Recap: Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally Got Intimate at the Riverside Theater
Romantic relationships are incredibly common fodder for standup comics, and with good reason too. They’re a central, relatable part of people’s lives no matter where you may be, but thanks to the usually solitary nature of the art form, audiences are typically only privy to one side of the story. It’s all supposed to be in fun of course, but the significant others having their most intimate moments publically mined for laughs, should they actually exist, rarely get their turn to crack wise in rebuttal. That’s certainly isn’t the case when comedians/spouses Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally take the stage, as they did twice Friday night thanks to overwhelming demand at the Riverside Theater box office. Instead, audiences received both of their unflinchingly hilarious perspectives on everything from arguments to sex (but mostly sex).
After opening the show with a folky, predictably smutty number for guitar and mandolin, which lends its name to their current “Summer of 69: No Apostrophe” tour, Offerman, best known as lovable libertarian Ron Swanson on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” and Mullally, who found fame portraying overmedicated socialite Karen Walker on “Will & Grace,” launched into a well-rounded show outlining the entirety of their passionate, 14-year relationship. Getting started by sharing the stories of how they lost their respective virginity, both equally embarrassing though only Mullally’s involved Quaaludes, they then covered their first fateful encounter on the set of a play in Los Angeles, their awkward, unlikely courtship and the happy married life they embarked upon after only 18 months together, all with a sexually charged but straight-faced ribaldry that “blue” only begins to describe.
While there was plenty of straightforward standup, the evening was also punctuated by bits of various kinds, such as when the duo had the audience weigh in on one of their marital spats, more songs, some of them surprisingly touching despite the filth, and a number of digressions and ad libs, like when they noticed the sign language interpreters just offstage and took a few moments to have them translate a series of unspeakable things. Offerman and Mullally, whose comfort with each other results in impeccable timing, aren’t above going for some low-hanging laughs, the endless depravity would wear thin if it weren’t so artfully deployed, but there was a lot of heart and soul in between all of the obscenity, making for an entertaining and unusual take on a well-worn comedic topic.