Beacon Personified: The 2012 LA Comedy Shorts Fest – Feature

The LA Comedy Shorts Fest functions with continued prevalence as a beacon for comedy aficionados everywhere because it understands its audience through and through. Gary Anthony Williams, front and center, always personifies that the key to great comedy is that has to be funny, no matter the cost. Circling in for only a few blocks because of impending out-of-country pullings, this quick perception allows for what continues to evolve in the festival.

Death, Destruction & D-Bags  Entering into the realm where people say what they think despite the PC structure construct can prove both edgy and hilarious. The two that most stand out within this block are “Comedy Jam” and “Runyon”. “Comedy Jam”, using the element of mute comic simply does wonders, not just for the comic but the mousy girl interpreting for him. It is dastardly, sweet at times, simple and to the point. “Runyon” is completely the other way moving from simply absurd with two juiceheads on a running trail to downright dark which is definitely where it was not expected to turn. Other entries into the block include “A Day’s Messing” which intrinsically owes its ideals to “The Artist” but doesn’t quite hit its mark while “Glue Man” functions as a mockumentary about a guy that is employed as an expert on all those random History Channel pieces. Watch for the Ken Burns cameo which certainly makes the idea click.

Nostra-Damn It’s Good To Be A Gangsta The idea of crime or a less-than-moral act as a prelude always plays to a certain unknown part of the psyche but the determination depends on how far the participants are willing to go. Within this block, the best balance rests in the texture of “Bertie Crisp“, an animated short about a half panda/half bear who is dealing with the difficulty of getting his wife pregnant, balancing both crass and poignant. It understands that the joke sometimes is simply in what is not being said. On the periphery in side this block, “The Heist” and “Swap” both approach their respective taboos of bank robbery and wife trading with a bit of brevity but not enough edge to truly give the paradoxes a sense of the absurd.

Quick and brief for this writer, the 2012 LA Comedy Shorts Fest continued to show a wide range of programming allowing gems to shine through in the City Of Angels.


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