Todd Berry, Medium Energy

Joshua Neuman

By Joshua Neuman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Medium Energy

Todd Berry

A century ago, the Lower East Side was filled with Yiddish vaudeville theaters and Jews who couldn't afford to get out. Today, it's the center of the alternative comedy scene and home to a lot of Jews who can barely afford to stay in. With his deadpan observational humor, Barry is a vet of the scene. His voice resonates like smooth jazz, but is betrayed by material that is punk and nasty, "I meet people every summer in New York who tell me they don't like air conditioning. And I guess I see their point, because what is air conditioning? It's just a definite solution to a problem… It's hot in here… click… now it's cool." Barry's targets the minutiae of a gentrified urban landscape: people who complain about Kmart moving to their neighborhood but will overpay for Kmart "vintage" clothes; a woman he met with a soybean tattoo; restaurants which advertise "house cut" fries ("Whoa! Are you telling me you guys are doing your fry cutting in house?!").