The once monthly show ¡Special Tonight! produced by Patrick Holbert and Jeff McBride definitely lives up to its name: Special. The February 9th show, held in the affectionately dubbed “Taco Basement,” formally known as The Mockingbird, showcased performances by Chloe Hilliard, Tyler Fischer, Patrick Holbert, Christina Galston, Jeff McBride, and Nathan Macintosh. The audience came to the one-of-a-kind show for the VIP line up and all-you-can-eat tacos, and stayed for the non-stop laughter.
Despite each comic’s varying styles and subjects, the theme of the night seemed to highlight the universal pains of dating, the MTA, sex, and shameless honesty. Host and Native New Yorker, Chloe Hilliard, set the scene and warmed up the crowd with both harmless and dark confessions from her life. What begins as a friendly conversation with the crowd turns into relatable jokes and painful truths about stereotypes, America, and the realism of dating-after-thirty. Hilliard set the tone for what was going to be a truly outrageous show.
Following Hilliard, Tyler Fischer, also known as the Best New Impressionist by the New York Times, arrived on stage with a friendly attitude, and immediately acknowledged two things: he is small, and, yes, he is in a sweat suit (acceptable Taco Basement attire). Self-proclaimed “tiny man in a big city” energetically created hilarious fictitious conversations and situations surrounding his childlike appearance and daily struggles. Throughout his performance, Fischer managed to connect wildly different topics and styles, on top of possibly the best Owen Wilson impression, without missing a beat.
Next comedian and Stellar alum, Patrick Holbert, calmly approached the mic, spoke slowly, and set the audience up to expect a subdued performance – it was anything but tame. He gregariously admitted honest, dark, and shocking facts about his life that broke traditional molds and produced a mixture of cackles, apprehensive groans, and steady laughter. His straight face and wait-for-it attitude, coupled with his risqué topics, highlighted his unique and audacious style.
Following performer, Christina Galston, strolled on stage and defined her style right away. An expert at character development, stereotype impressions, and transforming bitterness into hilarious candor, Galston showcased her quirky, bold, and confident personality with each joke. Often complementing her hilarious punch lines with equally funny and revealing facial expressions, she quickly set herself apart from rest.
Jeff McBride then took over with animation, giggles, and a hint of nervousness. Differentiating himself from the other performers of the night, McBride opted to tell a story that began as a relatively unimportant event and evolved into a wild and unforgettable experience. He energetically told his story with a combination of light-hearted yelling, comical and unbelievable details, and shared laughter, painting himself as a man who can find the joy in any situation.
Headliner, Nathan Macintosh, finished the show with a formidable performance. Admitting truths normally reserved for private conversations among a few, he shamelessly revealed dark facts about life in 2018, ranging from dick pics to how much kids actually suck. His high-energy, refined pent-up rage, and intonation shifts, combined with his back-to-back no-holds-barred delivery, made his performance truly unforgettable.
For an unconventional and unmistakably hysterical show, find your way on down to the Taco Basement. The next ¡Special Tonight! show is March 9th and you can bet that me and my chancletas will be there.
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