Originally from Baltimore, comedian Mike Storck now is based in New York City and tours clubs and colleges nationwide. Although the title of this CD is No Frills:Redux, it’s the only version of the only CD I’ve been able to find under his name…so hey, that’s funny right there!
Many of Mike’s topics are common comic fodder, although he’s got some unique takes like the Beaner Whistle and Ninja codes for sex tricks. His reflections on growing up in the DC/Baltimore area are very good (the street design in D.C. was based on advice from a drunk Frenchman) as is a routine about how when you get lost while driving, it’s always in the worst possible neighborhood (hydroplaning on crack vials, watching kids in diapers reloading Uzis). He’s even able to milk some good stuff out of the trifecta of stoners/pizza/video games, like why certain games based on reality don’t sell, and that even pizza delivery chains have a societal pecking order. (He even sneaks in a great Super Mario joke – I didn’t think that was possible!)
Some of the punch lines were pretty subtle (like deciding to steal a book about ethics, or getting into a fight with a girl during bondage) but he wisely deferred pulling out the jackhammer to drive them home. There were plenty of the obvious ones for the crowd to latch onto, especially the segments about engaging dorks with mullets (“his mullet ruffles up to display his dominance“) and the delusions of single life.
For most of the thirty-five minute set he had the crowd at a good chuckle level – nothing fall-out-of-the-chair hilarious, but a good roll. Granted you lose something with just the audio; I imagine that acting out a vibrating dildo or “a retarded caveman playing Whack-A-Mole with his feet” is much better with visuals. But he finished really strong with “Kink and the Rabbit” (the disparity in sex toys for men and women) and “Bad Judgement” (the events you remember are never the ones where you used common sense). Those two routines along with bits like this one show me he’s found his zone and is starting to drill it.
Joel Haas (HaHaas) recorded the 2006 show at the DC Improv (where Storck was once the host/MC) ; as expected there is great clarity in the audience/comedian volume balance. Storck caught a good crowd that night; the response was sincere and very consistent. The show is fairly short at 35 minutes, but he’s an easy listen, and works fairly clean (unless you consider an impression of an expensive vibrator off the charts).
Mike wrote a blog between 2006-07 that included some fairly naked thoughts about the frustration of trying to succeed as a stand-up. A comedy career is anything but a paved road, and most comics will admit that the constant self-analysis (not to mention the relentless work ethic required to improve) is like an intense rollercoaster ride. He’s been at it now for twelve years and based on a steady touring schedule and some nice awards, seems to be reaping the benefits. So check him out, and lets keep our eyes open for a follow-up release.
Mike Storck on MySpace.
Buy No Frills: Redux on CD Baby