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David Spade and Jon Lovitz at the Granada

Stand Up Comedy Hit Santa Barbara on Saturday, August 20


The generally genteel Granada took on an insouciance bordering on the raffish last Saturday, August 20 with the arrival of two Saturday Night Live alums, David Spade and Jon Lovitz, for an evening of entertaining and thoroughly uncensored comedy. Both men got their starts on SNL, but it is Spade who has earned the headliner’s spot with his success in, among other things, the 2001 film Joe Dirt. Lovitz came onstage to a generous round of applause and proceeded to mine his reputation for outrageousness and the inanity and double standards of the insular world of comedy clubs for a set filled with laughs, barbs, and just-this-side-of-offensive double entendres. One particularly memorable bit combined Lovitz’s ironic observations about Michael Richards, Jesse Jackson, and the n-word with a daring and hilarious multi-part joke about dating in Dubai. Lovitz reached his peak of funniness in the last few minutes of the routine when he sat down at a keyboard and improvised some music. Reminiscing about his days as a steak house cocktail pianist, Lovitz offered a sample of the patter he used to accompany his keyboard stylings. “Pedophiles!” he called out, a propos of nothing, and then “at least they drive slowly through school zones.”

After a short break David Spade came out with an opening barrage of jokes about the sleeping aid Ambien, which, according to Spade, can sometimes work too well, as the comedian claimed to have just slept for three days as a result of his encounter with the drug. From there it was on to any number of self-deprecating hijinks, all of which were punctuated by heckling — of the audience, that is — by Spade. “Sir,” he called out to some hapless latecomer who was excusing himself across a row of people while balancing a full glass of wine, “Do you need help finding your seat? Did you not know that we had gotten started in here? Missed that cue where they dimmed the lights?” The Granada has potential as a venue for stand-up, but there were moments on Saturday when it felt odd, even to the performers. “Wow,” said Spade at one point, “I’m not used to playing such nice places. I can see everyone — that’s weird.” From there he went off on a riff about visiting his mother for Christmas in New Hampshire and having to stay at a neighbor’s house where, much to his dismay, he failed to receive the full star treatment.

Still, the possibility for more shows like Saturday is a feasible one, and while the Spade and Lovitz bill did not sell out, the audience was ample and receptive, which bodes well for more laughs in the G going forward.

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