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Will Oldham, Comedian. A brief report.

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Yes, those reports were accurate: Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, made his stand-up comedy debut at Weeds in Chicago last night. Except it might not have been his debut–I've heard rumors that he appeared in Brooklyn a few weeks ago–and he was more an emcee than a featured performer. You want the full story? Sure you do.

Oldham took the stage pretty promptly at 9 p.m.–a second, later show was added, so the first moved right along–wearing a vest and his beard. Unlike his mysterious singer-songwriter "character," this Oldham was chatty and obviously a bit nervous. His short time–probably 8 minutes–consisted of teaching the audience to heckle the upcoming performers, utilizing hand-painted signs with phrases like "You Suck" and "Eat Me" on them. He proceeded to read jokes given to him by the other comedians on last night's bill–to provide a taste of what was to come. He wasn't hilarious, but he certainly didn't die, either. If the lonesome troubadour thing dries up, maybe he'll have a new gig. Oldham also came out between each of the other four performers to introduce them, and at one point said he'd asked his friend David Berman for some advice on what potential hecklers might yell.

The other comics, locals Prescott Tolk and Kumail Nanjiani, were quite funny, and Drag City honcho Rian Murphy took the stage to deliver "pornetry"–subject lines from porn spam. The "surprise" closer (Oldham announced it at the beginning of the show) was Zach Galifianakis, who pretty much knocked it out of the park, even though he looked half dead and stoned. He kept looking at a notebook for his jokes, then remarked, "I don't have any jokes written in here. It just says, 'Be yourself. Have fun with it.'" He also claimed to be starring as the wacky neighbor in an upcoming sitcom called Who Ate All The Pussy? Couldn't be any more offensive than According To Jim!