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Ho Ho Ho It's Horatio Sanz!

Live from the UCB Theatre, he delivers a Christmas show with the twisted sensibility now missing from Saturday Night Live

This past week, former longtime Saturday Night Live cast member Horatio Sanz brought his oddly and delightfully twisted sensibility to take on variety shows and perhaps even his former employer with a truly unhinged collection of skits and performers.

How twisted, you may ask. A few bits: Sanz’s “mom” appears urging him to keep it clean and “don’t make fun of Jesus, for fuck’s sake!”; Sanz’s co-host, Brett Gelman, relates a list of all the improbable terrible things that happened to him in the past year: his dad confessed to murdering Jon Benet, for his birthday he got a cake made of pig shit, etc.; and the capper being Sanz as Santa buying a gun to kill Mrs. Claus out of jealous rage.

Gelman and other guests in the show make an indelible impression, namely Edgar Oliver (don’t know where he came from and when we find out, we might need to warn the neighborhood children) reading a pedophilic poem so outrageous and progressively more disgusting that everyone in the audience squirmed in their seats, actually physically nauseated by the end of it.

In a puppet show presented by “Will Stinson’s Fuzzy Buddies,” UCB theater regular and teacher Michael Delaney emerged from behind the curtain as a teddy bear who delivers a rant escalating in anger about his brother having to serve in Iraq, with Sanz trying to calm him down. In the same sketch, Gelman played Frank Oz as being unable to stop reminiscing about Jim Henson, which also sets Delaney off.

Unrelated to the comedy, musical guest David Bazan played two grittily beautiful Christmas songs and led a closing full cast rendition of John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas,” complete with Oliver in the background fondling one of the elves. Anyway, Bazan is the kind of musical guest SNL used to book in the 1970s (like Kinky Friedman) rather than its current parade of less substantial popular performers.

The capper of all cappers in the show, which best showcased Sanz, was a skit where he played serial killer John Wayne Gacy and punk rocker G.G. Allin sharing their last Christmas together before Gacy is executed and Allin overdosed. The conceit was Gacy being friendly and seemingly normal, but then the stage goes dark and Sanz puts a red light under his face and reveals Gacy’s true evil thoughts -- actually a little dramatically scary, rather than just funny, making the performance all the more effective.

As you can no doubt see by this recounting at length of everything Sanz packed into 45 to 60 minutes, if you missed this show at UCB December 20 and 21 (there were two performances each night), you truly missed a hilarious one. 



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