It’s been a long ten months since we last saw Pete Holmes and the cast of characters that surround him on HBO’s Crashing. Season two left off with Pete breaking up with Ali and heading out to do college shows. It felt good to finally catch up with Pete and co. again to see what they’re up to after last year’s finale.
The season starts off with Pete on a college tour. He’s driving from motel to motel playing shows at different colleges. He gets excited when he learns he actually has an opener for one of his shows in Maryland. The opener is college-aged Jaboukie, who is quite funny. Pete loves his set and decides to take him under his wing. He convinces Jaboukie to drive up to New York with him and crash on his couch. Funny how someone is crashing on his couch now…oh, how far you’ve come Pete.
They get up to NYC and visit The Boston, where Pete “started out” as he tells Jaboukie. Pete sees Ali is there and goes to say hello. She seems downtrodden to be at The Boston and as Pete tells her what’s been going on with him, she tells him she doesn’t really care. Pete sincerely apologizes for their break up and how he handled it, and they seem to get on a track to being friends again.
Later on, Pete and Jaboukie head to the Comedy Cellar where Pete links up with his manager Chicken Wing. Chicken Wing has gotten Pete a spot at the Comedy Cellar, which is an audition to see if he’s worthy of getting regular spots there. He runs into Ali again who agrees to stay for his set, and Lief and Jess have come to support Pete (of course). Pete being friends with them is always hysterical to me. How can you not love Lief!?
Pete sees the one and only Artie sitting with a couple other comedians and Estee, the woman who books all the spots at the Cellar. He goes over to say hi before his set. Pete obviously overstays his welcome and Artie tells him to take a walk. I love Artie. Glad to see him back. Pete performs his five minute set and thinks he’s killed it. He finds out Jaboukie is about to go on as well due to him having a connection to Michelle Wolf and her getting him the spot. Jaboukie performs a great set too.
Pete later sits down with Estee after downing some liquid courage to get him over there, and she tells him he’s not ready. Pete is quite flabbergasted, thinking he had just killed it. She says she doesn’t need another white guy doing random jokes. Who is he and what does he want to say with his comedy? He doesn’t quite understand and walks off upset. He comes back to see Jaboukie sitting with Estee. She loved Jaboukie’s set and gives him her number to contact her for spots in the future. Pete is clearly upset given Jaboukie hasn’t even started paying his dues yet he’s getting into the rotation instead of him.
He heads outside heated, and Ali stops him to tell him he had a great set. Pete’s initial reaction is asking her if she’s joking, and she’s confused so he tells her he didn’t get the spot. He thinks she’s basking in his failure and they get in an argument as she’s telling him she genuinely thought he got screwed out of a spot. He somewhat apologizes. Jaboukie comes out next and Pete is clearly irked but he tells him he did a good job. He does tell him he wants to get the hell out of there though, but Jaboukie says he’s going to hang back since he’s never really in New York. Unintentionally twisting the knife.
Pete walks off and then runs into Artie, who can tell he’s very upset. They go to play racquetball to blow off some steam. Pete vents to Artie about how Jaboukie “jumped the line” and he got screwed. Artie tells him he has to let stuff like that go. He jokes that he should have mentored a kid who sucked, not someone with actual talent. Either way, he tries to make Pete realize there’s ups and downs and you just have to let things like this go and move forward. Artie says if there’s anyone who can be proof that things can get better, it’s him. Pete gets a good laugh out of that and the episode ends.
“Jaboukie” is a solid first episode of this new season. It shows us what Pete’s been up to since the last time we saw him, where his head is at, and it starts to present us with new dilemmas for this season. There weren’t as many hilarious moments as most episodes and the episode clearly felt like setup, but it’s still very enjoyable. What’s to come is even better. I’m happy to be taking this Crashing ride with all of you again…see you next week!