Just as a book is always better than the movie, a live show trumps a YouTube clip. Such was the case Wednesday night with comedy MCs Squirm and Germ. The gangly hip-hoppers brought the party to Theatre 99 for a show that was surprisingly funny, even though half the act was material from their online shorts.
The Second City alums, Squirm (Tim Reynolds) and Germ (Rodney Umble), showed their street cred by tackling the tough topics in their rhymes, from rapping about surviving harsh winters in New York to their fear of growing man boobs (complete with hoodie adorned nipple tassels.)
And while the songs were clever and entertaining, it was watching the two — enjoying Squirm in particular, that was wildly amusing. The beanpole gold-rimmed glasses weraing white boy, like a dorkier version of 16 Candles era Anthony Michael Hall, is so absurdthrusting and twerking one can’t help but laugh. Add to that the deep baritone that emerges from a body is shy of 100 pounds, and the image is all the more surreal. Germ is funny too, but I got the feeling he was a bit tired Wednesday night. That said, the boy can sing, and the two clearly have some high school choir roots, especially when they harmonized on “Doo Wop,” a tune that ended with “Doo Wop Paula Abdul.”
Other songs were just bizarre, like “I am a Cat,” an ode, they said, to the Black Eyed Peas. But whether riffing on neti pots (which included a live display, both men pouring water through their noses on stage) or vacationing in Maine, it was their on-stage presence that really sold the show. On “Kid’s Party,” a song about “the obesity epidemic” Squirm said, the two sing about the thrills of a childhood birthday: “soda, pizza, nachos, boogers, up past midnight — kid’s party!” Squirm closes the tune on his knees screaming in a falsetto “Sugar!” until he collapses to the roar of the crowd.
If you love hip-hop, and can’t get enough of sketch comedy, seeing this hilarious duo is the show for you.
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