Vincent Van Jokes: Stand-up Comedy at 101/EXHIBIT
The West Hollywood Gallery Shows a Good Time
The event was called “Vincent Van Jokes.” Stand-up comedy at an art gallery? This is exactly the kind of grandiose LA narcissism comedians spill jokes about in their sets. What could possibly go down at 101/Exhibit tonight? The irony was the enticement.
The crowd was a bit older than the types you might find at UCB or The Groundlings; perhaps the events’ venue had something to do with it. There were expensive-looking WeHo hotties, more laid back I-woke-up-like-this-comedians, two babies, one dog and a guy with a cheetah-print hair-dye job that looked so real I thought he might be an actual cat. There was in fact “only one person not invited,” said gallery founder Sloan Shaffer, while holding a small dog standing next to a tall pretty blonde in a short black dress, “and her name is my ex-wife.” Ba-dum-chhh!
101/EXHIBIT’s lovely patio, filled with heaps of furniture and hanging twinkly lights, choreographed the audience to find a table and never leave it. There was no mingling last night, and the air of exclusivity made me feel like the new kid at school—only the school was in an art dealer’s backyard, and the students were going to get a drink at Lisa Vanderpump’s Sur (just two blocks down) after the comedy.
As I check out Collette Robbins’ “Archeological Fiction” show in the empty gallery (seriously, not a soul in there), I decided that it was probably because more exciting was the complimentary Kogi food truck shining like a beacon of hope you could see right out the front glass window. We grabbed our delicious free kimchi quesadillas and collectively wondered how long until the comedy would start. This event needed a good laugh—or more beer, which was plentiful in a keg.
Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long for either: comedian Francisco Ramos (Last Comic Standing) particularly lightened the mood, saying he’d never done stand-up for a crowd like this before, and that we had that look like, “Yeah I got more money than you, asshole.”
The joy of Vincent Van Jokes was the discovery that even with a crowd of mix-matched Los Angeles dreamers and schemers, there wasn’t an art lover who didn’t laugh at the absurdity of it all. Including the guy in the front row who lit up a joint in the middle of Ramos’ set. (Doesn’t he know being in the front row at a comedy show is asking for it?)