The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Sunday, April 19, 11:08 p.m.
Style & Culture |

Daniel Tosh: A class act

Sold-out crowd cracks up in the CCA

Daniel Tosh is an asshole. Whatever fraction of his condescending sarcasm and unfounded bravado may get lost on cable TV it is made up for during his live show. Sure, he made the sold-out crowd at the Collins Center for the Arts repeatedly laugh out loud, but with each chuckle came the uneasy feeling that you were back in middle school taking the bully’s side.

Is Tosh really an asshole, or is it all just to get attention?

Throughout the night, Tosh picked the easy targets: the Amish, Hurricane Katrina victims and a decapitated teenager. It’s not hard to make fun of religious fervents, or to piss off a sea of New Orleans Saints fans, but it takes a certain kind of reckless abandon to do it as brashly as Tosh did. He manages to make the audience feeling the weird ones sympathizing for the headless teenagers or car accident victims.

The night started on a friendlier note with Jasper Redd. The black comedian strolled out and greeted the sea of Caucasian faces with perhaps the most fitting line for the occasion — “It’s good to be home,” he said.

His carefree, relaxed attitude made the delivery of each punchline all the more potent. He stuck to a decent mix of black humor — renaming the White House the Chocolate Factory – and outlandish observations — he doesn’t like the concept of the Whopper Jr. because of the insinuated burger fornication.

Redd was a pleasant surprise, and should have been slated in the second slot. His successor Matt Fulchiron was funny, but Redd outperformed him. Most of Fulchiron’s arsenal was comprised of lame puns — “You may catch more flies with honey, but you catch more honeys when you’re fly” — combined with a healthy dose of self-deprecation. Fulchiron kept the audience laughing, sometimes with him, sometimes at him.

When Tosh strolled on stage he adopted the nervous, hesitant comedic stance popularized by Demetri Martin and others. But there was something different about Tosh’s strut.

Tosh straddles the line between the typical nerdy, awkward comedic persona and the boorish machismo of the likes of Dane Cook. He’s acting like a huge dick, but yet he’s so likable.

Regardless of his personality though, Tosh has got the jokes. He likened rooting for the NBA powerhouse Miami Heat to rooting for the Globetrotters and gave audiences the priceless idea of sitting on the toilet backwards — of course, as one fan deduced, you have to take your pants off entirely to do so. His analogy for using a condom — just like picking up dog poop with a bag — was spot on, as well.

The great punchlines were interspersed throughout a slew of abortion jokes, as well as his moronic musings on the boy who was decapitated by a roller coaster. But when the jokes hit, they hit hard. At one point he concocted an elaborate storyline just to get to the punchline about wanting to “f— that baby.”

Toward the end of the show Tosh glanced at his phone to get the time. He’d been on stage 53 minutes.

“Contractually, I have to stay on for an hour,” Tosh said. “Just thought I’d let everyone know that.”

While an echo of laughter rang through the crowd, it was uncertain how genuine Tosh was in his sentiments about wanting to work the bare minimum of time required. Of course he went a little over an hour, as he told the audience he would, but spent the next 15 minutes climbing the CCA walls and plugging his TV show and DVDs.

Tosh is a great comedian, but he’s still an asshole.