Review: Pam Ann Takes Off at Joe’s Pub
Broadway Blog editor Matthew Wexler flies first class with comedienne Pam Ann during her latest stint at Joe’s Pub. WARNING – this review contains graphic language and adult themes.
If you’ve ever flown a major (or minor) airline and suffered through the antics of airport security, pre-takeoff drill, irritating passengers or other trials and tribulations of air travel, you’ll find the foul-mouthed humor of comedian Caroline Reid—a.k.a Pam Ann—wildly entertaining. She’s performing her latest act at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater through January 5.
Pam Ann is naughty… very naughty. She loves black c*ck, questions audience members about the definition of bukkake and smacks down every race and religion under the sun. But once you peel the crude layers of Reid’s act, you’ll discover an incredibly well informed international traveler who knows the hubs of every major airline, what sort of planes they’re flying and the fashion details of “airline hostess” uniforms.
Pam Ann’s current riffs at Joe’s Pub feel more spontaneous than the last time I saw her perform several years ago. While her airline observations are as sharp as ever, she spent more time at a recent performance disintegrating the audience and talking about anal penetration. She pushes the boundaries in a similar way to downtown favorite Bridget Everett, masking her towering frame with vulgar jokes and sexuality. At one point, she even tossed Ziploc sandwich bags packed with fake cocaine into the crowd. While Everett uses musical vocals and occasional vulnerability to reel in the crowd, Pam Ann is first class smut humor.
Crude female humor isn’t new. Joan Rivers paved the road in her own way more than 40 years and has been followed by the likes of Lisa Lampanelli and Kathy Griffin. Somehow Ellen DeGeneres has managed to keep her act “clean” through the decades, relying on her own foibles and awkward situations rather than turning to body parts and fluids. But there is room for all kinds, and if you’re a fan of the former, then scoping out Pam Ann’s schedule is worth adding to your travel itinerary.
Pam Ann embarked on an international tour in April 2011 and she has been flying high ever since, playing throughout her native Australia, Europe and North America. Be warned: nobody is safe in the audience—so be prepared for anything—and I mean anything. During the show I saw she earmarked an self-proclaimed Persian audience member as a “person of interest” and wanted to gather a bunch of black men for an orgy in Brooklyn. Interwoven through the act are self-produced videos of Pam Ann in action that cleverly use green screen technology and places her in the center of the action ranging from a meeting with Superman to a guest spot on the now defunct Pan Am television series.
Pam Ann is a hot mess—one that you’d rather roll around in than clean up. Sometimes it’s fun to get a bit dirty and she continues to prove the perfect hostess.
CLICK HERE for future tour dates.