What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What I Did Friday Night

First off, we didn't get home until around 1:40am. I'm old, that's way too late for an old fogey like me. It's taken me most of the weekend to recoup.

As some of you know, we went to see Jeff Dunham down at the Stambaugh Auditorium in wonderful, scenic, Youngstown.

It was a good show. We went to the 10pm (by the time we found out the 7pm show was mostly sold out). We were up in the gallery, which they hadn't changed the seats from the original wood ones (just a little too short, but at least they had room from side to side, on the floor and in the Balcony they had nice cooshy seats). The show was pretty good. The warm-up guy (The Guitar Guy) took some warming up to, but he ended his set strongly. Then Jeff came out and did his shtick. About half was material we had already seen, another 40% was material he was working on for his Xmas Special (of which, in case you don't know, to be available in late November, early December, must finish shooting sometime in July) or stuff he changed slightly. There were times he brought the Guitar Guy back on stage. And that's when the fun other 10% happened, when the wheels fell off the bus. There were some planned "unplanned" moments, and then there were the real unplanned moments. Which were, IMHO, the most hilarious parts of the show. As Jeff went off script and the show broke down as they both cracked themselves up. Some of the jokes wouldn't make sense unless you were there in the moment, like how Peanut saying, "We'd have to replace him with a midget playing a banjo," brought the show to a screaming halt. Also, having Ackmed talk about how he got tested for Scoliosis, but not for Polio. Hilarious in context. Although there seemed to be a missing bit, and Jeff rushed the final 15 minutes, it was all in all a good show.

Now for the other side. Parking sucked. Well and truly sucked. I figured we'd arrive around 9:10 or so and catch all the people heading out from the first show and be able to score a spot. No luck. The first show didn't let out until around 9:40 or so. All the parking was filled. There were plenty of cops on hand, most of them blocking the entrances to parking lots. Not one of them directing traffic or aiding pedestrians crossing the very congested four-lane road in front of the Stambaugh. So we ended up parking along the road about a 10 minute walk to the Auditorium. Then there was dealing with the usual drunken idiots who think they're God's Gift to the World (why yes, they were mostly in their twenties, how could you guess). And finally the complete lack of planning, crowd control, and way finding. Serious problems, ones that delayed the 10pm show to about 10:35 (and even then many people were not seated yet). I can appreciate that the early show ran long, but really, how hard is it to have people directing the crowd (say like having the ticket takers say, "Oh, you're in the Gallery, that's all the way up, try the back-stairs over on the far opposite side of the building"), watching what's happening, and then making sure everybody gets to their seats? You use volunteers (some of whom were scouts)? It's called a fifteen minute training session. It ain't hard. Then as we left, same numbers of police, and I appreciate them all patrolling around in their cars, still didn't help me not get hit up by the homeless panhandlers (fortunately I still have the skills of having worked downtown Cleveland for five years, yes, that means having ones in my front pocket for easy access, another sign of the bad economy and inflation, they're now asking for $3 and $5), still no directing traffic across the again busy four-lane road.

So it was good fun, but I'll probably not go back to see a show at the Stambaugh again.


Shawn Powers said...

Jeff Dunham (dot com) is so great. We have 2 DVDs, and I like the newer much better than the older.

I didn't know he was doing a Christmas special. I'll be sure to find that when it's out on video...

Steve Buchheit said...

Shawn, I also have the two DVDs (did before we knew about the concert). Comedy Central is sponsoring the Xmas Special, so they should have it on if you get CC.

Leaf, Branch, Bark & Root said...

You didn't tell us about the show!!! Not that we would have been able to make it this past insane weekend, but if I had know Walter was going to be in town, I'd have tried to find a way.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Leaf, BBR, well, I did mention it when I started posting about the big "D." Buying tickets for this show, and Bette strong arming me in the nicest way possible, was the point where I realized something was wrong and I needed to do something about it.