Life changing? No. Funny? Yes.
Human Giant’s show is billed as containing sketch, stand-up, and film in a “gigantic explosion of comedy.”
So if you’re expecting to be blown away, it’s a bit of a disappointment.
Aziz Ansari and Rob Huebel stand near a large screen and talk to the audience, sharing some funny tales; and those segments are interspersed with clusters of video clips from the Human Giant TV show.
It’s weirder than you may think not to have Paul Scheer there, rounding out the three-man cast; but then again, if three of them were talking over each other, you might not have been able to make out much of what they were saying.
The stand-up comedy is more conversational, which is cool, casual, and at times hysterically funny; Ansari and Huebel tell stories of what life is like now that they’re on MTV and how it’s been returning to Charleston (both have lived here). They are both quick on their feet — naturally, being veterans of the Upright Citizens Brigade stage — especially when no one volunteers for their audience participation bits. They do have a couple of prepared audience interaction bits: one where they try to set up an audience member on a date and another where they mine the group for embarrassing stories. Their timing is excellent, and of course they’re very funny.
What’s disappointing is that all of the Human Giant clips the audience watches are the same ones you’ve seen on MTV, the same ones you just watched on the Human Giant marathon last month. Naturally there’s some of the hilarious “Shutterbugs,” plus the well liked “Catching a Predator” and “Let’s Go!” But even though those sketches are great, one gets the feeling of being a little cheated while sitting through the show’s several clips. It’s good advertising for them, since if there’s anyone there who hasn’t seen the show, they’ll probably start watching it. But for those who have already seen it, we’re left waiting for some new stuff.
And it seems like maybe Ansari’s and Huebel’s talents aren’t being put to best use in a show that doesn’t contain any live sketches. Maybe some never-before-seen clips and some live onstage previews of season two – anything other than what we’ve already seen (even if it is still funny) — would be better.
Human Giant’s live show just feels a little lazily put together, and is way too much like the marathon. Perhaps it’s only Ansari’s and Huebel’s laid-back attitudes and casual manner (in which case, a good dose of Scheer’s energy would have benefited the show). But the collection of already-seen clips paired with chatting with the audience just doesn’t meet expectations that, for better or worse, people have established from the greatness of Human Giant.
HUMAN GIANT • Piccolo Spoleto’s Piccolo Fringe • $15 • (1 hour) • June 8, 9 at 9:30 p.m. • Charleston Ballet Theatre, 477 King St. • 554-6060