'Tuned In' review: Eugene Mirman finds the right formula for 'Laboratory'

'An Evening of Comedy in a Fake, Underground Laboratory' by Eugene Mirman

"An Evening of Comedy in a Fake, Underground Laboratory" by Eugene Mirman

"An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory,” Eugene Mirman (Comedy Central)

Eugene Mirman’s “An Evening of Comedy in a Fake Underground Laboratory” gives more bang for the buck than the usual album from a comedian. Not simply because the release includes a CD plus a DVD with uncensored and bonus mate-rial, but also because Mirman packs the show with one- and two-liners, thus delivering far more laughs than a storytelling comic.

The comedian/actor – a star of shows such as “Flight of the Conchords,” “Delocated” and “Bob’s Burgers” – isn’t the old-school jokester either. His material has substantial edge (he’s something of a cross between Louis C.K. and John Mulaney), and he keeps the show fresh with a quick pace and ever-changing set-ups for batches of lines.

For instance, in one segment he reads submitted questions from the audience and gives answers. “How do you get three college-age children to move out of your house? Raise them better.”

Another finds him reading messages that he has written on bar napkins for other patrons to find, such as, “You are an alchemist who can turn six beers into an awkward, three-week relationship.”

Also, Mirman’s imaginative show finds him reading off absurd ads he bought on Facebook that target niche groups, making short observations about a Tea Party website and talking about his brief period signed up on the dating site Christian Mingle (even though he’s Jewish and has a girlfriend). And he also recounts a battle with Time Warner Cable in which he resorted to buying newspaper ads to mock the company’s customer-unfriendly business practices.

The more outrageous his humor, the better. Mirman says he would find inventive ways to protect his children from bullies and predators. If he had an 8-year-old daughter, for example, he would get her a menacing neck tattoo because, “Who would mess with her?”

And in one of the best uses, ever, of a prop by a comedian, Mirman plays a Theremin as a joke accompaniment, and he also uses the instrument to sub as the voice of an alien roommate to convey his conversation with it while they shop at Marshalls.

OK, so most of this you’d simply have to hear to appreciate. But if you like offbeat comedy, you’ll be rewarded.

Rating (five possible): 4

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