David Cross’ topical set results in an incendiary performance

David Cross at the Joint on May 7.
Erik Kabik
Jason Harris

Three stars

David Cross May 7, the Joint.

And then, as if inevitable, David Cross spontaneously combusted onstage.

As he continued to rail against the ignorance of Donald Trump and his supporters during a May 7 performance at the Joint, Cross’ cranium could take no more and exploded, leaving the alt-comedy icon standing in front of the audience fully clothed, four limbs intact, microphone in hand—with a raging fire where his head once sat.

It was a sad and sudden ending to the Making America Great Again tour, Cross’s first trek since 2010. In fact, the attendees might have been reminded of that run with the personalized remake of Spoon’s “The Underdog” that brought Cross to the stage: “Are you ready to laugh again like it was 2010?/It’s time to hear from the messenger/Let’s hear some jokes about America, guns and TV/Turn off your Goddamn cell phones now/Or you’ll get punched in the dick.”

Cross, raised Jewish but now atheist, simmered with anger, like someone who could have used the self-help book written by his Arrested Development alter ego, Tobias Fünke. No subject was safe. Why, even something as American as Thanksgiving got caught in the ... wait for it ... crossfire. “It’s important to us as Holocaust survivors to gather for a feast and go, ‘Hey, look who we’re doing better than.’”

From there, the Mr. Show star moved into the minutiae of annoyance, taking a swing at vaping, “You know those vape stores and vape lounges. What do you think they’re going to become when they go out of business next year? Hoverboard shops. Yeah. Those will last.”

The knockout blows were saved for right-wing idols like the author of Atlas Shrugged, “When we care for those less fortunate it makes this country weak. Ask Ayn Rand. I believe you can still find her ghost haunting the same public housing she died in while on Social Security and Medicare.”

The Donald got his, too. “He sounds like a character in a war movie who is comforting his buddy who doesn’t realize that his lower half has been shot off. ‘Everything’s gonna be okay, right, Donald?’ ‘Oh, it’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be fine. It’s gonna be so fantastic. It’s gonna be amazing. You’re not gonna believe how amazing it is. Leave it to me. I can make it amazing. Nobody can make amazing like me.’”

But Cross’s internal thermometer could take no more. Some will say it was the fire that burned inside of him. But Cross himself would probably tell you it was the idiocy of America and what this country has become that did him in that night.

Tags: Comedy, The Joint
  • The singer-songwriter, who performs three shows at Encore Theater, hasn’t played a concert here since 2010.

  • An interest in fibers and column pedestals unites the artists, along with a fascination for transforming materials.

  • Also, Tenors of Rock just moved from Harrah’s to Planet Hollywood, The Bronx Wanderers incorporate a multitude of genres and hits into their new show ...

  • Get More A&E Stories
Top of Story