"This isn't a jazz club tonight -- You'll never see Earl 'Fatha' Hines doing this," said singer-comedian Gary Herb, as he tugged at a particularly outlandish wig and launched into an uproarious portrayal of a drug-frenzied suburban housewife. Herb, accompanied by pianist Johnny Potato, opened a week's engagement at Charlie's Georgetown last night, a perfect and intimate spot for the team's blend of music and mayhem.
Former members of Manhattan's notorious Gotham cabaret group, the dizzy duo, resplendent in garish red and black outfits, seemed to have straightened out their act quite a bit. But their set is still peppered with gay jokes and prurient puns.
With the deadpan Potato pumping out melodies, the manic Herb ricocheted around the stage, a hybrid of Charles Nelson Riley, Shirley Temple and Kenny Loggins, tap-dancing, teasing the audience and unleashing some truly scatological scat singing.
Herb and Potato were mildly raunchy and wildly funny as they culled laughs from the latest headlines and celebrity scandals, set to pop standards and even Christmas carols.
Much of the material is simple and sophomoric, but the duo pulls it off with polish, panache and a conspiratorial twinkle in their eyes.
Herb and Potato are there through Sunday.