On Saturday, August 27, 2016, I saw John Oliver perform at The Kennedy Center. He was hysterical.
Oliver’s opening act was Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan). If I am being completely honest, I had a difficult time placing him. I knew I had heard the name before, but could not remember from where. Later, I Googled him and remembered him from Saturday Night Live. There were certain parts of his act that were funnier than others to me. He has a particular sense of humor that requires a certain disposition. His last set revolved around Disney’s Pocahontas. This line of jokes was my favorite part of his act. Wheelan did a great job warming up the audience.
Simply put, John Oliver is hysterical. He seamlessly transitioned from subject matters and kept running jokes alive throughout the duration of his act. Oliver started the show citing the empty back seats behind the stage, believing them to be reminiscent of a child saving the seat for his “busy dad.” Whenever the opportunity presented itself, Oliver would look over his shoulder invoking one of his first jokes. The punch line was funny every time.
Personally, I really enjoyed the fact that Oliver would reference D.C. I have seen other comedy acts in which the speaker never references the location, whether it be due to the lack of knowing or, if the segment is being filmed, wanting the jokes to transcend the room. I felt as though Oliver’s references to D.C. personalized the experience. He appreciated the audience, in turn, I think D.C. appreciated Oliver.
I also want to mention that The Kennedy Center is spectacular. The lobby is beautifully maintained with bright lights and red carpeting throughout the building. Outside, a gorgeous fountain overlooks the waterfront. While waiting for the Concert Hall to open, I enjoyed looking around. The entire evening was a lot of fun.