Nationally, the Oddball Festival lineup is pretty insane. About 25 comedians are on tour for the mega-amphitheater show, each lineup alternating between cities. This week, in Hartford, the lineup includes some of the most famous comedians working right now: Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Hannibal Buress, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and more.
You probably haven't forgotten last year's Oddball Fest, when Dave Chappelle rebelled against a rowdy crowd, sitting center stage and refusing to perform until the clock ran out. So now we're kind of the city famous for pissing off Dave Chappelle.
That probably won't happen again this year, but who knows. Chappelle's not on the tour this year, unfortunately (or fortunately?), but Louis C.K. can be a crabby guy, and Dave Attell isn't totally zen, either. But, you know, seeing a comedian lose it on stage (Michael Richards!) has its own weird appeal.
To get the crowd riled up this year, Tayari "DJ Trauma" McIntosh is opening the big set. "I kind of play music at the beginning of [the show] and warm people up," McIntosh says from a tour stop in Mansfield, Massachusetts. "And then at intermission I do a hype set and get everyone partying and having a good time."
A DJ at a comedy show isn't as anomalous as maybe you might think, and it makes sense. "People have been sitting down for an hour and a half or two hours," he says. "We gotta get the blood flowing, put people in a different frame of mind."
DJ Trauma's worked with comedians before — he's a regular with Dave Chappelle — and he's opened for lots of other artists: Jay-Z, Outkast, Mary J. Blige, and a bunch more. Now he's based in Atlanta, where his DJ supercrew — The World-Famous Superfriends — put on explosive parties.
Here's the lineup, in which we've collected our favorite quotes from some these big-name acts.
Louis C.K.'s TV show, "Louie," is beloved and generally considered by people who watch too much TV to be some of the greatest TV on TV. Dark, poetic, funny and absurd, "Louie" is worth bingeing on on Netflix.
And if you're already C.K. indoctrinated, check out his film, "Tomorrow Night," which he released last year on his website for $5. He made it when he was just an up-and-coming youth, but you can see where he was headed as a comedian and an auteur. It's very funny. And touching. And cool.
Best quote: "I — finally, I have the body that I want, and that's a thing people really covet. It's a hard thing to achieve, and I did. And I'm going to tell you how to have exactly the body that you want. You just have to want a shitty body. That's all it is. You have to want your own shitty, ugly, disgusting body."
Ansari was so good in the Judd Apatow flick "Funny People," which some might say is where he got his start, but he's probably best known for his role on "Parks and Recreation," as a metrosexual bureaucrat with aspirations toward owning his own nightclub or producing his own cologne. We love him for the way he nicknames his food. Also, there was that time he got Terry Gross to say "tatties" on "Fresh Air."
Best quote: "Oh, am I wearing an ascot? I didn't notice."
"Inside Amy Schumer" is one of the smartest, funniest shows on Comedy Central. In it, a slutty, ditzy, and vapid Amy Schumer sends up all kinds of stereotypes about girls and exhausted perceptions of women to make her point. Search for "A Very Realistic Military Game," in which Schumer plays a "Call of Duty"-like game, chooses a woman player, immediately gets sexually assaulted and then has to move through piles of paperwork to proceed through the levels of the game.
Best quote: "Nothing good ever happens in a blackout. I've never woken up and been like, 'What is this Pilates mat doing out?'"
Sarah Silverman, like Amy Schumer, is raunchy and envelope-pushy. Her show "The Sarah Silverman Program" laid a lot of the groundwork for the great stuff on Comedy Central now, including "Key and Peele," "Broad City" and "Inside Amy Schumer."
She also does a great impression of a vagina. Look it up!
Best quote:"I don't care if you think I'm racist. I just want you to think I'm thin."
Dave Attell called his popular show "Insomniac with Dave Attell" "Wild on E! for ugly people." He walked around city streets at night, interviewing drunk and crazy people. But he also interviewed people with off-beat jobs, which gave the show a lot of heart.
Best quote: "So, I travel a lot. I hate traveling, mostly 'cause my dad used to beat me with a globe."
As the lovesick stoner dentist on "Broad City," Hannibal Buress is both super funny and kind of charming. He's also ridiculous on "The Eric Andre Show," a demented late-night "talk show" that opens with its star destroying his own set. Buress plays his sidekick and we don't really know what else to say about it except that it's psychotic. But awesome.
Best quote: "I was out with this girl; I bought some drinks. We went back to my hotel room, she starts throwing up the drinks that I bought all over the hotel room; it was very upsetting. It was like she was throwing up my money on my money."
To get a sense of Brody Stevens, check out "Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!" a 12-part documentary series that follows Brody on his tour with Zach Galifianakis. Both dramatic and funny, it's an interesting series with lots of voices: Sarah Silverman, Tim and Eric, Jeff Garlin, and more.
Best quote: "You know, my father passed away, it was either in 1996 or 2005. We used to play catch."
THE ODDBALL COMEDY AND CURIOSITY FESTIVAL comes to Hartford on Sat., Aug. 23, 5 p.m. at the Xfinity Theatre, 61 Savitt Way, oddballfest.com.