It's all bullshit. Stand up has to be funny. End of story.
"Todd Barry: The Crowd Work Tour" is a showcase of the skills he gained from a couple decades of people being belligerent, not paying attention, heckling, etc. He travels to seven cities with some documentary style interstitials, and just talks to the audience. No jokes, just conversation. One of the most important things to worry about with showing crowd work on a special is making the viewer feel like they are part of the audience. Something they accomplished with just enough lighting on the crowd and having the audience mic'ed. It's definitely unique, and a much welcomed change in pace from the wave of comedy specials that all feel the same.
Todd Barry did his buddy (who also does stand up) a favor by releasing the special on his friend's website for $5. You can get it here. (And you should)
By: Jim Capie