Last night, J.R. and I went to the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival with some friends. I have to separate the evening (more like day-long saga) into two separate factions to do it justice, however. There was the actual festival itself (awesome and hilarious), and then there was getting to and from the festival (awful, horrible, no-good, truly terrible). Luckily, the comedians separated the getting to and getting from portions, which I think is mainly what kept all of us from becoming homicidal, though it was pretty touch-and-go there for awhile.
Getting to the venue -- the White River Amphitheatre -- was, as expected, a drawn-out affair. If you've ever been anywhere near Seattle, you know that traffic is one of the many things this area does well (wearing Gortex a lot and putting espresso stands on every corner are some of the others). Thus, we were well-prepared to sit in a lot of Friday afternoon traffic. And we did.
Then we bought overpriced food and drink (totally expected, although I was a surprised when they took the caps off our bottles of soda -- I know why they do this with beer, but does anyone know why they did it for the Coke?), and made our way to a patch of grassy knoll suitable for viewing several hours of hilarity. Whitney Cummings was very funny, although perhaps overly obsessed with weird sex acts; I'd never seen Chris Hardwick or Hannibal Buress before, and now I'd definitely like to see more; and Demetri Martin was hilarious as always. The big three for our show were: Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari, and Louis C.K. Sarah Silverman has always been rather hit-or-miss for me, and last night was no different. She said she was trying out new material, and it showed. Aziz fucking killed it. He made the whole night worth it, and then he was followed by Louis. It was awesome. What's interesting about a festival like this is how it showcases some truly different comedy styles -- I love Louis and Aziz pretty much every time I see them, but putting them back-to-back was a little weird. Aziz is very high energy and excited, and Louis is ... not. He still cracks me up, but it was an odd juxtaposition. On the whole, a really fantastic show; if it comes near you, go see it. Except if it is in a venue like this one.
This venue holds around 20,000 people. And it's in the middle of nowhere, so everyone drove a car to get there. And those people are all there at the same time. And they leave at the same time. All on the same road. Which is one lane in each direction. So, when you're leaving the venue after a great night of comedy and you go back to your car parked in a giant field with virtually no staff in sight, it gets a bit chaotic. But surely it won't take you more than an hour just to get out of the parking lot? Oh, wait, yes, it will. And once you get out of the parking lot, you sit for another hour on the one-lane road, just trying to get back to the highway (and it's not even really a highway, more like a normal fucking sized road). Bygones. I mean, who doesn't expect it to take 12 hours to go to a comedy festival and get back home?