While enjoying an ever-growing following in his native land, David Cross isn't the household name he deserves to be on our side of the Atlantic. This may change in a few weeks, however, as tonight marks the first performance in a ten-day residency for the American comedian at Oxford Street's 100 Club entitled "A Really Lovely Night Out With David Cross And Friends". Supporting his stand-up routine and earning their "and friends" title will be Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schall and Todd Barry. Each night is also scheduled to feature a special guest chosen from a list that includes Jimmy Carr, Josie Long and Robin Ince as well as several other homegrown talents.
Cross first endeared himself to us in the mid-nineties with his brilliant sketch comedy series, "Mr. Show". A collaboration with Bob Odenkirk that featured regular appearances from Sarah Silverman and Jack Black, on its arrival "Mr. Show" was easily the funniest thing American television had seen in ages. With the series sadly unavailable on DVD in the UK, you're either going to have to fire up your multi-region DVD player or squint at grainy YouTube copies to get your classic Cross laughs here. Catch it on YouTube, however, and you miss out on one of the things that set "Mr. Show" so far above contemporaries like "Saturday Night Live" (aside from it actually succeeding in being funny and entertaining): it's Pythonesque transitions from skit to skit that never failed to bring all topics cleverly full-circle in the end.
Since the end of "Mr. Show", Cross has kept quite busy with touring, acting and two CD releases of his stand-up work. Often compared to Bill Hicks for sharing the late legend's politically volatile sense of humour, Cross is proof that (a) the American Left exists and (b) it knows how to laugh (excluding, perhaps, San Francisco). If this run comes anywhere near his usual level of hilarity, you should expect to hear people quoting the routine for weeks. Don't miss it and have to awkwardly pretend that you know what they're talking about, just go see it for yourself!
A Really Lovely Night Out With David Cross And Friends runs on ten nights at 8 p.m. from 19 - 30 June 2007 at The 100 Club (nearest Tubes: Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus). Tickets are available for purchase here.