SLC comic Brian pope performed for a full house at Five Monkeys on 28 March 2013, recording the show for his upcoming CD release. Stand up comedy is often the bastard child of psychotherapy and exhibitionism. Brian Pope follows in this long held tradition, covering topics such as racism, masturbation, abortion. Pope is a smart, dark comic with a congenial, nice guy candy coating. Much like meeting Doug Stanhope in person, it’s hard to imagine how a guy this nice is going to say something vile up on stage.
Anger is to the comic what charcoal is to the artist; though comics must take care to make sure the anger has long since stopped smoldering. At moments during his set, it is not clear how hot the anger really is, though if there was any question about Brian being a nice guy, the bulk of his jokes expose him as snarky uncle with a huge soft spot for his family.
Though not quite a father himself, ( “Every time I scramble eggs I think, “I could have been a dad”), he makes frequent reference to his family, particularly his nephew. What starts out as an extended masturbation joke, turns out to be a demonstration of Brian’s comedic prowess, using some great call back humor throughout his set. He weaves a hilarious tale that begins with his nephew catching him beating off, and ends with his brother demanding an explanation as to why this same child is vandalizing his cigarettes. It’s a fun ride.
This same nephew makes an appearance in my personal favorite of Brian’s jokes, something I’ll unofficially call, “Power Rangers: a Socioeconomic Allegory of Class Corruption”. The routine starts out with his nephew asking him to play Power Rangers. He gets into a debate with the young boy over which color of Power Ranger he will play the role of. This gives way to a hysterical stream of smart social commentary and satire, all packaged up in a rant delivered to his stoic young nephew.
Based on all of the comedic mileage Brian gets out of watching his nephew grow up, I can only imagine the hilarity that will ensue when he actually does become a father. Maybe one of these days he’ll choose to have his eggs served whole. I’m looking forward to it.