They couldn’t resist Zappo’ing the hell out of it.
The first night of the Crapshoot Comedy Festival—with Dave Attell headlining—walking up to the Zappos Chambers (they’re a sponsor) you trod past a line of food trucks, over a sod of Astroturf and through velvet ropes that wound past a pen full of puppies and a llama with a handler.
“The llama got a Netflix special,” Attell deadpanned.
Zoological distractions aside, Attell was his usual self, which is to say, brilliant. Mixing riffy gutter surrealism with some old gems (he revived his “tell me what you’re drinking and I’ll tell you how your night will end” bit), Attell left the audience behind at the end, bringing opener Brad Williams and Friday headliner Bert Kreischer to the stage and turning his attention that way. The latter was so hammered, he could basically just stand there and infectiously giggle at the very idea of Attell.
Aside from cancellations at Beauty Bar and Ne10—due to “wind damage and losing [potential] walk-up [crowd] to the wind storm,” according to organizer Paul Chamberlain—it was a strong opening night to a promising festival. The first show saw Matt Braunger run through some of his ace material, lighting a fuse in the crowd for Jenny Zigrino and Kurt Braunohler to follow.
A disorienting pop from a blown speaker stopped Braunohler mid-joke, and he went wide-eyed. “I’m scared now,” he said. It’s not the worst portent to be on the edge of something unknown heading into the first comedy festival to set up shop in Las Vegas in nearly 10 years.
Being able to drop in on sets here and there at various Downtown locations is the calling card of the festival, and the overlapping showcases let you take the buffet approach to a rock-solid lineup where even the lesser-knowns like Chris Porter were still delivering the goods even on the late-night bill.
They might want to move Zappos’ mascot up the bill. Even dwarf comic Williams was delighted. “I love Vegas, because I’m not the weirdest one here,” he said. “There’s a f*cking llama outside.”
Crapshoot Comedy Festival More shows May 19-20, times vary, $10-$49/show, $79/day. Downtown venues, crapshootcomedyfestival.com.