From The Archives: Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally – Summer of 69: No Apostrophe @ The Wiltern, 5/21/2015

It’s often difficult to have any form of secrecy in a relationship between two celebrities. Every single detail of the relationship just spills out to the public, be it significant, insignificant, real, or fake; and it is very easy for the the fans to have a strong opinion on the aforementioned relationship. And as a very rare example, the lengths that Megan Mulally & Nick Offerman go to in order to disclose the genuineness of their relationship actually formed the core force underlying their public image as a comedy duo.

Out of respect for their no-photo policy, I will take the hint and not disclose the details of the show at full length, but rather reflect on my impressions. It is a very challenging task to maintain momentum in a show that transitions between music and comedy, particularly if the show includes interactions with the audience, making it inherently off-beat. Offerman’s leg injury and one member of the audience who insisted on doing god knows what on his phone, in the front row nonetheless, couldn’t keep the show from being eclectic yet warm, organised yet spontaneous. Most of the body of work forming Summer of 69: No Apostrophe consists of the sexual nature of the relationship between the two performers. Memories, bizarre experiences and a series of recollections of unorthodox sex positions prove that with the right amount of genuineness and good rhetoric, it is actually possible to form a 2 hour set that consists of dick jokes.

Offerman and Mullaly, respectively of Will & Grace and Parks and Recreation fame, are both similar and different than their characters Ron Swanson and Karen Walker in many ways. The raw and down to earth personality of Swanson echoes through Offerman’s delivery, whereas Mullally expertly transfers Karen Walker’s inherent energy to glamorise stories into a hilarious way of sugarcoating her memories, making the show feel fresh yet familiar. As it is normal for a comedy act to have points of lost momentum, it is not often that the cause of this hitch in tempo is a member of the audience. As I have come to deeply respect a performer’s choice to keep a performance cellphone free, it feels mind-boggling to see what lengths some members of the audience go to just check their phones. In this particular occasion, a gentleman in the front row who personally got warned by Offerman on three separate occasions, somehow found the shamelessness in himself to actually boo the show and got himself kicked out of the room. For a performer to be kicking out a member of the audience is not something that can always be seen as a way of thinking that can be empathised with, but Offerman’s stance on this occasion felt both justified and necessary. It was quite interesting to observe two performers perform a solid two hour set of below the belt jokes and then outclass an uncivilised member of the audience with such grace. I sincerely hope as the use of technology begins to get more and more instinctual to us, we will somehow rediscover a way to show a performance the respect it deserves and demands.

All in all, Summer Of 69: No Apostrophe delivered exactly what it promised, two hours of sensual intimacy flowing through The Wiltern resulting in a hilarious and satisfying climax.

– Hakancan Altiner

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