The Shrine Auditorium provided the venue Saturday April 4 for the Seventh Annual Kevin and Bean’s April Foolishness, best described as a rock concert tailored for one night of comedy. The KROQ concert team puts on great shows at great venues and Foolishness was no exception.
What sets April Foolishness apart from your average comedy festival is that all proceeds go to charity. The extensive list of comedians are all headline acts that volunteered to use their talents for something good.
This year’s proceeds went to Fisher House, a network of comfort homes for military families while some are receiving medical care, as well as Cedars-Sinai Neonatal Intensive Care Unite.
A large VIP lounge called the “Kevin and Bean Party Bus,” greeted those who won or purchased the package. It was complete with free appetizers, several full-bar setups and a DJ spinning KROQ classics. This was the place to be for those who wanted to meet and hangout with the morning DJs.
In total, eight different comedic acts jumped up on stage in front of over 6,000 rowdy fans.
DJ Mike Relm concocted a video mash-up of viral videos to open the show, a compilation that only KROQ fans would appreciate. Picture “Jackass” meets “Tosh.0” with the Beastie Boys laying down the soundtrack.
The first comic to hit the stage was Eddie Pence. Relatively unknown, Pence won the opportunity to open the show through a contest Kevin and Bean put on during the weeks leading up to the event. The crowd responded well to Pence, laughing consistently throughout the up-and-comer’s set.
One of the largest comics in the world, in both stature and popularity, Gabriel Iglesias hit the stage right after Pence’s opening act. “Fluffy,” Iglesias’s stage name helped bring his magic to the stage. He talked about how he hates going to public bathrooms in big cities because everything is controlled by sensors.
Iglesias has this genuine way of talking to the audience like they are old friends reminiscing about crazy past experiences.
In between each comic’s set, different KROQ personalities came on stage to introduce the next act.
Old friend of the Kevin and Bean show and Foolishness alumni Jay Mohr took the stage on a mission to show rock stars how to put on a show. With spot on impressions, nobody was safe from Mohr’s wrath.
Going after Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Bono of U2 and their political agendas, Mohr owned the stage. Perhaps his best line of the night, catapulting a huge ovation was when he called Steven Tyler of Aerosmith a “Bond villain cat,” the crowd absolutely went insane.
For the second straight year, it was the smallest in stature that drew the largest ovation. To his credit, Brad Williams brought the house down with his half mad-at-the-world, half self-deprecating brand of humor.
He received a huge roar from the Los Angeles crowd when he let everybody know that, despite living in San Francisco the past year, he was still a Dodger fan.
His logic, it just wouldn’t be right for a man of his stature to walk around in a jersey with the word “GIANTS” across the front.
The only downside to a rock radio station putting together such a huge comedy show was that throughout the evening, the speaker system sounded more like it was geared for a rock concert. That made it hard to hear some of the comics’ jokes, because of the echo.
Some performers like Iliza Shlesinger, Adam Ray and at certain points even Williams were walking on their jokes or not waiting long enough for the last punchline to absorb throughout the arena before talking again.
The last stand up comic to perform was former “Last Comic Standing” winner, Ralphie May. The big boy with a southern drawl walked out wearing a t-shirt that had to be at least a triple-x and was still quite small on him. He kept the crowd rolling the entire time. May’s first punchline and about the first half of his set was devoted to talking midgets, which must have been fresh in his mind considering he followed Williams on stage.
The final act of the night was Tenacious D. The talented rock-comedy duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass made it an intimate evening choosing to only play acoustically.
Two men, two guitars and a whole slew of funny songs that really rock. Tenacious D opened their set with “Tribute” also known as “The Best Song in the World” had people from wall to wall singing along the entire set.
Pound for pound, April Foolishness was arguably the best comedy show one will ever see. The talent and venue were remarkable and best of all, the entire event was done for charitable causes.
Don’t worry if you missed it this year, Kevin and Bean will be back again next April for their eighth annual. If you cannot wait that long, Tenacious D and dozens of other comedians will be at the Shrine in October for the Festival Supreme.