Off the Gay Grid

Mike Albo to share humorous, ''very gay'' observations at L'Enfant Café

As far as humorist Mike Albo knows, his older brother Dave Albo hasn’t taken anti-gay stances as an elected official representing Fairfax County in the Virginia House of Delegates.

”He’s a Republican, but he’s cool about certain issues,” Albo says, before adding a qualifier: ”I don’t follow him too much because, well, maybe it’s like a coping mechanism. We’re family and I love him, so I don’t want to constantly be beleaguered by his actions.”

Mike Albo and Marga Gomez

Mike Albo and Marga Gomez

(Photo by Cate Corbitt)

Instead, Albo, who grew up in Springfield but now lives in Brooklyn, just makes sure ”to beam out my gay energy as much as possible” at family gatherings, bringing up topics that are, he laughs, ”very gay and very weird.”

Albo will do something similar Sunday when he teams up with his longtime friend, theater performer and comic Marga Gomez for a night of queer comedy at D.C.’s L’Enfant Café. Albo says he’ll share some of his astute, humorous observations, culled from his published books and essays. For example, there’s the frozen-yogurt fiend with a tick that linguists have coined a ”vocal fry,” speaking low and slow: ”People who talk like-this,” Albo demonstrates. ”Like they just go down and start croaking.” There’s also The Underminer – the book he co-wrote with Virginia Heffernan – about ”a friend who makes you feel really shitty about yourself” through constant picking about your attitude or appearance. ”Are you okay? I’m worried about you,” comes the passive-aggressive backhand.

And then there’s one of Albo’s latest essays, ”Lost In Space,” written for the new online publication ”Narratively.” The intriguing essay broadly explores how gay online sex sites may be changing us, for both good and bad. Albo relays his own humorous experiences on Manhunt. ”It was getting to the point where I was waking up in the morning [and logging on],” he says. ”Ah, nothing like searching for extra-large penises over a cup of coffee in the morning.”

But Albo went off the grid for good before discovering today’s popular, and arguably more addictive, mobile apps. ”If I hadn’t done that,” he says, ”I would be all over Grindr, which would be like giving me heroin.”

Mike Albo performs with Marga Gomez Sunday, Nov. 18, at 10 p.m., at L’Enfant Café, 2000 18th St. Cover is $10. Call 202-319-1800 or visit lenfantcafe.com.

Doug Rule is a theater critic and contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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