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Rogue review 2022: ‘Jerk-Off Our Egos’ finds millennial giggles, courtesy of Rogue veterans Rev. Nuge and Scurvy Spears

Rogue Festival

By Joann Moon

Last night, after planning to go to “Blood Harmony,” another Rogue Festival performance, my friend and I wound up sitting among a crowd of tipsy hipster 30-somethings eager to see Tommy “Rev. Nuge” Nugent and Shane “Scurvy” Spears in their show “Jerk-Off Our Egos.” The comedians call themselves a “charlatan” stand-up duo. Despite the unexpected comedy routine we had stumbled upon, we were pleasantly surprised.

The artists and concept: Nugent and Spears divide the show into two sections, each headlining their own routines. This biker-grunge duo offers a clever format: sipping beer between thought-provoking one-liners; summoning up the sentiment of COVID-19; shifting suddenly from comedy, grief, then back to comedy. “Jerk-Off Our Egos” contorts subjects you would normally wince at into intelligent humor, so you don’t have to feel bad about laughing at them. Nugent, who begins the first half of the show, establishes the intersection of vulgarity and self-awareness through a back-and-forth with the audience. He remarked on the state of the world, exclaiming, “Fuck the gods!” He encourages the audience to chant it in unison – and we did. He then bellowed a laugh, muttering, “You’re all going to hell,” which instantaneously set off howling laughter from the audience. While Nugent focuses on audience interaction, Spears instead brings humor to relatable moments that we’ve all lived. From remarks on ruined relationships because of the infamous “Tiger King” rivalry between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, to quips about quarantine, Spears wrapped up our communal two-year pandemic hell into 30 minutes of laughter.

The high points: Nugent’s routine sparkles as he makes light of dark situations. Spears relates all-too-familiar quarantine shenanigans, leaving audience members giggling.

The low points: As an audience member, I found it hard to decipher how to positively react to some jokes, or lack thereof, in the show. The sharp turns from emotional turmoil to humor left me grasping at what to react to; I wasn’t sure of the appropriate reaction.

The takeaway: After the show, I whispered to my friend, like me a pre-20-something, that this is perfect millennial humor – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. I felt that the style of comedy is tailored to an audience who has lived a little. The drastic ups and downs of Nugent’s routine, in particular, spanning from divorce to loss to happiness, can best be related to by those who have both the experience of age and the coyness to take it lightly. (5 p.m. Saturday, March 12, Veni Vidi Vici.) [Rogue page]


Author Joann Moon is a student in Donald Munro’s MCJ 2 (Media Writing) class at Fresno State.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

Comments (1)

  • Steph

    She’s a student??

    Hire her now. Great writer.

    reply

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