There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The HBO program Mr. Show With Bob and David was an aggressively postmodern updating of Monty Python’s slyly interconnected sketch format. It demanded that viewers pay attention, and rewarded those who did. Alas, the program was too short-lived and underpromoted to make its creators, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, the forces in comedy that they should be. So, instead of filling movie theaters with alternatives to Lorne Michaels’ SNL-skit-movie hegemony, Odenkirk and Cross continue to rail from the edges, lobbing their subversive comedy bombs via all-too-brief cameos and bit parts. The pair are relentless in their desire to go too far—and then keep going. Take the sketch about an advertising awards banquet where the top prize is given to a PSA for NAMBLA. Of course, we get to see the award-winning spot in all its hysterically cringifying wrongness, along with the emotional acceptance speech by the ad’s proud creator. Cross is the more obviously dangerous member of the duo, a balding ubergeek who used to go onstage and pretend to be retarded—anything for an uncomfortable laugh. He’s certainly not playing it safe with his upcoming movie, Run Ronnie Run, which is based on the Mr. Show sketch about an “alleged criminal” famous for his many appearances on Cops. Of course, Ronnie appears shirtless for much of the film. Perhaps because he “discovered” Tenacious D, Cross is now touring with a band. Expect more than rock and more than comedy when Cross hits the stage after Ultrababyfat, which plays at 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. (David Nuttycombe)