Friday Nov. 6 was a night for comedy in Philadelphia. Fans from all over the tri-state area ventured out to the Wells Fargo Center to see comedy legend Bill Burr.
Many might know Burr from his appearances on Conan and Breaking Bad, along with his numerous HBO and Netflix specials.
The show took almost an hour to get underway, and the crowd was getting antsier by the minute. But then finally, the lights dimmed and a voice came over the sound system to announce that the show was beginning.
The crowd roared as the first of two opening acts walked out onstage. Paul Virzi gave a great ten-minute set. He touched on the struggles of fatherhood, marriage, and the struggles of eating healthy. His short set packed a punch and gave everyone a feeling that the night was only going to get better.
After Virzi, the second opening act came to the stage. Joe Matarese was a nice change in pace and style. He kind of sauntered onto the stage with an air of suave that was only enhanced by his gravelly voice and brown leather jacket. Matarese started off his set by saying that he was a local guy from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, which got a good amount of yells and claps from the audience. His set went smoothly and ended with an on-point interpretation of late baseball announcer Harry Kalas, which the crowd went crazy over.
Before we knew it, the time had come for Bill Burr to do his set. He told jokes on a pantheon of subjects: his recent marriage, eating and drinking while on his current tour, and some hilarious anecdotes about his less than comfortable air travel experiences.
As a 20-year veteran of stand-up comedy, Burr knows how to make an audience laugh until their stomachs hurt. On the other hand, his experience in the field also gives him the credibility to touch on some, well, touchy subjects. He did bits on Hitler and Stalin that received huge laughs but also some tentative ones as well. Toward the end of his set, Burr had a monologue about how women shouldn’t have let themselves as a gender become inferior to men. At first read, that statement may sound crass, and at some points it was. But after all, it was a comedy show, and most of the things that comedians say on stage are exaggerated and merely for laughs, not because they are true to what their morals are. Some of his gender jokes may have rubbed people the wrong way, but that’s what makes Bill Burr the famous comedian that he is today.
Overall, it was a fantastic show. All three of the acts were funny in their own unique ways. Bill Burr did not disappoint, especially since this show at Philly was his first arena of this tour, which brought up the pressure.
If there’s anything I’ve come to expect and love about comedy acts, it’s this: when the pressure is on, that’s when comedy shines.
Rachel Alfiero is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in Latin American studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu. Her Twitter is @alfieroperson.