Tag Archives: Vegan Mind Meld

Best Comedy Albums of 2010: #7-6-5-4

Year End List caveat: I’m splitting comedy albums apart from comedy DVD projects, so if someone had a DVD that was basically the same as the album I’m rating it as an album. If someone winds up in the DVD category that doesn’t mean their album wasn’t top ten material…just trying to find some way of being fair. That said, there’s not an item on either of these lists that I don’t think is worth your immediate attention…click to hear clips and judge for yourself!

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#07: Bill Burr, LET IT GO

Ok, probably cheating a wee bit here, because Burr does have a DVD of this show and there were a couple of extra jokes on it, but the two are very close in content. (I’m an equal opportunity cheater, as you’ll see when the DVD list is posted.) But no matter where this is listed, it’s great. Burr just keeps getting better every year, baring his soul in his shows and flushing out his brain, unfiltered, on his weekly podcasts. He’s the guy like you and I who is just too fucking tired of putting up with the lack of common courtesy, the ineptitude of customer service and the complete banality of what passes for modern society. The odd thing is that a lesser comic would go down in flames trying to work these topics, but Burr is so passionate and magnetic that he sells every moment. (Image Entertainment)

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#06: Joe DeRosa, THE DEPRESSION AUCTION

A comedian – and an album – that deserves to be far better known. Both self-deprecating and intolerant of others, Joe’s aptly named collection of rants places him as the man who just doesn’t fit, whether it’s ineptitude at sports, being taken seriously as a person or just trying to justify his own anger at boorish people and bad cable before realizing that it would probably mean more if he wasn’t observing this from the fetal position. He tees off on hecklers, reality stars and himself and caps it all off with the tale of performing for fans of The Insane Clown Posse. I don’t know what’s stranger – that the Juggalos invited him to perform and he accepted…or that afterwards they invited him back again . (Comedy Central Records)

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#05: Myq Kaplan, VEGAN MIND MELD

A master of language, one of the best comic wordsmiths that I have heard in a long time. With his intellect, he could leave most of the audience in the dust and be the ultimate nerd comic playing to tiny Mensa gatherings. But fortunately he has a good dose of silly in his DNA and he loves puns. There are so many jokes layered within jokes that it will take multiple listens to shake every one of them loose. Incredible with call backs – if you saw him on Last Comic Standing you watched him weave them into every set. And for the icing on the cake, he’s a razor-sharp moralist taking society to task on politics and religion, which means he’s leaving you laughing and thinking.  (Live at Comix)

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#04: Hannibal Buress, MY NAME IS HANNIBAL

Buress redefines casual; unlike comics who start their set with a bang, he’s so laid back that you might wonder if he’s talking in his sleep. But he’s s sneaky bastard. Little jokes start piling up one after another and before you know it, that snowball is hurtling down the hill like an avalanche. And when he does eventually explode with an expletive or a loud voice, it only makes the punch line that much funnier. He has a great knack for making the mundane sound insane, and his absurdist takes are stellar. It’s as if Louis C.K. and Bill Cosby had a love child – he’s got the Cosby pacing and the lunacy of Louie. How could SNL suck so bad if he is writing for them? (Stand Up! Records)

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The countdown concludes tomorrow with #3, #2 and #1.

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Myq Dov (Not War)

Great weekend of comedy on the boob tube.

First, Myq Kaplan gets his turn to light up Friday nights with his special in the Comedy Central Presents series. Kaplan’s a really sharp guy, one of the more intellectual comics on the scene who uses that ability for great humor, not a lofty perch to talk down from. In other words, the puns and related jokes are flying but still funny even if some of them go over your head. (Which they won’t , because you are also smart, Prescription reader!)

Myq’s debut album Vegan Mind Meld is out this month as well. Don’t have my copy yet but look for a review soon. In the meantime, if you missed the special, check Comedy Central for rebroadcasts (there’s one scheduled for Sunday, May 2, at 8:30am EDT)

Myq Kaplan’s website

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And tonight is the television premiere of Dov Davidoff’s new special Filthy Operation on Comedy Central.

Gone is the bed-head haircut, replaced by a military buzzcut, but everything else underneath looks the same. Which means you can expect him to prowl the stage restlessly, spewing seemingly spontaneous thoughts like he’s trying to quiet the voices in his head by getting them out in the open. Equal parts self-immolation and caustic observation of the absurd, Davidoff is wildly entertaining.

If his new show is anything like his album The Point Is, strap yourself in for an hour of great laughs, unique viewpoints and some uncomfortable stories that will probably sound like he’s been in your head, too.

(If you miss the initial broadcast, an encore presentation of Dov Davidoff: Filthy Operation is scheduled to air on Thursday, May 6 at midnight EDT.)

Dov Davidoff’s website

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Comic Clips

We’re a little more than halfway through the fourteenth season of Comedy Central Presents; this year two new episodes are aired every Friday night at 11:00pm and 11:30pm Eastern Time. There have been a few minor changes from previous seasons, but the channel remains committed to putting fresh comedy out there on a frequent basis, and for that they should be applauded.

Gone are the (usually) elaborate backdrops and sets, which usually added some flavor to the event; in its place the comic’s name is smeared across the upstage scrim so that the feeble-minded among us can remember who we are watching. This in turn allows the comic a graceful exit instead of stopping by their small marquee sign by the stage right curtain to do the obligatory turn and wave so their name is visible in the background. (One would hope that the patrons seeing the show live could simply stare at their ticket stub whenever the need arose).

So maybe that saves them a few bucks, or maybe last-minute negotiations with the set designer went horribly awry and they decided to wing it; either way it’s no big deal. What does matter is who is in front of that curtain and what they do. In 2010 we’ve gotten a good sampling of talent; it’s been great to see some of the up and comers get their shot.

Here is the list of Season 14 performers.

So as I get ready to strap myself in again this week, I thought it only appropriate to present Ten Comic Clips from the season 14 performers. Like any year its been hit and miss, but there have been a couple of standouts so far – and there are some great names yet to come. So in totally random order

* Rory Albanese is yet another writer from the Daily Show factory. Classic old-school look and delivery.

* Jon Lajoie was very strong. I usually get bored by comedians who play music – I get the puppet gag reflex – but he’s an exception. “Regular Everyday Normal Guy” is a classic.

* Amy Schumer totally knocked it out of the park with her set. Excellent timing and a twisted mind behind that very pretty face.

* Pete Holmes (no relation) does exasperation really well; I’ve never seen a set of his I didn’t like.

* The Sklar Brothers were pretty good; the material was decent on its own but when they act out scenes between them it’s far funnier. Closing with the Diceman bit was huge.

* Rob Riggle had a decent set, but I’ve seen him do better (like his small scene in The Hangover), but in fairness I did have the bar set way high for him.

* Myq Kaplan is scheduled for the end of April; his album Vegan Mind Meld is out this month. Great wordplay – maybe the best since Mitch Hedberg.

* Rachel Feinstein knows that a forward lunge is never attractive. Great voices and physicality to back up strong material.

* Jon Dore was phenomenal! Great set-ups that he twists into something dark and sick, and even when you know something is coming, he gets you anyway. With Schumer, the show of the season so far.

* Matt Braunger is on tonight; I reviewed his album a while back. His material is great, his energy is amazing, and he’s fast becoming one of my favorite comics.

Click here to see the list of every CCP special.

Comedy Central website

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