At the end of Thursday night Comedy Night, the Blue Lagoonies House Band lifted its upright piano off the stage of the Blue Lagoon and lowered it onto the ground for the last time.
After three years of keeping the show moving in between sets, bandleader/pianist Alex Raymond is leaving for music school at CSU Sacramento. For its final set, the trio (known away from the Blue as the Alex Raymond Band) experimented with playing in the background of all 20 comics’ sets, taking breaks only to sip on cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, essentially the house beer at the lovably grimy dive—the same brew that promoter DNA gingerly throws into the crowd to get comedy fans excited.
Some comics appeared unsure of what to make of Raymond and company’s jazzy drone, which carried weaker jokes that may have otherwise failed, while also dampening funnier ones that may have shaken the room’s foundation if given the space to do so.
No one at the open mic managed the style better than San Jose comic Ben DelCastillo, who perhaps by no coincidence was also the evening’s drunkest—relaxing from the start and delivering lazily syncopated punch lines that bounced right off the band’s loose feel. With Norm Macdonald-like phrasing, DelCastillo praised the work of the band and their pleasant vibes. “I tell you man, if these guys can’t get you laid,” he opined, “then, eh … you are not an attractive person.”