Brian Posehn Royal Theatre, Toronto ON, September 24

Brian Posehn Royal Theatre, Toronto ON, September 24
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Brian Posehn is devolving — not as a comic or as a performer, but physically deteriorating from the metal- and comics-obsessed nerd he was into an old man with wet tits and an increasingly grumpy outlook. This devolution made for some delightful comedy on the opening night of this year's JFL42 festival.
 
He made his name as an inside pop culture outsider, and while his loves, for wrestling, metal and the illustrated arts remain, at 49 he's no longer able to keep up with current pop culture and he doesn't give a shit. The racism revealing Hulk Hogan sex tape is on his mind (not in a good way) — "It was out there for years and no one had watched it! I loved Hulk Hogan and there's no way I'm throwing that on!" — but for the most part, Posehn's act has moved inward, to more self-loathing topics like biological decay.
 
Posehn is a dad now, and his six-year-old recently kicked him in the head really hard. Too bad he didn't die, he laments, because kicking your dad to death would be a really badass villain origin story: "I could have created a real life Green Goblin!"
 
Having spent his hour building up the sad-sack state of his life and self, a payoff came in a surprising moment at the end of the set, when he plumb forgot the punch line of his long final joke. "I'm becoming my own act!" he lamented, doubled over laughing at his own predicament as the audience howled. "Oh wait, now I remember — stop laughing or I'll forget! Oh fuck, I forgot again!" The peek behind the façade was just enough to confirm that Brian Posehn remains as fun in his decrepitude as he was in his virile (albeit still bald) youth.