SF Sketchfest Review: The Hills: A Staged Reading + Invite Them Up

From SFist.com

January 26, 2009
By Leanne Maxwell


SF Sketchfest presented two shows with great line-ups at Cobb’s on Saturday night, which proved to be a double-double dose of Robs (Riggle and Huebel). “The Hills: A Staged Reading,” featured Janine Garofalo as Lauren, Rachael Harris as Heidi, Rob Huebel as Spencer, surprise guest Rob Riggle as Brody Jenner, and narrator Tom Kenny. The concept proved to be a hit that made us want to watch all three seasons of the Hills, but only if performed in this format.

The next show was “Invite Them Up,” hosted by Eugene Mirman and Bobby Tisdale, with performances by Rob Riggle, Todd Barry, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Tig Notaro, John Mulaney, and Nick Kroll. The show had been advertised as a “cabaret-style variety show,” which must have been a joke because there was no cabaret. All the comedians gave us lots of laughs, but we thought Tig Notaro, John Mulaney, and Eugene Mirman had the funniest bits of the night.

“The Hills” performance consisted of “best of” clips from the first two seasons, followed by readings from an episode from Season 3. The Robs were amazing as Brody Jenner and Spencer, as were Garofalo, Harris, and the other castmembers in their impersonations of hair-twirling, eye-rolling, and gum-chewing airheads.

Then there was a Q&A, in which creator Robin Shorr discussed how the crew of “The Hills” came to one of the performances in Los Angeles, and Rob Huebel informed us that he and his “Human Giant” castmates met “The Hills” cast at an MTV event. Yes, they are as dumb as a box of rocks.

“Invite Them Up”

Eugene Mirman opened the show and introduced the line-up, mentioning that the show started late because they were throwing a bunch of drunks out beforehand. He also closed the show, which we hazily recall, since we had consumed four champagnes by then due to the two-drink minimum per show.

Bobby Tisdale reminded us of a mix between Conan O’Brien and SFist’s beloved editor. He told a hilarious bit about being terrified he’d have his first wet dream on his redneck friend Nate at a sleepover in the eighth grade.

Tig Notaro probably had the funniest set of the night. Upon entering the stage, she demonstrated the various spots in which comedians often move the mic stand because it takes up too much space. She then proceeded to walk through the audience with it, leaving it next to a table behind us. Notaro also outed the poor older woman in the first row, who looked none to happy to be there. She was probably there for the cabaret show that had been advertised.

Todd Barry wrote/directed a play about reinventing himself as a comedian with volunteers from the audience and Eugene Mirman. All the volunteers did a great job except for the ditzy drunk girl with questionable fashion sense.

Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer competed in some sort of “comic-off,” but beyond that, we’re not sure what was going on. We recall that Rob Huebel was in a wheelchair and Paul Scheer was in a mask with various props, dancing to “The Hills” theme song. (The song was already queued up from the previous show that night, which is a useless detail that very few could have noticed.)

Nick Kroll was a surprise guest with about thirty seconds of stage time. He came out in a “Rejected from Alcatraz: Too Cute” nightgown, saying that he was a rapist but he has such cute dimples. Then he and Paul Scheer, who was also clad in a nightgown and saying he raped three people, danced around the stage.

John Mulaney still thinks of himself as a little boy and told a comical story about switching trains in Brooklyn at 2 a.m., which involved walking down a long, scary tunnel behind a solitary female who thought he was chasing her.

Rob Riggle told us the intimate details of his morning shower routine, involving lathering himself up to ’80s music on his shower radio. For example, he replaced Gary Numan’s “Cars” with “My Balls.”

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