I was fortunate enough to win tickets to “Will Durst and Friends” at the Marsh in San Francisco last night. On a Tuesday night? Yes, Durst’s show is only on Tuesdays.
See, it’s political humor, so he decided he’d keep cracking jokes every week until the first Tuesday in November, when we’ll all be sitting around the television biting our nails wondering who will be our president.
Plus, it’s a good excuse to go out on a Tuesday.
First off, despite the title, it’s a solo show. And, unlike most performances at the Marsh, it’s not a monologue that’s constantly getting polished in order to become theater. It’s just stand-up comedy at its best. If you’ve seen Will Durst, then you know he’s the best political humorist around. And he’s been around for a long time. (Though he bemoans the fact that his Taft jokes no longer fly.) Of course, politicians generously continue to provide Durst with plenty of fodder. As Durst himself says, “You can’t make stuff up like this!”
Because his show isn’t wed to a static script, he’s able to update his show each week. And with all the political shenanigans in the news every day, there’s no lack of material. Last night we were treated to humor surrounding the now-famous Akin interview in which he explained how women who were “legitimately raped” didn’t get pregnant. Admitting that “normally rape and funny live in two different solar systems,” Durst didn’t let this comic opportunity pass him by. Awarding Akins with the Joe Biden “Foot-so-deep-in-his-mouth-he’s-probably-tickling-his-spleen-with-his-shoelaces” Lifetime Achievement Award, he pointed out that Akins is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Which causes one to wonder what criteria a person needs to be considered qualified to lead the nation in matters of science. Certainly not a basic understanding of medicine…
“Will Durst and Friends” is not a self-revealing solo performance in the style of Dan Hoyle, Marga Gomez, and Don Reed—talented monologists whose stories have been developed on the Marsh stage. But if you want to laugh—and who doesn’t?—this is the show to see.
And if you can’t make it to the Marsh, check out his website, “The Will Durst Journal” http://www.willdurst.com/ where he puts the “mock in democracy.”