Herb & Potato -- At the Waaay Off Broadway through October 26.
"Gotham" is gone and may it rest in peace, say Gary Herb and Johnny Potato. But comedy fans who were hooked on the raucous, sometimes raunchy lunacy of the late, lamented trio can get a quick fix from "Herb & Potato," two members of the original group who are back together with a brand-new act at the Waaay Off Broadway.
The two young comics are still funny and tuneful, though a bit less suggestive, in their present incarnation. Herb tells most of the jokes and takes full advantage of his wild-eyed, gap-toothed features to punctuate the hour-long show with ear-to-ear grins and deadpan doubletakes. Potato, a compact crooner, plays a hot piano (though he can't read notes) and shares the singing assignments with his loquacious partner.
The show opens zestfully with "I'm Just a Fugitive From White FM," an excellent, original tune lamenting the cloning of Top 40 radio. (The two write most of their own material; this little number might make some good money if they can record it.)
After a brief Ethel Merman routine (Herb impersonates a swarm of South American killer bees that buzz with the trademark Merman nasality), the duo slides into a couple of legal lampoons, including the touching "Subpoena," a dig at their former manager.
One of the silliest moments in the show comes as Herb sings "You Want Me Get You Beer?" while wearing a gag-drag wig. Later, Potato sings a set of solos that includes a riotous requiem for "Peggy," who would still "be alive if she could drive with a sticky steering wheel."
In the midst of the funny business, the two throw in a couple of soulful pieces for good measure: "Take Back the Night" and "You Don't Have to Say You're Sorry" highlight the boys' serious side.
The pair gets encouragement and musical assistance from bassist Jeff Crespi and percussionist Paul Edgar, who both do fine.