Kristen Schaal: Live at the Fillmore (DVD Review)20 Apr, 2013 By: Ashley Ratcliff
Kristen Schaal gets really weird in her first hourlong stand-up special, Kristen Schaal: Live at the Fillmore, taped in San Francisco. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, when you consider her body of work: Mel, the obsessive fan from “Flight of the Conchords”; chronic fibber Hazel Wassername from “30 Rock”; and the voice of Louise Belcher on “Bob’s Burgers.”
Thankfully, Schaal’s brand of weird isn’t off-putting. Rather, she’s endearing as the kind oddball-type who, I imagine, would make good company on a road trip, a concert or any random adventure. Schaal has a certain, as she calls it, “surreal brand of whimsy,” which makes her all the more enjoyable on stage.
In the special, Schaal explores such topics as pleasuring a man, lovemaking with inanimate objects and her disdain for her junior high years. The cheeky comedian throws in a couple of impressions, performs excerpts from her naughty “Taintalogues” (a riff on The Vagina Monologues) and dazzles the crowd with her audition as a magician’s assistant.
Live at the Fillmore is rife with surprises, the most memorable of which is a pint-sized dynamo who packs a strong punch, and a few awkward moments that will leave you guessing as to whether it’s a part of the act or if Schaal really has fallen off the deep end.
The bonus material lets viewers relive more of Schaal’s antics from previous stand-up performances and television appearances. Schaal is as quirky as ever in her routine on John Oliver’s “New York Stand-Up Show,” delivering a rousing one-woman show from the perspective of a dirty mattress. The comedienne is in her prime on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” as the senior women’s issues correspondent, tackling matters such as cougars (the mature women, not the animal), rape-victim abortion funding and the married vs. single woman vote.