BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Saturday Night Live cast member Sarah Sherman’s opening night of her “Live + In The Flesh” Tour made the audience squirm June 8 at The Momentary.


The show opened with Jack Bensinger, known for his contribution to the “Imagine” video at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, who came to the stage after Sherman herself popped up from within the audience, commenting about the many empty chairs for the sold out show.


Sherman dressed for her personality, big and full of color, with striped clown shorts, ruler suspenders and a red and white polka dot tie. In a more conservative comparison, Bensinger wore jeans and a suit jacket.


Besinger’s set brought some jokes referring to the desire to change the world which he claimed he wanted to do through his art. However, that theme was a little lost through the remainder of the set.


He utilized visuals regarding unions, and his mother’s involvement in the support of the PRO Act through various baked goods. From this bit, Besinger interacted more with the audience, learning from the crowd that Arkansas does not support unions in the state.


One aspect of his set that left questions of humor was repeated references to special education. It was challenging at times to discern whether Bensinger was sincere about his special education background or if his jokes were simply going too far.


Following Bensinger’s roughly 20 minute set, Sherman came back to the stage to officially begin the headlining performance of the night.


Starting off her local material, claiming that most of it could not be said, Sherman asked the audience if “Tom Walmart” sat in the audience. Many of the casual bits took digs at the company, eventually leading to the clarification if people can buy guns at Walmart (which was confirmed with an enthusiastic yes from the audience).


Some of the uniquely Northwest Arkansas jokes included ragging on Bentonville’s farmers market anti-abortion protestors, references to Beaver Lake and jabs at the large number of cyclists throughout the city.


There were also many instances of Sherman’s performance that could be construed as body gore, but in a comedic manner. It provided further proof as to why the show was exclusive to guests 21 and up.


These segments of the set left the audience gasping for air as they twisted and turned with nonstop laughing, but continued to participate in many multiple choice questions regarding the results of distorted flesh.


Other aspects of Sherman’s set tied into her identity as a Jewish woman originally from New York. Her impersonations and characters were portrayed with lower walks with her knees bent, occasional uses of voice alterations despite the technical difficulties that came from a show starting off the tour.


The closing guided meditation of the set took a minute to begin due to those technical issues, but it eventually filled the room with warped versions of Sherman’s screeching vocals repeating relax. The relaxation was also filled with odd narration that opened the eyes back up of those who were trying to take it seriously, definitely causing some discomfort.


For the first performance of the tour, the sold out show was a roaring success for those who thoroughly enjoy Sherman’s loud mouth type of humor.