Cloves and Fedoras is Seed Sings reviews for little known pieces of pop culture (or older pieces). Feel free to contact us with your own submissions of undiscovered gems that must be known.
Last night I went to see Jen Kirkman do a stand up set at the Firebird in St. Louis and she put on a very good show.
Kirkman was very funny while working on new material. I was very happy to hear new stuff since she just put a special on Netflix, "I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)". The special is excellent. Watch it if you haven't seen it yet. Let's get back to last night's show. Jen Kirkman's opener was pretty funny. He's an Australian named David Quirk. He had some funny bits about running into tween bullies at a skate park and talked about how differently we pronounced the letter R compared to the Australians. His best bit was about a friend telling him that he told his blind date that he, meaning David, is a registered sex offender. David thinks this is funny and he goes back to the girl, asks her if a stranger talked to her about him and told her he's a sex offender and she responded quite simply with, no. It was very funny.
After his fifteen minutes, it was Jen Kirkman's show. She owned the crowd and the stage. Like I said, she told us that she was going to be working on material, almost warning us, but all of it really worked. She is just so damned good at stand up. She talked about a variety of things throughout her almost hour and a half set. She opened with a bit about being pre-diabetic, transitioned into some really funny stuff about guys catcalling women, talked about her family and talked about her dating life, now that she's about a year and a half into her divorce. She was very open and honest about her personal life. I like when stand ups are so forthright with an audience like Kirkman was last night. We learned that she never really was in love with her ex husband, that her father had brain surgery and the fact that she, in her own words, is a very difficult person to date since she's only focused on herself, among many other things. Most stand up shows I go to, the headliner usually does 40 minutes to an hour. That's there set and you, for the most part, know what you're going to get. The fact that she was working out new material and seemed pretty comfortable with us, the audience, the hour and a half set seemed to go by very quickly. I could've watched her perform for another hour easily. Kirkman's crowd work was the best I've seen live since, Todd Barry. She spoke to a lot of different audience members and never talked down to us, treating us like equals. I really respect and enjoy that from comedians.
My favorite bit came when she was talking about men catcalling women, and her being involved in this very incident, or so she thought. She was in North Carolina and a man in a pick up drove by her, reversed back to her and told her to had to say something to her, and it might be creepy. Naturally, we all thought it would be vulgar, but the man just wanted to compliment her shoes and ask her if they were comfortable. He told her that he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he never said that to her. Kirkman deemed this a worthy catcall. Stating that if you need to say something to a woman that's a stranger to you, make sure you compliment an article of clothing. That's acceptable.
Overall, I had a really good time at the show and I hope Jen Kirkman comes back to Saint Louis in the future because I'd love to see more of her stand up. She's really good and if you have a chance to see her, do yourself a favor and go.
You'll be very happy with your decision.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for Seed Sing. If you are a comedian, and you come to St. Louis, Ty will be in the crowd. Follow him on twitter @tykulik