The host, Kevin Hancock, was hit-or-miss, but he was a good sport about the misses, and in fact, one of his funniest jokes was about a miss, a metajoke referring back to an earlier joke about people who trick out their cars with neon lights (he said he'd take the joke back and put some neon lights on it and show it at the Joke Show, where you could tilt it up and see the undercarriage of that joke). My favorite joke, however, was about the common bumper sticker "NO BLOOD FOR OIL." It began predictably ("It was on an SUV"), but then it went in a more intelligent and hilarious direction: "You can't use blood for oil. It doesn't have the right viscosity. Plus, it starts doing crazy things to your car. 'Hey, man, what's wrong with your car?' 'Sickle-cell anemia.'"
The featured guest, Dan Mintz, was also hit-or-miss, but when he missed, he really missed. His schtick was the whole "Dryly tell one random joke after another" thing like Mitch Hedberg, but he often veered into tasteless and offensive territory. Sometimes, I still laughed even though it wasn't particularly funny, just unexpected. He did have some good jokes mixed in there, though.
Then out came B.J. Novak! Who was expectedly hilarious, although it was weird to hear him curse a few times (and his act was really PG-13 for the most part). I don't want to give away his entire act, of course, but I could give some highlights! A lot of jokes involved puns and wordplay, including a funny domestic violence joke (as opposed to the previous comics' not-so-funny domestic violence jokes) and some political humor that took one audience member a minute to get (B.J. lamented that Barack Obama got "caucus-blockused"). He read from a children's book he'd written called Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Stolen Bike that was kind of like this comic turned into an extended joke, but it somehow became funnier and funnier as he took the conceit further and further.
One thing that was great was that, at 28, he was very much our generation, and he grew up with the same things we did, like, for instance, Encyclopedia Brown. And You Can't Do That on Television! And Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? ("Why has no one caught her yet? Everyone in this room was looking for her. Nice work, gumshoes.") And the Emergency Broadcast System. And Bill Nye!
In the middle of his act, he did the old "Try out jokes on an audience" thing, and he had Kevin bring a trash can onstage in which to throw out jokes that bombed. This led to some great audience interaction, as he commented on this one woman in the front who looked very concerned, like "Don't use that joke; it'll bomb in another city!" Then, later on, he heard her remark that a joke sucked, and he did another impression of her. When one particular joke seemed to get little reaction except from one table, he handed the joke (on an index card) to that table. Hee.
Early in the act, he had a bit on how cute pandas are, and you wouldn't think you could turn "Pandas are so cute!" into a hilarious joke, but he did.
He also brought out Shy Puppet, who was adorable. Aww.
The Office didn't come up a lot. He congratulated us all for resisting the urge to say, "That's what she said" after a particular phrase (I knew from Office Tally that the previous night, someone had attempted to TWSS throughout the show). He said he liked that The Office was being shown on planes so he could elbow his seatmate and be all, "Have you seen this show? Man, it's exactly like the place I work." And he thanked all the Office fans in the audience and told us to give ourselves a round of applause.
Afterward, B.J. came out to meet people and take pictures and such. sophia_helix asked if we wanted to wait around to meet him, and actoplasm commented that it's what I do. And he's right! I meet famous people! It's like my raison d'être. I'm like a serial starfucker, hoping that if I am in proximity to enough famous people, I will become famous myself.
When it was my turn to meet the great B.J. Novak, I gave him the old "Great show" and said that he didn't say anything about Call of Duty.
"Do I know anything about Call of Duty?" he asked.
I said there was something about the Veronica Mars writers and Call of Duty. "You know the Veronica Mars writers?" he asked.
"Yeah," I replied.
He explained that Phil Klemmer plays as "B.J. Novak" on Call of Duty. Heh. So they had a little feud of some sort. Then he was all, "So...you want to take a picture?" Like, "So...are we done with the talking and can I go yet?"
Then I pulled The Office S1 out from my jacket sleeve (it was the easiest one to fit in there, and I hadn't thought of just bringing the sleeve, as someone else had). "Do you want to watch it with me, or do you want me to sign it?" he said. Well...
I opened it up, and he pulled out a big black marker to sign the disc. He asked if I wanted him to sign it to me, or just sign it. So I gave him my name.
And that was how I managed to be a total dork in front of yet another celebrity.