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Appointment Panel-vision

UCB's monthly meeting of its best improvisational minds provides lengthy and funny takes on politics and pop culture.

If you haven’t seen the monthly “Shut Up! I Hate You!” show hosted by Anthony King and Scott Brown at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, it really is not to be missed.

Seen January 31, with a panel of some of the UCB’s best performers -- Rob Riggle, Jason Mantzoukas and Jackie Clarke, with Riggle’s “Daily Show” compatriot, John Oliver -- “Shut Up! I Hate You!” is like a blend of Bill Maher’s “Real Time” and “Politically Incorrect” panel discussions with the UCB improvisational sensibility.

The difference is, the hosts and panel apply their quick improvisational wit -- being three steps ahead onto the next possible thought -- to the worlds of politics, media and the news in general -- in a totally unfiltered way, going even further than the “Daily Show” does.

Oliver, being the self-described “unemotional Brit,” had trouble getting a word in at first in this nearly 90-minute show, among the gregarious and dominating fellow panelist, but once he did, he repeatedly brought the house down. Discussing the controversy over the Clintons’ suspected racism in the South Carolina primary, Oliver said, “not only is he ruining a potential Hillary presidency, he’s retroactively ruined his own.” And describing his own experiences covering the campaigns, he complained of GOP maverick Ron Paul’s bad breath.

Talking about the possibility of the first female or black US President, Mantzoukas claimed he wanted proof Hillary is a woman -- and not as a right-wing ball buster type slam either -- saying, “It’s like when a movie star has a body double -- there’s Julia Roberts, and they pan down but suddenly there’s a cut, or they move past a vase or something before we see the rest of her.”

And just as the Daily Show often does, this show has bits of astute media criticism, as Brown critiqued the print media as “modulating its own racism,” reading a story that had Obama supposedly snapping or being aggressive toward a reporter, then showing video of the actual incident described, which was far from that, more like a few offhand responses between signing autographs for crowds.

Riggle for his part, set the tone for the show from the beginning -- this show makes great of video to spark the discussions and began with a recent clip of Clinton falling asleep during a speech by Martin Luther King III -- so right after the clip Riggle lolled his head back, eyes closed, mouth open, in a similar way.

And later, he took pains to educate Oliver about why Chuck Norris, who has inserted himself into the race by stumping for Mike Huckabee, deserves to be a political pundit. “It’s all about ‘Lone Wolf McQuade’ -- they were burying him alive in a truck and he drives the truck right out of his own grave.”

Clarke seemed ready to talk even at points where she didn’t have anything to say yet, but definitely had some great interjections that added to the show, asking Mantzoukas and the rest of the panel if they needed to prove Hillary was a woman by “fisting” her.

All these bits being described flowed forth from the panel and host so fast your mind and laughter could barely keep up. “Shut Up! I Hate You!” is definitely a show worth making a monthly appointment for.

“Shut Up! I Hate You!” returns 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29. 



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