Lev Fer is a busy man. Including, of course, a steady stream of stand up around the city. I got a chance to see him this past week at The Stand, where Aaron Berg hosts a free weekly show called Frantic! Despite its name, Frantic! is a comedy show boasting some seriously cool and collected talent, including the illustrious Nikki Glaser and seasoned musician and comedy veteran, Dean Delray.
It's always compelling to see how a relative new-comer such as Fer will stack up next to his more polished peers, and in this case, he very clearly held his own. It was certainly a confident group of comedians that took the stage that night, but luckily for Fer, confidence is something he has in spades. His seemingly natural self-assurance is both a key to his success and a sticking point for some viewers who see him as cocky, or perhaps arrogant. Being that he is all of 21-years-old, and only a few years into the world of both stand up and New York City, it may just be his swaggering pomposity that has propelled him as far as he is.
Fresh-faced and with a sort of boyish charm, Fer took the stage with the energy of a skilled pro. His jokes were delivered with the assurance of someone who knows how each punchline will land, with a set that was well-rehearsed and deliberately crafted. As he quipped about sex and dating, he had that sly charisma that reminds you of the popular kid at school, who you had to like even if you didn't. This persona is effective, as evidenced by the easy rapport that he developed with the crowd. In fact, Fer continually interacted with the audience, responding to their reactions with the practiced air of a comic who knows exactly what to expect from those watching.
His style was engaging without being overly provocative, and many of his jokes were received with a delight that equaled, and in some cases, exceeded the better known comics with whom he was performing. While his humor may not be high-brow, he knows himself, his way around a stage, and was perfectly comfortable amidst the more venerable performers. All in all, it was another high mark for this fast-rising star, and we continue to watch to see what Lev Fer will impress us with next.