The Secret Policeman's Ball: Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Russell Brand, Eddie Izzard, and many others
|The big finish. |
Radio City Music Hall
Sunday, March 4
Better than: Watching the Lohan Saturday Night Live on DVR.
Going to a live show that's actually meant to be broadcast on television can be a deadly propositioncommercial-mandated downtime, feeling trapped in the venue, reshots. But last night's Secret Policeman's Ball, the American debut of the long-running Amnesty International benefit organized by Monty Python, was a speedy, frothy affair with a few standout performances by comics from across the pond. Packed with celebrities (Liam Neeson! Jon Stewart! Paul Rudd! Statler & Waldorf!) and designed for the Twitter age, the show moved along at a crisp pace, with the comedy touching on the idea of speaking freely both bluntly and abstractly.
The night started with a blessing of sorts from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who noted to the assembled (and those watching on TV) that "the noble and honorable thing to do [was] to find [the night's performers] funny"; from there Eddie Izzard took the stage, and while his ruminations on there not being a God (the proof: Hitler not having his head flicked off by a giant Monty Python-style hand) seemed to make the audience a bit nervous, his extended riff on why Latin is a dead language had them back in his hand. And the show sped on, with British and American comedians cycling into and out of the spotlight, Statler & Waldorf providing the requisite amount of heckling, and Monty Python members appearing via video to provide the same excuse about why they weren't present. More »