Recap from "It's Always Sunny" at the House of Blues in Boston

In reference to the O.J. Simpson verdict, Chris Rock once brilliantly said that white people hadn’t been so mad since CBS cancelled M*A*S*H. He struck pop philosophy platinum with that comment; Caucasians sure do get attached to our television comedies. For proof of our obsession, one need not look past the regrettable tears that well for NBC sitcom finales, or the 3,000-plus It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia disciples who crammed the House of Blues last night to witness the cast’s live production about pedophilic sodomy (link goes to last week's Phoenix interview with cast member Glenn Howerton).

Outside in line a guy showed up dressed as one of Sunny’s incestuous McPoyle brothers. Standing puzzled in a bathrobe, flip-flops, and store-bought uni-brow - looking at a crowd of people dressed in street clothes - he told me that he expected more heads to come in costume. I reminded him that there’s no shame in full participation, though I was secretly suspicious of his choosing an obscure character who blows his brother.

Before the live rendition of “The Nightman Cometh" fan favorite, we were treated to clips from the yet-to-be-aired “A Very Sunny Christmas” - in which Charlie bites the nose off a mall Santa Claus for screwing his mother - as well as an entire show from the upcoming fifth season. Tentatively titled “The Gang Reignites the Rivalry Fire,” the episode features one of their most deplorable adventures yet - all in the name of winning Philly’s annual flip cup tournament.

You can likely find spoilers around the Web if you care enough, but I’ll leave you with three thoughts regarding what’s in store: Danny DeVito in tight jeans; frat boys with stun guns; the posse vandalizing another bar owner’s home and sniffing his kid’s Ritalin. It appears that the crew is drunker and less restrained than ever before; naturally there was universal approval from everyone beside the short girl who I boxed out for a better view.

Since I grabbed a slice of floor behind the sound booth and was able to see and hear just fine, I won’t go off about how the House of Blues was the wrong venue for this performance. Anyone who was stuck in the mezzanine and unable to see is encouraged to leave comments below, though; from what I heard you formed a mini-mob and demanded refunds. That sucks, but it doesn’t mean the show was lacking.

There’s no use in over-analyzing the spectacle that was “The Nightman Cometh;” there will be plenty of that in what I suspect will be a rash of trend stories about how Sunny is inspiring depraved college kids to take interest in musical comedy. In short: I’m no Broadway critic (really), but from what I can tell the whole cast has legit theater chops. If the important question is whether the live show improved upon the original episode, then my answer is a resounding “Yes.”

I was surprised that there wasn’t more crowd participation (until the end, when forces united behind Dayman), but otherwise my expectations were cemented. When a great television series hits the road, it’s supposed to be special - and this one was comparable to Mr. Show’s 2002 “Hooray for America” tour, or the time Dana Plato gave Todd Bridges a hand job at the Foxy Lady. Sure, I made that last one up, but if you can imagine how cool the live Diff’rent Strokes reunion would have been, then you might begin to understand how memorably fucked “The Nightman Cometh” was.

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