Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Regency Ballroom
Better than: seeing the middle aged men who voice the Powerpuff girls in real life.
Hearing the voices of the beloved characters from Adult Swim's popular late night television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force come from two middle aged men was a little baffling, yet completely hilarious and enchanting. Co-creators/conspirators Dave Willis and Dana Snyder have taken their cult-hit-turned-mainstream comedy cartoon and turned it into a live stage show, performed last night at the Regency Ballroom. With the help of puppet designer James Wojtal, Willis and Snyder have brought their characters Master Shake (a talking milkshake with small yellow fins that serve as hands), Frylock (a flying, bearded container of fries), Meatwad (a hamburger patty with a speech impediment) and Carl (the bald, fat schlub who lives next door) to life.
The show is a smorgasbord of skits, video clips and stand-up bits. Willis and Snyder also included sketches from their other Adult Swim television program Squidbillies, a show about a ragtag family of red neck squids. They subjected the audience to a voluntary form of torture where they chose one person to come on stage and read aloud the steps to make Grandma Squid's famous red snapper recipe. Dana Snyder controlled the cute and senile pink squid puppet, who sat on his victim's shoulder and sensuously caressed his face with a pink tentacle and making insinuating remarks the entire time.
The important third character of the Aqua Teen trio, Frylock, voiced by Carey Means, was unavailable to join in on the tour. So, Willis and Snyder set up a "live satellite feed" with Means who was engaged in his bathroom at the time of the link-up. Halfway through the question and answer interview with Means, the boom in the camera falls on Means head, and Dave Willis's head pops into the screen apologizing. The audience erupted with laughter while the on-stage Willis struggled to convince Synder that it still actually was a "live feed".
Early in the show, Dave Willis brought out a miniature puppet of Carl out to do a sketch entitled "Carl's Regional Beef", where Carl rants about the various things he hates about San Francisco. Carl was not impressed with San Francisco's historical music scene and felt that if Moby Grape had been named Glass Cobra, he might've listened to it. The winner of the Carl look-a-like contest that occurred last year, sat on the side of the stage most of the night haw-hawing and chiming in at appropriate moments.
Dana and Dave performed the song "I Sure Hope I Don't have to Beat Your Ass This Christmas" off their Aqua Teen Hunger Force Christmas album, Have Yourself a Meaty Little Christmas to the cacophonous laughter coming from the audience. The album was not released in stores. Later on in the show, they aired a music video from the album, Carl singing a contemporary version of the heart-warming "I'll be home for Christmas", which is nothing like the original song.
When the "Show Me Your Meatwad" portion of the show began, a handful of audience members were picked from a crowd of volunteers to get on stage and give their best Meatwad impression. After two rounds, everyone on stage had received a congratulatory red plastic drink cup and a long sweaty hug from the real life Carl look-a-like. No one was really sure who won, but it seemed like everyone did. After the competition was over Dana Snyder and Dave Willis threw out promotional frisbees, trucker hats and DVDs to the audience who snatched in the air like piranha in a feeding frenzy.
The show was so dense with material, it ran almost like an exercise class. The last part of the evening was spent watching two completely new, never-before-seen episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies. Dave Willis and Dana Snyder are up to their usual tom-foolery, both episodes were full of potty-mouthed, sexually depraved cartoon characters. After the screening, Snyder and Willis came on stage one last time to sing an improvised fare-well tune that lasted a grand total of three lines. But, the audience lapped every little bit of it up, and left the ballroom tittering and giggling into the night.