Last week’s episode of Crashing was incredible — it was one of the best of the series so far in my opinion. We learned a lot about Pete, we got great insight into Pete and Kat’s new relationship and watched it progress quickly, and there were tons of hilarious moments. This week, Pete and Jason road trip down to New Jersey to do a weekend of shows at a big corporate comedy club in the suburbs.
The episode begins with Pete and Jason at a gas station, about to head down to New Jersey for a weekend of shows at a suburban comedy club. Jason is the headliner and Pete is the middle act. Immediately, it’s clear Jason has a big head about these shows. He tells Pete not to worry about rushing down there as there’s no show without them, and he tells Pete he has to drive since he’s the middle act. Oh boy.
It’s metal music on the way down per Jason’s choice, which is better than the 17 times Jay Mohr had Jason play “Who Let the Dogs Out?” back in the day when he was the middle act. They get to their condo for the weekend and Jason raves about these weekends. He’s saying how everyone just loves that you show up and the appreciation is there. Then he talks about hooking up with waitresses. Jason is a little TOO excited for this weekend.
They walk inside and to Pete’s surprise, Ali is there. Jason hadn’t told him she would be there too this weekend as the MC (or first act). They catch up, Ali tells Pete she’s down there to test out her material for the Late Night with Seth Meyers spot, and Pete tells Ali he’s dating someone new. Slightly awkward. Pete tells her it’s going so well he’s only worried about how well it’s going.
Pete, Ali, and Jason head to the Chuckle Shack. It’s in a mall, and Jason is immediately peeved that the security guard at the front desk doesn’t know who he is. The manager comes into their green room a few minutes later and isn’t particularly warm or conversational. He tells them each how much time they have and he even has a few jokes written out for Ali as she’s the host (she mocks it but the manager doesn’t even realize). Jason knocks Ali not-so-subtly in a comment to the manager about nobody watching “late night” shows. Ali calls him out on his insecurities but Jason deflects it and sticks to his opinion that nobody watches that stuff anymore.
Ali kicks off the show, sarcastically making the announcements written down for her. Cut to Pete and Jason in the green room giving their food/drink orders to the waitress. Jason sort of tries to hit on the waitress awkwardly which she clearly has no interest in. Once she leaves, Jason acts like he just made some sort of progress with her to Pete. Pete gives a look telling us he realizes Jason is a bit off in his own fantasy land right now.
Pete performs his set, it seems to go well, and then it’s time for headliner Jason. He seems to do pretty well during his set based on crowd reaction, but he’s tackling very dicey topics (racism, the #MeToo movement) in ways that are sure to offend at least some people.
Back at the condo, Pete FaceTimes with Kat. They start having phone sex over FaceTime. Jason comes back and is beyond himself that Ali is drinking tea and Pete is alone in his room. He wants to be partying it up after “tearing the club down.” Back to FaceTime sex…Pete and Kat’s phones are cutting out a bit. He climaxes thinking she has too except her phone cut out so she still needs Pete to get her there. He can’t help but joke around now that his “excitement” is over though, and Kat loses the mood. She seems annoyed and sexually frustrated and amounts it to the sex shop incident all over again.
The next day, the comedy trio heads to the mall to hang out. They walk around, eat food, and Pete and Ali take some selfies on the ferris wheel. Cut to that night and they’re back in the green room at the Chuckle Shack. The manager comes in and tells Jason that he’ll have to middle tonight. He asks Pete to headline (Pete agrees) and Jason flips out. The manager tells them how they dropped a half star on Yelp overnight because of complaints due to Jason’s set. Jason fires back that he packed the house and the manager tells him they gave their mailing list free tickets to the show in order to pack it. He’s besides himself and clearly hurt as well.
Ali then goes up to the manager to see if she can headline instead of Pete (somewhat dirty move, although she does it right in front of Pete so I guess more power to her). He tells her that the owner actually had some notes for her. She looks dumbfounded. He tells her to have more enthusiasm. Smile more. Actually be excited about the announcements. Jason gives her more s--t which blows her mind given he was just demoted at his own show.
So what does Ali do? Ali goes out there and tells the crowd she’s going to try out some new material. That new material is about consent, men respecting women, etc. As Jason says to Pete, she’s “torpedoing” his act. Jason comes out and BOMBS. It’s bad. Real bad.
Alone in the green room afterwards, Jason is sulking when the waitress comes in to give him a shot. He tries to get her to do a shot with him but she declines, just like the night before. He then invites her to come over his place later/the next day with very clear implications. She doesn’t even give him a real response and just asks him if he needs anything else. He isn’t getting it and keeps trying, even going so far as to touch her arm and try to pull her close to him. She freaks out on him (rightfully so) and tells him to leave her alone. He tries to say that she hit on him first, and she shoves her tray into him and leaves the room.
Jason is standing alone outside the car back in the condo parking lot, clearly upset about everything that’s transpired. Pete comes up to him to talk to him and try to make him feel a little better if possible. Jason ends up venting to Pete about how it’s impossible to make any jokes anymore and that it’s a hard time to be a straight white guy. Ali happens to be walking out at that moment and rips into Jason. They get into it with each other. The “C” word is thrown out by each of them and Ali tells Jason she’s sorry that all he has to show for his 15 years of comedy is managing the Boston. He screams that he’s been doing comedy for 22 years. Clearly Jason is going through a serious self-identity crisis. He totally deserves what’s happening, but you sort of feel bad for a guy in pain. He tells Pete how this is the game and he’ll take the slap on the wrist and be back in it within a few months. Pete doesn’t really even know what to say so he doesn’t say anything.
Pete drives them home as Jason sleeps (while his metal music is blaring). Pete tries to turn down the music, Jason stirs awake, turns up the volume again, and passes back out. You can see Pete’s look of annoyance. I also think he’s had a bit of a reality check seeing how much Jason has struggled for SO long. We cut to Pete doing stand up in a church and he’s loving it. It may be a dream of where he’s decided he’s heading, it may be real, I’m not really sure. Either way, it’s clear Pete has made his choice to follow the religious market when it comes to his stand up. I’m intrigued to see what happens.
It was another really solid episode this week. It wasn’t as good as last week’s, but there were a lot of laughs, it tackled the issues with the PC state of the world these days and what that means for comedy, and we got to spend some quality time with Jason, someone we haven’t spent that much time with in one episode before. We also got to see a lot of Ali, and of course Pete. It feels like more progress has been made on all fronts, and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here.