Gas it up!
And here we are with the penultimate episode of season two of Crashing. It opens up with Pete and Ali getting picked up by Pete’s manager Nate (Zach Cherry) to head to NACA (National Association for Campus Activities) where Pete and Ali will both “audition” to get gigs on the college circuit. They pick up Melissa Villasenor (SNL) along the way, who Nate also reps. Who knew Nate had successful clients? Pete obviously won’t stop asking her about SNL and her impressions on the way, but she surprisingly doesn’t seem to mind.
They get to NACA which leads to a hilarious check in scene with Nate and the front desk. They pack the four of them into a room and then head down to the floor. They’re warned about the PC nature of college kids these days and not to touch certain topics like race, rape, too much swearing, etc. Ali and Melissa both perform along with some other comedians. Ali delves right into a rape joke. She gets laughs but then afterwards nobody comes to her booth. There are plenty of people at Melissa’s and a couple of the other comedians. She definitely seems bummed out and Pete tries to make her feel better before going off to do some planning for his set.
He buys t-shirts at a local gas station that say “Gas It Up” and is signing his name on all of them backstage. He tells Ali he’s going to hand them out to the kids afterwards and that he’s writing a gas station joke to go along with it. Ali clearly thinks he’s an idiot to try and cater to these kids rather than just do his set as it is. Pete thinks he should try and tell jokes that will cater to this audience.
He goes out and crushes it, the crowd loves him. Ali is noticeably irritated that he’s “sold out” in a sense just to book college shows. He books seven while there. He goes up to the room to find Ali, and they get in an argument as she gives him an incredibly hard time for modifying his set just to please these college kids. She tells him she looks at comedy as an art form and she’s not going to change her set for other people. She storms out and ends up running into Melissa, who cheers her up and tells her how she bombed her first NACA audition. She tells Ali that she doesn’t really want to be in this scene as it’s something some comedians get stuck in, and is that really what they’re all doing it for? To tour colleges?
They all leave and in the car ride home, Pete starts getting more bookings. Ali has lightened up after her chat with Melissa and is happy for him, and they all start doing impressions to end the episode. It was another solid episode this season. There really hasn’t been a bad one. There were some really funny bits in this one, especially with Nate. Pete’s “gas it up” joke was ridiculous and therefore great. There was more development with Pete and Ali, and now we head into the finale this Sunday. I hope we get some Artie and some Lief in there, and I hope that it’s a strong finish to this great season. I’ll report back next week.