The Annoyance Theater in Brooklyn has seen the likes of many comedians, musicals, plays, and improvisational comedy alike. Its website describes its content as a “vibrant and uncensored atmosphere.” Recently, the stage was graced by Amanda Xeller, who performed her solo sketch comedy show “Pegasus” on Saturday. The show was filled with sketches displaying Xeller’s unique comedy and acting style. But while her acting was commendable, the show itself failed to deliver on much laughter.
“Pegasus” opened with a sketch about a young girl and a viral video. Xeller stood in the middle of the stage, yelling at her father for watching a video of her getting “clowned” by Mickey Mouse at Disneyland. She then went on to describe how Mickey pulled her by her underwear and tossed her into the Splash Zone of Splash Mountain, all while other Disney Characters held up scorecards rating the toss. The premise was funny, but the delivery was unimpressive. There was a smattering of laughter here and there, but overall the sketch resembled a monologue more than a comedy performance.
The two sketches that followed had a similar pattern to the first. Xeller performed a bit about a father yelling at his daughter to not smoke weed, and another about a girl humping Obama when he came to visit her hometown. Much like the first sketch, the ideas were funny, but the delivery wasn’t there so the audience found itself searching for the punchline.
Thankfully, the show picked up soon after. A sketch about children mooning other drivers on the way to see baby baboons was funny yet strange. One of the best segments of the night featured Xeller talking to her friend Melanie about how she couldn’t believe “Tommy Tuesday” was interested in her. It turned from funny to absurd when you learn there is no Melanie and Xeller is in jail for murdering Tommy Tuesday after he rejected her advances.
The strangeness continued after that, with a bit about a little girl apologizing to her father for having pranked him in order to get some mustard for her hot dog. The most amusing part came when Xeller, in a crazy twist, poured real mustard on her head. The audience, during another segment, was treated to a blow-up picture of a fully naked Vin Diesel which stood upright in all its glory for the rest of the sketch.
All of these sketches seem somewhat ridiculous — and that’s sort of the point. Overall, “Pegasus” isn’t the funniest show. Audience members smiled at certain parts, but there wasn’t much audible laughter. Still, the subjects and performances in the sketches were fresh, silly and entertaining. While “Pegasus” may not draw crowds for its hilarity, it is an interesting show to watch, filled with a trademark quirk and underlying humor that certainly exists, if you know where to look.
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