Good Times MagazineJohnny Lampert is on the road to greatness. He's still got some work to do, but he has the vehicle and he has the vision to become an unforgettable comic. What makes unforgettable in the world of comedians? Sometimes it's a single idea, a defining hook that makes you refer to a stand-up as "The Big Petey, Little Petey, Regular Petey" guy or the "Excuuuuuuuse me" guy. That's who Dom Irrera and Steve Martin were long before their names became household knowledge.
So what is it that Lampert has? He's the "Living At Home & Over 30" guy. His recent set at Brokerage was clear evidence that he has a theme that will ultimately distance him from a lot of fancy-talkin' funnymen. The problem with most stand-ups is that while they may be individually funny and quite talented, they lack a trademark piece. The baby-faced Lampert talks about life at home with his parents and still killing time in the neighborhood he spent his childhood in. He mentions that he's doing much better than his friends who “moved out, got married, then moved back after they divorced.”' Lampert proudly proclaims that he “never left.”
The entire show is built upon a guy in his thirties justifying such minor things as lack of drive, aspirations and laziness. Where it gets very funny is in Lampert's amusing ideas on why he's valuable at home ("If you need a package signed for, I'm your guy" and "If you need your yard done...you - gotta have somebody around to keep an eye on the workers."). Lampert's character repeatedly hit home with a large number of the audience members, no doubt because a lot of them really ARE his character. This routine has all the elements to make a fine one man show. One or two more inventive views on the lifestyle of a slacker and this is going to be a show that will be adored by the MTV generation.
Johnny Lampert has all the tools, a good sense of timing, a likable presence and a precious idea that will go supernova one of these days. He's found his angle, his voice and it's clear that the average club audience relates maybe a little too well. He's on the road, as I said, and his stop at the Brokerage was another important step. For those who'd like to share the joy of underachieving, you can catch his one man show at the DupIex in Manhattan March 30. I’m sure your folks would be happy to catch a breather and give you some train fair or gas money.