point, Dan is getting a tad uncomfortable, though I must admit, I was enjoying watching O'Reilly's astonishment and attempts to work this chick into letting us in.

Dan: No, no it's okay, let's go.

Moments later, one of those guys came up with brilliant idea of trying the front door.

"Of course!" I thought, "why didn't I think of that in the first place. Why talk to some intern at a desk when you go right in, these folks are sure to recognize the guy who just blew the roof off the place 30 minutes earlier."

Door guy: Can I help you?

Rob: Yeah, this is Dan Boulger, he just won the comedy festival, and we'd like to come in.

Door guy: Yes, congratulations, very funny... didn't actually see your set, but I heard it was quite good...

Dan: Yeah, I mean, we could stand in the back upstairs, that would be fine.

Door guy: I'll check for you, sir.

(Door guy confers with a couple of women that look like they are in charge.)

Door guy: I'm sorry sir, the ticket office is closed.

Dan: We could stand in the back?

Door guy: Sorry sir, it's a bar code issue.

We all said "no problem" and took off, but I have to wonder...what the fuck is a "bar code issue"???

The guy was really nice and I don't think anyone is to blame, but you have to admit, that's irony bordering on idiocy. I have to imagine Jim McCue's head would explode were he aware of this situation. I know people have to do their jobs, but sometimes, you have to use common sense, no?

A kid is jazzed up after the night if his life. He doesn't know what to do with himself, so he goes where he's comfortable, the nearest comedy show. He figures he can get in, because 30 minutes ago, he WAS the show, tragically, he hadn't counted encountering the ever-difficult "bar code issue".

All in all, the BCF was great this year, the best I've seen. I thought the final lineup was a powerhouse, 1-8, and I actually agreed with most of the judges decisions.

I was much impressed that they had the gumption to give the title to an unknown 20 year-old kid from Dorchester. It would have been so easy to call Ryan Hamilton's name. After all, he was fantastic, he was clean, and he took the bullet (came out first), but they somehow looked past all that and saw fit to recognize a twelve-year-old lookin', hoodie-wearing genius.

Congrats, Dan. You deserve it.


Blogger JimB said...

I like that "Bar Code Issue". Yeah right. I volunteered for the event this year (not a stretch as I'm a newby) but I didn't have a ticket, just my BCF tag. I went into the front door for the Lewis Black show around 10 PM Saturday and said i was a volunteer. Oh, let me check. Yeah no problem, just go up those stairs to the balcony and find a seat. I guess the bar code policy evolved.
Oh and yay for Dan, he was soooo cool, I'd be shopping for new underwear.

6:50 PM  
Blogger JimB said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Korte said...

Really? WTF?

6:41 AM  

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