Eugene Mirman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Eugene Mirman 

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Like David Cross, Todd Barry, and Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman is at the forefront of a shift away from comedy clubs and toward the career path of the indie band. Russian-born, Boston-bred, and New York-based, Mirman regularly performs in music venues, records for a rock label (Seattle's Suicide Squeeze), and has opened for the likes of the Shins, Modest Mouse, and Yo La Tengo. But he's unique among his peers. Less political than Cross, not quite as dry or subtle as Barry, and not as steeped in pop and lit culture as Oswalt, he takes a deeply weird, farcical approach. On his 2004 debut, The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman, his quavering delivery is clearly influenced by Emo Philips, and his material echoes Woody Allen's fantasy forays in his nightclub years (like the famous "bullet in my breast pocket" routine), Steve Martin's explorations of the outre on his 70s LPs, and Bob Goldthwait's early stammering diatribes. Great examples of Mirman's work can be found on his Web site, which features his writing, prank recordings, and a cornucopia of brilliant, crudely made video shorts, of which "Motley Crue" and "Secret Agent" are particular standouts. Saturday Night Live scribe Leo Allen--half of the comedy team Slovin and Allen--also appears, as do two musical acts: Brooklyn-based folk-blooze bon vivant Langhorne Slim and local garage rockers Velcro Lewis and His 100 Proof Band. Thu 6/16, 9:30 PM. Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499. $10.

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