Reaching the end of an Adam Hess hour can feel a little like you’ve been sitting through a precocious 13-year-old’s frantic attempt at staging a comedy show in his parent’s front room. Strap in, this might be stressful.
That’s clearly an exaggeration, as Hess is a popular standup and writer, and a grown man. But his latest show feels frenetically thrown together, and performed. Although in fairness he may be more on-edge this particular afternoon due to an awkward start, in which a strident audience member somewhere in the darkness loudly shouts “I can’t see the screen! I can’t laugh if I can’t see!” because he’s standing in front of it. We’re all a bit shaken by that.
The parents’ house analogy is appropriate, as Seahorse—the name is never explained, but presumably relates to that species’ negligent parenting methods—is largely about Hess moving back home due to some swiftly glossed-over financial issues. Then he goes for a walk, then he goes to a party. That’s about the size of it.
But there are some uproariously funny recollections here, particularly that time on the bus with the flute, and the soiled sock in the bin. And the finale would be excellent if it didn’t feel like he was terrified of getting into trouble for running over, and so rushes through it like that relieved-to-finish teen. Less haste, Hess, and we’ll all stress less.