June 25, 2014

Comedy: The saddest comedy ever

Raanan Hershberg has become an immovable force in the Louisville comedy scene, taking his often blunt and brash sense of humor and building some of the most consistently funny comedy shows in the city, including “The Celebrity Roasts” and “Young, Dumb and Full of Comedy.” Stepping slightly away from stand-up, Hershberg performs his latest one-man show, “Please Someone Fuck Me,” this weekend at The Bard’s Town.

His previous show, “Crying Behind 3-D Glasses,” brought heart and subtext to the movies of our childhood. “Please Someone Fuck Me” will bring heart and subtext to losing your virginity.

LEO: So, tell me about the new show.
Raanan Hershberg: It’s called “Please Someone Fuck Me” — which is the subtext behind all of my shows (laughs). I’m hoping that by being transparent this time, it will hopefully achieve its goal.

LEO: What’s the story?
RH: It’s a show about me losing my virginity in college. This is my third one-man show, and each time I get closer to what my idea of a one-man show should be, and that’s one long story.

LEO: Is the whole show about one night?
RH: It’s three seconds of sex and 50 minutes of neurotic over-obsessing. No, it’s several different stories, a lot of them (about) previous relationships, that all come back to that one point. At its core, the show is about this idealized view of losing your virginity and how it’s going to happen; and then how it actually happens is the opposite of the idealized view … to the point of absurdity.

LEO: Are you saying you were imagining losing your virginity in a candlelit bath to a Marvin Gaye soundtrack?
RH: No, I always had a level of cynicism, but I didn’t know it was going to mean as little as it did. The show is also about being in college and wanting to become a writer, but I didn’t know how to be a writer without having sex … because there are no great virgin writers, you know? The only great virgin writer was Anne Frank, and she had the whole Jew-in-the-Holocaust angle; all I’ve got is the Jew-as-a-virgin-at-23 angle. That’s not as good an angle. The idea was that I wanted to be a great writer so I could get laid, because in my head, it would be easier to write than to work out. But to become a writer, I was going to have to lose my virginity; then I would get flooded with all of this wisdom and experience, and then become a great writer. I had it all figured out.

LEO: All the secrets of the universe would be revealed to you in one shining moment of orgasm?
RH: Yeah … spoiler alert: That doesn’t happen. But, ultimately, it is about unrequited love and idealism versus reality.

LEO: It’s a title that catches the eye.
RH: Yeah, there have been problems with the title. When my team of people is going around hanging up posters — and that team consists of me by myself — and I ask them if I can hang up the poster, they say yes, and then see me hang up an ad that says “Please Someone Fuck Me” … it’s like the saddest personal ad ever.