Kristen Schaal’s Comedy Central special Live At The Fillmore was supposed to be an hour-long anti-comedy performance but it failed. This is the answer to the question  “Is the meltdown halfway in just another odd mix of performance art and comedy and so voluntary or is it real and consequently the show was a disaster.?”

There are a few pre-show clues I believe indicate the meltdown is planned: Right before she goes on stage Schaal tells the camera “This is probably the last time I do stand-up” and you do get a shot of a horse. The problem is Schaal either does not have what it takes to pull of such a major and daring prank or she does a poor job of setting the audience up so it can get in on the joke. Consequently, she is the only one who knows all this is planned.

It is clear from the very beginning of Live at the Fillmore Schaal is talented, original, and different and this is going to be a very unusual kind of comedy performance.  An early number involves a sketch where Schaal in on her knees playing house with a pot and a wooden spoon when the lid shows up unannounced. The pasta – antipasto joke shows she can be quite smart. The doll bit and the ghost poop joke  indicate she can also be surreal and wacky.

The performance starts to planned plummet with her performance of her audition to be a magician’s assistant and crashes soon after the lazy eye joke dies and she keeps mispronouncing areplane and looking for her bottle of water. I believe this is all planned because 1- there is no way there would not be water on stage for a freaking Comedy Central taping and 2- if that was the case, there is no way someone backstage would not have rushed some water on stage considering almost everybody now walks around with a bottle of water. Finally, there is no way the ten-year old girl is not as much of a plant as the giant whopee cushion.

Special features include Kristen Schaal’s Comedy Central Presents show, 3 clips from The Daily Show with John Stewart, and a performance on John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up Show.

Live at the Fillmore
Kristen Schaal
Anti-Stand-up Comedy DVD
Comedy Central 2013


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