late night set

Ian Abramson’s Truly Insane, Possibly Dangerous, Definitely Brilliant Late-Night Stand-up Set

Comedians are always trying to find ways to ramp up the tension in a joke. After all, the more tension in the setup, the greater the release in the punch line. They might, for example, talk about a hot-button issue, knowing the audience will tighten up. Similarly, they might say something borderline offensive to shock the audience into attention. Ian Abramson, a comedian and apparent crazy person, figured out a way to achieve this by taking shock incredibly literally. Last night on Conan, Abramson did something he has done at select live shows around Los Angeles: He put on a dog’s shock collar and gave someone in the audience a remote to shock him if they didn’t like a joke. He gets shocked. But more important is what the shock does: It makes the stakes of fairly small jokes seem incredibly high. It’s a clever play with the titillation of stunt comedy — specifically Jackass — while still having real jokes. It’s brilliant. It’s insane. It’s a great late-night set.

A Truly Insane, Possibly Dangerous Late-Night Stand-up Set