Joel McHale delivers family-friendly comedy

Image By: Niahm Rahman

Joel McHale, best known for his character Jeff Winger on the Emmy-winning comedy show “Community," performed at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday evening to a large and diverse crowd. McHale's performance also served as a fundraiser for the Gilda's Club Cancer Support Community and featured a raffle at the conclusion of the show.

Though the audience featured a few hecklers, it never became an interruption for the entertainers and their sets.

McHale's openers did a superb yet brief job of kicking off the night with some great jokes that appealed to both the university students and older patrons in the audience. Though some jokes did not hit their marks, the openers provided a great transition into the main event.

With a punchy delivery and quick-witted humor, the overall tone of McHale's performance can be labeled as friendly-sarcastic with a hint of grit. McHale's appeal comes with his ability to tell snarky and somewhat off-color jokes, without being mean spirited. The show avoided any sensitive issues and remained fairly family-friendly.

McHale's introduction was well received and his first minutes onstage were spent jabbing at his TV personality on The Soup and successfully relating to the audience. As a successful host for 12 years talking about pop culture and all things Hollywood, McHale's best jokes came from treading familiar territory.

The show's peak came halfway through, with a 10-minute story of McHale's experience working alongside Chevy Chase. The skit featured a great back-and-forth between the comedian's experience working with Chase and his personal grievances in dealing with such a notable presence.

As McHale's segues led him to open up about his family life and personal career, the set began to lose steam and the dynamic on stage lost its appeal. After a long-winded and poorly received rant about McHale's grandmother, the set's final quarter regained footing.

Unfortunately, McHale's closing jokes of the show ended on a weak and overall disappointing note. McHale gave the impression that he ran out of content and spent the majority of his last five minutes on stage joking about how his show would last for another hour.

A lackluster finale concluded the show with a bittersweet ending. However, the full experience was an enjoyable one and the highs compensated for the show's lows. Lastly, I would caution those interested in seeing McHale that his past accomplishments on the silver screen are what have earned him his notability, and not his ability as a stand-up comedian.

To grade such a show, I give a C+.

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