Live DC: Pete Holmes @ U Street Music Hall
BYT at large | Nov 14, 2012 | 2:15PM |

All words: Ross Bonaime


Pete Holmes is McDonalds.

I’ll get back to that jokes that Holmes told later. But Holmes is one of my personal favorite comedians in years. His jokes are so unique and specific that he creates a mental image with each punch line. In recent year he’s become popular amongst podcast listeners, both for his own, “You Made It Weird” and for being one of the most rambunctious guests on “Doug Loves Movies,” even making it into host Doug Benson’s episode of most frequent disruptors that included T.J. Miller and Jeff Garlin. You might recognize him from his appearances on VH1’s “I Love the 80s/90s/00’s/Week/Whatever” shows and from various CollegeHumor bits. But you almost definitely recognize his voice as the E-Trade baby, which he also helps write.

But Holmes has a great stage presence and his jokes allow for him to build and build until your side hurt from laughing, or to just joke around with the crowd, as he did at U Street on Monday night. For about the first third of the show, it was like a conversation, mostly because he was talking to his old friends that he was staying with in the audience and talking with Mikael, or Mikhael, or something along those lines, to which Holmes declared their similarities must make them brothers.

He was quick to mention the awkwardness of a standup show at U Street as he made jokes about it usually being a music venue, asking “is this where the Green Day is?”

Holmes discussed his youth, how it was filled with religion and even claimed that if there are multiple universes, this is the only one where he’s not a youth pastor. He mentioned how the best name to yell in an argument is Carol and just how gay for Gosling he is. He joked about D.C., how people with Romney stickers should be aware that Obama lives in the area, and how he saw a pimp in Atlanta, who looks EXACTLY how you’re picturing a pimp looks. But being that most of the audience are comedy fans, it was great to hear Holmes make mention of his comedy friends like Nick Thune, Hannibal Burress and Chelsea Peretti.

Holmes is so great at what he does, he can go from doing crowd work, to prepared bits, to things that are seemingly coming off the top of his head at that moment, without showing which is which. It’s an incredible thing to watch, and all his jokes are golden. Even when he thinks his material isn’t working, his commenting on them not working eventually makes them work.

Holmes seemed to be having such a great time, at the end of the show, he even offered to take requests of people’s favorite bits of his. He didn’t leave the stage until everyone’s requests had been met and even once he left the stage, he could be found next to it indulging in his past bits.

But back to the beginning of this, Holmes has a joke that whenever you are enjoying something, you should say “This is McDonalds.” When people ask you what you’re talking about, you should respond, “because I’m lovin’ it.”

So once again I’ll say, Pete Holmes at U Street was McDonalds.