Unfortunately, when you wait this long to write up the shows you’ve seen there’s a chance that you will lose your notes or forget what you saw or both. I know I had notes I’d taken after this show but I can’t find them.
What do I remember? Mrs. Devereaux, rtb, and I had seen Gad Elmaleh at Joe’s Pub in October 2015 and had enjoyed the show very much. Mrs. Devereaux was already very aware of the French-Moroccan comedian but rtb and I first saw him in a movie during that summer’s French film series that runs in NYC parks. I’d also seen him in an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which is the first time I’d heard him described as the French Jerry Seinfeld. In France, Elmaleh sells out stadiums but in the US he plays small clubs like Joe’s Pub and is slowly building an audience (although much of the audience is made up of French and Moroccan expats).
We bought tickets for one of the nights of his six-month residency at Joe’s Pub. This time instead of a table near the stage we were at a high table near the front door – uncomfortable for seating and uncomfortable because everyone walks past you. Service was poor that night and it took way too long for them to take our drink and food orders.
The show is called “Oh My Gad” and, like the show in October, is an opportunity for Elmaleh to introduce himself to American audiences and to talk about the differences between France and the United States. Opening act was an okay comedian, who spoke a little French. I don’t remember his name and the internet will not give up the information. But the audience seemed to enjoy him.
Elmaleh began his show with almost the same lines and routines he had used in October and I was afraid he was going to do the same show. But soon he started riffing on other things – more observational humor about the US and Americans and a lot of the show was interaction with the audience. Or actually non-interaction because the guy he picked to talk with would not tell Elmaleh his name and would not cooperate and Elmaleh was not having it and he kept going back to the guy and harassing him.
Again, it was a very funny night and if you get an opportunity to see Elmaleh, you should.
[Edit] Found my notes! Unfortunately, there’s not much more there. It looks like I remembered most of what I wanted to say.
Dan Naturman was the opening comedian.
When Elmaleh was rolling around the eggcarton soundproofing that surrounds the Joe’s Pub stage, Frenchman in the audience yelled something out. Elmaleh started interacting with him. Turned out the guy was a structural enginner – that’s not funny. So, what about his girlfriend? She’s a analyst. Also, not funny. But Elmaleh managed to make a lot of funny observations and make us laugh.
Elmaleh was telling a story and said, “My good friend Jerry took me to Mets stadium,” and we all knew what Jerry he meant. So a little name-dropping but it was sincere.
Elmaleh’s encore was composed mostly of his telling us that he’d be playing Carnegie Hall in February 2017.
By Carene Lydia Lopez