The Real Men of Comedy Tour show last night at the Jackie Gleason Theater was off the chain. Frankly, I was only interested in seeing how Charlie Murphy would measure up in front of a live audience without Dave Chapelle's mad-cap delivery to play off.
I'm not a realty television aficionado, so I didn't know John Heffron was the "Last Comic Standing" in 2005. And I'm not a big fan of watching people bite into raw buffalo testicles, so it didn't dawn on me that Joe Rogan was the same beefy dude who hosted Fear Factor and the final season of the Man Show (Although I'll never forget the Juggies).
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But Heffron and Rogan were absolutely riotous. Their routines came from a dark, cynical, primordial place deep in the recesses of the human mind. Rogan is one fascinatingly sick puppy — who in the heart of South Beach wasn't afraid to bust out a few jokes making fun of Israelis, as well as the most contrived gay harlequin novel to hit the big screen: Brokeback Mountain. (Really, if you want to see a fantastically-done film adaptation of angst-ridden homosexual love, check out Pedro Almodovar's La Mala Educacion).
And what about "Darkness," a.k.a Gusto from CB4? I thought he did alright. For one, Murphy avoided his brother's bad taste for leather suits by taking the stage in a pair of oversized jeans, a t-shirt that came down to his knees and a Kangol beret that flopped over his diamond-encrusted ears.
During his routine, Murphy wisecracked about airport security procedures and being "randomly selected" whenever he travels; he even admitted he hasn't tired of having fans greet him with "f—k yo couch n---a!" and yelling "CHARLIE MURPHY!" a la Chappelle channeling Rick James. After all, Charlie has put up with just being "Eddie Murphy's brother" for years, including the indignity of having some groupie tell him "he moved like the Golden Child" during sex.
And tapping the material that made him an independent celebrity, Murphy closed out the show with one of his True Hollywood Stories about James, one in which the deceased musician cured Murphy of "ball collapse," a condition that supposedly shrivels up a man's testicles. Although, if that happened to me, I doubt I would be busting a gut, much less a nut, anytime soon.-Francisco Alvarado