Grizzled Wizard Comedy Night
The Grizzled Wizard is a tiny sliver of a bar in Wallingford. It’s not the most obvious choice for a live comedy show; things can get awkward when the audience is so close to the bombing range they can see the flop sweat. But in the hands of the right performer that extreme intimacy can also be an asset, making the proceedings feel like an exceptionally funny barroom conversation in which one person happens to have a microphone. Thankfully, up-and-comer Joseph Grienauer books this monthly show with standout local comics who are mostly up to the task.
The Pump and Dump Show
In a country led by America’s worst dad and his sniveling offspring, mom-rage has become a powerful countervailing force. The long-running debt to the matriarchy remains flagrantly past due, and the rage bubbles up in a variety of ways, from politics to art to comedy. The women of The Pump and Dump Show, Shayna and Tracey, follow in a long tradition of funny, foul-mouthed moms. They commiserate over their thankless lot with songs like “Eat Your Fucking Food” and audience participation games like “The Most F-ed Up Thing Your Kid Did This Week.”
One of the most charismatic comedians you’ll ever see, Jon Dore is your favorite uncle, a fun-loving, beer-swilling Canadian who doesn’t take anything too seriously—including his own jokes or the basic conventions of stand-up comedy. He’ll insist that the MC bring him onstage five times in a row until they get it just right, or he’ll wander offstage in the middle of a bit to fiddle with the curtains. Watching him, one gets the impression that he could get away with almost anything and somehow make it fun. Do not miss him.
Campy, gay current-event song parody is a very specific genre, and Randy Rainbow owns it. His main trick is to go as broad and pop as possible for maximum YouTube virality—for example, turning “Despacito” into a song roasting Trump called “Desperate Cheeto.” While the result might be a little too precious and on-the-nose for some tastes (see also: “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea?” or “Yes! We Have No Steve Bannon!”) he has a gift for hijacking earworms and using them to heap rhyming ridicule on the nation’s worst people.