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October 13 • 8:00 pm
Looking like a dyspeptic plumber, 63-year-old comic Eddie Pepitone specializes in the reductio ad absurdum, ad infinitum. He is the LeBron James of “having enough of this shit.” Everywhere Pepitone looks, existential threats loom. The news he watches and reads affects him as if it’s a personal insult. He lashes out with caustic humor at the world’s manifold injustices, but saves many of his most vicious barbs for himself.
Pepitone’s bits usually start calm and clear-eyed, but as he delves deeper into the subject, his sanity begins to unravel, his voice and blood pressure rise, and a cataclysmic exasperation consumes his entire being. The screams that issue from him induce an everyperson catharsis that resonates more deeply than fellow funny bellower Sam Kinison’s. Pepitone’s pitiless Weltschmerz always carries an extra jolt of suspense because his in-the-red shouts hint at an imminent heart attack. That’s how dedicated to his craft and persona Pepitone is.
Pepitone told The A.V. Club “anger fuels my comedy. When I’m on stage, I realize I can’t be that serious or angry. People want to be entertained, first and foremost. I always have to balance it with silliness or absurdity.” Check out the 2020 special For The Masses for a side-splitting display of Pepitone’s exhilarating mood swings and hilariously pessimistic worldview.
📸: Eddie Pepitone