The scale and volume of the following for TV's most unlovable gang of losers was on display last night at New York's Beacon Theater where the gang put on a musical entitled The Nightman Cometh. Defamer went to bear witness.

In preparation for its fifth season, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is staging a road show built around a stage performance of the final episiode of the fourth season. While to many, Sunny remains an obscure basic cable show, and many others have expressed perplexity at the appeal of a show about five relentlessly unpleasant buffoons, judging from the scale of the crowd formed outside the Beacon, craning their necks for a glimpse at the stars working the pressline on the yellow carpet, there is a sleeping giant out there eager to praise jerkdom.

Inside, the social origins of the full house were difficult to gauge. For a Californian such as myself visiting New York it is distressing that here — in the capital of the fashion industry — there is no coherent nerd to cool fashion continuum to which all the city's entire citizenry is compelled to obey. There were many in sort of nondescript workplace casual — oxfords, plaids, lots and lots and lots of scarves. Do these equal cool here? Semi-cool? Where I come from "professional dress" = loser, but maybe here that's socially acceptable?

Anyhow, the evening's entertainments were opened by a band who announced "We're from Brooklyn" which I took as my signal to go hunt down some potato chips in the lobby for the remainder of their set (although it sounded pretty good from out there.)

The Sunny portion began with a screening of an upcoming episode from this season. Not the premiere episode which will be broadcast tonight, but an episode to come which must've been selected because it was one of the funniest of the season, because it was pretty darn funny. Up there with Sunny's strongest work.

The stage show had the energy of a revival meeting, or Joss Whedon convention, with the audience wildly cheering familiar lines, bit players and singing along from memory with the songs, as seen in my fuzzy video below. The musical within the show is the Charlie characters delightfully incompetent and unintentionally perverse story about a little boy held captive by a troll, molested each evening by the dreaded Night Man from the darkness who, keeps him from being with a princess. Insane, horrifying and very catchy as well. A delightful theaterical evening.

After the show, the cast adjourned to the rooftop of the Hotel Empire where we were treated with a no frills but acceptable buffet featuring a pasta bar. The hors d'oeuvres were probably more successful than the main course with some very decent crab rangoon bites. The mini-burritos were a minor triumph. The crowd seems heavily Fox business affairs with whom the Sunny crew duly schmoozed until midnight. Interesting to note that all the Sunny cast have apparently decided to marry each other since the show started. Charlie Day ("Charlie") is wedded to his on air love interest The Waitress played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis. Mac and Dee tied the knot last year. Only Dennis (Glenn Howerton), ironically the show's pretty boy, was left to have to marry someone who isn't on the show.

As the party wound down, the cast climbed in to their big yellow Sunny in Philadelphia bus and headed off for the show's namesake town, where they will next perform live as they take their theaterings on a cross country tour.