Randy Feltface

Here’s the gist of Randy Feltface: A puppet does stand-up comedy, and some of the best stand-up comedy you’ve ever seen. The perennial comment on Randy Feltface’s YouTube videos, the vast majority of which seem to be bootlegs, is “I forgot he was a puppet”—the puppetry is that good. The man behind Randy, Australian puppeteer Heath McIvor, does the impossible: He delivers wickedly entertaining storytelling and improvisational audience interaction while simultaneously pulling off a performance with a little purple guy that’s so good you forget Randy isn’t technically capable of facial expressions besides open-mouth and closed-mouth, or mouth-closed-really-hard-and-shaking-slightly when he’s upset. Part of the brilliance is that Randy rarely acknowledges that he’s a puppet, which worked especially marvelously when he played straight man to an actual man in his comedy duo act, Sammy J and Randy. Randy, who is not merely an outlet for adapting McIvor’s own experiences (given what little we know of McIvor’s personal biography), paints himself as an outsider to the human experience as he points out its absurdity. But because the character has canonically endured suffering and pain of his own, he’s also participated in that absurdity. And perhaps that is the genius of Randy Feltface: He is both radically human, and not human at all. Still, Randy Feltface is more of a human than I’ve seen many humans be. Randy Feltface performs at 7:30 p.m. on June 22, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. on June 23, and 7 and 9:30 p.m. on June 24 at the DC Comedy Loft. dccomedyloft.com. $25–$35.