Review: Dallas Comedy Festival 2015 | Dallas Comedy House

DCF 2015: Tuesday Night

We're covering every night of the Dallas Comedy Festival at the Dallas Comedy House. First up: Tuesday.

published Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Photo: Danielle Deraleau/TheaterJones
Saffy Herndon performs on opening night of the Dallas Comedy Festival

Dallas — Laughter. That’s what Paul Varghese wanted from the crowd Tuesday night at the opening of the Dallas Comedy Festival.

He got plenty, as did most of the stand-up comedians during the first night of the sixth annual Deep Ellum celebration at the Dallas Comedy House. It runs through Saturday with nightly standup, improv and sketch comedy.

Varghese told a great joke about the only trophy he’d won as a kid was for memorizing the most Bible verses, and how the top of the trophy was adorned with a kid looking forlornly out the window watching all the other kids play. To big laughs, he perfectly portrayed the figurine, emoting just enough to convey the sadness.

Photo: Danielle Deraleau/TheaterJones
Nick Daniels performs on opening night of the Dallas Comedy Festival

At which point, a woman in the front row asked, “How does that make you feel?”

Varghese was initially taken aback, as, let’s face it, that’s an asshole question to ask a comedian … on stage. But he quickly rattled off a half-dozen synonyms for sad, and you could see the wheels spinning inside the head of one of Dallas’ most skilled comedians. He was going to take this gift and run with it. He continued with his set, tagging some jokes by looking across the stage to the woman, who was kinda into it and kinda not. Varghese stuck to his set with some other jokes about dating, tagging one by again glancing at the woman, and she blurted out, “What do you want from us?”

“Laughter,” he replied without missing a beat. He mentioned how the back-and-forth was like having his mother sitting in the front row. The rest of the set became a de facto therapy session, in which Varghese vented onto the woman all the things he could never actually say to his mom. And it was hilarious.

Aaron Aryanpur closed the first show of the night, commenting on how there’s a difference between headlining and going last. He drew plenty of laughs for his take on marriage and kids, expertly delivering one joke about how his impression of his wife when she gets upset sounds a little like Paul Stanley bantering on stage in between KISS sings, and how her impression of him kinda makes him sound fat. Aryanpur dropped the only Bill Cosby joke of the night by dusting off some jokes he used when he first started doing stand-up, including one about how Leonard Part 6 was by far the worst thing Cosby had ever done.

Saffy Herndon, Dallas’ own 10-year-old stand-up comedian, got the DCF2015 started with her riffs on 21st century childhood, wondering why everyone in the ‘80s wore perms and how The American Dream seems to be going to work and getting yelled at.

Ryan Perrio had a really funny bit about some anxiety he has with calling a woman after obtaining her phone number, and how he wished there was an automated line he could call to see if she’s still interested in him because after a couple of days she’d have had a chance to sober up and all.

Nick Daniels came down from Chicago for his first taste of Dallas and Texas and seemed pleasantly surprised at the crowd and energy at DCH on a Tuesday night. He used his set to talk about how his grandfather quit IBM way back in the day because pops felt “computers are going nowhere,” and of his 13 cousins born nine years apart who have more DUIs than high school diplomas.  

The Dallas Comedy Festival continues Wednesday night with a dozen stand-up comedians taking the stage in three shows at 7, 8:30 and 10. On Thursday, improv takes over #DCF2015, culminating with shows from Bangarang! and TJ and Dave late Friday and Saturday nights.


TheaterJones will have coverage from every night of the Dallas Comedy Festival, which continues through Saturday with following schedule:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

  • 7pm — Standup
  • 8:30pm — Standup
  • 10pm — Standup

Thursday, March 26, 2015

  • 7pm — Improv
  • 8:30pm — Improv
  • 10pm  — Improv
  • 11:30pm — Standup

Friday, March 27, 2015

  • 6pm— Improv & Sketch
  • 7:30pm— Improv & Sketch
  • 9pm  — Improv
  • 10:30pm  — Improv
  • 11:30pm — Improv

Saturday, March 28, 2015

  • 5:30pm — Improv 
  • 7pm  — Improv & Sketch
  • 8:30pm — Improv 
  • 10pm — Improv
  • 11:30pm — Improv
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DCF 2015: Tuesday Night
We're covering every night of the Dallas Comedy Festival at the Dallas Comedy House. First up: Tuesday.
by Jason Philyaw

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