Arts & Culture » Comedy Critic's Choice

A Mirman, Schaal, and Hodgman stand-up spread

The short Sandwich-to-Go Tour gives one of its dates to Chicago.

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Stopping in only six cities, the MirmanHodgmanSchaal Sandwich-to-Go Tour smacks of a "party at the moon tower" moment—a few comedian friends deciding that hitting the road together, if only for a week, sounds like a damn good time. Better for us. The collective TV resumé of these three indie comics—none so popular that their out-there cred is compromised—reads like a list of recommendations on a particularly in-the-know Netflix account: Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal had recurring roles on the incredible Flight of the Conchords and currently provide voices on the animated cult favorite Bob's Burgers. Schaal and John Hodgman have been correspondents for The Daily Show, and the latter had the distinct privilege of playing the PC foil to Justin Long's Mac in the Apple ad campaign from years back (turns out Hodgman was the cool one all along).

The three are billed as coheadliners, meaning the night's order may come down to a game of rock-paper-scissors. Each comic brings his or her own repertoire of idiosyncrasies; some semblance of order might prevail until an unexpected hitch sends the whole thing astray, like a welcome brain aneurysm. Schaal does this best, emphasizing her precious voice and intentionally cute demeanor (exasperated airy sighs abound) to set the audience up for something loud and crass, like her personal ode to The Vagina Monologues, the Taintalogues ("Nestled like an island between black holes").

Hodgman, on the other hand, is a writer more than a stand-up, and a man in need of a proper podium. Or any good platform to riff on his nerdom, which was the crux of his speech at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner in 2009. Mirman is the guy you root for—the secretly brilliant, bitter friend who never seems to not be sitting on your couch, but offers such sharp commentary there that it would be empty without him. His old hate letter to Delta Airlines ("You're an awful airline that's messed up the last three times I've traveled, and two of them were by train") remains one of the best digs directed at an airline by a comedian. Which is truly saying something.

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