Annoying Appeal

November 14, 2012

“I don’t belong here,” Pete Holmes, above, told a capacity crowd at U Street Music Hall on Monday night. “This place is too cool for me.”

He’s right. A lanky, blond, clean-cut comedian who wears a Barbra Streisand T-shirt and calls himself “the lesbian Val Kilmer” seems out of place in a dark room meant for dance music.

It didn’t matter. Not fitting in might as well be part of Holmes’ shtick.

How much you’ll like Holmes depends on how much you can tolerate him. His voice is grating. His laugh is unnecessarily long and loud. He has an energy that’s obnoxious yet infectious.

In short, he’s annoying.

He’s also a brilliant comedian.

Holmes is so genuine on stage and his material is so smart that, as you watch him perform, his irritating traits eventually become endearing.

I felt like I caught a little of Holmes’ fever on the way home from the show. Walking down U Street, I had this weird energy. I was hyper even though I felt tired. Everything I saw was an excuse to crack a stupid joke.

As we rode the Metro home, my exhausted girlfriend turned to me and said, “Stop, you’re being annoying.”

I guess I know which part of Holmes rubbed off on me.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Christopher Porter · November 13, 2012