The Humor Code Panel

The third day of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival had a schedule so full of shows that it necessitated hard decisions. Do you pick the known comic, or show that’s been recommended? Do you pick a comedy room with the drinks you like, the one with the unrecognized names on the bill, but still you know it’s going to be good… hashtag Bridgetown problems. It’s kind of a win-win.

For those in attendance at the early show at the Mt Tabor it was the Humor Code to start the day. This was a panel show with the authors of an upcoming book that goes into the science of comedy. On the panel were authors Pete McGraw and Joel Warner, along with comics Pete Holmes, Miq Kaplan, and Mary Mack. Watching the comics and the authors go back and forth was great. The purpose of the book is to try to quantify comedy, to look for structure, and patterns. There were graphs, pie charts. For a comedy fan it might be fascinating, but the comics on the panel felt like it was a bad idea to give it too much study.

“You are letting light into a room I like nice and dark,” Pete Holmes said. It was meant as a joke, but there was an element of defensive truth to what he and the others were saying. They didn’t want their artcraft jinxed, but it was all in good fun.

Jordan Morris was the host. You may know him from the hilarious podcast Jordan Jesse Go.

Mary Mack

Between Kaplan and Homes there was a lot of great comedy at the expense of the authors, but show belonged to Mary Mack. Mack has this aw-shucks persona and Wisconsin accent that belies a razor sharp wit and a sense of timing where jokes land exactly where you want them. She would raise her hand when she wanted to interject something, she had something like six drinks in front of her, she helped the sound guy adjust microphones- it wasn’t showboating, because it was so genuine, but she was absolutely the star of the show.

I was introduced to Mack through the WTF podcast. After hearing her and Maron’s conversation it was clear that having her name associated with the Humor Code show was reason enough to attend. Tonight will be my first chance to see her act at the Eagles Lodge. Should be outstanding.

Bridgetown is winding down today. The final day of shows is stuffed with lots of amazing acts, and the decisions haven’t gotten any easier. Expect a final report tomorrow from what is clearly one of America’s great comedy festivals. Stay tuned.

Culture Science and Laughs: Bridgetown Comedy Festival Day 3