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Trapped In A Comedian's Body

Lauren Weedman mines cringe-worthy moments for humor but doesn't go beyond her own world

In a performance billed as “A Woman Trapped In A Woman’s Body” at the UCB Theatre on October 11, Lauren Weedman, a former Daily Show correspondent and guest actor on Reno 911, delivered a hesitant, tentative reading from her own new comic memoir of the same name.

And when she did get into the material, it proved all-too self-absorbed and smug, yielding way too few unique or novel amusing moments. Granted, there may have been some confusion about what Weedman’s performance was supposed to be, as she has done solo one-woman shows, and this was intended to be a book signing, although that proved a bit awkward in a theater setting.

Before getting into the material though, Weedman stumbled through self-deprecation about herself and her material for five or 10 minutes. Then she segued into insecurities about her ex-husband and in her current relationship -- that she says took her to the point of sneaking reads of her boyfriend’s journal (the ubiquitous David that was the focus of a lot of Weedman’s storytelling). This revelation only makes you feel sorry for what this poor David must have to put up with.

The book is subtitled “Tales From A Life of Cringe,” and there certainly was a lot to cringe at in Weedman’s reading/show. She did have an account of Thanksgiving with David’s family and a host of awkward things she also managed to do around them, including trying to joke about his first wife, who died young, we presume.

Judging by some of Weedman’s self-produced web shorts, she aims for a cringe-inducing comedic persona, and that was definitely on display at this show. But the thing is, as Jester interview subject Jason Mantzoukas recently said (see interview), being funny really requires confidence and command above all else, and trying to make lack of command into the joke is a tricky proposition, and it’s a proposition that Weedman hasn’t quite mastered.




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