Published Jul 30, 2016"I'm whatever threatens you," Barry Crimmins smirked, as he joked about the time someone asked if he was gay after doing an AIDS benefit.
That quote is the embodiment of Crimmins, the intellectual living legend who's revered by comedians and comedy geeks, yet virtually unknown. For those who haven't seen his epic biographical documentary Call Me Lucky, Crimmins is an untameable political voice who is one of the founding fathers of the standup comedy scene in Boston. His hour at the Montreal strip club Cafe Cleopatra was raw and fearless, just as his involvement in activism and comedy has always been.
Crimmins' ability to write streamlined satirical lines is uncanny. His deconstruction of stocking up on guns as a futile arms race against the U.S. government's resources was brilliant, as was his bit where he explained that it would be pointless for him to move out of the U.S. to avoid its current nightmarish government, because he would just get victimized by the country's terrible foreign policy. Additionally, Crimmins cleverly quipped that Chuck Todd is an instruction as much as it is a name of a political journalist he dislikes, and he frankly discussed the fact that the U.S. would rather create veterans than care for them.
On the other hand, not everything in the show was political. Crimmins began his hour with some flippant material about Twitter, as well as society's obsession with bacon. Moreover, Crimmins framed the enormous number of young people in Long Island claiming to be comedians as a refugee crisis, where stage time is a resource that desperately needs to be donated in a hilariously clean, observational way.
Admittedly, one could criticize Crimmins' hour for its lack of segues and his strange switching between being on and off mic. However, that would fail to recognize the unapologetic nature of the man: even at 63, Crimmins is a rebel, and that lack of restraint is a big part of what fuels his spirit and makes him great.