Pam Ann was one surprise of a show. YouTube vids of her live show don’t do her much justice because while funny, they play a little blandly. In person, she’s an entirely different animal. And a funny one too.
The show was introduced with a video, above, of her safety demonstration which got the mostly gay male crowd whipped up into a laughing frenzy. Two dancers came out soon followed by Pam Ann and the audience exploded. It was a surprise mostly because her people had mentioned before they weren’t sure how she would do here. Her manager later told me it was a nice feeling to see an audience be so reactive. But rowdy was more like it.
She immediately took on a Texan drawl after the clapping died down. “I just love your accent,” she said followed by more clapping. Her big hair was a Highland Park hairsprayer’s dream and her aqua and white uniform with platform go-go boots was form fitting and fabulously mod.
Pam Ann then went on to give a fairly substantial show for a comedian. Funny dance numbers, lip-synced songs and flight videos peppered the show giving depth to her stand-up. But perhaps her real talent was taking shtick about airlines and flight attendants and successfully creating an hour and half show about it. Airline employees filled much of the huge audience as she called them out and they responded loud and proud. She then set her hilariously snarky targets on Southwest Airlines. Sometimes so much, I started to feel guilty for having used them in the past.
“Do you ever dream of flying over water,” she asked them. People roared. Especially the guy behind us who didn’t laugh so much as he let out guttural whoa’s. Thanks guy, I appreciated that in my ear each time.
She took on the Obamas in a good way and talked about Michelle Obama blinging Air Force One out. “She ripped out the George Bush cow print and put in ….leopard!”
Her best bits were both live and recorded. She rolled out a trolley and displayed how to look busy without “Ever. Serving. Anyone.” And when turbulence hits, she yelled that’s the time for “Hot! Steaming! Coffee!” Yeah, she really said things that way.
The in-flight movie was a clever spoof. Terror at 41,000 Feet starred Charlton Heston, Karen Black and Pam Ann. She inserted herself into just the rights spots of the film Airport 1975. After doing a few hits of cocaine, she wistfully “helps” Karen Black try to land the plane before an untimely demise. Clearly, Heston’s instructions via radio weren’t quite good enough to save the day.
The Project Runway bit was popular with the audience but overall did nothing for the show. She pulled attendants from all the various airlines in the show and each had to demonstrate their walk in the airport. It was a funny setup as she joked how attendants, especially the male ones, walk with an air of snobbery. Six different airlines were on display: American, Southwest (who tossed out peanuts to the audience), JetBlue (the guy touched her shoulder and she said, “Ugh, don’t touch me.”) and I forget the others. They pranced to Kylie Minogue and by applause the winner was named. American won of course with the most attendants sashaying down the stage. Two guys from AA clearly had been waiting their whole lives to be onstage took advantage of every moment up there. But overall, it did nothing for the show.
But with that one miss, the rest of the show felt fresh, original and funny. Or perhaps it’s just because Pam Ann hadn’t been here before that it was all so new. Her show filled the Majestic with bright colors and high energy and the perfect crowd was there for it. At the beginning of the show, the destination board read the flight to Paradise had been delayed. But last night, everyone seemed to prefer it that way.