Sold-out comedy show features jokes on blindess, birds, babies

Bay Area comedian Walker Glenn gushed about becoming a father and having a cool son during his performance Friday at 1078 Gallery. Photo credit: Amanda Hovik

Threesomes, bird smuggling and the Baldwin brothers were popular topics Friday night at 1078 Gallery’s hilarious stand-up comedy event.

The gallery transformed into a comedy club with no shortage of talent hosted by Bob Backstrom, a local music and comedy promoter and the former owner of Bustolini’s Deli & Coffee House. Local comics Celine O’Malley, Yusef Swafford and TJ Hudson joined Bay Area acts Walker Glenn, Aviva Siegel and Mikey Walz to deliver countless jokes and stories to a full house.

Twin brothers Bryce and Austin opened the show for their debut performance.

Though the 17-year-old comics didn’t take the stage at the same time, their ability to reference each other hit the mark on their sibling rivalry. Most importantly, they were able to laugh at themselves, even when discussing personal topics such as being legally blind.

O’Malley illuminated the room with her upbeat performance. The randomness of her jokes was never off-putting.

She was able to make even the most absurd remarks seem perfectly natural, especially when describing smuggling birds onto an airplane.

Something about Hudson’s calm demeanor stood out in his set. His jokes were clever and wonderfully tasteless at times.

Many of the laughs he inspired spawned from his ability to stay casual while throwing verbal punches at everyone who might get offended. His idea of a modern Anne Frank podcast was wildly entertaining.

Yusef Swafford ran to the microphone next and, without build-up, broke into his own brash, in-your-face comedy.

His comfort on stage allowed him to take volume and movement up a notch compared to the other acts. He is definitely a pacer, which was useful in holding the attention of viewers and keeping punch-line anticipation sustained.

Aviva Siegel didn’t shy away from blunt vulgarity, and it worked. Some of her cringe-worthy anecdotes inspired the loudest praise, especially when she mentioned having an awkward discussion with her mother.

Walker Glenn, who recently performed in Chico, gushed about becoming a father and having a cool son. Though he kept consistent cheers rolling, the highlight of his time on stage were his imaginings of his son’s progressive viewpoints as a one-year-old.

The headlining act, Mikey Walz, did an excellent job of finishing the show, snatching some of the loudest laughs of the evening.

His stories were easy to relate to, all the way down to the finest details. Joking about being poor isn’t new, but his spin on the topic had the majority of the audience smiling and nodding in agreement.

He closed by bringing out a ukulele and telling strange but compelling jokes, reminiscent of Zach Galifianakis or Demetri Martin.

The audience behaved throughout the night, with the exception of a few loud comments directed toward performers, but nothing malicious or antagonistic.

1078 Gallery should definitely continue to implement comedy nights like this one. Though all of the comedians had different styles, all behaved professionally and no act felt out of place.

Jake Hutchison can be reached at [email protected] or @poserpunk on Twitter.