<p>Despite the startling scene, Orny advised we take a five minute break before getting back with the show as we formed little discussion groups about the brawl. Orny returned with a sombre tone as he reminded us what we all love about comedy, especially his brand of comedy. It never seeks to divide. It’s to make us all laugh. He looked at us and pumped his fist in the air (or at least that’s what it felt like) and sought to reclaim the night from the assholes—one of whom couldn’t keep a shirt o
Phew, what a night. Little did any of us know what we were in for.
I had interviewed Orny Adams a few weeks before his stop in Australia for his new special, More than Loud. During the interview, Orny claimed that none of his shows are repetitive and that every night brings about a different form of story-telling. Just like the musicians who inspire his stand-up change their rhythm every night. I was looking forward to seeing which Orny the Comic’s Lounge will be getting to witness. Would it be the ‘Comedian’ era Orny? Or perhaps Teen Wolf’s eccentric Coach Bobby Finstock? Or maybe the insightful and humbling comedian I talked to on the phone? Maybe a mix of everything and a dash of chemical X?
I glanced around the 400-seater venue and saw people of all walks of life, bustling in and filling the tables with beers in one hand and shooters in the other. As the MC warmed up the crowd, the anticipation to see Orny was palpable and only grew with every passing minute.
When Orny burst onto stage, it was electric. His characteristic energy shook the stage as he ran from one side to another, thumped the mike stand and poked fun at the audience members who were unfortunate (or fortunate) enough to land a seat in the front row. He raged about the mundane differences (in classic Orny fashion) between Australians and Americans and how seriously Australians take their tommy sauce and schnitzels. Orny turned the smallest of things, things that we mere mortals turn the other cheek towards, into material that left us all in knots.
About 10 minutes into his routine, a joke about not having feet cost Orny two beers as a man left the venue right after said joke. As we all turned around, we noticed he had a foot missing and turned our heads to Orny who had plumped down his chair and let out a defeated chuckle as he asked around the table whether he had left because he was offended by the joke. The star of the hour returned to his desk revealing that he had simply left to use the washroom as we all let out relieved laughter and got on with the show.
Halfway into his routine, I heard shouting and punches being thrown across the table. I turned around to see two men tugging at each other’s shirts and pushing each other down. It wouldn’t have been a brawl if they were both fully clothed; within a blink of the eye, one of them was shirtless. He stood on the chair and shouted “I’m just trying to have a romantic conversation”, while his partner used his shoulder to get on the table and shouted for management. The men then continued to flip over tables nearby and fought with security as they rushed over to escort them out the venue. Everyone within a ten feet radius of the conflict zone moved away.
Despite the startling scene, Orny advised we take a five minute break before getting back with the show as we formed little discussion groups about the brawl. Orny returned with a sombre tone as he reminded us what we all love about comedy, especially his brand of comedy. It never seeks to divide. It’s to make us all laugh. He looked at us and pumped his fist in the air (or at least that’s what it felt like) and sought to reclaim the night from the assholes—one of whom couldn’t keep a shirt on. The night ended on a high note as Orny wrapped up his material and left us with the last laugh.