I don’t have Dwight Slade‘s new DVD yet, but if it’s anything like his two CDs I spin on occasion (Evil Monkey and Shut Up!) I’m down. The aptly titled Right & Raunch contains two discs – a clean show that’s apparently safe enough for grandma, and a second that buries the needle on the filthometer.
And that’s pretty much Dwight in a nutsack, er…nutshell – in his normal all-in-one persona. He’ll be in the middle of what seems like an inocuous routine about an everyday topic, when the dark side – a/k/a Evil Monkey – drives the joke off the highway onto a dirt road. But I’ll almost be surprised the next time and the time after that, because he sells it so well. I mean, come on – look at that face! Harmless. Benign. I’d trust my sister with him, if I had a sister. Welllll…probably not after he started talking.
Slade was living in Houston in his early teens when he started nurturing his comedy jones with another driven soul, Bill Hicks, and a lifelong friendship was formed. While Slade’s act is not derivative of Hicks’ style, there are similarities in some of their targets, and they both drip sarcasm with similar vocal tone (compare Slade’s routine about house-to-house “gene pool cleansing” with Hicks’ takes on vapid pop culture artists) . Both score big when zoned in on their impatience for the blind acceptance of stupidity, and each is intelligent enough to take laser-scope sniper shots at it. While Hicks sometimes attacked a broader power (religion, social conscience), Slade hilariously goes toe to toe for a more individual attack, like his overly pristine neighbor or the ass-wagging, small-talking guy next to him on the plane. Common topics, but fresh and funny takes.
He’s won numerous awards – most recently the prestigious Boston Comedy Festival in 2008 – and I’m certainly not alone in my praise of his humor. I like comics who are irreverent (but with a purpose), angry (but with a better – or more ridiculous – idea), and just absurd or insane enough to convince me that maybe…maybe…they’re not as crazy as they want me to think they are. In other words, challenge me with a unique point of view. Check him out – I bet Dwight Slade will win you over, too.
Dwight Slade on MySpace
Dwight Slade’s website.
Some live clips at Rooftop Comedy.