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Stirring the Drink

Live talk show “Cocktail Hour” works hard to make its banter look easy

Devon T. Coleman and D’Arcy Erokan

Devon T. Coleman and D’Arcy Erokan deliver in their show Cocktail Hour an improvisational freewheeling talk show featuring some of their sketch comedy peers that doesn’t aim to improvise scenes but rather improvise the banter that fuels talk shows.

Seen November 20 at the People’s Improv Theater, to which they will return in December, the duo have an excellent counterpoint going, with Erokan playing it spacey [as a character like Phoebe from “Friends“] although with the things she says, that’s clearly not her real personality, and Coleman as the sharper wit.

Cocktail Hour is a lot more thought out than it looks. The banter is of a style not really seen in commercial-driven talk shows anymore [i.e. once upon a time, perhaps the Dick Cavett and Michael Douglas talk shows had this kind of freedom].

The guests in turn had plenty of room to breathe – Eric Zuckerman came bearing the present of cotton balls for the show’s one year anniversary (a la the traditional anniversary gifts like paper, cotton, leather, wood and later precious stones and metals); Noah Weisberg told of his recent success in landing a Broadway role; and Andres du Bouchet delivered some well-thought-out conceptual stand-up – like robot stand-up: “How fat is your mom? So fat we are unable to assist her.”

The evening concluded with Zuckerman’s gift tossed around the stage, and as Coleman picked them up, he noted, “Look what I’m doing!” getting a groan from the audience, but nonetheless an amused one.


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