Monologist Josh Kornbluth takes pleasure in finding the emotional component of seemingly mundane, self-deprecating subjects. “The Mathematics of Change” is, on the surface, about his failure to become a math prodigy, but on a larger level is also about expectations and potential. The premise of “Citizen Josh” centers on Kornbluth trying to complete his college senior thesis decades late, but the show simultaneously addresses issues about participatory democracy. And while the original basis of “Love & Taxes” was Kornbluth’s tax woes and his girlfriend’s demand that he solve them before they got married, it’s ultimately about the importance of tax law, according to an interview Kornbluth did with Stanford’s McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society earlier this year. Kornbluth — a so-called “red-diaper baby” (or child of communist parents) — has the ability to turn such dreary topics into hilarious commentary, but he’s always got an overarching (but not pedantic) ethical message tucked within. In other words, “Love & Taxes” should be the perfect New Year’s Eve show for reflecting on past shortcomings and gearing up for better times ahead — or, at the very least, preparing you for the upcoming tax deadline. Kornbluth will perform two shows of “Love & Taxes” — a feature-length film version of which is currently in production — at Rhythmix Cultural Works (2513 Blanding Ave., Alameda), capped off by a champagne toast at midnight.
If you’re looking to laugh out your 2013 stress without any moral or ethical judgment, then head to the fifth annual Not Your Normal New Year’s Eve at Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel (609 Sutter St., San Francisco), where comedians Laurie Kilmartin, Brent Weinbach, Kellen Erskine, Casey Ley, Dan St. Paul, and Joe Klocek (plus hosts Jill Bourque and Brian Copeland) will regale you with humor that knows no bounds (as far as we can tell). Whether Kilmartin is discussing the fertility of Latino men or Weinbach is playing his late-night TV advertisement for “Gangster Party Line” (an adults-only chat line for gangsters — as good as it sounds), the featured comics will undoubtedly do their best to cross as many lines as possible (although Kloceck apparently caused a minor riot by making fun of a Confederate flag at a bar in Redding — a line he regrets crossing). The night will include music from mash-up DJ Lucio K, plus a balloon drop at midnight.
Featuring Natasha Muse (San Francisco Comedy Day, Punchline) , Kaseem Bentley (Punchline, San Francisco Sketchfest), Kate Willett (Mission Position), and Mike Spiegelman, host of the Layover Comedy Night.