The Southpaw Sam McClowski Show | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Southpaw Sam McClowski Show



The Southpaw Sam McClowski Show, at Frankie J's. Southpaw Sam McClowski--the creation of writer-performer Samson Crouppen--thinks that television talk-show hosts have become too namby-pamby. So he comes up with The Southpaw Sam McClowski Show, coming to you from station K-ASS in Bryan, Texas. This host wears a Yosemite Sam Stetson, Roy Rogers shirt, sneakers, and a single boxing glove emblazoned with his initial, the better to accomplish his mission, which is to "kick ass."

On the night I attended, Southpaw was backed by Colonel Bufurd's one-man band and a bevy of shrill technicians. He accused Subway spokesman Jared of being a "puker," grilled Ricki Lake on her premarital escapades, and dissed a hapless audience member's boyfriend by telephone. The show also featured video clips of Sam and company "on location" in Chicago, chatting up compliant Michigan Avenue habitues; a commercial for electric VD detectors; a barrage of sexist and homophobic jokes; and a sweet rap duet by Mik and the Hit Man. All of it was enthusiastically endorsed by the station's African-American manager, who exultantly cried "white-on-white crime!" when Southpaw assaulted a guest.

Many young actors playing a character so aggressively charmless might be tempted to let us see the innocuous performer behind the mask. Under the direction of Pat McKenna, however, Crouppen never swerves from his larger-than-life portrayal of a testosterone-ridden male at his most incorrigible.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →