This past Thursday I attended Arguments & Grievances at the Pine Box Rock Shop, a live comedy series and podcast featuring comedians debating outlandish topics with audiences choosing the victor. The topics being debated that evening were Coke vs. Pepsi, Motorcycles vs. Bicycles, Flo the Progressive Lady vs. The Geicko Gecko, and Eating In vs. Eating Out, wink wink, nudge nudge, push push, shove shove! I had a vague idea of what to expect having once listened to, by accident, a similar show that airs on a Canadian radio station called The Debaters, which I loved and was very entertaining and never listened to again. I speculated this show would be fun as well, and I hit the nail on the head. Being a new event, at a new location ~ and also free to attend ~ there were a couple moments of unpreparedness and awkward stubbles, but overall it was a really good time for not a price. No price at all. Funny people stood up and made passionate cases for why one random thing was better than another, after having done sometimes extensive research, for zero money. In fact, it probably cost them to get there. They went out of pocket to make me and 15 others laugh and that’s pretty cool. It was a small, intimate crowd and audience engagement was strong throughout. The style of
debate seemed to harness peoples interests in the material. Almost like a court room drama,
except with no legal degrees, expensive retainers or murders. Though the Motorcycle guy (performed by Kevin Casey White) did kill. In some ways, this format is almost more engaging than a regular stand up set since you know the topic and what you like/don’t like about it. Plus you get to think briefly about how you’d approach the debate topic and then get pleasantly surprised when the performer hits you with a point you didn’t expect. Performances ranged from comedic spoken work poetry about the benefits of Eating In, to revelations about first time sexual experiences, to passionate spewing of Motorcycle dominance from a shirtless, tasseled leather jacket wearing, self proclaimed badass. If you’re willing to endure the occasional misstep or forgotten lines, this is a really engaging and often hilarious hour and a half, and you’ll probably learn a thing or two about the subjects being debated. Did you know Pepsi was originally called Brad’s Drink. Catchy.
Arguments & Grievances has appeared at numerous festivals and was recently added to the Audible.com podcast network.