If there was a lifetime achievement award for exemplary Internet bullshittery, Alex Koll would be in the running. Since there isnt, Koll will have to be content with his two-time wins at the San Francisco Regional Air Guitar Championship, which he won as his alter ego, Awesome. He retired the moniker after winning in 2009, though judging from a cryptic online video in which Awesome was reborn from the smoke of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the phantom shredder may rise again. Being crowned the Eddie Van Halen of air guitar isn't Koll's only unique skill: He also creates absurdist videos for the Revision3 network's ROFL video podcast. But its Kolls standup which is most deserving of Internet acronyms denoting laughter. He records his debut comedy CD at tonight's set, a release that has been a long time coming. As you might expect, given his bizarre online trail, his standup is influenced by the non-sequitur-laden absurdism of Mitch Hedberg and Zach Galifianakis. But what makes Kolls act special is how he bridges the gulf between askew alt-comedy and grounded, observational humor. It's a rare quality in the alternative-comedy community, where many are intent on outquirking one another. Whether going on obscure tangents or offering up more straightforward observations, Koll's comic voice is his own.
Tue., Aug. 17, 8 p.m., 2010