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For Comic Fans Only

The PIT's 'Comic Book Club,' while irreverent about its subject, will appeal best to devotees

Trying to review the “Comic Book Club” show now running at The People’s Improv Theater at 8 p.m. Tuesdays is a difficult task for a non-comic book fan, because while it has some funny moments that are self-explanatory, a lot of it is so steeped in comic book fandom and knowledge that it really comes off as for fan boys (and fan girls, although there are less of those) only.

Alexander Zalben of sketch group Elephant Larry leads the proceedings here, with not one but two sidekicks, Justin Tyler and Pete LePage, of whom Tyler is far more talkative and dominant. The guests at the April 24 edition of the show were rocker Andrew W.K. and Timmy Williams, a member of sketch comedy group Whitest Kids U’Know.

Williams went a long way toward making the show accessible to a general audience, surprisingly, because his group’s TV show seems scattershot (see previous review). As the group commented on the prospect of a Spiderman musical, for which Bono and The Edge are said to be writing songs, on the fly he came up with with “I Still Haven’t Found Dr. Ock,” and “Beautiful Web.”

Again, coming at this show from a non-comic informed perspective, when asked for questions on slips of paper before the show, the one Jester threw in was “How did you find out what your superpower is?”, which puzzled the cast at first since it was admittedly off-kilter, but maybe inspired their most interesting material of the night. Williams told that his power was “unemployment,” while Tyler deadpanned, “I can tell when a subway is coming -- before everyone else. And I don’t use an umbrella.”

However, if you are into the comic books, this is clearly the show for you, because the panelists are actually anything but reverent of all comic books, reviewing the week’s newest titles in series like “World War III” and “52,” and they don’t hesitate to slam nonsensical plot twists or unexplained occurrences in their stories.




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