Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Always Sunny in Los Angeles, or The Nightman, The Dayman and Me.

If you're not a fan of the television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX, you're missing out on one of the funniest shows on the air. Almost Seinfeld-esque in concept, it's a show where the main characters are selfish, narrow minded jerks who like to get excited about a new venture every week only to become disinterested in it midway through the episode and focus their energies elsewhere. In only four full seasons, the show has brutally satirized every hot topic issue from abortion, child molestation, political corruption, patriotism and the current economic crisis. But, in between the social commentary they find plenty of time for pure laugh out loud comedy and one great idea sprang from the episode entitled, "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person" in which the gang comes to the conclusion that if Sweet Dee's retarded rapper boyfriend came become successful as a musician, they can start a band as well. The different creative direction of the group force them into separate bands, Chemical Toilet and Electric Dream Machine, which leads to Charlie writing two different songs for each, Night Man and Day Man. One year later, Charlie would combine both songs along with a troll, a baby boy and cat eyes in the rock opera known as "The Nightman Cometh".

One year after that, the creators of the show took their production on the road. The live show toured eight cities, ending up back in Los Angeles and I was lucky enough to have a friend score tickets to the show at the Palladium in Hollywood. After an opening band that really wasn't as bad as everyone made them feel, the audience was treated to clip from the upcoming A Very Sunny Christmas Special, in which Charlie accosts a mall Santa, resulting in bloodshed and Mac punching children. When asked if they would like another clip, the crowd roared with approval and we were treated to a full length episode to air later this year. In typical Sunny style, this episode found the gang renewing their flip cup rivalry with another bar, only to deal with that bar's disinterest by beginning a new rivalry with Dennis' old fraternity. When the episode was over, Charlie leaped onto stage, burst into song and opened the show. From Charlie's announcement of writing a musical, to first rehearsals and Charlie inviting the waitress to the show, the stage version was just as funny as the broadcast version, especially considering most people in attendance had seen the episode before. There were extended songs, great costumes and hilarious ad-libs that made it different enough to more than warrant the cost of admission. It was a really interactive show, with the performers acknowledging the audience and planting the waitress in the crowd as part of the show. At the end, the entire cast came back on stage to lead everyone in a sing-a-long of Day Man.

Great show, good times, best friends.

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