Sammy J – 1999
Sammy J @ Bosco Theater
8:15pm, Sun 15 Mar 2009
Sammy J appears to have graduated from the same young-and-crude niche that Josh Thomas currently inhabits; though he’s still got the fresh-faced and innocent look, and elaborate (and somewhat cherubic and effeminate) signature actions (such as the coy fruit-box sip), he successfully manages to create a gulfing juxtaposition with his brilliantly funny, rapid-fire songs of filth – such as the timeless Fingering Song.
And that’s great, it really is. Sammy J’s a cunning wordsmith, and can write songs that play off his camp delivery perfectly. The last time I saw him was a cabaret-type affair, where he dueted occasionally with Randy, but this year he was performing solo… and, what’s more, it was more of a theatrical production than an amusing collection of songs.
Dwelling on Sammy’s high school mishaps, he covered the dissipation of his relationship with his best friend, the kidnapping of his nemesis, and his rendition of the Nerd Song on Red Faces (in an attempt to reinstate the friendship). Along the way there was the occasional song – The Boner Song being the highlight – but they were relatively few and far between.
After knowing Sammy J as purely a funny songsmith with boyish charm, the theatrical nature of 1999 came as a bit of a surprise; but he proved that he’s got the chops to entertain on that level, too. Sure, it was far from the best production in the Fringe – but it was enjoyable, there were a few genuinely funny moments. But the surprising takeaway was the fact that there were some genuinely touching moments too.