Downtown Abbey: Macaulay Culkin's Pizza Underground comes to Skully's

Abernathy Miller, Columbus Alive

Pizza-themed cover songs, costumes and Macaulay Culkin made for a weird Monday night at Skully's Music-Diner. After three bands, some random nonsense and several stacked boxes of pizza, I'm still not sure what I actually witnessed.

We got to Skully's early, but there was only a single booth near the door that wasn't occupied. My guest and I sat awkwardly beside each and waited on drinks. Across from us in a flannel "Fargo" hat was Culkin, joking with bandmates in a booth. He didn't look like the strung-out skeleton I'd seen portrayed in internet photos; he looked weirdly normal.

After an opening set from Candy Boys (with Har Mar Superstar on bass), band member "Anchovy Warhol" (complete with wig and sunglasses) entertained the crowd by projecting adoption images of cats with names that synced perfectly to the rushed verses of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire." The phrase "#pussyjoel" periodically flashed across the screen.

"Is the pizza box nice and bassy?" one of the band members said as she struck a Late Night Slice box with a drum stick during a makeshift sound check.

The band jumped directly into its pizza-inspired set, cursing the "burger jerks who set up across the street" and messily strumming through songs like "Pizza Morning" and "Pizza Rolls." Mid-way through the set, Culkin asked the crowd if they liked free pizza, and proceeded to pass boxes of pizza through the crowd. He thanked "Mickey's Late Night Slice" (instead of Mikey's) and instructed the audience to take a lick and pass it back.

The lead singer from Candy Boys had traded his fish-scale leggings for white sunglasses and a Kurt Cobain wig he donned during a solo medley of Nirvana songs, all sung in the past tense. The phrase "Came as you was" resulted in audible snickers from the audience.

"Now you guys are in for a sickeningly sweet treat," Culkin said. Members of The Candy Boys returned to the stage in galaxy leggings and cut-off shorts and performed a boy-band-inspired dance number. "You guys didn't know you were in for a variety show, were you?" Culkin said to the crowd. He was right - there was certainly variety at the Pizza Underground show; but it was more like a 3-hour episode of "Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!"

With all the random nonsense going on, I wasn't sure if I was having a good time. "I bet you're wondering why we do this," Culkin said. "Because pizza - that's why." I suppose that's as good a reason as any.

When the novelty of Pizza Underground wore off, Har Mar Superstar took over with strong musical chops to balance out the irony. Blending funk and electro, Har Mar's set was the only one of the night that felt sincere. Culkin returned to the stage and dry-humped Har Mar from behind. That was my cue.

Several empty pizza boxes were stacked at the end of the bar. We headed for the door laughing and trying to decipher what we just witnessed. If I ever figure it out, I'll let you know.