Dubbed as “not a normal comedy show,” Wayne Brady's performance Sunday night brought the funny.
And it certainly wasn't normal. Brady didn't do stand-up or tell rehearsed jokes. The show at the Holland Performing Arts Center was all freshly made up.
The night was led by Brady, a star of the improv show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and current host of the game show “Let's Make a Deal.”
It kicked off with an improvised rap song using suggested words from the audience including sauerkraut, virgin, compound interest, humuhumunukunukuapua'a (the state fish of Hawaii) and callipygous (a word meaning “beautifully proportioned buttocks”).
Brady weaved them all into a song — even the fish — and laughed at some of the suggestions.
Brady was joined onstage by his improv partner, Jonathan Mangum, who co-hosts “Let's Make a Deal” with him. While Brady was the star of the show, Mangum was the second lead. He and Brady riffed on each other for some good laughs, including on the “one-word story” game (where the duo told a story by each saying one word at a time) and “sound effects” (where they brought two audience members onstage to make sound effects as they acted out a scene on a ship).
The entire show involved audience participation. Topics were suggested and several people were called onstage to help out. An amusing segment of the 90-minute show happened when two audience members had to move Brady and Mangum's bodies around the stage.
After Brady went down on the stage, Mangum told him he had to jump back up.
“Yeah, I wanna see this happen,” Brady said to laughs.
Near the middle of the show, Brady and Mangum took a break and answered questions that the audience had written before the show.
“You guys came out to see me, so I like to think we're friends,” Brady said. “I know what kinds of friends you are by how jacked up the questions are.”
They were interesting and amusing stories, but I could have used more improv during what was a pretty short show.
Two of the best improv sketches came at the very end of the night and involved the talents of the third man onstage: Cat Gray.
Gray stood behind a keyboard and created all of the music for the night, including hip-hop backing tracks, rock riffs and funky tunes.
Brady took suggestions of movies and musicals and then parodied them during a scene about an alcoholic accountant who messed up his client's taxes while Gray played.
“How'd you get so tan as a vampire?” Mangum asked Brady during a “Twilight” moment.
The sketch's finale was a parody of “Grease” with the comedians singing “Dependents, how many are there? ... I have six, none of them have hair” to the tune of “Summer Nights.”
“Thanks so much for coming out on a Sunday night and spending some time with us,” Brady said. “I really appreciate it. You were worth every single plane ride. I love you. See you later.”
Contact the writer: 402-444-1557, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/owhmusicguy