Shelby Bond is a self-professed ‘nice guy’ who suffers the wrath of a world that never repays his kind. One of life’s hapless victims; presumed to be gay, unable to dig drugs and never appreciated for his efforts to ‘save people’, Shelby just can’t get a break.
Shelby explores failed relationships with crazy women and their strange sexual preferences. He explores the effects of having a Hell’s Angel for a father on his attitude towards drugs. He provides an instruction manual on decoding the language of intoxication and demonstrates his complex relationship with SIRI, the Iphone’s Artificial Intelligence persona.
The show is incoherent in parts; a slide show of pictures of drunk people at their absolute worst seems only loosely connected to Bond’s personal narrative. Perhaps it was meant to create some sober reflection for the extremely drunk late-night audience Bond was playing to. At the end, Shelby suddenly switches to a bunch of one-liners that had nothing to do with the rest of the show. It ended with a demonstration of how a People Pleaser hits on a woman in a nightclub, involving a hapless audience member. It didn’t make sense, nor what it was clear what Shelby was getting at.
The show fails to lift beyond well-worn comedic material about being American, how stupid drunk people are and a few sordid sexual encounters- it added nothing to these tropes. Bond’s self-effacing style should have evoked at least sympathy if not amusement from the crowd and it achieved neither.
This was not the night for Shelby to get a break. The rowdy crowd battled him for attention, turning it more into an open mike event than a one-man stand-up routine. If I’m not mistaken, a large chunk of the crowd were there because Shelby had bought them drinks earlier; in line with his people-pleasing persona but still an odd way to fill a room.
One can only hope things will get better for this people pleaser.