Last Night: Stand-Up Comic Daniel Tosh at the Pageant

The line for Daniel Tosh's show Saturday at the Pageant snaked around the building, dangerously close to the back parking lot, so it was no surprise that virtually every seat was filled for the comic's show.

A diverse crowd encompassing teens to 40-somethings packed the house Saturday night. Opening act Matt Fulchiron warmed up the crowd. Fulchiron's dry one-liners felt more about hype ("I should write this joke on a deposit slip, because it's money!") than much else. It’s not that he was bad, his jokes just seemed like appetizers to the main course -- a course he never delivered. You don’t give a fuck, we get it.

Read an interview with Daniel Tosh

After an opener that seemed way too long, Daniel Tosh came out. He slowly walked to center stage and adjusted everything the way an OCD person might have. An awkward ten minutes followed in which he bashfully seemed to tell jokes off the top of his head. One joke being, "I'm really not that good live, sorry."

A few nervous chuckles followed from audience members hoping that it really was a joke. He then announced, "Don’t worry we’ll start in a second." He then went full swing into his act making that first ten minutes a distant memory. Daniel Tosh can be summed up in one word: brutallyhonest.

Tosh promotional photo

More than once he donned a huge smile and defended himself against the shocked laughter that followed a joke. "What? I'm just telling the truth," could make for a fitting T-shirt slogan for him.

His brand of humor was delivered with the precision of an heart surgeon. At certain instances even stopping to explain jokes that might've gone over the head of people oblivious to his obscure references. This only made the jokes funnier.

Nothing is sacred to Daniel Tosh. Jokes about conservatives were followed with liberals getting equal lampooning. If there was a joke at your neighbor's expense you could only imagine that it was your turn next.

Tosh’s repertoire features such taboo subjects as child death, abortion, and rape (yes, rape) and he makes light of them in a way that only he could pull off. Audible groans were quickly drowned out or converted to laughter. His animated delivery, visual style only added more laughter.

Addressing the death of Heath Ledger, Tosh said, "He will be missed forever…until the sequel! It will be called Weekend with Batman."

Tosh displayed his sharp wit when an audience member yelled out, "I love you, Daniel!" during a brief silence. Tosh replied without missing a beat, "I have little-to-no feelings for you" and later when the same woman yelled out again, he quickly replied, "Stop talking forever!" and went on a tangent about people who feel the need to yell during awkward silences that made the audience roar with laughter.

Tosh injected a little bit of regional humor in his act when he said, "Is everything in this town arched?" referring to the Pageant's stage set-up behind him. He also wondered aloud if the Clydesdales were going to be taught how to goose step since Anheuser-Busch was going to be owned by a European company.

Perhaps the most shocking thing Tosh said all evening was that he actually spent some of his childhood in St. Louis attending Crestwood Elementary and Sperring Middle School in Sappington.

Tosh ended the evening with some older material and with some new jokes that he had written down in notes. Although he received a standing ovation, Tosh didn't go out for an encore. He had already made sure to tell people beforehand that his allotted time had ended and he was going to keep telling jokes. Before he left the stage he announced he would be outside for pictures and to talk, a gesture more common after shows at smaller comedy clubs.

- Rob Ruzicka

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