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      Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement
    Cellar dwellers

    From zany musicians to lust-crazed puppets, "Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement" is a raucous and randy trip down the dark staircase of performance art.


    "Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement" is a raucous, vivid and randy variety show that fuses a rambunctious cartoon sensibility with skillful puppetry and meaty rock music. The puppetry is the work of The Elementals, a Bunraku-inspired troupe, and the music is courtesy of Coocoohandler, a six-man band featuring a guitarist in a purple heavy-metal wig, a bassist in a Riddler-green Kid Rock style hat, a sax player in a kilt, a drummer in a cowboy hat and a keyboard player who bears quite a resemblance to actor Benicio Del Toro. Fronting this group is Uncle Jimmy himself, adorned in clown makeup, wearing a tux, foam hairpiece stuck firmly on his head.


    Related links: Official site
    Bowery Poetry Club
    308 Bowery (btw. Houston and Bleecker)
    Oct. 11 - Dec. 21, 2002

    Although there are puppets in this show, "Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement" is not really suitable for kids. In the opening number the gray raisin-like puppets fornicate with each other as Uncle Jimmy sings the show's theme song, a noisy number announcing the trip down to the basement, where the show is set. Then we're introduced to Uncle Jimmy's sidekick Chuck Bob, a cute puppet with a British accent who is either a bear or a badger with sex on the brain. Then Uncle Jimmy (providing the voice for his puppet incarnation) and Chuck Bob perform a number about what lies under the bed. Later on there's a song about robot love where robot puppets have sex with messy reults.

    All the characters in "Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement," human and puppet, are fully animated and seem ready to make their debut on an adult version of the cartoon network. The musicians in the band each have a distinctive look and personality. The puppets are delightfully twisted. There's Chad, Uncle Jimmy's nephew who has no body, just a head with three eyes, and seems to be fashioned out of a squishy volleyball; Piranha Man, who would fit right in in a miniature WWE extravaganza; and Grandpa, replete with walker, who crankily calls Jimmy a disappointment and has strange relations with a melon.

    The basement where the show is set seems to be the place to let one's imagination run wild, at least for Uncle Jimmy. He competes in a mime-off with a puppet (and is crushed when he loses), gets melancholy because he misses his mom — who's acutally just upstairs but gives him the cold shoulder. We're shown a video about a time-traveling lemur and Jimmy has a psychedelic experience after ingesting a substance the guitar player gives him, complete with colored lights and big cardboard flowers. One of the fun things about this show is wondering what oddball bit of entertainment Uncle Jimmy and crew will come up with next. Unabashedly wacky, "Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement" is a gloriousy silly extravaganza that's a lot of fun.

    NOVEMBER 21, 2002

    Reader comments on Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement:

  • Uncle Jimmy's   from T-Bird, Nov 25, 2002
  • this show rules   from tek, Mar 6, 2005
  • Best Show   from Debbie, Jan 2, 2006

  • Post a comment on "Uncle Jimmy's Dirty Basement"