Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Post and Courier Review

David Lee Nelson slays with sharp wit

By Dottie Ashley, Post and Courier Reviewer
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The playlet "David Lee Nelson ... Status Update" reminded me of my paternal grandmother who would say to me whenever tears came into my eyes: "Please don't cry, dear. It'll make your nose all red, and that's so unattractive."

When Nelson, 31, who wrote this one-man show, appears in his blue polka-dot bow tie and asks: "Do you think Bill Gates ever goes to an ATM machine?" and "Have you ever looked at your cell phone and realized you hate everyone you know?"

It's as if you're watching a fledgling Jerry Seinfeld in his first few seasons on television when he performed a stand-up routine at the beginning and end of his TV show.

But make no mistake. Nelson keenly has developed his own style and varies his monologue's tone, unlike any comic I've seen. Although Nelson takes risks in offending certain segments of society, in the mode of Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), he also balances his truly funny material with heartfelt comments on his situation in life.

His monologue initially grabs your attention when he opens with: "For Christmas 2006, my wife gave me a Blackberry and a cassette of porn."

He also breaks up his monologue by switching from videos of himself in various places at various times, then back to live action.

Honest about his battle with addiction, he says, "I drank and smoked for 12 years, and I was the sober one in my family." Nelson has the knack for making a connection to his audience, as he makes wry comments about AA meetings. But he also talks seriously about how difficult it is for comics to stay married while constantly traveling. He touchingly describes the little things he misses most about his now ex-wife.

A theater graduate of the College of Charleston, Nelson makes you feel certain that behind those lively eyes is an incredibly sharp brain that someday will produce a top-flight comic. Meanwhile, let him entertain you. You probably need a laugh, or a smile.

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